PLAIN CITY — It’s not a familiar opponent, but it is a familiar setting.
The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets baseball team will open the 2011 sectional tournament on Monday, May 9, at home against Logan.
“We were fortunate to, once again, get a home game in sectionals,” Mount Vernon head coach Matt Smith said. “We’re happy to be playing on our home field again.”
The Jackets haven’t failed to land at least one home game in at least 11 years. This year, they earned the 16th seed, which was good enough to land another spot at home.
Their opponent, Logan, is actually from the East district. The Chieftans are one of two schools from out of the district to compete in the Central.
Logan’s record is 2-8 — that’s just 10 games played this season — which Smith believes can work to Mount Vernon’s advantage.
“We’ve played more games,” Smith said. “A lot of coaches at the draw were talking about how they’re just getting to know their teams. We’ve played a lot more games. We’ve figured things out.
“To tell the truth, I don’t know a whole lot about (Logan),” Smith admitted. “I just know that we have a great chance. Our team is coming together, and when you have two top pitchers like us, you always have a chance.”
One of those top pitchers, Ben Hoar, has been held off the field for a few days because of soreness in his shoulder. He returned to the field this weekend at first base, and is expected to pitch Wednesday against New Albany.
Should Mount Vernon get through Logan, the team’s next matchup will be the sectional final on Wednesday, May 11, on the road to face either Pickerington Central or Independence.
“If form holds true, we have a great chance against Pickerington Central,” Smith said. “These kids have been to districts before. They know what it takes to win. They’ll be ready.”
In Division III, Utica earned a bye to the sectional final. The Redskins will face either West Jefferson or Northridge on Thursday, May 12, at home.
Centerburg will be home Tuesday, May 10, to take on Mount Gilead. A win puts the Trojans in the sectional final at Pleasant.
Highland will also be at home on Tuesday, hosting Columbus South. A win puts the Scots on the road against Bishop Hartley.
East Knox travels to Elgin on Tuesday.
In Division IV, Fredericktown, earning the No. 2 seed, received a bye to the sectional final. On Thursday, May 12, The Freddies will face the winner of the Worthington Christian/Grandview Heights matchup earlier in the week.
Danville, the other area Divison IV team, will host Millersport on Monday, May 9. This is the second straight year the schools have faced off in the sectional semifinals.