Johnny Maynard is not yet sure where he’ll throw his next regular-season collegiate pitch. But he is certain how he will approach baseball. The way he always has — with a strong work ethic and bulldog mentality. “It’s how I raised by my parents,” says Maynard, who turns 22 today (June 30). “Whatever you start you have to finish. I never quit anything ever. Always go full-out. “I really don’t care who I’m competing against, I know they’re not going to beat me. I’m a 5-foot-10 right-handed pitcher. I’m usually one of the smaller guys on the team. I have to work harder to the get the results and earn respect.” Maynard (rhymes with Play Hard), a 2019 Griffith (Ind.) Junior/Senior High School graduate who is now in the Transfer Portal after two seasons at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill., (2020 and 2021) and one at NCAA Division I Radford (Va.) University. The Sports Management and Marketing major hurled 5 1/3 innings in six appearances for the 2022 Highlanders. Alex Guerra was hired as Radford head coach after the season. This summer, Maynard is pitching for the Coastal Plain League’s Jeremy Knight-coached Asheboro (N.C.) ZooKeepers. Throwing from a high three-quarter arm slot, Maynard uses on four-seam fastball, one-seamer, curveball and change-up. The four-seam sits 87 to 89 mph and has been up to 92. “The one-seamer (finger on just one seam) I learned this year,” says Maynard. “My two-seamer was not moving the way I wanted it to. (The one-seamer) gets pretty good movement away from a lefty and has pretty good sink to it. It works off my (circle) change-up (which is generally thrown 82 to 84 mph.” Maynard employs a curve that is 1-to-7 on the clock face. “It drops off the table pretty well,” says Maynard. Born in Munster, Ind., Maynard moved to Griffith as a sixth grader. He played in Munster and Griffith youth leagues then went into travel ball and suited up for the Northwest Indiana Shockers, Steelheads, Cobras, Slammers, Hammond Chiefs and 18U Midwest Irish. At Griffith High, Maynard played four years for Panthers coach coach Brian Jennings, starting as a freshman. “He’s a great guy,” says Maynard of Jennings, who retired after the 2022 season. Lincoln Trail coach Kevin Bowers allowed the righty got to close some games for the Statesman. One of his highlights is slamming the door on highly-ranked John A. Logan during the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Maynard split the summer of 2019 between the Irish and Midwest Collegiate League’s Northwest Indiana Oilmen. He also got in a few innings with that Whiting-based team in 2020. He was with the Tropics of the College Summer League at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., in 2021, which allowed him to work at home and then commute two-plus hours to games. Johnny’s mother, Jen Maynard, is a cardiac tech in northwest Indiana. Father Mike Maynard is recently-retired and living in Florida. Sister Lauren Maynard played and coached softball at Purdue Northwest and is now in nursing school.
Sam Pinckert was productive in his first baseball season at Oakland (Ind.) City University in 2022. Playing mostly left field with a few of his 46 games at right field and second base, Pinckert hit .269 (42-of-156) with six home runs, one triple, 10 doubles, 38 runs batted in and 43 runs scored plus eight stolen bases with the 31-23 Mighty Oaks. He amassed 14 assists (mostly from the outfield). After three seasons at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio (2019-21), the 2018 graduate of Heritage Hills High School in Lincoln City, Ind., transferred to Taylor University in Upland, Ind., for the fall of 2021 and wound up at NAIA member Oakland City for spring semester. He plans to return in the fall while changing his primary position. OCU head coach Andy Lasher wants to put him back in the infield in 2023 so Pinckert has been playing there this summer with the Ohio Valley League’s Muhlenburg (Ky.) County Stallions — recently at third base for a Mark Silva-managed team. He went to the outfield in the spring of 2022 since the Mighty Oaks had three fifth-year seniors in the infield. Sam, who turns 22 on June 20, is the only child of Dennis and Mona Pinckert of Santa Claus, Ind. Dennis Pinckert works for a cabinet manufacturer. Mona Pinckert is heading into an accounting job with a trucking company. It’s about 40 miles from Santa Claus Oakland City, making it easier for them to attend Sam’s games. Besides his parents, Sam Pinckert considers two men named Andy — Heritage Hills coach Andy Fischer and Oakland City coach Andy Lasher — as mentors. “Coach Fischer is probably the most personable head coach I’ve ever had,” says Pinckert. “He had personality and a relationship with the players. As a teacher, he would have them in class and see them throughout the day. “(Lasher) keeps me level-headed big time. He slows me down and works me through everything.” His college coach also keeps tabs on Pinckert the person, calling him once or twice a week to check up on him. “I can talk with him about anything,” says Pinckert of Lasher. Speed and strength are two qualities that have served Sam well on the diamond. “I’m just a compact athlete,” says the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Pinckert. “I just use my strength in certain ways. I have power though I’m a smaller guy.” Another plus for Pinckert is the mental side. “I just know the game very well,” says Pinckert, who is pursuing a Sport Management degree with a minor in Coaching. Righty-swinging Pinckert describes his approach to hitting. “I’m looking for a ball on the outer half and I’m trying to take it out to in,” says Pinckert. “I want to take the ball to right or right-center.” Pinckert was born in Evansville and grew up in Santa Claus. “Travel ball is really what got me going in baseball and got me a step ahead,” says Pinckert, who has donned the jerseys of the Spikes, Ironmen, Kentuckiana Elite, Avon Hurricanes and Outlaws. Kentuckiana Elite featured many future college players, including Castle High School graduate Brodey Heaton at Belmont University and Paducah Tilghman High School alum Jackson Fristoe at Mississippi State University. Pinckert’s last travel ball stop was with the A.J. Curtis-coached Outlaws. He was with the Avon Hurricanes the summer after high school graduation and Rockport American Legion Post 254 in the summer of 2019. He broke his hand during the regional final against Floyds Knobs Post 44 and and still went on a designated hitter wearing a cast on his right hand. In high school, Pinckert was on the cross country and swim teams and played four years of varsity baseball — three for Greg Gogel and one for Fischer. “He was a very competitive guy,” says Pinckert of Gogel. “We always kind of piggybacked off of that. “He knew what he was talking about.” Pincer was mostly a pitcher for the Patriots as a sophomore and junior and was a utility player as a senior, earning the Cy Young Award for pitching and also playing third base and second base. Through National Scouting Report (NSR), Pinckert went to a camp and was offered a roster spot by then-Muskies assistant and recruiting coordinator Mike Mulvey at NCAA Division III Muskingum. He started every game at shortstop for head coach Gregg Thompson as a freshman in 2019, hitting .282 (33-of-117). A torn labrum and the COVID-19 pandemic limited him to five games in 2020. Still recovering from injury, he saw action in just 12 contests in 2021. Pinckert took batting practice and did not play for a team in the summer of 2020. In 2021, he was with the OVL’s Vic Evans-managed Owensboro (Ky.) RiverDawgs.
What drives Patrick Mills as a baseball player? “My passion for the game is definitely No. 1,” says Mills, a 22-year-old outfielder/first baseman for Indiana University-Kokomo. “Every day I get up out of bed the one thing I want to do is go play some baseball. “That’s the reason I keep playing. I enjoy the game. Everything else will follow. I will do everything I can to get better and keep playing it. It comes down to passion and discipline.” Mills, a 2018 graduate of Western High School in Russiaville, Ind., spent two years at Olney (Ill.) Central College and the past two years at IUK. He plans to use his extra year of COVID-19 eligibility with the Cougars in 2022-23 while completing his Computer Science degree. A lefty thrower and batter, Mills hit .374 (65-of-174) in 2022 while helping IUK go 26-22 overall and 16-7 in the NAIA River States Conference. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder belted 15 home runs, four triples and 16 doubles while driving in 44 runs and scoring 51 — all team-leading totals. His on-base percentage was .453. “I make sure I stay balanced in my body and my mind,” says Mills of his approach at the plate. “I learn what the pitcher is throwing and try to hit the ball hard. “When you hit the ball hard good things happen.” Mills has had many mentors besides father Eric. “It’s not just one person in particular,” says Mills. “It’s a collective of everybody I’ve met in the game. “It’s little bit of advice here and there. I’ve put it together like a puzzle.” Jeremy Honaker coached Cougar outfielders and hitters in 2022. Mills credits him with helping him with the mental side of the game and bringing out his full potential during games. “There were little snippets for me to think about during (batting practice),” says Mills. “They were more mental notes than actual physical cues.” A lot was achieved during the fall and winter. “All that work built up,” says Mills. “By the time the season came around it was second nature.” Mills has head coaches at IUK with different styles. Matt Howard was intense and Drew Brantley is more laid-back. “(Howard) lent a level of excitement and discipline,” says Mills of the man who is now a Kokomo police officer. “He wanted us to compete to the best of our abilities every single day. He wanted to make his players as tough as possible and he definitely did. “(Brantley) has created an environment where we’re not afraid to fail. If we can control what we need to control, the results will follow. Follow the process and try to get better everyday. That philosophy — in my opinion — worked very well. Next spring it will be even better.” Mills was born in Kokomo and got his formal baseball start at what is now Russiaville Youth Baseball League. He played travel ball with the Westfield-based Stonecutters then went with the Indiana Eagles for his 14U to 17U summers. “(Eagles coach) Jamie Roudebush gave us a platform to work on our skills and get better everyday during those years,” says Mills. At Western, Mills played two years each for Quentin Brown then Ryan Berryman. “(Brown) was all about passion when playing the game. He once jokingly said to me, ‘you care about this game too much. If you keep your passion like that you’ll go wherever you want to go.” Mills and the Western Panthers were 2016 IHSAA Class 3A state runners-up. “Playing for (Berryman) was a different experience from Brown,” says Mills. “He brought the intensity level, but also the technicalities of baseball. He challenged me to become better fundamentally. It was the mechanics and more than just the mental side.” Mike Shirley, who at the time was a Chicago White Sox area scout and is now that organization’s director of amateur scouting, ran a fall league for high schoolers in Pendleton, Ind., in which Mills participated. “He gave us a lot of information and where we need to improve,” says Mills of Shirley. “He was challenging us mentally and physically. It was a great experience.” Mills played for Don Andrews-managed Kokomo American Legion Post 6 the summers before and after his first year of college. “He was always supported me since I played for him,” says Mills of Andrews. “He was very similar to how Drew Brantley goes about his business. He’s calm and collected. “Back then I was very intense and wild and wanted to do everything with one swing. He taught me how to handle my emotions. It went over my head then but I eventually learned from his teachings.” At Olney Central, Mills played for veteran coach Dennis Conley. “He definitely pushed his players to the limit and got the most out of them,” said Mills of Conley, who has been in charge of the Blue Knights program for 42 years and has a record of 1,530-773. “Junior college tests your love of the game. Do you really love the game or kind of like it?” Mills was with the Portland (Ind.) Rockets during the COVID summer of 2020. One of his teammates was former Yorktown High School, Lincoln Trail College, Wright State University and independent pro player Zach Tanner. “He took me under his wing and taught me about the mental game,” says Mills of Tanner. Last summer he played for the Prospect League’s West Virginia Miners and manager Tim Epling. The summer of 2022 sees Mills with the Northwoods League’s Battle Creek (Mich.) Battle Jacks. The team is managed by Caleb Long. In 28 games with Battle Creek, Mills is hitting .360 (41-of-114) with two homers, 27 RBIs and 21 runs. Eric and Sundai Mills have three children — Jaymee (Mills) Birky (28), Hayley Mills (24) and Patrick. Jaymee is married and living in Madison, Wis. (where Battle Creek recently played the Madison Mallards), and competition in swimming, softball and track at Western. She also was part of a state championship marching band. Hayley nows teaches elementary school in Raleigh, N.C. She was in volleyball, basketball, swimming and softball during her school days.
A year ago at this time, 2021 Lebanon (Ind.) High School graduate Garrett Harker suited up for the North in the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association North/South All-Star Series. In the summer of 2022, the right-handed pitcher is in the high-profile Cape Cod Baseball League with the Harwich Mariners, managed since 2003 by Steve Englert. In his first two outings covering 3 2/3 relief innings, Harker has allowed no runs and two hits while striking out seven and walking none. “It’s the best league you can play in,” says Harker, 19. “I’m blessed to be here and have this experience. I’m probably one of the youngest guys. “I’m just trying to get some innings and throw in front of as many people as I can.” During his freshmen season at the University of Cincinnati this spring, 6-foot, 200-pound Harker appeared in 16 games (six starts) and went 4-3 with one save and one save and a 7.08 earned run average. He produced 38 strikeouts and 22 walks in 48 1/3 innings. The UC Bearcats head coach is Scott Googins. Harker works closely with pitching coach JD Heilmann. It’s been competitiveness that Heilmann has emphasized with Harker. “Go at the hitter and be the competitor you’ve been,” says Harker. “I’m not the biggest, fastest, strongest guy out there. I’m going to give you 100 percent no matter what I do.” Born in Indianapolis, Harker grew up in Lebanon. He played at Lebanon Little League until about 9 then played for various travel ball teams, including the Lebanon Thunder, Indiana Baseball Club, Indiana Elite, Indiana Outlaws, Indiana Bulls and Team Indiana (fall ball). With the 2020 prep season canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Harker played three seasons at Lebanon High School for Rick Cosgray. “He’s a players’ coach for sure,” says Harker of Cosgray. “He’ll go to battle for you as long as you give 100 percent.” In 81 high school games, Harker hit .431 (113-of-262) with 13 home runs, 56 runs batted in and 89 runs scored. As a pitcher, he went 19-7 with two saves and a 1.44 ERA. He whiffed 264 and walked 42 in 156 innings. As a senior in 2021, he was 8-0 with one save, a 0.67 ERA, 111 K’s and eight walks in 52 1/3 innings. He was the IHSBCA District K Player of the Year and was the on the Prep Baseball Report Indiana All-State Team and All-USA Central Indiana Postseason Super Team. Harker, who turns 20 on July 23, says it was during his junior year of high school that he really learned how to pitch. The righty throws from a high three-quarter arm angle. “I figured I needed to get on top of the ball and get more spin rate and spin efficiency — all that stuff,” says Harker. He mixes a four-seam fastball that has been clocked as high as 95 mph, a sinking two-seam fastball, “circle” change-up (usually delivered around 80 mph), a traditional slider (with horizontal movement and vertical depth). Harker’s 2020 summer was spent with the 17U Indiana Bulls. In 2021, he got in a few outings with the PRP Baseball Mambas and had workouts for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. Besides baseball, Harker played four years of football (three years as starting quarterback) and one year of basketball at Lebanon. During his gridiron days, he passed for 4,399 yards and 43 touchdowns, including 2,028 and 21 as a junior in 2019. Garrett is the youngest of Larry and Teri Harker’s four children — all former Lebanon athletes. Former Tigers basketball and softball player Kalyn Harker (Class of 2011) is the oldest, followed by former football, basketball and baseball player Isaac Harker (Class of 2014), former volleyball, basketball and softball player Tori Harker (2018) and Garrett Harker. Kalyn played softball at Southern Illinois University. Isaac played quarterback at Indiana State University and Colorado School of Mines and been in the Canadian Football League. Tori played volleyball at Indiana University East. Larry Harker works for Cincinnati Bell Technology Services. Teri Harker is a stay-at-home mom.
Three years after throwing his last collegiate pitch, Indianapolis native Kenny Ogg has a joined a Major League Baseball affiliate. Ogg, a right-hander who graduated from Lawrence Central High School in 2015 and Ohio University in 2020, is with the Arizona Complex League Diamondbacks Black after beginning the 2022 season with the independent Frontier League’s Joliet (Ill.) Slammers. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder who turns 25 on July 4 has made five relief appearances since being signed by D-backs indy ball scout Chris Carminucci. Ogg threw at a February showcase in Arizona — where he now trains and works for facility owner and Oakland Athletics throwing performance coach Casey Upperman — and was told if he put up good numbers at the beginning of the season they would likely sign him. “That’s essentially what happened,” says Ogg, who went 2-1 with a 2.84 earned run average in three starts with Joliet. He pitched for Ohio from 2016-19. In 64 games (14 starts), he was 8-11 with a 4.96 ERA. He struck out 101 and walked 67 in 161 1/3 innings. He spent a few weeks in the summer of the 2019 with the independent United Shore Professional Baseball League’s Birmingham Bloomfield (Mich.) Beavers. Ogg was a graduate assistant at OU while completing his Specialized Studies degree with an emphasis on Health and Service Administration and Communications in 2020. In September of 2020, Ogg moved to the Phoenix area and trained in the off-season. He was still training and teaching lessons when he caught on with the independent Pioneer League’s Boise (Idaho) Hawks at the end of the 2021 season. In 13 games out of the bullpen, he was 1-0 with two saves and a 5.30 ERA. Ogg has a large repertoire of pitches — sinker, cutter, change-up, slider and cutter. “I’ve never thrown a four-seamer, always a two-seamer,” says Ogg. “My sinker and cutter are close to the same speed. “My change-up is similar to my sinker. It has run and some depth to it, too. My slider is a work in progress. I’m trying to decide whether to go more traditional or gyro.” While he describe his arm angle as high three-quarter, that is not his focus. “It’s less about where my arm is and more about where my shoulder plane is,” says Ogg. “The more tilt I have with my shoulder plane the higher my arm slot.” Born in Indianapolis, Kenny grew up in Lawrence Township and was coached up until high school by father Orien Ogg (now a substitute teacher and Irvington Prep Academy assistant). Andy Arnett coached alongside Orien with the Oaklandon Bombers. Kenny played at Oaklandon Youth Organization, the OYO Bombers and then for USAthletic (coached by Mark Westlake), the Giants Fall Scout Team (Kevin Christman) and the Indiana Dirtbags (Jim Reboulet). While at Lawrence Central, Dan Roman was the LC head coach his freshman year with Matt Buczkowski in charge his final three seasons. “He’s a great mentor,” says Ogg of Buczkowski (who is now head coach at Carmel High School). “Whenever I have any baseball news he’s one of my first calls. He taught a lot about baseball in high school and he continues to do that when I go home. “(Former Lawrence Central and current Carmel assistant) Fred Moses was a big part of developing my mechanics in high school and college.” Kenny’s mother is interior designer Kimberly Curry. His sister is Katie Ogg (27).
Baseball has been kind to a young man from Salem, Ind. It’s given him moments of joy and relationships and helped him earn a college degree. Xavier Haendiges (pronounced X-avier Hen-dig-us) says he will keep the game in his life even though his playing days are behind him. “It’s been fun,” says Haendiges, a 2019 Salem High School graduate who redshirted one year, played three seasons at Ohio University and earned a Business Analytics and Marketing degree with a sales certificate this spring. “I met a lot of people I’m going to remember for the rest of my life. “Being able to play the game of baseball and compete everyday has been awesome.” Haendiges has one year of eligibility left, but has opted to move on. “I don’t think my arm could handle playing another season,” says Haendiges, who has also dealt with an ailing back. A righty-swinging middle infielder, he started in 30 of the 31 games he appeared in for the 2022 OU Bobcats. The 6-foot, 170-pounder hit .299 (26-of-81) with one triple, five doubles, six runs batted in and 20 runs scored. In three years, he played in 47 games and hit .252 (31-of-123). Haendiges, who turned 22 on June 15, plans to move to Cincinnati in a few weeks and begin a job as a remote account executive with InSight — an IT solutions company. “Being in marketing and sales keeps me in that competitive mindset,” says Haendiges. “I have to compete for customers and against other salesmen. “I want to be able to challenge myself everyday.” He’s recently taken to golf to help scratch his competitive itch. Growing up in Salem, Haendiges played in the local youth league then began travel ball around 11 with the Indiana Bulls. “It’s a great organization,” says Haendiges. “I’ve had so many opportunities. “It’s led me through so many doors.” With the Salem High Lions, Haendiges played for head coach Brett Miller. “To be a coach you have to have a good personality and love the game,” says Haendiges. “He was a great mentor and a great coach.” Haendiges also played point guard for the Salem basketball team. Xavier is the youngest of Ron and Pam Haendiges’ two sons. Trey Haendiges is 10 years older than Xavier and runs Haendiges Insurance Solutions in Salem and recently made his brother into an uncle and his parents into grandparents. Trey’s affection for the Boston Red Sox has rubbed off on his little brother. “I follow the Red Sox heavily,” says Haendiges. “I’ve been watching the College Word Series. When I move to Cincinnati, I plan to catch some Reds games as well.” Ron Haendiges works at State Farm Insurance in Salem. Pam Haendiges is a former first grade teacher at Bradie Shrum Elementary — the same school that Xavier attended.
The South took an early 4-0 lead and held on for a 4-3 win Sunday, June 26 in Game 3 of the 2022 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches AssociationNorth/South All-Star Series. By going 2-1 during the weekend at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, the South cut the North’s all-time series lead to 69-68. Eastside’s Owen Willard was selected as 2022 BSN Sports Don Jennings MVP Award. The Purdue Fort Wayne recruit struck out all six batters he faced in Game 1 Saturday and went 4-of-7 with two runs batted in and two runs scored across three games. “I definitely had the curveball working. I threw that a lot,” said right-hander Willard of his mound outing. “The hitters struggled with (the curve) and I tried to sneak a fastball on the outer corner. “I got a lot of swing-and-misses with my curveball. I worked ahead (in the count). That’s how I got those outs.” Willard described his offensive philosophy — with a metal or wood bat. “I try to see ball, hit ball almost,” said righty-swinging Willard. “I just wait on a fastball and get one I can hit. That’s my mentality. “Before this weekend I was leaning toward going to (college) is a (pitcher-only). After this weekend I feel like I can with some of the big dogs and give it a shot.” Willard said he would remember his performance, but that’s not all. “Meeting all these people that I can call my friends now,” said Willard. “I hadn’t met most of these people. I can have a conversation with them anytime now.” Owen got to share the all-star experience closely with his father. Aaron Willard retired as Eastside head coach after the 2022 season and was selected as part of the North coaching staff. “This was the last high school baseball game he’ll ever coach,” said Owen. “This is pretty cool.” Two runs in the seventh pulled the North to within 4-3. Willard lashed a lead-off triple and scored on a wild pitch. Indiana State University-bound Jacob Pruitt (Yorktown) singled and trotted home on a two-out double by Earlham College recruit Nick Turner (Seeger). The North cut the gap to 4-1 with one run in the fifth. Joey Spin (Caston) singled and scored on a double by Huntington University-bound Jordan Malott (Fort Wayne Carroll). University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recruit Luke Smock (Delphi) followed with a single. South right fielder and Rockhurst University-bound Landon Carr (Northview) threw to catcher and Lincoln Trail College recruit Oscar Pegg (Shakamak) to cut down Malott out at the plate. A two-run third gave the South a 4-0 advantage. The first two hitters — Pegg and Quincy University-bound Joe Huffman (Avon) walked. Both scored on the same play — a sacrifice fly by Anderson University recruit Jake Winzenread (Lawrence North) and a North throwing error. The South tallied two runs in the top of the first inning for a 2-0 lead. Bellarmine University-bound Charlie Rife (Shelbyville) smacked a lead-off double and Pegg was hit by a pitch. Both scored on a one-out single by Winzenread. The South used three pitchers for three innings each — left-hander Ethan Lyke (Evansville Central) and right-handers Drew Howard (Forest Park) Tate Warner (Fishers). Lyke is headed to Murray State University, Howard to the University of Evansville and Warner to Indiana Wesleyan. North’s pitching was shared by six players — Indiana University recruit Brayden Risedorph (East Noble) for 1 1/3 innings, Ball State University-bound Cole Wise (Northwestern) for 1 2/3, Indiana Wesleyan recruit Will Eldridge (Carroll of Flora) for two, Belmont University-bound Dalton Wasson (Heritage) for two, Ohio State University recruit Keaton Mahan (Westfield) for one and University of Saint Francis-bound Luke Siren (Fort Wayne Northrop) for one. Mahan is a lefty. The rest are right-handers. The game featured five double plays — three for the South (second, fourth and sixth) and two for the North (seventh and ninth). According to IHSBCA Executive Director Brian Abbott, the 2023 North/South All-Star Series and Futures Game is to be held in Lafayette the week following the IHSAA State Finals.
Jordan Schaffer has come to the end of his eligibility after a memorable collegiate baseball career. Now he’s continuing in amateur ball while wondering if he might get to play for pay. Schaeffer, a 2016 graduate of West Vigo High School in West Terre Haute, Ind., spent six years at nearby Indiana State University. He redshirted in 2017 then was in 147 games (115 starts) for the Sycamores from 2018-22. The righty-swinging infielder hit .338 (168-of-497) with 11 home runs, four triples, 11 doubles, 69 runs batted in, 118 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. His on-base percentage was .414. He was named first-team all-Missouri Valley Conference in 2021 and 2022. Mitch Hannahs is Indiana State’s head coach. “He’s an unbelievable motivator,” says Schaffer of Hannahs. “His knowledge of the game is second to none. He knows how to get the most out of his players. “He saw something in me. A lot of hard work later, he got more out of me than I expected. You want to get better not only for him but yourself.” In 2022, Schaffer fielded at a .945 clip and was in on 16 double plays. Liking the way it feels, he wears a standard 11 1/2-inch glove when at shortstop, second base and third base. “I move around,” says Schaffer. “That comes from Coach (Brian) Smiley. No player in his infield group plays one position. That makes you more versatile when you got to other teams, especially summer ball teams. It gives you more chances to play.” This is Schaffer’s fifth go-around with a summer wood bat league and second with the Prospect League’s Terre Haute Rex. Tyler Wampler managed Terre Haute to a league championship in 2018. Schaffer played for the Ohio Valley League’s Henderson (Ky.) Flash in 2017, the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League’s Michigan Monarchs in 2019, trained the summer of 2020 and was with the Northwoods League’s Wisconsin Woodchucks (now the Wausau Woodchucks) in 2021. After winding up his long stint at ISU, Schaffer signed a 10-day contract in the MLB Draft League with the Williamsport (Pa.) Crosscutters and has played nine games for the Rex, hitting .412 with one homer and six RBIs. “I’m continuing to play,” says Schaffer, 24. “I may or may not get a chance to play professionally.” The 2022 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is July 17-19. Schaffer, a 6-foot, 180-pounder, could be taken in the 20-round selection process, sign with an MLB organization as an undrafted free agent or seek independent ball opportunity. He notes that the MLB Draft League turns into indy ball post-draft and he could go back there. Schaffer graduated from Indiana State in the spring with double bachelor degrees in Accounting and Sport Management. Born in Terre Haute and growing West Terre Haute, Schaffer was in West Terre Haute Little League then a year of Babe Ruth ball. “I was not able to get on any travel organizations,” says Schaffer. Since age 5, he attended camps conducted by varsity coach Steve DeGroote, worked out with the high schoolers during his middle school years and was a freshman the last season DeGroote served as head coach. “I got the privilege from a young age to know fundamentals he instilled in players,” says Schaffer, who earned four baseball letters and helped West Vigo to two sectional and one regional title. “There were some big-time motivational speeches. I’m thankful I got to play one year under him.” He also played and practiced during the summer with teams organized by DeGroote, who was inducted into the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2017. Culley DeGroote — Steve’s son — took over the West Vigo program and Schaffer played for him his last three prep years. “Culley did a great job of taking it over,” says Schaffer. “He was assistant to Steve. He kept the same fundamentals. “It’s the same program and West Vigo is not somebody you want to run into in postseason play.” Schaffer played for Terre Haute Wayne Newton American Legion Post 346 in the summer of 2016. Jordan is the oldest of Brad and Amy Schaffer’s two children. Macy is a nursing student at Ivy Tech Community College. Brad Schaffer is a bidder for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 725. Amy Schaffer is a lawyer’s assistant at McGlone Law in Terre Haute.
Runs and hits kept coming Saturday, June 25 in the 2022 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association North/South All-Star Series. The North topped the South 10-6 and the South beat the North 16-8 at Indiana Wesleyan University. The two sides combined for 17 hits in Game 1 and 25 in Game 2. There were 14 extra-base hits. Heading into Game 3 (wood bat) at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 26 the North leads 69-67 in the all-time series.
North 10, South 6 Keaton Mahan (Westfield) took a 2-0 pitch from Connor Foley (Jasper) and socked a two-out game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jordan Malott (Fort Wayne Carroll) and Jacob Pruitt (Yorktown) drew one-out walks. Indiana University recruit Foley coaxed a groundout and walked Joey Spin (Caston) setting the stage for Ohio State recruit Mahan’s left-handed blast. The North forged a 6-6 tie with one run in the seventh. Luke Siren (Fort Wayne Northrop) walked with one out and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Indiana State University-bound Pruitt. The South went up 6-5 with two runs in the sixth. Landon Carr (Northview) and Kannon Stull (Jeffersonville) singled. Carr later scored on a single by Purdue Fort Wayne-bound Charlie Hawk (Lawrence Central) and Stull trotted home on a wild pitch. It was 5-4 North with two runs in the fourth. With one out, Zach Hoskins (Penn) was hit by a pitch and Luke Smock (Delphi) singled. Hoskins scored on a single by Earlham College recruit Nick Turner (Seeger) and Smock trotted home on a throwing error. The South led 4-3 with one run in the second. Stull singled and was plated by a single from Bellarmine University-bound Charlie Rife (Shelbyville). The North pulled even at 3-all with three runs in the first. Turner reached on an infield single. Connor Misch (Lake Central) drew a one-out walk. Olivet Nazarene University recruit Nolan Johnson (Valparaiso) singled in Turner. Misch scored on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly by Purdue Fort Wayne-bound Owen Willard (Eastside) drove in Johnson. The three-run South first opened with Rife walking and scoring on a double by Olney Central College recruit Keifer Wilson (Greencastle). University of Louisville-bound Tucker Biven (New Albany) followed with a triple to knock in Wilson. A sacrifice fly by Colorado Mesa recruit Dominic Decker (Silver Creek) plated Biven. The North used five pitchers — right-hander Drew VanOeveren (Hamilton Heights) for two innings, right-hander Gage Stanifer (Westfield) for one, left-hander Ethan McCormick (Lafayette Harrison) for two scoreless, right-hander Pruitt for two and right-hander Willard for two. Willard stuck out all six hitters he faced. South’s hurlers were right-hander Aydan Decker-Petty (New Castle) for three innings, left-hander Sam Reed (Brebeuf Jesuit) for three, right-hander Mason Grant (Brownsburg) two-plus and right-hander Foley for 1/3 on an inning.
South 16, North 8 The South led 16-1 after six innings then saw the North tally seven runs in its last three at-bats. Taylor University-bound Sam Gladd (Columbia City) pulled the game’s second pitch over the right field wall for a home run for a 1-0 North lead. The first six batters reached base for the South in the bottom for the first and all scored. Wilson smacked a lead-off double. Oscar Pegg (Shakamak) walked. Joe Huffman (Avon) singled. Jake Winzenread (Lawrence North) reached on an error. Tyler Cerny (Center Grove) doubled. Foley doubled. Courtesy runner Stull (running for Wilson) scored on a wild pitch, Pegg on an error, Huffman on Cerny’s double, Winzenread and Cerney on bases-loaded walks and Foley on a groundout by Wilson (batting for the second time in the inning). The South tallied two runs in the third, three in the fourth and four in the fifth. Brody Chrisman (Zionsville) and Nick Wiley (Mooresville) both singled in the South third. Chrisman scored on a wild pitch and Wiley trotted home on Wilson’s groundout. In the South fourth, Huffman walked and scored on Winzenread’s triple. A double by Cerny drove in Winzenread. Chrisman’s single plated Cerny. Pegg powered a first-pitch home run to left to ignite the South’s four-run fifth. Winzenread walked and Cerny singled. Both scored on Chrisman’s double. A single by Grant drove in Chrisman. The South scored one run in the sixth. Reed walked and later scored on a wild pitch. Dalton Wasson (Heritage) walked to lead off a two-run seventh for the North. Pinch-runner Spin scored on Siren’s infield out. Pruitt walked and scored on Stanifer’s single. In the North eighth, Willard walked and crossed the plate on a wild pitch. The North’s four-run seventh opened with four straight doubles (Misch, Wapahani’s Luke Willmann, Western’s Parker Dean and Gladd). RBI two-baggers were smacked by Willmann, Dean and Gladd. Willard singled in Gladd. Pitching for the South were right-handers Jacob Vogel (Jennings County), Andrew Lanning (Lawrenceburg) and Logan Drook (Centerville) for three innings each. Taking the bump for the North were right-hander Dean for one inning, left-hander Camrin Worthington (LaPorte) for three, right-hander Zackary Todd (Wes-Del) for two and right-hander Aidyn Coffey (Monroe Central) for two.
Tenacity has taken Peyton Schofield to where he’s gotten on the diamond and it will continue to be with him as he works toward where he wants to go. A 6-foot-3, 190-pound left-handed pitcher, Schofield is a 2019 graduate of Indianapolis Cathedral High School who has made two collegiate baseball stops — NCAA Division I Charleston (S.C.) Southern University and National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Southeastern Community College (Whiteville, N.C.) — and is committed to join NCAA D-I Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, N.C.) in the fall. The Catamounts have a new head coach — Alan Beck. Schofield credits two Cathedral head coaches — Rich Andriole (who was Irish head coach when was a freshman dressing on varsity) and Ed Freje (who was his head coach for three years) — for helping to develop his fortitude. “You won’t survive if you’re not the toughest guy out there,” says Schofield of the lessons taught by Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Andriole (who died in 2020) and his former assistant Freje. “They taught us how to win and do it humbly. “You expect to win but you also have to do all the right things best team in the world or the worst team in the world, you approach it the same,” says Schofield. It’s the idea of respecting all opponents but fearing none. He also counts former Charleston Southern coach George Schaefer as a mentor. Even though he is now a scout, Schaefer and Schofield still have phone conversations. This summer, Schofield is with the Coastal Plain League’s High Point-Thomasville (N.C.) Hi-Toms. In his first six mound appearances (two starts) covering 16 2/3 innings, he is 0-1 with 18 strikeouts, 15 walks and a 4.86 earned run average. With an arm angle that comes over the top, Schofield throws six different pitches — four-seam fastball (which has vertical ride and has been up to 91 mph), two-seam fastball (which sinks and moves away from a right-handed hitter and into a lefty), change-up (which drops and fades to the arm side), curveball (with 12-to-6 action), slider (with horizontal movement) and a seldom-used cutter (which gets swings and misses). “Throwing over the top gets the vertical ride on four seams and more horizontal movement to the arm on two seams,” says Schofield. “The guys that throw three quarters get more sink.” Schofield, 21, was born in Indianapolis and grew up in Noblesville, Ind. He played Noblesville Youth Baseball then was in travel ball with the Noblesville Heat, Indiana Prospects, Baseball Academics Midwest (BAM) and Indiana Mustangs. Peyton’s father still lives in Noblesville. Father Mark owns a contracting service. Mother Nicole works as an AT&T account manager. Younger sister Laney (20) is a student at the University of Alabama. An Economics major, Schofield still has two years to go for his full degree.