Mike Schoenradt is in charge for the first season of Tri-Township Tigers baseball in 2023. Formerly an assistant at North Judson-San Pierre High School, Schoenradt (pronounced Shin-Rod) is a new head coach leading the program at the former LaCrosse in LaPorte County. Tri-Township (enrollment around 110) is a member of the Porter County Conference (with Boone Grove, Hebron, Kouts, Morgan Township, South Central of Union Mills, Washington Township and Westville). The Tigers are part of an IHSAA Class 1A sectional grouping in 2023 with Argos, Culver Community, Marquette Catholic, Oregon-Davis, South Bend Career Academy, Triton and Westville. LaCrosse won four sectional crowns — the last in 1984. Schoenradt was on Ronald Benakovich’s staff at North Judson. “RB is the man and has been a great mentor for me to have,” says Schoenradt. “The biggest coaching advice I could ever have is ‘Stop watching the play and start watching the whole game.’ It’s so easy to get zoned into watching the play at-hand that you forget to watch the whole field. “You have multiple guys on that field and were they all where they needed to be? were they doing there job? RB telling me that was huge for me and letting me know what I needed to be better at.” Schoenradt has a plan for the Tigers. “A big emphasis this year is preparation defensively before the game and being a aggressive at the plate,” says Schoenradt. “I went over a lot of there games last year and the errors and the at bats were a big issue. “A big thing I noticed was how often they let themselves get behind in the count with strikes looking. Getting them in the right mindset of knowing your zone and being ready to attack have been an emphasis of ours.” There are currently 14 players in the program. Tri-Township will play a varsity schedule in 2023. With more participation, Schoenradt says a junior varsity can be added in the future. Schoenradt’s coaching staff features Kolton Linback, Jason Flores and Xavier Sanchez. “(Linback) takes care of my catchers,” says Schoenradt. “He’s got a great understanding of that position. “(Flores) works with the boys on hitting. When he’s out there you know his passion is there. “I tell everyone (Sanchez) is my mechanics guy. When it comes to mechanics and fundamentals, he the man.” The Tigers’ diamond in Wanatah, Ind., features stone work on the dugout and backstop. The field is maintained by Aaron Rust. “There’s no 1A school with a field like that around here,” says Schoenradt. “So shout out to Aaron Rust and his family, (former LaCrosse head coach) Eric Snyder, Tri-Township High School, the booster club and everyone else who put in the work to make that field what it is.” Schoenradt is a 2010 graduate of Lewis Cass Junior-Senior High School in Walton, Ind. He played baseball until his early teens then pursued Freestyle BMX. “My love for baseball never died though and being able to get into coaching really brought back my passion for it and stepping on a field still gave me the best feeling,” says Schoenradt, who coached youth baseball in Knox, Ind., and started the Knox Outkast travel program that earned Baseball Players Association Team of the Year honors in 2019. Who feeds the Tigers? “I think all things can be a feeder system,” says Schoenradt. “It all just depends on the coaching. “Right now for us Aaron Rust is doing a great job building up this program for years to come. I watched Brian McMahan’s T-ball practice the other day and I was shocked. I’ve never seen kids that young dropping their hips and going to catch a pop-up. “So really it all just depends who your kids are being taught by and if they have coaches who are taking the intuitive to teach them the right way.” Schoenradt does not have any current college commitments but points to senior Carter Burkholder and juniors Blain Rust and Noah Kneifiel as players to watch. Away from coaching, Schoenradt is employed by Newmar Corporation and engaged to Clarissa. Between them they have two daughters — Gemma (7) and Emmalyn (4).
Jarrett Grube, Jarrod Parker and Kip McWilliams are to be inducted into the Northeast Indiana Baseball Association Hall of Fame as part of its 2023 class. Grubb played at DeKalb High School, Vincennes University, the University of Memphis and in the majors with 2014 Los Angeles Angels. The right-hander was in affiliated pro ball from 2004-17. Parker played at Norwell High School and in the big leagues with Arizona Diamondbacks (2011) and Oakland Athletics (2012-13). The right-hander was a pro from 2008-15. McWilliams is in his 15th season as head coach at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne. He has more than 500 wins, numerous conference titles and an NAIA World Series appearance on his resume. The NEIBA Hall of Fame banquet is 5 p.m. Sunday, June 11 at Classic Cafe Catering and Event Center, 4832 Hillegas Road, Fort Wayne. In addition to the Hall of Famers, Fort Wayne Canterbury High School coach Pat “Bubba” McMahon will receive the Colin Lister Award and WFFT-TV 55 sports director Justin Prince the Bob Parker Award. Reservations may be made at the following link https://forms.gle/vfTWCs2VVcPZqK9a6. Tickets can also be purchased through the reservation link via PayPal or attendees can pay via cash/check at the door.
Indiana college baseball teams have combined to score nearly 5,800 runs so far in 2023. Based on posted numbers, NAIA Taylor averages 9.5 runs per game. Other leaders in the division are Indiana Tech (8.6), Huntington (8.3), IU-Kokomo (8.2) and Indiana Wesleyan (8.1). Ball State (8.3), Indiana (7.8), Purdue (7.5), Evansville (7.4 are at the top of the NCAA Division I list. NCAA Division II Indianapolis scores 8.5 runs per contest. NCAA D-III leaders are Wabash (9.0), Anderson (8.7), Earlham (7.8), Franklin (7.7), Manchester (7.5) and Hanover (7.2.) Pacing junior colleges is Vincennes (7.7).
Through March 26 NCAA D-I Monday, March 20 Butler 3, Northwestern 2
Tuesday, March 21 Butler 9, Eastern Michigan 7 Indiana 15, Indiana State 5 Notre Dame 8, Valparaiso 4 Illinois-Chicago 6, Purdue 4 Bowling Green 8, Purdue Fort Wayne 6 Belmont 6, Southern Indiana 3
Wednesday, March 22 Ball State 19, Butler 2 Evansville 11, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 7
Friday, March 24 Ball State 2, Eastern Michigan 1 Notre Dame 4, Louisville 3 Purdue 5, Michigan State 4 Purdue Fort Wayne 6, Northern Kentucky 5
Saturday, March 25 Ball State at 16, Eastern Michigan 5 Cincinnati 15, Butler 5 Evansville 12, Missouri State 7 Evansville 7, Missouri State 3 Indiana 14, Ohio State 6 Indiana State 10, Valparaiso 1 Morehead State 3, Southern Indiana 2
Sunday, March 26 Ball State 7, Eastern Michigan 3 Butler 8, Cincinnati 5 Cincinnati 13, Butler 3 Evansville 7, Missouri State 4 Indiana 9, Ohio State 6 Indiana 7, Ohio State 5 Indiana State 7, Valparaiso 2 Indiana State 4, Valparaiso 2 Notre Dame 5, Louisville 4 Louisville 2, Notre Dame 1 Michigan State 5, Purdue 4 Michigan State 12, Purdue 6 Purdue Fort Wayne 9, Northern Kentucky 5 Northern Kentucky 10, Purdue Fort Wayne 1 Morehead State 11, Southern Indiana 4 Morehead State 5, Southern Indiana 1
NCAA D-II Tuesday, March 21 Findlay 10, Indianapolis 7
Friday, March 24 Saginaw Valley State 7, Purdue Northwest 1 Saginaw Valley State 3, Purdue Northwest 2
Saturday, March 25 Illinois-Springfield 11, Indianapolis 10 Illinois-Springfield 5, Indianapolis 3
Sunday, March 26 Indianapolis at Illinois-Springfield Indianapolis at Illinois-Springfield
NCAA D-III Monday, March 20 Franklin 18, Trine 8 Franklin 14, Trine 1 Heidelberg 11, Manchester 10 Heidelberg 11, Manchester 3 Wisconsin-Osh Kosh 16, Rose-Hulman 5
Tuesday, March 21 Anderson 16, Alma 14 Anderson 16, Alma 6 Earlham 15, Principia 2 Spalding 14, Hanover 13 Trine 13, Manchester 10
Wednesday, March 22 Calvin 6, Manchester 0
Saturday, March 25 Manchester 9, Earlham 6 Transylvania 11, Franklin 0 Mount St. Joseph 6, Hanover 5
Sunday, March 26 Bluffton 10, Anderson 9 Anderson 19, Bluffton 3 DePauw 11, Houston-Victoria 9 Earlham 7, Manchester 6 Earlham 5, Manchester 4 Franklin 6, Transylvania 4 Franklin 14, Transylvania 7 Hanover 3, Mount St. Joseph 0 Mount St. Joseph 19, Hanover 9 Rose-Hulman 10, Defiance 2 Rose-Hulman 5, Defiance 3 Trine 5, Wright State Lake Campus 2 Trine 3, Wright State Lake Campus 2 Wabash 8, Illinois Wesleyan 7 (10 inn.) Wabash 12, Illinois Wesleyan 9
NAIA Monday, March 20 Saint Francis 12, Bethel 4 Saint Francis 10, Bethel 4 Olivet Nazarene 18, Calumet of St. Joseph 4 Indiana Wesleyan 9, Goshen 3 Indiana Wesleyan 20, Goshen 2 Mount Vernon Nazarene 10, Grace 8 Mount Vernon Nazarene 4, Grace 3 Saint Xavier 8, IU South Bend 4 Saint Xavier 13, IU South Bend 3 Lourdes 9, Indiana Tech 8 Lourdes 15, Indiana Tech 5 Oakland City 2, Rio Grande 1
Tuesday, March 21 Indiana Southeast 20, IUPU-Columbus 2 Indiana Southeast 14, IUPU-Columbus 6 Indiana Tech 7, Siena Heights 3 Indiana Tech 9, Siena Heights 3 Spring Arbor 10, Marian 9 Spring Arbor 11, Marian 5
Wednesday, March 22 Taylor 10, Mount Vernon Nazarene 7 Taylor 14, Mount Vernon Nazarene 2
Friday, March 24 Bethel 6, Huntington 2 Huntington 12, Bethel 2 Calumet of St. Joseph 4, Saint Francis (Ill.) 0 Saint Francis (Ill.) 3, Calumet of St. Joseph 2 Spring Arbor 8, Goshen 0 Spring Arbor 10, Goshen 2 Grace 10, Marian 3 Grace 6, Marian 1 IU South Bend 11, Trinity International 1 Saint Francis 8, Indiana Wesleyan 4 Indiana Wesleyan 4, Saint Francis 1 Taylor 6, Mount Vernon Nazarene 3 Taylor 3, Mount Vernon Nazarene 2
Saturday, March 25 IU Southeast 5, Alice Lloyd 3 West Virginia Tech 13, Oakland City 5
Sunday, March 26 Saint Francis (Ill.) at Calumet of St. Joseph IU-Kokomo 12, Ohio Christian 2 Ohio Christian 9, IU-Kokomo 7 IU South Bend 12, Trinity International 4 IU South Bend 8, Trinity International 1 IU Southeast 7, Alice Lloyd 2 IU Southeast 18, Alice Lloyd 0 Indiana Tech 3, Lawrence Tech 2 Indiana Tech 15, Lawrence Tech 0 Oakland City 9, West Virginia Tech 3 Oakland City 10, West Virginia Tech 2
Junior College Monday, March 20 Ivy Tech Northeast 7, Muskegon 5 Muskegon 5, Ivy Tech Northeast 4 Vincennes 12, Danville Area 2 Vincennes 7, Danville Area 4
Putting a spotlight on the Indiana University program is aim of the folks from Talking Hoosier Baseball — a podcast devoted to the sport at IU — along with its associated website (iubase.com). In alphabetical order, the THB team features Josh Bennett, Chris Feeny, Carl James and Cassady Palmer with help of student interns. “We say we are a fan site and we have a specific niche that we’re fulfilling,” says James. “When we (started) there was hardly anything. I have to say we’re in a golden age of media at least from an IU student perspective. “You’ve got some really great coverage from the Indiana Daily Student. IUSTV does good stuff. WIUX is now broadcasting games.” Using the tagline “Meet Me At the Bart,” the crew can be found sitting near the home dugout on the third base side at Bart Kauffman Field. The next home games on the 2023 schedule are slated for March 24-26 vs. Ohio State. Tailgating tends to happen on Saturdays. During games, Bennett’s young kids hawk foul balls and homers and have been able to give the spheres back to the players who planted them. “There’s not a bad seat in the house,” says Bennett, who grew up in Monrovia, Ind., where he played baseball. His father — a Bedford, Ind., native — was an adjunct professor at Indiana and the family followed Hoosier sports. His first IU memory was attending games at Sembower Field in the late 1980’s. Mickey Morandini was his counselor at a youth baseball camp staged in John Mellencamp Pavilion when Bennett was 8 or 9. Sembower was replaced in the spring of 2013 by Bart Kauffman Field. “I actually went to Purdue but rooted for IU up there and got kicked out of some places from time to time,” says Bennett. “I love IU sports and baseball especially.” In talking about the origin of the website, he noted that coverage for basketball and football was abundant but not nearly so for the Hoosiers on the diamond. “These kids in baseball and the other Olympic sports are paying to play at this university and represent this school,” says Bennett. “They don’t get their just due as far as we were concerned. “We wanted to branch out and have some other avenues to get some information out there. “We wanted to give them some exposure.” Bennett designed the first version of the site and it has been tweaked by James with his tech background. Day jobs have Bennett as an electronics technician at NWSC Division Crane Navy Base southwest of Bloomington, Feeny as a behavioral health technician at Indiana Center for Recovery in Bloomington, James as a digital media specialist at IU’s Kelley School of Business and Palmer as an epidemiologist for the Missouri Health Department. Feeny spent his early years in Massapequa, N.Y., on Long Island and moved to Brooklyn in his 20’s and is a major New York Mets fan. His brother attended IU so Chris knew about Sembower Field and Bloomington and made it his home in 2014. “I bought season tickets (for IU baseball) and jumped in with two feet pretty early,” says Feeny. “I was used to going to 40 or 50 Met games a year. Those trips took an hour on the subway and going to see the Hoosiers was a snap. “Before I knew anything about it I was in,” says Feeny. “I met a lot of cool people.” Feeny started a Facebook group and Twitter handle early in 2017. The website was created late that year. It was at a tailgate party that the idea of starting a podcast emerged out of a conversation between Feeny, James and Brian Tonsoni. Tonsoni had the crew doing the podcast live the first year. “It was a lot more nerve-wracking,” says Feeny. “We don’t do that any more.” Feeny is the one who gives out weekly awards for hitting, pitching and defense in the form of red belts. “The first year we did this we saw all these belts breaking on the field so the goof was it would be a good prize to win a red belt,” says Feeny. Last year, Big Ten pick ‘ems minus Indiana’s games were added to the mix. There are three B1G series this weekend — Purdue at Michigan State, Penn State at Michigan and Illinois at Nebraska. Palmer was 32-11 as the best picker on the team in 2022. “It does not apply to Basketball Bracketology — ever,” says Palmer. “My brackets always bust every year.” Weekly episodes are now recorded as the baseball schedule and the availability of the THB team dictates. “We’ve been lucky enough to get some player interviews the last few years,” says Bennett. “We’ve also had Bart Kauffman on.” Former IU player Kauffman is a member of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. A preview of upcoming series is a weekly podcast staple. When possible, there is live-blogging during games. Recaps are posted on the site. The team has allowed THB to connect and there are now post-game wrap-ups featuring head coach Jeff Mercer’s comments. “We are blessed with that access,” says Bennett. “They are generous with their time,” says Feeny. “They really are.” A recent postgame allowed 29 minutes with the coach. “You get Jeff Mercer talking about baseball and he’ll just keep going,” says James. “That’s been a positive.” Pro Ball Hoosiers is a Twitter page that tracks Indiana players in baseball, basketball and football. Through a suggestion from those people, interviews with Mercer or players are now posted as separate podcasts. Pro Ball Hoosiers, Jeremy Gray and THB collaborated on an IU baseball alumni draft early during COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Players from all eras were eligible. “I went back to 1884,” says James. “Sixty percent of my picks were before 1950.” Both of James’ parents are from Martinsville, Ind. His father was a catcher for the MHS Artesians and went into the U.S. Navy. Carl moved around as a “Navy brat” and the family ended up in Bloomington when his father retired from the service. James graduated from Bloomington North High School. “I was not an athlete,” says James. “I did play some baseball when I was really young. I’m a pretty small guy and was more of a theater person.” A retail career took him all over. When that ended he wound up back in Bloomington in 2013. “I was able to actually pay attention to sports again,” says James. “The first sporting event I went to was an IU baseball game. I pretty much got hooked.” He met up with the others on the THB team through social media. Along the way he got into Baseball Bracketology. His Facebook niche was speculating IU chances of making the NCAA Tournament. “You want to play teams that win games,” says James who compares D-I squads and their victories and losses. “Particularly NCAA’s Rating Percentage Index (RPI),” says James. “It’s a formula they cooked up specifically for basketball in the early ‘80s. It’s a simple formula. You take all the wins and losses of the team’s opponents (winning percentage) and that makes up 50 percent of it. You take the 25 percent of the opponents’ opponents and 25 percent is that team’s own winning percentage although there is an adjustor for that based on whether the game was played at home, away or neutral. “For baseball it’s like .7 for a home win and 1.3 points for a home win. It’s basically a bonus given to northern teams because they play more road games than southern teams do.” James says northern teams are punished by the fact they can’t consistently scrimmage outside in the winter months. “IU — now having a turf field and being far enough south to have decent weather — does pretty well,” says James. “They can actually schedule a couple of mid-week games in February. This year they’ve been able to play them.” At this writing, the Hoosiers at 11-0 in all 2023 games at Bart Kauffman Field. Both of Palmer’s parents are from Missouri. They moved to Bloomington at the time Indiana was winning an NCAA basketball national championship in 1987 and Cassady was born in Bloomington. Her father got a teaching degree and the family moved to Syracuse, Ind., and she graduated from Wawasee High School then attended IU. “I followed the (baseball) team quite a bit,” says Palmer. “I could watch practices from the top floor of Briscoe (Hall) when they were at Sembower. “Particularly in grad school I started really getting into data analysis,” says Palmer. “I started trying to apply some of the stuff I was learning a baseball data set. Except there aren’t really baseball data sets at the college level — not in the same way as basketball or football. “That means I need to make my own data set, which means I need to keep score. If I want percent of first-pitch strikes I have to know what all the first pitches are.” She began sharing her knowledge in Facebook groups and on Twitter and live-Tweeted at fall ball games and scrimmages. Palmer was quick to point out the sample size. She would give her findings then conclude with something like “we’re only five games in so take this with a big block of salt.” Palmer still tracks IU baseball data while residing in Missouri. “I do the in-game numbers,” says Palmer. “Carl does the across-games numbers.” The THB team has gone to season-opening series at Memphis (2019), Louisiana State (2020), Clemson (2022) and Auburn (2023). “All the Tigers,” says Palmer.
Players from inner-city Indianapolis took part in a National Scouting Metrics Report Combine Series event Saturday, March 18 at Roundtripper Sports Academy in Westfield, Ind. Led by NSR Area Director Mark Galyean, the combine gave participating high schoolers the opportunity to have their performance numbers like throwing and exit velocity recorded and skills captured by camera. The measurements tell how hard a player can hit and throw and how fast they can run — all things college coaches want to know when recruiting players. As an NSR-produced video shown to close to 60 players in attendance expressed it: “It’s about being seen.” Galyean asked the players if they wanted to play college baseball. Many hands shot up. He also dispelled what he considers a myth. “They say if you’re good enough they’re going to find you,” said Galyean. “There are almost 500,000 high school baseball players every single year. Approximately 35,000 go on to play in college. That’s less than 7 percent. That’s not very many. “You need to work hard. Coaches need to know who you are. They need to know what you can do. They need to evaluate.” Roundtripper founder and University High School (Carmel) head coach Chris Estep and former big league pitcher Cory Wade also spoke to the players. Arsenal Tech, Crispus Attucks, Indianapolis Metropolitan, Irvington Prep and Purdue Polytechnic (Englewood and North) were among schools represented by players who pre-registered. Estep emphasized the importance of getting good grades so athletes can be eligible to play at the college level and enhance their education. Wade, whose only college offer coming out of Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis came from NCAA Division II Kentucky Wesleyan College, says the level is not important. “You want to go somewhere where you’re going to get to play,” said Wade, who is also part of a group that has developed the ScoutUsPro app to help players share their data. “The way things are on the recruiting landscape right now with the Transfer Portal, it’s fully effected high school recruiting. The junior college route has become very popular as a springboard to get into a four-year school.” After listening to a few speakers, players were put through a dynamic warm-up by Roundtripper Sports Performance Director Vernon Smith then went about throwing, swinging and running. While that was happening, coaches attended a seminar. Estep talked to them about the value of playing Wiffle®Ball to learn baseball situations on the fly. Gathering and watching an MLB game is another way to build Baseball I.Q. “Here’s what’s going to happen in the first three inning and this is what’s going to happen in the last three,” said Estep. “It’s amazing. In my career I was a much better in the seventh, eighth or ninth than I was in the first, second or third. “You need to talk to your kids about who they’re going to defend a hit-and-run and who’s going to cover, how the shortstop and second baseman are going to interact and once you have those things to start to win ball games. “This type of I.D. camp is exactly what they need to help push those kids to the next level.” A coach’s packet with important dates, preseason, in-season and postseason practice philosophies, important pitching routines (which were detailed by current pro Garrett Christman), a sample practice plan, college recruiting resources and an Indiana collegiate coaching directory were distributed. “I’m really interested and invested in these types of program working for Marion County and Indianapolis kids who don’t have these opportunities to train that other kids have,” said IHSAA Assistant Commissioner Robert Faulkens, who has been conducting similar programs with Estep for a few years. “(Director of Athletics for Roundtripper and University High assistant coach) Reid (Andrews) and Chris (Estep) have really put some work into this and they’ve thought about how to help you coach your kids during the course of the year. “We will be always available to you.” Faulkens asked coaches to take advantage of the resources and encouraged feedback. “We want to get kids ready for the next level,” said Faulkens. “When the opportunity presents itself they’ll be ready.” Faulkens said the plan is to continue have more events like the NSR Metrics Combine Series in central Indiana and — if possible — around Indiana and to get more individuals and groups involved.
For the better part of two decades, Craig Wallin and his partners have attempted to get pro baseball for the place where he lives. The longtime broadcaster who called games for the South Bend (Ind.) White Sox and Notre Dame and has been the voice of NorthWood High School sports in recent years announced that the Elkhart County Miracle are finally going to take the field with games airing on Federated Media stations (mostly on 101.9 FM or 1340 AM with Saturday night games will air on 95.3 MNC according to News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel program director John Zimney). The franchise in the Northern League — a six-team wood bat circuit comprised of teams with rosters of amateur and professional players. Other clubs include the Griffith (Ind.) Generals, Indiana Panthers, Lake County CornDogs (Crown Point), Northwest Indiana Oilmen (Whiting) and Southland Vikings (Hammond). Oil City Stadium in Whiting was host to the 2022 Northern League All-Star Game. While the Panthers are a traveling team, the others are in Lake County with Elkhart County being around 80 miles to the east. “What we’re trying to build from the (Illinois-Indiana) border to Elkhart and developing all the markets in-between in inter-city tourism,” Popravak said, noting that the footprint of the league is about 100 to 120 miles wide and 50 to 75 miles long. “There’s 1.5 million people that live within that geographic area.” The inaugural Miracle season is slated to open Friday, May 31. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. on the turf at the new NorthWood Field of Dreams in Nappanee, where the team will call home for its first few seasons. The regular season is to close Aug. 3. “We’re pumped about this opportunity,” Miracle founder and president Wallin said at a press conference Tuesday, March 24. “(Ron Bedward) and I started talking 16 years about bringing a minor league team to Elkhart County. We’ve been working diligently on plans.” Northern League president Don Popravak talked about the niche independent minor league baseball plays in 2023. “It is very important because in 2020 Major League Baseball took control of affiliated minor leagues,” Popravak said. “It used to be run as an independent operation.” The first month or so with MLB in charge, the affiliated minors were trimmed of 40 franchises down to 120. “Forty franchises translates to 1,200 playing jobs along with managers, coaching staff and everything else,” Popravak said. “We felt that it creates a great opportunity for a league like us.” The MLB First-Year Player Draft is now just 20 rounds. For years it was 40. The Northern League (which has a linneage dating back to 1902) seeks to attract talent overlooked by MLB. “It gives a young player another chance to prove himself and develop,” Popravak. “That’s what we’re all about — developing talent.” The Miracle will carry a roster of 30 to 35 players with many staying with host families. Some will be professionals and college players may earn through Name Image and Likeness (NLI) agreements. Popravak, who has a broadcast background, notes that the Northern League has sent many young person working on league productions on to ESPN and minor league teams all over the country. “It’s another part of developing talent for the next level,” Popravak said. Former Notre Dame football and baseball player and Seattle Mariners minor leaguer Evan Sharpley is Director of Player Operations for the Miracle. Former Baseball America Executive of the Year John Baxter is senior advisor for the Miracle. As South Bend White Sox, he hired Wallin in 1988. Wallin said the field manager will be introduced soon. Popravak said the league has been exploring more than a dozen markets across northern Indiana for expansion. According to Wallin, tickets will be priced at $10, $8 and $6. “It’s all about affordable family fun,” Popravak. “It’s about families and putting smiles on the faces of younger people and having them come out to the ballpark.” Bill’s Bar-B-Que in Elkhart will be a concession partner. Wallin said a 10,000 seat facility with a retractable roof that can house baseball and professional soccer is being planned. It will be adjacent to a 5,000-seat arena for ice hockey and minor league basketball. Wallin shared a rendering by the Troyer Group Tuesday. At the present, the complex would be near on a tract near the C.R. 17 exit off the U.S. 20 By-Pass in Elkhart. It’s one of the places Wallin and his group have had land contracts off and on over the years as they have worked to bring baseball to the county. Plans for a new stadium and team were revived in 2013 and a stadium was to open in 2014, but that never came to pass. Why Elkhart County? “We chose Elkhart County because it’s been home for me for (about 45 years),” Wallin said. Bringing in the baseball team is a way of adding to the quality of life to the Elkhart/Goshen area. The seven stars in the Miracle logo represent seven Elkhart County cities or towns. It’s been more than a century since the county had a team with professionals. The 1910 Elkhart Blue Sox were part of Organized Baseball and played in the Class D Indiana-Michigan League. The independent Indiana State League of 1888 and a reorganized ISL of 1890 featured teams from Elkhart. For more information on the Elkhart Miracle visit elkhartcountymiracle.com, call (574) 309-7176 or email email@example.com.
Hayden Schott traded West Coast sunshine for education and direction in northern Indiana. He is now shining on the baseball diamond as an Ivy Leaguer and has already got a future spot in Texas. A native of Newport Beach, Calif., Schott opted to follow a family tradition and attended high school at Culver (Ind.) Academies, graduating in 2018. Hayden’s mother Darcie as well as an aunt, uncle and grandfather on that side of the family all attended Culver. Darcie and Paul Schott’s children — Josephine, Hayden and Mitchell — all had the option of going there. “I was really hesitant at first because I loved surfing and playing baseball in warm weather being a kid in California,” says Schott. “Once I visited the place it blew me away and it was a no-brainer for me.” Schott lived in a dormitory with students ranging from 14 to 18. “My first year I was barely 14 and was living with no parents and a roommate who I had just met. It taught me really quick I need to be responsible and have some discipline on my own. “I wouldn’t have learned that without going there. It’s helped me in college because living away from home and parents was pretty normal to me.” Hayden says his parents — including former Bryant University lacrosse player Paul Schott — knew that he would learn from the experience, but did not force it on him. “At a place like that you have to want to go there,” says Schott. “If you don’t you resent the whole process. You rebel against the system or the whole military thing. You definitely have to buy in if you’re going to go to a place like that.” Kurt Christiansen is head baseball coach at Culver Academies with J.D. Uebler as varsity assistant. “They were instrumental in my mental space for baseball — enjoying myself, letting me do what I’m good at out on the field and also teaching me some small-ball stuff that I may have never thought about before that I could translate to the next level very well,” says Schott. “They gave me that freedom while also being there to instruct me and constructively criticize me when I needed it. For a 15- to 18-year-old baseball player that was huge.” Schott grew up as a catcher and moved to the outfielder in high school. The righty thrower and lefty swinger was selected for the 2018 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association North/South All-Star Series in South Bend. A redshirt in 2019 at Cypress (Calif.) College, Schott played in 18 games for the Anthony Hutting-coached Chargers and hit .317 with one home run and 18 runs batted in before the COVID-19 pandemic shortened the 2020 season. After his junior college days, Schott transferred to Columbia University in New York, N.Y., and did not play in 2021 when the Ivy League opted to take another COVID year off for athletics. In his first full collegiate baseball season, Schott set a single-season Ivy record in league league play for at-bats (88) and tied marks for home runs (8) and total bases (88) while being named to the all-conference first team. Primarily a right fielder, the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder started in 49 of 50 appearances in 2022 and hit .320 while leading the Brett Boretti-coached Lions in homers (12), RBIs (55), total bases (117), hits (63), at-bats (197) and slugging average (.594). Heading into Columbia’s 2023 home opener Wednesday, March 22 against Manhattan, No. 3-hole hitter Schott is batting .397 (25-of-63) with four homers, 10 RBIs, 14 runs scored and a .441 on-base percentage. The Lions are 6-9 and have played at Power 5 schools Virginia and Alabama with a win against the Crimson Tide. In his third academic career at Columbia, Schott is scheduled to graduate this spring with a Psychology degree. It’s a field that also interests his brother. Hayden says he can see himself pursuing something related to men’s mental health in the future. “I love psychology,” says Schott, who turns 23 in May. “I listen to psychology podcasts. I like to listen to clinical psychologists talk about neuroscience, how the brain works and why our behaviors are the way they are. “My other major is baseball.” Since Ivy League schools do not have graduate school athletes and Schott is entitled to another year of eligibility, he was able to land a spot with Texas A&M in 2023-24 and has hopes of playing pro ball. Anderson (Ind.) High School graduate Michael Earley is the hitting coach for the Aggies. “I’m super excited and I think it’s going to be awesome to play in the SEC,” says Schott, who expects he might pursue masters degree related to business. “But my current head space is Columbia baseball. That’s all I’m focused on. “I’ve had a weird journey in my baseball career. But I’m very grateful for it. I’ve been to a lot of spot and met a lot of great people. I wouldn’t change it for the world because it brought me here.” Like Culver Academies, Schott has seen his share of wintry weather in New York. “It’s good,” says Schott. “It teaches you resiliency. We practice sometimes when it’s sleeting or snowing. You can appreciate when you play on a warm field with a real surface. I’m grateful for having played through that for sure.”
Madison (Ind.) Consolidated High School baseball has adopted a motto for 2023: Fast, Focused and Free. That’s how first-year head coach and alum Kyle Harsin wants his Cubs to play. “I’m fortunate to have a team with nine seniors,” says Harsin, whose hiring became official in October 2022. “One of the knocks on my older group is they played uptight. They played to not make a mistake instead of just going out there and playing baseball. “We want them to understand playing baseball is a privilege God’s given them. It’s a game. Go out there and have fun. Play free. Enjoy yourself.” The motto was coined by assistant Ryan Mahoney (Madison Consolidated Class of 1999). Harsin’s other varsity assistants are Joe Jenner (Class of 1999), Doc Boyd and Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame coach Gary O’Neal with Derek Wynn (Class of 2009) and Matt Black (who played high school and college ball in Oklahoma) leading the junior varsity squad. Mike Modisett is the caretaker of Gary O’Neal Field, which was home to the 2019 IHSBCA North/South All-Star Series. In recent years, the field has upgraded the press box and stands and leveled and re-sodded the playing surface. “It’s a beautiful setting,” says Harsin. “It always has been — even before the improvements. The one thing I remember most from high school it’s a tough place to win as an opponent because we had such community turnout. “When things were really going well in the ‘80s and ’90s it wouldn’t be uncommon for hundreds to come to the games and watch. “It definitely gives the home team an extra gear.” He is convince the home crowd added zip to his fastball. Harsin went 13-0 as a pitcher in 1998 and was the starting pitcher for the South in Game 1 of the IHSBCA North/South All-Star Series at Bosse Field in Evansville. He began his collegiate career pitching a few innings for head coach Lelo Prado at the University of Louisville. After a year, Harsin transferred as a medical redshirt to Hanover (Ind.) College and was a pitcher and right fielder for American Baseball Coaches Association and IHSBCA Hall of Famer Dr. Dick Naylor for four seasons. “He was intense,” says Harsin of Naylor. “He was very demanding of us in regards to the important things like being on-time and performing under pressure. “He got us ready for the real world where your boss is going to be demanding about your performance.” Harsin, who won three baseball letters under O’Neal and graduated from the school in 1998, has been on the Madison coaching staff since the 2020 season taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also coached in the Madison Baseball Club travel organization since son Bodie Harsin (Class of 2025) was 8U and re-started the Madison American Legion Post 9 program. As a player, Harsin was with Post 9 for three summers. O’Neal, who is a varsity assistant in 2023, made an impact on Harsin with his attention to fundamentals. “He went over the fine details over and over again in practice,” says Harsin. “As a kid you don’t understand why you keep going over pick-off moves at first or how many rounds of soft toss we hit. Those are the minor details I learned from Coach O. You never know when it’s going to be the bottom of the seventh and something happens and we’ve already gone over this a hundred times.” Did O’Neal teach Harsin how to whistle? “You can hear that from about a mile away,” says Harsin. “He still has it. We’ve all tried. It’s funny. Now that I’m 43 years old, I’ve had people come up to me and claim that Coach was giving us signs through whistling. Certain whistle cadences meant bunt or steal. “That was definitely not the case.” Madison Consolidated (enrollment around 860) is an athletic independent, having left the Hoosier Hills Conference in 2020. The Cubs are part of an IHSAA Class 3A sectional grouping with Charlestown, Corydon Central, North Harrison, Salem, Scottsburg and Silver Creek. Madison has won 22 sectional titles — the last in 2009. The Cubs won the 1999 3A state title. That team featured 1999 Indiana Mr. Baseball and future big league pitcher Bryan Bullington. The 2023 season opener is scheduled for March 28 at North Harrison. Madison has junior high baseball with seventh and eighth grade teams playing in the spring on Mike Modisett Field. The Madison Baseball Club — aka the Madison Mudcats — fields teams from 8U to 13U/14U. Steve Sheets is the president of that organization. “He and other people have put a lot of time into it,” says Harsin. “The players that come to the junior high and high school are noticeably different in terms of player development.” Zach Forner (Madison Consolidated Class of 2021) is on the baseball team at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. Catcher Zander Vonch (Class of 2023) is committed to Indiana University Purdue University-Columbus. A few others are undecided about playing in college. Harsin is national sales manager at Environmental Laboratories, Inc. (Madison) — a third-party laboratory for drinking water and waste water testing for EPA and Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Kyle and Amanda Harsin have three children — Taylor, Bodie and Annie. Amanda Harsin is chancellor at Ivy Tech Madison. Taylor Harsin (Madison Consolidated Class of 2022) was a an all-conference volleyball player and tennis player at Madison is in now an English major in the Pre-Law program at the University of Alabama. Besides baseball, Bodie Harsin also plays tennis. Fifth grader Annie Harsin is into horseback riding, volleyball, tennis and theater.
Through March 19 NCAA D-I Tuesday, March 14 Kentucky 12, Indiana 2 (7 inn.) Notre Dame 6, Saint Joseph’s 3 Southern Indiana 10, Saint Louis 2
Wednesday, March 15 Evansville 14, Bellarmine 2 Indiana 6, Morehead State 5 (10 inn.) Indiana State 7, Illinois 3 Notre Dame 10, Saint Joseph’s 9 Purdue 14, Northern Illinois 5 Southern Illinois 16, Southern Indiana 9
Thursday, March 16 Indiana 23, Morehead State 5
Friday, March 17 Ball State 14, Toledo 2 Evansville 5, Purdue 2 Indiana 5, Morehead State 4 Purdue Fort Wayne 12, Wright State 10 Wright State 6, Purdue Fort Wayne 2 Murray State 15, Southern Indiana 1
Saturday, March 18 Wake Forest 4, Notre Dame 1 Wake Forest 12, Notre Dame 3 Murray State 11, Southern Indiana 4
Sunday, March 19 Ball State 19, Toledo 16 (13 inn.) Ball State 7, Toledo 4 Northwestern 5, Butler 1 Evansville 6, Purdue 4 Michigan State 8, Indiana State 2 Michigan State 10, Indiana State 7 Notre Dame 3, Wake Forest 1 Wright State 13, Purdue Fort Wayne 4 Murray State 13, Southern 3
NCAA D-II Tuesday, March 14 Saint Leo 8, Purdue Northwest 3 Eckerd 4, Purdue Northwest 3
NAIA Monday, March 13 Oakland City 14, Baptist Bible 13
Tuesday, March 14 Thomas More 14, IUPU-Columbus 3 Indiana Tech 7, Mid-America Christian 5
Wednesday, March 15 Calumet of St. Joseph 1, Trinity Christian 0 Trinity Christian 5, Calumet of St. Joseph 4 Grace 4, Taylor 1 Taylor 6, Grace 0 Mount Vernon Nazarene 7, Huntington 6 Huntington 9, Mount Vernon Nazarene 2 Indiana Wesleyan 16, IUPU-Columbus 5 IU-South Bend 9, Judson 5 (7 inn.) Judson 10, IU-South Bend 5 Baptist Bible 13, Oakland City 11
Thursday, March 16 Saint Francis 5, Bethel 4 Saint Francis 10, Bethel 3 (7 inn.) Indiana Wesleyan 14, Goshen 4 (8 inn.) Taylor 27, Grace 5 Taylor 13, Grace 0 Huntington 14, Mount Vernon Nazarene 13 Huntington 11, Mount Vernon Nazarene 0 IU-Kokomo 17, Alice Lloyd 5 IU-Kokomo 11, Alice Lloyd 0 Ohio Christian 7, IU Southeast 6 IU Southeast 4, Ohio Christian 2 Marian 8, Spring Arbor 7 Spring Arbor 11, Marian 8
Friday, March 17 IU Southeast 25, Ohio Christian 1
Sunday, March 19 Olivet Nazarene 16, Calumet of St. Joseph 6 Olivet Nazarene 9, Calumet of St. Joseph 5 Miami-Hamilton 5, IUPU-Columbus 4 Miami-Hamilton 19, IUPU-Columbus 4 IU-South Bend 5, Saint Xavier 1 Oakland City 9, Rio Grande 5 Oakland City 7, Rio Grando 1
Junior College Wednesday, March 15 Ivy Tech Northeast 15, Glen Oaks 9
Thursday, March 16 Kellogg 8, Ivy Tech Northeast 7
The University of Indianapolis is off to an 11-0 start to the 2023 baseball season. The Al Ready-coached Greyhounds are coming off a 5-0 week with two wins against Purdue Northwest and three against Davenport — all at Greyhound Park/Bill Bright Field. The last time NCAA D-II UIndy started a season 11-0 was 1997. PNW started its southern trip by splitting a Sunday doubleheader at Ave Maria. In NCAA III, Anderson University coach Matt Bair collected his 100th career victory. It came in a Sunday win against St. Thomas (Maine) in Davenport, Fla. Also in Florida, Wabash went 6-0 in Port Charlotte and Fort Myers for the week. The Jake Martin-coached Little Giants are 10-4. Rose-Hulman played its first home game at Art Nehf Field in 2023 and won all four, moving the Adam Rosen-coached Fightin’ Engineers’ victory streak to six. The Berea (Ky.) at Manchester series became a Saturday doubleheader at Grand Park in Westfield. The Rick Espeset-coached Spartans (8-3) earned a sweep and ran their win streak to three. Greg Perschke-coached Trine (6-5) concluded an eight-game stint in Florida with two victories. NAIA Taylor’s 5-1 week in the Crossroads League helped the Kyle Gould-coached Trojans move to 14-8 overall and 7-1 in the conference. A 3-1 week allowed Thad Frame-coached Huntington Foresters to be 13-6 overall and 7-1 in the CL. As part of the U.S. Highway 20 Cup, Bethel (12-8) took four CL games against Goshen. The first two games were played in Mishawaka and — because of inclement weather — the next two at Grand Park. By topping No. 22 Oklahoma City Sunday, Kip McWilliams’ visiting Indiana Tech Warriors advanced to 10-3. In NCAA D-I, Indiana and Indiana State both enjoyed 5-0 weeks. The Hoosiers swept a four-game home series against Bellarmine and the Sycamores took three at Memphis. Ball State’s 3-1 week included 2-1 against visiting Mid-American Conference foe Western Michigan. Evansville won two of three at Middle Tennessee. A 2-1 loss at No. 7 Vanderbilt was epic. The Wednesday game went 17 innings and took 4 hours, 44 minutes. Sunday’s Purdue at Mississippi game featured two pitchers from northwest Indiana high schools in starting roles. Xavier Rivas (Portage) hurled the first six innings and got the win for Ole Miss. Kyle Iwinski (Griffith) went five frames and absorbed the loss for the Boilermakers. When Valparaiso beat Southern Mississippi 6-1 in the opener of the three-game series Friday, it was the Beacons’ first win against a nationally-ranked opponent since 2018. In junior college, Kirk Cabana earned his first victory as head coach at Marian’s Ancilla. The Chargers beat Minnesota State Community & Technical College in the second game of a doubleheader Friday in Orlando, Fla. Vincennes (10-11) enjoyed a 5-1 week that featured a four-game sweep of Schoolcraft. At 3-2 week makes Ivy Tech Northeast 6-8.
Below are season records, weekly results and links to web pages, schedules and statistics for all of Indiana’s 39 collegiate programs.
NCAA D-II Tuesday, March 7 Indianapolis 7, Purdue Northwest 5 Indianapolis 6, Purdue Northwest 1
Friday, March 10 Indianapolis 10, Davenport 7
Saturday, March 11 Indianapolis 7, Davenport 4 Indianapolis 2, Davenport 1 (10 inn.)
Sunday, March 12 Ave Maria 16, Purdue Northwest Purdue Northwest 10, Ave Maria 7
NCAA D-III Monday, March 6 Trine 3, St. Vincent 1 Wabash 23, Swarthmore 4
Tuesday, March 7 Grove City 11, Trine 4 Wabash 10, Lebanon Valley 9
Wednesday, March 8 Wilmington 7, Franklin 4 Spalding 14, Hanover 2 Manchester 12, Olivet 2 Rose-Hulman 6, Greenville 4 Dominican (Ill.) 17, Trine 13 Wabash 7, Kean 1
Thursday, March 9 Waynesburg 7, Trine 6
Friday, March 10 Aurora 9, Anderson 2 Anderson 4, Aurora 3 Wilmington 15, Earlham 3 Hanover 14, Hope 4 Trine 7, Penn State-Altoona 0 Trine 7, Penn State-Altoona 4 Wabash 16, Saint John’s 6
Saturday, March 11 Fontbonne 9, Anderson 2 Wisconsin-Osh Kosh 3, DePauw 2 Transylvania 5, DePauw 3 Wilmington 12, Earlham 3 Earlham 8, Wilmington 2 Franklin 15, Albion 4 Albion 4, Franklin 1 Hope 5, Hanover 3 Manchester 13, Berea 5 Manchester 2, Berea 1 Rose-Hulman 4, Alma 0 Rose-Hulman 9, Alma 6 Wabash 17, Western Connecticut 6 Wabash 10, Western Connecticut 3
Sunday, March 12 Anderson 11, Thomas (Maine) 0 Transylvania 9, DePauw 1 Franklin 5, Albion 3 Hanover 14, Millikin 4 Millikin 8, Hanover 5 Rose-Hulman 10, Alma 0
NAIA Monday, March 6 Calumet of St. Joseph 17, Siena Heights 9 IU-Kokomo 10, Oakland City 3 Indiana Wesleyan 14, Grace 6 Indiana Wesleyan 7, Grace 1 Marian 15, Spring Arbor 4 (8 inn.) Marian 9, Spring Arbor 5 Taylor 13, Saint Francis 3 Taylor 8, Saint Francis 2
Tuesday, March 7 Calumet of St. Joseph 7, Siena Heights 6 IU-Kokomo 12, IUPU-Columbus 7
Wednesday, March 8 Southeastern 14, Calumet of St. Joseph 1
Thursday, March 9 Bethel 6, Goshen 3 Bethel 9, Goshen 2 St. Thomas 6, Calumet of St. Joseph 5 Calumet of St. Joseph 9, Siena Heights 7 Huntington 10, Saint Francis 8 Saint Francis 6, Huntington 5 Indiana Wesleyan 9, Marian 3 Indiana Wesleyan 5, Marian 4 (9 inn.) Taylor 11, Spring Arbor 10 Taylor 6, Spring Arbor 5
Friday, March 10 Lawrence Tech 9, Calumet of St. Joseph 6 Concordia (Neb.) 23, Calumet of St. Joseph 3 IU Southeast 11, IU-Kokomo 9 Oakland City 17, Brescia 2 (7 inn.)
Saturday, March 11 Bethel 20, Goshen 3 Bethel 8, Goshen 6 Siena Heights 20, Calumet of St. Joseph 3 Huntington 8, Saint Francis 6 Huntington 18, Saint Francis 0 IU-Kokomo 10, IU Southeast 1 IU Southeast 4, IU-Kokomo 1 Concordia (Mich.) 9, IUPU-Columbus 1 Concordia (Mich.) 10, IUPU-Columbus 2 Oklahoma City 2, Indiana Tech 1 Oklahoma City 10, Indiana Tech 2 Marian 5, Indiana Wesleyan 0 Marian 7, Indiana Wesleyan 4 Brescia 9, Oakland City 2 Brescia 2, Oakland City 1 Taylor 5, Spring Arbor 2 Spring Arbor 5, Taylor 0
Sunday, March 12 Concordia (Mich.) 3, IUPU-Columbus 1 Concordia (Mich.) 3, IUPU-Columbus 1 Indiana Tech 7, Oklahoma City 1
Junior College Monday, March 6 Ivy Tech Northeast 9, Anderson JV 7 Minnesota North-Vermillion 5, Marian’s Ancilla 3 Minnesota North-Vermillion 6, Marian’s Ancilla 5
Tuesday, March 7 Vincennes 17, Oakland City JV 7
Wednesday, March 8 Mid-Michigan 7, Marian’s Ancilla 2 Volunteer State 16, Vincennes 3