BY STEVE KRAH
Scott Hutchins has spent 27 years in a Our Lady of Providence High School baseball uniform — four as a player for then-head coach Ben Hornung and the past 23 as an assistant coach to Scott Hornung (Ben’s cousin). In 25 seasons, Scott Hornung went 473-233 with 13 sectional title, six regional crowns, one semistate championship and one state title.
Now 1991 Providence graduate Hutchins is in charge of the Clarksville, Ind.-based Pioneers program and carries things he learned from the Hornungs and ideas he’s formed on his own.
Hutchins recalls how prepared Ben Hornung was for each day’s practice.
“He was very organized,” says Hutchins. “He made every single person feel like they were an important part of the team and that they were a big contributor.
“(Scott Hornung) had the ability to cultivate relationships with all the players. He had a lot of respect for all those guys. He listened to his assistants and would take your advice.
“I hope to take a little bit of all those things when I get started.”
Hutchins has already put Providence players through fall Limited Contact Period baseball workouts (two hours, twice-a-week for seven weeks).
“We had good weather and got all 14 practices in,” says Hutchins. “We really focused on individual player development. We did a little bit of team stuff.
“I like the Limited Contact rule because we are allowed to instruct.”
There was individual defensive work and time spent in the batting cage.
“We had a super productive fall,” says Hutchins. “In December, we’ll do conditioning and lifting. I doubt we’ll even pick up a baseball in December.
“In January, we’ll focus on getting our pitchers ready for the season.”
Ideally, Hutchins would like his players to be able to throw a little during conditioning times, but the rules do not currently allow that though the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association is working with the Indiana High School Athletic Association and Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association on proposals, including one that would extend the period of arm care.
Hutchins says he would like to stretch out his starters and have his bullpen pitchers throw a lesser number of pitches two or three days a week to get used to doing that during the season.
“Right now, it’s hard to get their arms ready,” says Hutchins.
His assistants include Providence alums Jacob Julius (2004), Tre Watson (2016) and Colin Rauck (2015) plus former Indiana University Southeast pitcher Elliott Fuller and Jennings County graduate and former IUS player Brian Jackson.
Associate head coach Julius played and coached at the University of Arkansas and played in the Baltimore Orioles organization. Watson was on the Pioneers’ state title team in 2016 and is now the hitting coach. Fuller works with pitcher and is the head junior varsity coach. Jackson works with catchers. Rauck is a JV assistant.
Providence (enrollment around 360) is an athletic independent with no conference affiliation.
Among 2019 opponents were Austin, Brownstown Central, Clarksville, Corydon Central, Eastern of Pekin, Gibson Southern, Jeffersonville, Lanesville, New Albany, North Harrison, Salem, Silver Creek, South Central of Elizabeth and Washington in Indiana plus Glenbrook South and Metamora in Illinois and Trinity in Kentucky.
The Pioneers are part of an IHSAA Class 2A sectional grouping with Austin, Clarksville, Crawford County, Eastern of Pekin and Henryville. Providence has won 18 sectional titles — the last in 2017. The Pioneers were 2A state champions in 2016.
Several recent Providence graduates have gone on to college baseball, including Joe Wilkinson (Indiana University), Christian Graf (Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn.) and Adam Uhl (Franklin College), Timmy Borden (University of Louisville), Reece Davis (Bellarmine University in Louisville), Jake Lewis (Eastern Kentucky University) and Jay Lorenz (Hanover College).
No current Pioneers have made college baseball commitments.
Hutchins has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Indiana University Southeast. He teaches Chemistry and is Dean of Students at Providence.
Scott and Traci Hutchins have two baseball-playing sons — senior Bryce Hutchins and freshman Logan Hutchins. Both are second basemen.
The Hutchins family (from left): Bryce, Logan, Traci and Scott. After 23 seasons as an assistant, alum Scott Hutchins is now the head baseball coach at Our Lady of Providence High School in Clarksville, Ind.