Cade Reynolds played all over the field as he came up through the baseball ranks in Greensburg, Ind. He lined up everywhere but at first base and catcher. Then while he was a high schooler playing travel ball in the summer for Evoshield Canes Midwest, Reynolds become a pitcher-only and that’s what the right-hander has been ever since. “I love P.O. life,” says Reynolds, who has completed two seasons at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany. “It’s awesome. I just feel more comfortable on the mound. “I can focus on what I need to focus on. Starter or reliever, it doesn’t matter. It’s whatever the coach needs.” Reynolds, who turns 21 in September, made 16 mound appearances (11 in relief) for the IUS Grenadiers in 2022 and post a 2-1 record and a 4.66 earned run average. He struck out 26 and walked 14 in 29 innings. As a freshman in 2021, the righty got into 17 games (15 starts) and was 5-2 with 3.86 ERA, 49 strikeouts and 24 walks in 65 1/3 innings. He started his team’s first game in the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. “It was pretty nerve-wracking in the first inning,” says Reynolds, who fanned three batters before leaving in the third inning. One of his teammates in 2021 was cousin Trevor Reynolds, who graduated from Greensburg Community High School in 2017 — three years ahead of Cade. “We are two different styles of pitchers,” says Cade Reynolds. “He’s crafty. I’m more of a velo guy — at least at the NAIA level.” The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder throws a four-seam fastball, sinker, change-up and curveball from a three-quarter arm slot. Reynolds’ four-seamer got up to 92 mph his freshman year. His sinker grip has his fingers together and is between and four-seam and two-seam grip. The change-up is delivered with the middle finger on the left horseshoe of the ball, the ring finger on the right horseshoe and the index finger resting on the left side. The curve is closer to a 12-to-6 than a slurve. Ben Reel is head coach at IUS. Brandon Mattingly was the Grenadiers pitching coach in 2022. “(Reel) is a good coach and down-to-earth,” says Reynolds. “He tells you what he thinks. “(Mattingly) was a good guy to talk to about pitching. He was there for you all the time.” IU Southeast, a member of the River States Conference, went 50-16 in 2021 and 40-15 in 2022. Though Reynolds and classmate Gavin Knust made an impact on the mound, there were plenty of veteran position players on those teams. “Clay Woeste, Daunte DeCello and Marco Romero were all leaders,” says Reynolds, who has two years of eligibility remaining. “It will be a lot different this coming spring. As a junior, I will have to step up.” Born and raised in Greensburg, Reynolds went was 8 when he played for the 9U Indiana Blazers travel team. He went to the Indiana Nitro at 12U and was the with Indiana Outlaws/Evoshield Canes Midwest from 13U to 17U. Cade credits his dedication and his father — Christopher Reynolds — for his development. “My dad is the one that’s got to me where I am,” says Reynolds. “He’s Worked with me day in and day out since I was about 10 years old.” The elder Reynolds played baseball for a season each at Marian University in Indianapolis and Wabash (Ind.) College as a left-handed pitcher. Scott Holdsworth was Cade’s head coach at Greensburg Community. “He was a good hitting coach for sure and another guy you could go to for anything,” says Reynolds, who also played tennis for the Pirates. His senior baseball season at Greensburg was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He did pitch in the College Summer League at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., in 2020 with the Marksmen. Reynolds did not play in the summer of 2021, but was back in the CSL in 2022 and helped the Caleb Fenimore-managed Bag Bandits make it to the championship game (which is scheduled for 7 p.m. today — July 28 vs. the Moon Shots — though Reynolds says be will not be there with work responsibilities. A General Studies major, Reynolds plans to become an electrician’s apprentice after graduation. A family friend is a longtime electrician. “I’d rather not work a desk job,” says Reynolds. “A blue collar job working with my hands is the best idea for me.” Christopher Reynolds is a production manager with PrimeLending and his wife Angie Reynolds a human resources communication manager at First Financial Bank. Besides Cade, the couple has a daughter — Sydney Reynolds (25). She is in nursing school and works at Decatur Memorial Hospital.
When it comes down to crunch time, that’s when Gavin Knust wants the baseball. The left-handed pitcher likes to be called on in the latter innings to get out of a jam or nail down a victory. He’s done it for the past two seasons at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany. “I enjoy being the guy the team relies on,” says Knust, 20. “I want to help the team in any way possible to win a ball game.” In 2022, he made 22 relief appearances (16 of them scoreless) and went 4-0 with two saves, a 3.60 earned run average, 35 strikeouts and nine walks in 30 innings. The Grenadiers finished the season 40-15 overall and 20-4 in the River States Conference. The campaign ended in the NAIA Opening Round. As a true freshman in 2021, Knust came out of the bullpen 20 times and went 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA, 40 strikeouts and 12 walks in 36 innings. IUS (50-16, 26-1) earned its first trip to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, in 2021 and Knust appeared in three of four games. Knust was 18 and pitching on one of college baseball’s biggest stages. And this after missing his senior season at Forest Park Junior/Senior High School in Ferdinand, Ind., because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 6 1/3 innings in Idaho, he yielded four hits and two runs while striking out nine and walking two. Older guys like Daunte DeCello, Hunter Kloke, Marco Romero, Derek Wagner (a Tri-West Hendricks High School alum) and Clay Woeste (Lawrenceburg) pushed Knust to be his best. “They were huge role models,” says Knust. “They took me under their wing and took care of me.” All the while, the Grenadiers fed off the words of head coach Ben Reel. “Coach Reel is a huge believer in ‘control the controllables’ — that’s all you can worry about. He tells us to play ‘our’ baseball. Don’t try to be anybody else.” After a 5-10 start, that 2021 team went into the postseason at 40-13. “We were the hottest team in the nation,” says Knust. “That’s all baseball is about — riding the hot streak.” Brandon Mattingly was the pitching coach at IU Southeast in 2022. “He’s a big believer in the mental aspect of baseball and breathing correctly,” says Knust of Mattingly. “He want you doing the same thing every pitch. Baseball is a game of repetition. “It’s a game where you don’t want to make it more complicated that it really is.” As a bullpen arm throwing between three-quarter and over-the-top, Knust relies mostly on a four-seam fastball, two-seamer and curveball. His four-seamer got up to 88 mph in the spring. “(The two-seamer) runs away from the barrel,” says Knust. “The curveball is more like a slurve.” After spending the summer of 2021 with the Ohio Valley League’s Madisonville (Ky.) Miners, Knust is now relieving for the 2022 Northwoods League’s Battle Creek (Mich.) Battle Jacks. Through games of July 20, the southpaw had made 15 appearances (10 scoreless) and was 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA, 15 strikeouts and eight walks in 17 1/3 innings. “It’s more about hitting my pitches, working on my spots and just becoming a better pitcher this summer,” says Knust of his in-game goals. Caleb Lang, an assistant at Concordia University Nebraska is Battle Creek’s manager. IU Southeast faced Concordia in Lewiston in 2021. Away from the diamond, there is also bonding and fun on a BC squad made up largely of NAIA players — including Concordia’s Joey Grabanski and Jacob Lycan and Indiana University-Kokomo’s Patrick Mills — with a few D-1’s sprinkled in. “We’re almost getting to the point where we’re a big family now,” says Knust. A few times, host families have allowed some of the Battle Jacks to use their boat to chill on the lake followed by cornhole and a cookout at their house. Knust was born in Jasper, Ind., and grew up in nearby Saint Anthony. He played T-ball at Pine Ridge Elementary in Birdseye. His only summer of travel ball came during high school with the Louisville-based Ironmen Prime. At Forest Park, Knust played football for head coach Ross Fuhs and baseball for Jarred Howard. “(Fuhs) was more of an understanding coach,” says Knust. “You could talk to him about anything in life. He’d always be there for you. “(Howard) got the most out of every player and he tried to make you a better person.” Knust, who has two years of playing eligibility left, is a Marketing major with a Professional Sales minor. “An IU degree in marketing is one of the best you can get,” says Knust. “I enjoy talking and getting to know people.” Gavin is the youngest of Steve and Melissa Knust’s three sons. Ethan Knust (27) works for a concrete company. Eli Knust (25), who played baseball at Huntington (Ind.) University and against Gavin in 2021, works at Memorial Hospital in Jasper and assists Ethan with a concrete side business. Steve Knust is a plumber. Melissa Knust is an oncology nurse at Memorial Hospital.
Notre Dame — the last college baseball team from Indiana left standing in 2022 — found out today (May 30) that the Irish will be in the Statesboro Regional for the 64-team NCAA Division I tournament. The No. 2-seeded Irish (35-14) play No. 3 Texas Tech (37-20) at 2 p.m. Friday, June 3. Site host and top-seeded Georgia Southern (40-18) plays No. UNC Greensboro (34-28) at 7 p.m. Friday. Notre Dame made it to the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Regionals continue through June 6 with super regionals June 10-13 and the College World Series June 17-27. Ball State made it to the “if necessary” Mid-American Conference tournament championship game against Central Michigan and lost 11-7 to wind up the season at 40-19 overall and 32-7 as MAC regular-season champions. Central Michigan earned an automatic NCAA tournament bid. Evansville (32-24, 14-6), Indiana State (26-22-1, 10-10-1) and Valparaiso (16-32, 5-15) bowed out in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Seasons came to a close for Purdue (29-21, 9-12) and Indiana (27-32, 10-14) at the Big Ten tournament. Purdue Fort Wayne (18-36, 13-15) finished up in the Horizon League tournament. In the past few weeks, conferences have handed out postseason awards at the NCAA D-I, D-II and D-III, NAIA and junior college levels and there is a list of those below.
With a four-game sweep at Miami (Ohio) during the week of May 16-22, Ball State earned the right to host the four-team Mid-American Conference baseball tournament May 25-28 in Muncie. The Cardinals are one of eight teams from Indiana going into NCAA Division I conference tournaments this week. Ball State (38-17), the MAC regular-season champions for the first time since 2014, is the top seed, followed by Central Michigan No. 2, Toledo No. 3 and Ohio No. 4. BSU is 7-3 in its last 10 games. The Rich Maloney-coached Cardinals are 18-4 at Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. Twelve teams will compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament May 24-29 in Charlotte, N.C. Pool play is May 24-27. No. 4 seed Notre Dame (33-13) is in Pool D with No. 5 seed Virginia and No. 9 seed Florida State. Link Jarrett is the Notre Dame head coach. The Irish are 7-3 in their last 10. The eight-team Big Ten Conference tournament is slated for May 25-29 in Omaha, Neb. Maryland is the No. 1 seed, Rutgers No. 2, Iowa No. 3, Illinois No. 4, Michigan No. 5, Penn State No. 6, Greg Goff-coached Purdue (29-19) No. 7 and Jeff Mercer-coached Indiana (25-30) No. 8. The Boilermakers are 4-6 in their last 10, the Hoosiers 5-5. The eight-team Missouri Valley Conference tournament is scheduled for May 24-28 in Springfield, Mo. Southern Illinois is the No. 1 seed, followed by Wes Carroll-coached Evansville (30-22) No. 2, Dallas Baptist No. 3, Bradley No. 4, Mitch Hannah-coached Indiana State (25-20-1) No. 5, Missouri State No. 6, Illinois State No. 7 and Brian Schmack-coached Valparaiso (16-31) No. 8. The Purple Aces are 6-4 in their last 10, the Sycamores 3-6-1 and Beacons 3-7. The six-team Horizon League tournament May 25-28 in Dayton, Ohio. Wright State is the No. 1 seed. Oakland is No. 2, Illinois-Chicago No. 3, Doug Schreiber-coached Purdue Fort Wayne (18-35) No. 4, Youngstown State No. 5 and Northern Kentucky No. 6. The Mastodons are 5-5 in their last 10. Notre Dame is No. 17 in the D1Baseball.com RPI. Ball State is No. 70, Evansville No. 86, Indiana State No. 99, Indiana No. 115, Purdue No. 124, Valparaiso No. 210, Butler No. 238 and Purdue Fort Wayne No. 258. Automatic bids go to the winners of the MAC, ACC, Big Ten, MVC and Horizon tournaments and more. There are 31 automatic bids and 33 at-large picks that will be made by NCAA Division I Baseball Committee. The tournament bracket for the 64-team event will be revealed at noon Eastern Time May 30 on ESPN2. Butler (20-35-1) did not qualify for the four-team Big East Conference tournament, which is May 26-29 in Mason, Ohio. Bulldogs head coach Dave Schrage concluded his 38-year career with a 6-4 victory Saturday against Seton Hall. He recently announced his retirement. Taylor (41-18) and Indiana University Southeast (40-15) both went 1-2 and bowed out at separate NAIA Opening Round sites — the Kyle Gould-coached Trojans in the Upland Bracket and the Ben Reel-coached Grenadiers in the Santa Barbara Bracket. Earlham (26-13) lost twice at NCAA Division III regional at Lynchburg, Va. The Steve Sakosits-coached Quakers qualified by winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament. Vincennes (25-32) saw its season end with two losses in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Mid-West Athletic Conference tournament in Normal, Ill. Chris Barney is the VU Trailblazers coach.
Santa Barbara Bracket Antelope Valley (Calif.) 3, IU Southeast 2 Championship Westmont (Calif.) 12, Antelope Valley (Calif.) 0
Junior College Wednesday, May 18 Mid-West Athletic Conference Tournament Danville Area 6, Vincennes 3 Parkland 2, Lewis & Clark 1 Lincoln Land 10, Illinois Central 0 Illinois Central 5, Lewis & Clark 3
Thursday, May 19 Mid-West Athletic Conference Tournament Heartland 7, Danville Area 0 Lincoln Land 5, Parkland 0 Illinois Central 7, Danville Area 6 Parkland 6, Vincennes 5
Friday, May 20 Mid-West Athletic Conference Tournament Heartland 8, Lincoln Land 4 Illinois Central 12, Parkland 3 Lincoln Land 11, Illinois Central 1
Saturday, May 21 Mid-West Athletic Conference Tournament Championship Heartland 4, Lincoln Land 2
Earlham junior Andrew Bradley belted five home runs in a doubleheader sweep of visiting Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Defiance April 6. The clean-up hitter launched two dingers each in the first and third innings of a 40-7 Game 1 rout. In Game 2, he circled the bases in the third frame as the Quakers won 12-3. The games were contested at Randal R. Sadler Stadium. For the week of week of April 4-10, NCAA Division III Earlham went 3-1 and is 16-6 overall and 5-1 in the HCAC. Earlham is in three-way tie atop the conference standings with Franklin (20-6 overall) and Anderson (13-10). NAIA Taylor went 3-1 on the week and moved to 27-11 overall and 17-5 in the Crossroads League, which ties the Trojans for first place with Mount Vernon Nazarene. Taylor junior T.J. Bass (Greenwood Community) has raised his season totals to 13 home runs and 60 runs batted in. With two wins Sunday against Point Park, first-place Indiana University Southeast moved to 24-10 overall and 12-2 in the River States Conference. Heading into Game 3 of the Point Park series today (April 11), Grenadiers coach Ben Reel has 499 career victories. Indiana Tech has won five straight. The Warriors are 18-15 overall and 6-4 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. In NCAA Division I, Purdue (20-7 overall, 2-4 in the Big Ten) took two of three games from visiting Indiana (12-17, 2-3) at Alexander Field. Game 1 Saturday saw the Boilers roll 17-0. Redshirt junior left-hander Jackson Smeltz (McCutcheon) gave up one hit in eight innings with 13 strikeouts. In Sunday’s doubleheader, the Hoosiers prevailed 10-3 with freshman Brock Tibbitts cracking his seventh homer of 2022. Purdue outlasted Indiana 16-15 in the nightcap. Redshirt sophomore Cam Thompson smacked a three-run homer and drove in four runs for the Boilers. Thompson paces the team with 10 circuit clouts. Notre Dame pushed its win streak to eight games. The Irish (20-5 overall, 8-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) are 6-1 at Frank Eck Stadium, including 4-0 this past week. D1Baseball.com has Notre Dame No. 3 nationally in RPI. Indiana State is No. 60, Ball State No. 103, Evansville No. 119, Purdue No. 133, Indiana No. 156, Butler No. 187, Valparaiso No. 206 and Purdue Fort Wayne No. 230. Purdue Fort Wayne is on a season-best four-game win streak after besting Michigan once and Wisconsin-Milwaukee three times.
Sunday, April 10 Anderson 13, Mount St. Joseph 9 Anderson 11, Mount St. Joseph 0 DePauw 7, Oberlin 3 DePauw 16, Oberlin 10 Hanover 3, Earlham 1 Earlham 7, Hanover 3 Franklin 10, Defiance 2 Franklin 7, Defiance 4 Rose-Hulman 5, Manchester 2 Rose-Hulman 22, Manchester 9 Kalamazoo 5, Trine 2 Kalamazoo 18, Trine 5 Kenyon 5, Wabash 1 Kenyon 10, Wabash 4
NAIA Monday, April 4 Bethel 10, Marian 6 Bethel 12, Marian 11 Calumet of Saint Joseph 7, Trinity International 3 Mount Vernon Nazarene 8, Goshen 4 Mount Vernon Nazarene 6, Goshen 2 Indiana Wesleyan 11, Grace 4 Grace 4, Indiana Wesleyan 2 Taylor 13, Saint Francis 7 Taylor 8, Saint Francis 3
Tuesday, April 5 IU Kokomo 6, Indiana Tech 5 (8 inn.) Judson 4, IU South Bend 3 Judson 15, IU South Bend 10
Wednesday, April 6 Indiana Tech 15, Wright State-Lake 2
Thursday, April 7 Ivy Tech Northeast 12, Indiana Tech JV 3 Indiana Tech JV 6, Ivy Tech Northeast 5 Mount Vernon Nazarene 7, Saint Francis 6 Saint Francis 8, Mount Vernon Nazarene 3 Vincennes 12, Oakland City JV 5
Saturday, April 9 Marian 7, Grace 5 Grace 12, Marian 2 Huntington 17, Indiana Wesleyan 7 Huntington 2, Indiana Wesleyan 1 Trinity Christian 5, IU South Bend 4 (9 inn.) Trinity Christian 10, IU South Bend 5 Taylor 5, Spring Arbor 3 Spring Arbor 4, Taylor 3
Sunday, April 10 Goshen 4, Bethel 2 Goshen 5, Bethel 2 St. Ambrose 14, Calumet of Saint Joseph 4 St. Ambrose 11, Calumet of Saint Joseph 3 West Virginia Tech 8, IU Kokomo 6 West Virginia Tech 2, IU Kokomo 0 IU Southeast 6, Point Park 5 IU Southeast 5, Point Park 3 Indiana Tech 4, Cleary 0 Indiana Tech 12, Cleary 5 Midway 3, Oakland City 2 Oakland City 14, Midway 0
Junior College Tuesday, April 5 Ivy Tech Northeast 21, Glen Oaks 7
The state’s nine NCAA Division I baseball teams opened the 2022 this past weekend. Purdue swept a four-game series against South Dakota State — 5-4, 11-1, 14-3 and 10-7 Friday through Sunday, Feb. 18-20 — in Sugar Land, Texas. Mike Bolton Jr., Paul Toetz and Cam Thompson all went 4-of-11 (.364) at the plate for the Boilermakers. Toetz belted a pair of home runs. Thompson drove in nine runs. Ty Gill (Valparaiso High School graduate) homered in his first collegiate at-bat in Game 2. Winning pitchers were right-hander Landon Weins (Frankton), left-hander Jackson Smeltz (McCutcheon), lefty Troy Wansing and righty Kyle Wade (Kokomo). Ball State (2-2) bested Bucknell 8-7 and Army 10-6 and lost 11-1 to Iowa and 9-0 to Air Force in Charleston, S.C. Amir Wright (Griffith) went 5-of-15 (.333) and Ryan Peltier 3-of-10 (.300) for the weekend while Hunter Dobbins (Mount Vernon of Fortville) clubbed two home runs in his first collegiate contest (vs. Bucknell) for the Cardinals. Earning mound wins were lefty Jake Lewis (New Albany) against Bucknell and righty Andre Orselli against Army. Righty Sam Klein (Bloomington North) picked up the save vs. Bucknell. Indiana State (2-2) won 3-2 against Brigham Young and 9-7 against Marshall and lost 9-3 and 9-8 to Ohio State in Port Charlotte, Fla. Jordan Schaffer (West Vigo) went 6-of-14 (.429), Mike Sears 4-of-10 (.400) with two homers and four RBIs and Josue Urdaneta 7-of-18 (.389) for the Sycamores. Winning hurlers were righty Matt Jachec against BYU and righty Brennyn Cutts against Marshall. Righty Connor Fenlong saved both victories. Notre Dame (2-1) topped Manhattan 17-2 and Stetson 5-3 and lost 5-4 to Delaware in Deland, Fla. David LaManna went 4-of-6 (.667), Brooks Coetze 5-of-17 (.417) with two homers, Carter Putz 4-of-11 (.364) and Zack Prajzner 4-of-11 (.364) for the Irish. Winning pitchers were lefty Aidan Tyrell against Manhattan and lefty John Michael Bertrand against Stetson. Righty Ryan McLinskey got the save against the Hatters. Valparaiso (1-2) lost 13-0 and 4-3 then won 10-8 in a three-game series at Memphis. Kaleb Hannahs (West Vigo) went 6-of-13 (.462) with two homers and Kyle Schmack (South Central of Union Mills) 4-of-11 (.364) for the Beacons. Lefty Jake Miller was the winning pitcher and righty Bobby Nowak (Hanover Central) notched the save in the series finale. Butler (0-3) lost 6-4, 18-1 and 25-12 at Murray State. Travis Holt went 4-of-10 and Ryan O’Halloran 3-of-8 for the Bulldogs. Lefty Cory Bosecker (Evansville Central) struck out six in five innings on the mound. Evansville (0-3) lost 24-6, 6-4 and 7-0 at No. 10 North Carolina State. Brent Widder went 4-of-12 (.333) and Ty Rumsey (Evansville North) 3-of-10 (.300) for the Purple Aces. Lefty Michael Parks fanned four in 2 2/3 innings. Indiana (0-3) lost 9-0, 19-4 and 5-4 (10 innings) at Clemson. Bobby Whalen went 6-of-14 (.429) and Brock Tibbitts 3-of-7 (.429) while Tyler Doanes, Matthew Ellis and Phillip Glasser homered for the Hoosiers. Righty Jack Perkins (Kokomo) whiffed eight in 3 2/3 innings and righty Reese Sharp (University) seven in three. Purdue Fort Wayne (0-4) lost 13-2, 12-2, 6-5 and 8-7 at Georgia State. Jack Lang (Hamilton Southeastern) went 5-of-14 (.357) with one homer and six RBIs, Alex Evenson 4-of-12 (.333), Cade Nelis (Noblesville) 3-of-9 (.333) and Garret Lake plated five runs for the Mastodons. In NCAA Division II, the University of Indianapolis (3-0) downed Notre Dame (Ohio) 5-0, 15-14 and 13-3 at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. Drew Donaldson drove in four runs in Game 3 and three in Game 2 (when the Greyhounds scored in every frame but the fourth and fifth). Alex Vela (Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter) scored four runs in Game 2. Brandon DeWitt scored three runs in Game 2 and plated three in Game 3. Winning pitchers were lefty Xavier Rivas (Portage) in Game 1, righty Wyatt Phillips (Indian Creek) in Game 2 and righty Logan Peterson in Game 3. Southern Indiana (3-0) won 19-6, 11-4 and 10-8 at Young Harris (Ga.). Lucas McNew (Borden) knocked in six runs in Game 1 and scored four in Game 2. Adam Wildeman (Evansville Mater Dei) plated three runs and Ethan Hunter (Terre Haute South Vigo) scored four in Game 2. Daniel Lopez scored three times in Game 3 for the Screaming Eagles. Winning hurlers were righty Tyler Hutson, lefty Blake Ciuffetelli (Castle) and righty Carter Stamm (Jasper). Purdue Northwest is slated to open the season Friday, Feb. 25 at McKendree (Ill.). In NCAA Division III, DePauw (2-1) lost 6-3 to North Central (Ill.) then routed Wilimington (Ohio) 16-0 and Blackburn (Ill.) 25-7 in Carbondale, Ill. Cameron Allen and Brian May drove in three runs each and Allen, Kyle Boyer and Cameron Macon (home run) scored three apiece against Wilmington for the Tigers. Against Blackburn, Macon plated five, May and Paul Jennewein three each while Allen, May, Macon and Evan Barnes all crossed the plate three times. Lefty Michael Vallone and righty Will Lucas were winning pitchers. While Anderson is 1-2, Hanover (Feb. 22 at Centre), Manchester (Feb. 25 vs. North Central at Grand Park), Wabash (Feb. 25 vs. Heidelberg at Grand Park), Earlham (Feb. 26 vs. Olivet), Franklin (Feb. 26 vs. Albion at Indianapolis Bishop Chatard), Trine (Feb. 26 at Asbury) and Rose-Hulman (Feb. 27 vs. Northern Vermont-Lyndon in Auburndale, Fla.) are nearing their season openers. In the NAIA, No. 7 Indiana University Southeast (5-6) swept three games at Blue Mountain (Miss.) — 7-4, 14-6 and 9-4 — running the Grenadiers’ win streak to five. In Game 1, Brody Tanksley plated three runs and head coach Ben Reel became the career wins leader at IUS with 478, surpassing Rick Parr. In Game 2, Marco Romero drove in two runs and scored four. In Game 3, Trevor Campbell knocked in three runs. Taylor (6-5) downed Siena Heights (Mich.) 12-1, 4-0 and 4-3 and lost 9-3 in Hoover, Ala. Kade Vander Molen (4 RBIs in Game 1), Bloomington South grad Mason David (homer in Game 2 to support righty and Mishawaka graduate Luke Shively) and Greenwood alum T.J. Bass (3 RBIs to back righty and NorthWood grad Matt Dutkowski in Game 3) were among key contributors for the Trojans. Goshen (3-3) split four games at Toccoa Falls (Ga.), winning 11-7 and 6-3 in Game 1 and 3 and losing 3-0 and 14-3 in Game 2 and 4. Camm Nickell (Northridge) is 7-of-18 (.389) with four RBIs on the season for the Maple Leafs. Saint Francis (6-4) won 10-8 and 4-2 before losing 8-7 and 7-5 at Pikeville (Ky.). David Miller homered and drove in three runs in Game 1. Sam Pesa (Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger) plated three runs in Game 2. Indiana University South Bend beat Aquinas (Mich.) 11-7 and lost 15-14 in 10 innings at Grand Park. Evan Allen (McCutcheon) drove in three runs while Owen Benson and Brenden Bell scored three runs each for the Titans in Game 1. Benson had two RBIs and three runs in Game 2. Indiana Tech (2-3) beat Midway (Ky.) 5-3 and lost 6-5 to host Georgetown (Ky.). Jacob Daftari is 7-of-14 (.500 and Manuel Ascanio 8-of-21 (.381) on the season for the Warriors. Oakland City (5-3) split a doubleheader with Bethel, losing 7-2 and winning 7-6. Sam Pinckert (Heritage Hills) drove in three runs in the Mighty Oaks’ win. In the triumph for Bethel (2-8), Alex Stout (Benton Central) socked a three-run homer and wound up with four RBIs. Marian (6-4) beat Carolina University 11-5 then lost 9-2 to Carolina U., in Winston-Salem, N.C., and 8-4 at No. 5 Tennessee Wesleyan. Matteo Porcellato collected three hits and scored three runs in the Knights’ win against Carolina. Righty Damien Wallace (Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter) was the winning pitcher. Grace (5-7) lost 10-0, 9-5, 2-0 and 12-4 to Saint Xavier (Ill.) in White Pine, Tenn. Alex Rich (Crown Point) is 17-of-43 (.395) for the Lancers on the season. Among junior colleges, Nick Kapostasy lofted a walk-off sacrifice fly as Vincennes University (2-3) edged South Suburban (Ill.) 8-7 after beating Marian University’s Ancilla College 15-5. South Suburban (Ill.) beat MUAC (0-5) by a 17-3 count. All games were played at Vincennes.
Greg Oppel, who was hired as head baseball coach at Lanesville (Ind.) Junior/Senior High School in the fall of 2021, has long been part of the bat-and-ball scene in the southeast part of the state. A 1987 graduate of North Harrison High School in Ramsey, Ind., where he earned Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association honorable mention all-state and IHSBCA North/South All-Star Series status as a senior for Cougars coach Danny Smith, left-handed pitcher Oppel went on to play at the Indiana State University-Evansville (now the University of Southern Indiana) for Screaming Eagles coach Gary Redman. Rotator cuff surgery limited his college playing career to 2 1/2 years. Darren Oppel, Greg’s cousin, graduated from North Harrison in 1989 and was a first-team all-state shortstop and played in the IHSBCA North/South All-Star Series. He went on to play at the University of Louisville and was a Colorado Rockies scout. As a baseball coach, Greg Oppel has been an assistant (2008) to Rick Parr and head coach (2009-11) at North Harrison (Cody Johnson was the IHSBCA North/South Series MVP in 2008) and assistant to Grenadiers head coach Ben Reel at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany (2012-15) and assistant to Lions head coach Jason Pepmeier at Salem (Ind.) High School. It was when Reel was new at IUS and Oppel was on the North Harrison Babe Ruth League board that the new formed a friendship. The idea of building an indoor hitting facility was explored and the process really took off when Oppel became North Harrison head coach. It happened through private donations and matching funds from the Harrison County Community Foundation. Reel inquired about using the hitting building for his IU Southeast team in winter months. “I said heck yeah — with one stipulation,” says Oppel. “I want your players and your staff to work our kids out with your knowledge.” When Oppel joined Reel’s staff he got even more access to his know-how. “Coach Reel is one of the top baseball minds in the country,” says Oppel. “Sitting in a session and listening to him talk and picking his brain was such a great opportunity for me and still is today.” Having traveled all over the country following daughter Kyia’s softball exploits, Oppel became head softball coach at North Harrison in her senior year (2017). A torn patellar tendon limited her season and ended her hopes of playing in college. “She’s handled adversity very well with her knee over a period of time,” says Oppel. “I think it hurt me more than it did her.” Greg Oppel and joined Kyia Oppel when the middle school special education teacher became head coach at Crawford County High School in Marengo. “We had a blast,” says Oppel of his time with his daughter and the Wolfpack, which went 8-14 in 2021. With Christopher Broughton and Jason Sturgeon leading the charge, an indoor facility push was made at Crawford County. Then came Greg Oppel’s chance to lead Lanesville Swingin’ Eagles baseball. He met four times with athletic director and former baseball head coach Zach Payne before taking the position. “I wanted to made sure it was the right thing for Lanesville and the right thing for me,” says Oppel. “It’s tight-knit community. It’s almost like a throwback to years ago. It sounds like a cliche’ but they welcomed me with open arms.” It’s a community that likes its sports and has enjoyed — and has come to expect — baseball success. Lanesville has won five sectionals, including those in 2010, 2016, 2017 and 2019. Regional and semistate titles came in 2016 and 2017. The Eagles were Class 1A state runners-up in 2016 and 1A state champions in 2017. The Harrison County school with an enrollment around 240 is a member of the Southern Athletic Conference (with Borden, Crothersville, Henryville, New Washington and South Central of Elizabeth). In 2021, the Eagles were part of an 1A sectional grouping with Borden, Christian Academy of Indiana, Orleans and South Central (Elizabeth). Oppel’s assistants for 2022 include Jeff Cockerham, Tyler Cockerham and Aaron Lockman. Jeff Cockerham played at Jeffersonville High School. Tyler Cockerham played for Oppel at North Harrison then at Hanover (Ind.) College. Lockman is 2020 Lanesville graduate. A campaign to bring an indoor facility to Lanesville is now in the works. “This will be a win-win for the Lanesville community,” says Oppel. “We are fortunate to have such a backing at Lanesville. The following for baseball alone at Lanesville is astronomical. “I’m very blessed to have this opportunity.” Oppel, who is also a 29 1/2-year employee of Ford Motor Company in Louisville, where he builds the Escape and Lincoln Corsair, served 12 years on the North Harrison Babe Ruth League board. He began coaching at the 10U and 12U level. Says Oppel, “At 14U we had tremendous success because we did everything fundamentally sound with lots of drills and going things at game speed.”
Accountability, positivity, a spirt of competition and excellence are qualities Jacob Harden is looking to instill as the new head baseball coach at Linton-Stockton High School in Indiana’s Greene County. “I’m big on holding (players) accountable,” says Harden, who was hired to lead the Miners program in July. “I’ll be the first one to get on their tail when they’re doing something wrong, but I’ll be the first one to build them back up. All the coaches I’ve been around cared and still held me to realistic standards. “Positives need to outweigh the negatives.” Harden, who is also a Project Lead The Way computer science teacher at Linton-Stockton Middle School, had players conditioning shortly after the school year began and led players in grades 7-12 during the IHSAA Limited Contact Period in the fall and since the first week of December. “I want to be the program coach,” says Harden, 25. “I don’t want players to meet me for the first time when they’re freshmen.” Besides the middle school program for seventh and eighth graders, the Linton Youth League (T-ball though Grade 6) feeds the high school Miners. Recent graduates moving on to college ball are 2021 graduates Josh Pyne and Kip Fougerousse (son of former Linton-Stockton head coach Matt Fougerousse) to Indiana University. Bracey Breneman (Class of 2022) recently signed with Vincennes (Ind.) University. Harden did his best in the fall to simulate what spring practices will be like with position group work followed by team activity. He set the tone from Day 1. “I set the standard for how I expect things to go,” says Harden. “I mean business. I want us to win state championships. That means working hard. “We’re doing something every minute of our practices and everybody is going to get better.” Harden has players trying to beat one another in cut-off and bunt drills. “Scoop Tennis” — which promotes quick hands and feet and proper glove work — is both fun and competitive. “When guys compete with everything they do that’s going to transfer over to the game,” says Harden. “You want to be be a competitor and find ways to win. “It’s a competitive atmosphere and we’re paying attention to the fine details.” Fall World Series teams vied for the “Folger’s Cup” — an old coffee can found in a dugout. There’s also social media salutes to the “Grinder of the Week” complete with honoree pictured with a coal miner cap. Linton-Stockton baseball embraces the hashtag #PreparingForReign. “Everybody want to be the best they can be, but who’s going to prepare?,” says Harden, who also has his team breaking huddles with a chant of “618.” What’s significant about that number? June 18, 2022 is the date of the IHSAA State Finals at Victory Field in Indianapolis and that’s where the Miners want to be — #Destination618. Harden wants “The Miner Way” to be personified by players who are gritty with good attitudes. “It embodies what this town is all about,” says Harden. “These people have to work for a living. That’s how this community is. “These guys are starting to believe they can do it.” Linton-Stockton’s new uniforms will feature “MH” on the right shoulder to honor baseball backer Mark Hollingsworth, who died at the beginning of the school year. While he’s not on his staff, Harden has got plenty of support from former Miners head coach Bart Berns. Linton-Stockton (enrollment around 390) is a member of the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference (with Bloomfield, Clay City, Eastern Greene, North Central of Farmersburg, North Daviess, Shakamak and White River Valley). In 2021, the Miners were part of an IHSAA Class 2A sectional grouping with Eastern Greene, Mitchell, North Knox, Paoli and South Knox and beat North Knox 10-0 in the championship game. Linton-Stockton has won 10 sectional titles. Harden’s assistants are Mike Walters, Craig House and Brian Reel. Walters was a Harden teammate at Northview High School in Brazil, Ind. House is a longtime Linton-Stockton coach who is employed as a coal miner. Reel is the father of Indiana University Southeast head baseball coach Ben Reel. Harden graduated from Northview in 2015. Besides playing Knights head coaches Scott McDonald (2012 and 2013) and Craig Trout (2014 and 2015), he was in the Clay Youth League and was in travel ball as a middle schooler with the Indiana Redbirds and American Legion Baseball for Clinton Post 140 the summer before his senior year and Clay County Post 2 the summer after graduation. He played for Ben Reel at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany in the spring of 2016 and went back that fall. “I had a lot going on,” says Harden. “My grandpa passed away late that fall and one thing led to another. “I was led to step away and come back closer to home.” Harden, who is the son of Brazil’s Mark and Jaime Harden and older brother of sister Kennady Harden (now 19 and an Indiana State freshman) transferred to Vincennes U. “Coach (Chris) Barney took a chance on me,” says Harden, who went in as a walk-on in the fall of 2017 and left in the spring of 2018 as a scholarship player. He became a 4-2-4 player (four-year school, two-year school and four-year school) when he went to Indiana State University in Terre Haute, where Sycamores head coach Mitch Hannahs convinced him it was not worth the risk since Harden had open heart surgery at 16 in 2013 and he was a student manager the rest of the first semester for an ISU team that went on to win a Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship in 2019. Trout invited Harden to be an assistant at Northview and he helped at the varsity and junior varsity levels in 2019 and leading up to the COVID-19-canceled 2020 season. “I’d always known I wanted to coach,” says Harden. “That was the first time I got to put my imprint on something.” In 2021, Harden was an assistant to longtime Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology coach Jeff Jenkins in what turned out to be Jenkins’ final season at the Terre Haute school. Harden assisted manager A.J. Reed of the summer collegiate Prospect League’s Terre Haute (Ind.) Rex in the summer and was on a bus heading to Champion City (Springfield, Ohio) when he got the call from Linton-Stockton asking him to join the Miners. We got to grow real close together,” says Harden of Reed. “He was fighting very hard for me. I got great references and guys on the team pulling for me. It felt so good. “I’ve met a lot of people along the way. I can’t think of too many 25-year-olds has the network I do. I’ve got to learn some much. It’s been a chaotic journey. But you have to have some chaos to get that goal accomplished.” The holder of an associate degree in General Studies from Vincennes and degree in Sports Management from Indiana State, Harden is working toward certification through the Indiana Teachers of Tomorrow program. This semester, his PLTW class is creating apps. Next semester, it will be computer science for innovators and makers. “It gives kids a moment to shine,” says Harden of the STEM students. “It makes them feel good.”
Clay Woeste just played in the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, where he made the all-tournament team as Indiana University Southeast’s starting second baseman and lead-off hitter. The NAIA Ball Podcast selected righty swinger Woeste (.374, 8 home runs, 21 runs batted in, 89 runs scored, 38 stolen bases and a 1.053 OPS) as second-team All-America and Grenadiers head coach Ben Reel as National Coach of the Year. While finishing fifth in its first World Series appearance, IUS went 50-16 overall and 26-1 in the River States Conference. At 22, Woeste (pronounced Wee-Stee) can look back on many baseball memories. “It was surreal,” says Woeste of playing in Lewiston. “That’s the best way to describe it. “That’s all we ever talked about and we were finally there.” But once the games began, it was all-business for the Grenadiers. “We would do what you’ve been doing all year,” says Woeste. “Our guys were so special to be around. “No matter what was thrown our way we found a way to get through it.” During the season, shortstop Daunte DeCelllo went out with an injury and Woeste moved to that side of the infield. DeCello came back at the end of year then RSC Player of the Year Matt Monahan got hurt and missed the postseason. Yet IUS just kept going. “No matter what was thrown our way we found a way to get through it,” says Woeste. Reel, who just completed his 13th campaign at the school in New Albany, has built a national power with limited resources. “He has the ability to recruit amazing guys and he does with only one scholarship,” says Woeste. “It’s amazing. “We work really hard in the fall and when we go out in the spring he just lets us play. We reap what we sow.” Woeste considers his athletic quality to be the work ethic and durability that has helped him stay on the field day in and day out. “I keep my body healthy,” says Woeste, a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder. That body has stolen 89 bases in 97 attempts from 2018-21. “My sophomore year I came into my own stealing bases (swiping 34-of-34),” say Woeste. “Coach Reel saw that and started leading off all the time and I was pretty much given the green light.” Woeste was supposed to play in the Coastal Plain League in the summer of 2020 but when the COVID-19 pandemic caused that loop to shutdown he took on with the Thoroughbreds in the Louisville Collegiate League, which played most its games at Trinity High School. This summer, Woeste is with the CPL’s Holly Springs (N.C.) Salamanders, coached by Kevin Soine. With a double major (Professional Selling and Marketing) and a minor (Communication) already completed, he plans to return to IU Southeast for his pandemic-related extra year of baseball eligibility. The diamond has been a big part of his life all these years. But that was not his first sport. Clay had his hand on the throttle before he really had his hand on a bat. At 5, he was racing 50 cc machines in motocross. His parents — Matt and Karen Woeste — moved from northern Kentucky to Aurora, Ind., so fourth grader Clay could ride on a track owned by the family of Ezra Hastings (who is now a professional motocross racer). Since there was no motocross in the winter, Clay played basketball in the winter. His hoops coach — Bill Rose — persuaded him to play in what is now called Aurora Youth Baseball. “I never really turned back after that,” says Woeste, who raced until 11 and placed in the top three twice and won at the Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., then turned more and more attention to the diamond. When he reached middle school, Woeste played for the Cincinnati Tribe travel organization. During his high school years, he was with Reds RBI team coached by Roosevelt Barnes, father of Tribe teammate R.J. Barnes. “We got close and I went with him,” says Clay of R.J. Roosevelt Barnes is now also the head baseball coach at LaSalle High School in Green Township, Ohio. Woeste played briefly during his senior summer for the Midland RedHawks and then that fall with the Midland Redskins. After attending South Dearborn schools for grades 4-8 and transferred to Lawrenceburg (Ind.) High School as a freshman and played four baseball seasons for Tigers head coach Nick Tremain. “He was a great coach with us,” says Woeste. “My freshmen year he was more hands-on and harder. He developed us so that by the time we were seniors we just went out and played “That’s why we were so good our senior year.” In 2017, Lawrenceburg (31-2) won the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference and IHSAA Class 3A South Dearborn Sectional then topped Boonville 7-5 in the semifinals of the North Harrison Regional before bowing 4-2 to eventual state champion Jasper in the final.
Notre Dame powered its way to a South Bend Regional championship and now the Irish know they will play host and No. 7 national seed Mississippi State in the NCAA Division I tournament‘s Starkville Super Regional (the Bulldogs went unbeaten in winning the Starkville Regional, which wrapped Monday, June 7). The winner of that best-of-3 super regional series June 11-14 at Dudy Noble Field/Polk-DeMent Stadium will advance to the eight-team College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Former Indiana University head coachChris Lemonis is the bench boss for the MSU Bulldogs. Link Jarrett is in his second season as head coach at Notre Dame (33-11). The No. 10 seed Irish lashed 49 hits with 23 for extra bases and 15 home runs in beating Central Michigan 10-0, Connecticut 26-3 and Central Michigan 14-2 Friday through Sunday June 4-6 at Frank Eck Stadium in taking the South Bend Regional. Irish senior first baseman Niko Kavadas (Penn High School graduate) belted two home runs and drove in four runs in the first win against CMU. The lefty slugger that smacked two homers and drove in eight against UConn. In the second game against Central Michigan, Kavadas hit one homer (his school record-setting 21st of the season) with one RBI. The other dingers rang off the bats of junior Carter Putz (4), senior Ryan Cole (3), junior Brooks Coetzee (2) and senior David LaManna. Indiana State saw its season end at the Nashville Regional hosted by Vanderbilt. The Mitch Hannahs-coached Sycamores lost 7-6 to Georgia Tech, beat Presbyterian 9-2 and lost 9-0 to Georgia Tech. Redshirt junior Jordan Schaffer (West Vigo High School) hit .367 with seven homers, one triple, 10 doubles, 34 runs batted in, 52 runs scored and 11 stolen bases for ISU (31-21). Indiana University Southeast was greeted by a large crowd when it got back to New Albany after its first appearance in the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. Playing May 28-June 1, Ben Reel’s Grenadiers (50-16) topped against Concordia (Neb) 4-2, lost 11-5 to Central Methodist (Mo.), bested Keiser (Fla.) 9-7 and lost 14-10 to Faulkner (Ala,). For the season, senior Matt Monahan (who missed the World Series because of injury) hit .428, junior Brody Tanksley (Bedford North Lawrence High School) drove in 70 runs and junior Clay Woeste (Lawrenceburg High School) stole 38 bases. Georgia Gwinnett — coached by former Saint Joseph’s College (Rensselaer, Ind.) assistant Jeremy Sheetinger — won the red banner as 2021 NAIA national champions. Sheets returned to coaching this season after serving with the American Baseball Coaches Association. He hosts the Dugout Chatter Podcast Powered by Stick & Ball TV.