Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc.

9150 North Meridian Street, Box 40650, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240-0650

Phone: 317-846-6601    Fax: 317-575-4244    Website:

Blake Ress, Commissioner


                                                                                                                                                 June 17, 2006



The Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian Braves (25-2) proved their dominance in Class A baseball as the first repeat winner in their class and the second repeat champions in IHSAA baseball history with an eight-inning 7-4 win over the Shakamak Lakers (24-8) at Victory Field on Saturday.  Blackhawk joins Jasper (1996-97, 1998 Class 3A) as the only repeat champion in IHSAA baseball history.


The Lakers were first to light up the scoreboard with three runs in the bottom of the third inning thanks to a pair of singles from junior first baseman Ridge Inman and junior catcher Steven McNabb.  The Braves came back swinging and scored two runs in the fourth and fifth innings. 


Blackhawk Christian took the lead in the fifth inning when freshman catcher Stryker Salyer doubled to left and drove in junior third baseman David Ehmke.  Shakamak would not answer back to the Braves’ four runs until the seventh inning. 


A late rally from the Lakers in the bottom of the seventh inning culminated with sophomore Justin Cox scoring on an error with two outs to send the contest into the fifth extra-inning state championship game in IHSAA history. 


The Braves were able to take the lead and then some with a three-run eighth inning which secured their state championship repeat. 


Blackhawk Christian junior starting right-handed pitcher Jon Ringenberg shut down the Lakers in the bottom of the eighth and improved to 9-0 with a complete-game performance, allowing nine hits and three earned runs, while striking out seven.  Ringenberg tied the Class A record for strikeouts, matching the output of Triton’s Jacob Burnett against Adams Central in 2001.


Blackhawk’s Ringenberg and Ehmke tied the IHSAA Class A championship game record also by Burnett with four hits apiece.  Ringenberg tied the record with three runs scored, while Ehmke tied Ringenberg’s record from 2005 with three RBI.  Salyer and second-baseman Jordan Ash also tallied two hits each. 


Blackhawk tied the Class A record of 15 hits by Lafayette Central Catholic also against Shakamak in 2004.  Blackhawk and Shakamak combined for 24 hits, eclipsing the previous Class A mark of 23 by Lafayette Central Catholic and Shakamak two years ago.


Blackhawk established a Class A record with 37 at-bats, bettering the standard of 34 by Triton and Lafayette Central Catholic.  Blackhawk and Shakamak combined for a record 72 at-bats to beat the previous best of 65 by Lafayette Central Catholic and Shakamak.


Inman was given the loss and fell to 7-2 on the season.  Coach Chip Sweet’s Lakers were led by junior catcher Steven McNabb and sophomore third-baseman Justin Cox with two hits each.    


Blackhawk Christian’s Andrew Nelson wins L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award

Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian senior shortstop Andrew Nelson is the 2006 recipient of the L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award for IHSAA Class A.


Nelson is a four-sport athlete, earning a total of 11 varsity letters in basketball, cross country, and soccer in addition to baseball.  He was a key player on Blackhawk’s 2005 state championship baseball team.  Nelson sports a .306 career batting average with 70 runs scored, 65 RBI, and a .444 slugging percentage.


Nelson was the valedictorian of his senior class with a 4.24 cumulative grade point average.  He helped in the starting and development of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at Blackhawk.


“Andrew evidences high standards and convictions in his personal character,” said Blackhawk Principal Thomas Hopewell.  He is a person of honesty and integrity and those qualities draw high respect from his peers and his teachers.  Commitment and dedication describe well Andrew’s work ethic whether in the classroom or on the ball diamond.”


Nelson has been a team leader in the United Way, and he has been active in the Day of Caring program and as a Student Rotarian representative.  He is a graduate of Youth Leadership in Fort Wayne.  He is active in the community as a team leader for the annual raft trip for troubled youth in Fort Wayne and with various church youth group service projects.


Nelson becomes the second baseball player from Blackhawk to win the award, joining Kyle Wright (2002).


Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the corporate partner of the IHSAA, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian High School in the name of Andrew Nelson.


Andrew’s father, Chuck, was the 1966-67 recipient of the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award for boys basketball, representing Fort Wayne South Side High School.


Nelson, the son of Chuck and Jeanne Nelson, will major in business and economics at Wheaton College (Ill.) this fall.



Visit our friends at Visual Sports Network, the IHSAA’s official photographer for all state championship events and one of the leading action photographers in the Midwest. VSN, which was on site on Saturday, has captured hundreds of images from this year’s State Finals and will have them ready for viewing and purchase.



For t-shirts and other merchandise commemorating this year’s tournament or for any of our events, visit our friends at Morris, Inc.



Couldn’t be there for the state finals? You can still purchase a copy of the official souvenir program while supplies last! Programs are $3.00 if you purchase in person at the IHSAA Office (9150 N. Meridian Street in Indianapolis) or $5.00 by mail (postage included). To order, have your Visa or MasterCard ready and call us at 317-846-6601 during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT).