Parker Smith has been voted as the 2023 Dick Crumback/Northeast Indiana Baseball Association High School Player of the Year. Playing for head coach Collin Bice at DeKalb High School in Waterloo, Ind., senior Smith has helped the Barons win an IHSAA Class 4A sectional title and a regional berth on Saturday, June 3. For the regular season, Smith played in 31 games and the righty swinger hit .436 (48-of-110) with one home run, three triples, nine doubles, 30 runs batted in and 30 runs scored. As a pitcher the Wabash (Ind.) College commit made eight appearances (five starts) and went 4-1 with three complete games, one shutout, one save, a 1.45 earned run average, 66 strikeouts and 23 walks in 38 2/3 innings. Parker will be honored pre-game at the Tuesday, June 13 Fort Wayne TinCaps game and at the NEIBA Hall of Fame induction banquet at 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 11 at Classic Cafe Catering & Event Center, 4832 Hillegas Road, Fort Wayne. Reservations to attend the banquet can be made at the following link: https://forms.gle/vibX4BKS2ZZjJPMg9. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. The DeKalb High School baseball program will also receive a $1,000 donation from the Crumback family and the Fort Wayne Baseball Federation in honor of Dick Crumback.
Hitting for a cycle (single, double, triple and home run in the same game) is a feat. When you also pitch a no-hitter in that same contest that gets attention. Such is the case for University of Indianapolis graduate student Brady Ware. A left-handed batter and pitcher pulled off the rate accomplishment Friday, April 7 as the NCAA Division II Greyhounds bested visiting Drury 14-0 in the second game of a doubleheader. Ware homered and tripled as part of an eight-run second inning, doubled in the third and singled in the fifth while driving in five runs and scoring two. In seven no-hit innings, Ware struck out 11 and walked five while inducing seven fly-outs and two groundouts.
NCAA D-III Franklin and NAIA Indiana Wesleyan both are on eight-game win streaks — the longest current skeins in the state. D-I Indiana State (6), NAIA Saint Francis (5) and NAIA Huntington (4), junior college Ivy Tech Northeast (4), D-I Indiana (3) and D-III Manchester (3) are others near the top of the streak list.
Below are season records, weekly results and links to web pages, schedules and statistics.
Through April 9 NCAA D-I Monday, April 3 Valparaiso 5, Murray State 2
Tuesday, April 4 Ball State 12, Bellarmine 3 Evansville 12, Purdue 10 Indiana State 4, Indiana 0 Notre Dame 12, Northwestern 0 Toledo 9, Purdue Fort Wayne 8
Thursday, April 6 Ball State 3, The Citadel 2 (10 inn.) Xavier 8, Butler 3 Notre Dame 10, Pittsburgh 8 Oakland 14, Purdue Fort Wayne 9 Southeast Missouri 13, Southern Indiana 4
Friday, April 7 Ball State 9, The Citadel 8 (8 inn.) The Citadel 4, Ball State 0 Xavier 4, Butler 2 Valparaiso 6, Evansville 1 Iowa 7, Indiana 1 Indiana State 2, Illinois State 0 Notre Dame 11, Pittsburgh 2 Purdue 3, Minnesota 0 Oakland 7, Purdue Fort Wayne 2 Southern Indiana 9, Southeast Missouri 6
Saturday, April 8 Xavier 13, Butler 6 Evansville 9, Valparaiso 8 Indiana 2, Iowa 0 (10 inn.) Indiana State 4, Illinois State 3 (10 inn.) Pittsburgh 9, Notre Dame 5 Purdue 15, Minnesota 3 Oakland 7, Purdue Fort Wayne 6 Southeast Missouri 14, Southern Indiana 2
Sunday, April 9 Evansville 4, Valparaiso 3 Indiana 4, Iowa 2 Indiana State 4, Illinois State 3 Minnesota 9, Purdue 3
NCAA D-II Thursday, April 6 Indianapolis 9, Drury 1 Purdue Northwest 10, Wayne State 8
Friday, April 7 Indianapolis 8, Drury 7 Indianapolis 13, Drury 0 Wayne State 9, Purdue Northwest 4 Wayne State 22, Purdue Northwest 6
Saturday, April 8 Drury 6, Indianapolis 3 Wayne State 7, Purdue Northwest 3
NCAA D-III Monday, April 3 Franklin 13, Hanover 11
Tuesday, April 4 Wabash 6, DePauw 3 Wabash 14, DePauw 4 Trine 6, Adrian 5 (15 inn.)
Friday, April 7 Bluffton 7, Earlham 6 (12 inn.) Rose-Hulman 13, Hanover 7 Manchester 2, Defiance 0 Manchester 10, Defiance 5 Trine 7, Kalamazoo 3
Saturday, April 8 Franklin 11, Anderson 3 Franklin 13, Anderson 2 DePauw 6, Oberlin 3 DePauw 8, Oberlin 7 Bluffton 7, Earlham 6 Bluffton 5, Earlham 3 Hanover 10, Rose-Hulman 8 Rose-Hulman 7, Hanover 3 Manchester 2, Defiance 1 (10 inn.) Kalamazoo 14, Trine 3 Kalamazoo 14, Trine 4
NAIA Monday, April 3 Midway 14, IU-Kokomo 4 Saint Ambrose 13, IU South Bend 2 Indiana Tech 21, Madonna 6 Madonna 13, Indiana Tech 12 Saint Francis 13, Spring Arbor 3 Saint Francis 7, Spring Arbor 5
Tuesday, April 4 IU-Kokomo 7, Georgetown (Ky.) 4 IU Southeast 14, IUPU-Columbus 4
Wednesday, April 5 Indiana Wesleyan 6, Mount Vernon Nazarene 0 Indiana Wesleyan 5, Mount Vernon Nazarene 3
Thursday, April 6 Taylor 14, Bethel 1 Taylor 2, Bethel 0 Huntington 5, Goshen 1 Huntington 3, Goshen 0 Spring Arbor 3, Grace 2 Spring Arbor 21, Grace 5 Indiana Wesleyan 10, Mount Vernon Nazarene 2 Indiana Wesleyan 2, Mount Vernon Nazarene 0 Saint Francis 8, Marian 2 Saint Francis 17, Marian 4
Friday, April 7 Saint Ambrose 15, Calumet of St. Joseph 4 IU-Kokomo 5, West Virginia Tech 0 West Virginia Tech 8, IU-Kokomo 6 Trinity Christian 4, IU South Bend 2 Indiana Tech 4, Aquinas 3 Aquinas 8, Indiana Tech 1 Midway 12, Oakland City 1
Saturday, April 8 Saint Ambrose 2, Calumet of St. Joseph 1 Saint Ambrose 7, Calumet of St. Joseph 5 IU-Kokomo 4, West Virginia Tech 2 IUPU-Columbus 6, Miami-Hamilton 4 Miami-Hamilton 7, IUPU-Columbus 1 IU South Bend 8, Trinity Christian 0 IU South Bend 5, Trinity Christian 0 Point Park 5, IU Southeast 3 IU Southeast 5, Point Park 2 Indiana Tech 2, Cornerstone 1 Indiana Tech 6, Cornerstone 5 Oakland City 10, Midway 3 Midway 3, Oakland City 1
Sunday, April 9 IU Southeast 10, Point Park 9
Junior College Thursday, April 6 Glen Oaks 3, Marian’s Ancilla 1 Marian’s Ancilla 11, Glen Oaks 10
Friday, April 7 Kalamazoo Valley 13, Marian’s Ancilla 10 Heartland 8, Vincennes 3 Heartland 10, Vincennes 3
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
IHSAA baseball practice has arrived and the Northeast Indiana Baseball Association has announced its Dick Crumback/NEIBA High School Player of the Year watch list for 2023. An email was sent out to the baseball coaches from Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Noble, Huntington, Wells and Whitley counties. These are the counties that the NEIBA covers when choosing their Hall of Fame members. Each coach was asked to nominate any player(s) that he feels could be in the running for such an honor. The watch list features 70 players. The list will be narrowed down in early May and finalists will be announced. The Dick Crumback/NEIBA High School Player of the Year will be honored May 24 to coincide with the start of the IHSAA state tournament. The Player of the Year will be honored at a Fort Wayne TinCaps game and at the June 11 Hall of Fame banquet. Past winners of the award include Grant Besser (South Adams) in 2019, Carter Mathison (Homestead) in 2021 and Dalton Wasson (Heritage) in 2022. The organization has honored local baseball players, personnel and ambassadors since 1961. For more information, contact Gary Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brett Windmiller at email@example.com.
Sharing their knowledge to the next wave of players, four current or recent collegians from northeast Indiana will lead the Summit City Baseball Academy. The developmental camp featuring instruction by Tanner Gaff,Carter Mathison, Treyvin Moss and Brayden Risedorph and organized by Jayce Riegling is slated for Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 27-28 for Grades 5-6 and 7-8 and Thursday and Friday, Dec. 29-30 for high schoolers at Summit City Sluggers, 5730 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne. A Summit City Baseball Academy pitching session is scheduled each day from noon to 2:30 p.m. with hitting from 3:30 to 6 p.m. (all Eastern Time). Cost is $100 for one session or $150 for two. Spots are limited. Entry deadline is Dec. 14. Gaff, a 2016 Whitko High School graduate who pitched at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, began his professional career this summer in the Minnesota Twins organization. The right-hander was with the Florida Complex League Twins followed the instructional league. As a youngster, he played for the Sluggers. “We’re trying to help them get to that next level whether that’s improving their mechanics or velocity or teaching them the fundamentals of the game,” says Gaff. “We want to give back to the 260 community though its open to everyone around.” While he is likely to keep it basic with the younger pitchers, Gaff foresees being able to get into more details with high schoolers. “Pitching is kinetic chain-oriented, which is how the whole body works,” says Gaff. “It’s working from the ground up. It’s using their body efficiently. A lot of pitching has to do with the lower half. The upper half tags along at the end of a throw. That’s simple way of explaining it. The arm is pulled through. “There is no such thing as perfect mechanics. There are elite compensators that know how to get into certain positions better than others or use other parts of their body to make up for what they lack.”
Mathison, a 2021 Homestead High School graduate and former Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year, is a sophomore outfielder at Indiana University coming off a summer with the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s Keene (N.H.) Swamp Bats. “I know I’ll be working with hitters,” says Mathison. “With the high schoolers I’m thinking about teaching them a lot about the mental game, the mental side of hitting as well as some drills. With the junior high kids, it will be what they need to be thinking about when they’re at-bat and what position they need to be in to be a successful hitter.” Mathison says confidence is the key to hitting for him. He goes the plate thinking he’s going to find his pitch and hit it hard. Moss, a Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran High School alum (Class of 2018), is a redshirt senior outfielder at Northern Kentucky University. “We want to spread the knowledge that we gained over the years,” says Moss. “We’re in a position now that these kids would love to be in our shoes. We want to inspire and work with this younger generation. Moss, whose father Randy is the director of player development for the Summit City Sluggers, anticipates some points of emphasis at the camp. “For the high school kids it will be more about the mental game,” says Moss. “Any collegiate-level player will tell you how big the mental side of the game is. “With the younger (players), it’s the basic mechanics that can help them along the way.” Risedorph, an East Noble High School alum (Class of 2022) and IHSBCA North/South Series participant, is a freshman right-handed pitcher at Indiana University. He played for the Sluggers during his prep sophomore summer. “If you have a way of giving back to the community, it’s pretty important to do something,” says Risedorph. “I’ve been exposed to some great baseball people and great talent. It would be a waste not to spread the love and spread the knowledge. “I thought this would be fun to do and give back a little bit. It’ll be some mechanical stuff and the mental aspects of the game like learning how to compete and have fun. I’ll share some pitching drills that have helped me throughout my career.” Riegling, a 2020 graduate Lakeland High School, where he was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball), is a student at Indiana University with a goal of becoming a sports agent. Among his projects is the JKR Podcast. Mark Delagarza founded the Summit City Sluggers in 1996 and has coached college baseball. “Jayce wants to utilize their skills and knowledge and transfer it to the kids who sign up for the camp,” says Delagarza. “It says a lot about these guys that they’re willing to do it. “These guys appreciate what was giving to them in the day. I think it’s awesome that they want to share and help the young kids get better like someone did for them.” For more information, contact Riegling at (260) 585-4388 or Jayce.SCLA@gmail.com.
Grant Besser’s habit of dodging bats with his pitches got him noticed during his prep days and it continues at the collegiate level. At South Adams High School in Berne, Ind., the left-hander and four-time first-team all-Allen County Athletic Conference selection whiffed 451 in 241 innings with a 1.27 earned run average. He also hit .397 with eight home runs and 58 runs batted in. As a senior, Besser fanned 130 in 54 frame and posted a 0.77 ERA and hit .426 with two homers and 17 RBIs for the Brad Buckingham-coached Starfires. He began working out that winter in Fort Wayne with Pittsburgh Pirates strength trainer Dru Scott. When not pitching, lefty Besser was the unorthodox choice for South Adams at shortstop his last three seasons. “I knew it looked silly, but I had been playing shortstop all my life,” says Besser. “I can throw from any arm angle. I had a great time doing it. “Besides I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it for long. I knew pitching is what I wanted to do.” Besser played in the 2019 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association North/South All-Star Series in Madison. He was honored as the 2019 Northeast Indiana Baseball Association/Dick Crumback Player of the Year. The 2021 recipient of the award — Carter Mathison (Homestead/Indiana University) is Besser’s teammate this summer with New England Collegiate Baseball League’s Keene (N.H.) Swamp Bats. Mathison was also the 2021 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Besser shined on the mound at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers. In 36 appearances (10 starts), he went 6-4 with eight saves and a 2.66 earned run average as the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Buccaneers posted marks of 16-11 in 2020 (COVID-19 shortened), 44-16 in 2021 and 42-15 in 2022. He amassed 125 strikeouts and 42 walks in 94 2/3 innings. Besser played no summer ball in 2020 and dealt with an injury at the beginning of the 2021. He came back and hurled five innings in the state tournament and did not allow a baserunner. “I really saw a spike in all of my numbers for the good (in 2022),” says Besser. “I blew every category away from the previous years.” He was in 20 games in 2022 and went 3-2 with six saves, a 1.28 ERA, 61 K’s and 16 walks in 42 1/3 innings. Ben Bizier is head coach at Florida SouthWestern State. Derrick Conatser is Bucs pitching coach. “I like that toughness to he brings to the table,” says Besser of Bizier. In his exit interview with Bizier Besser was told that 18 Major League Baseball organizations have been following him as they prepare for the 2022 First-Year Player Draft (July 17-19 in Los Angeles). “He said there’s a really good chance it happens this year,” says Besser, who turns 22 in September. “Out of high school I had zero (college) offers. Coach Buckingham offered me to Florida JUCO’s. I earned a scholarship at FSW in the spring. “Money has never been the big thing for me. It’s opportunity and getting my foot in the door.” This is Besser’s second straight summer at Keene and he has had several meaningful chats with Swamp Bats president and general manager Kevin Watterson. So far, Besser has made four appearances (one start) and is 1-0 with an 0.87 ERA. In 10 1/3 innings, the southpaw has 10 strikeouts and one walk. The NECBL regular season ends July 30. Throughout his college experience, Besser has been used in multiple pitching roles, including starter, long reliever and a closer. “It doesn’t matter to me as long as we get a win,” says Besser. “I’m very versatile.” Besser has excelled with an ability to keep his head when things get tense. “It’s mental toughness. I preach it,” says Besser. “I can spot when somebody doesn’t have that mental toughness. “I’m ready for the situation. I’m consistent with all that I do. I work quick and throw strikes. Preparation and a steady mindset is key.” Throwing from a three-quarter arm slot, Besser uses a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, change-up and curveball. “My four-seamer has natural run and a high spin rate,” says Besser. “Up in the zone is where I get the most out of it. “This summer it’s been sitting 89 to 91 mph (it hit 92 at Florida SouthWestern State).” Besser’s two-seamer moves in to left-handed hitters and away from righties. His “circle” change-up break to his arm side and is usually clocked around 83 mph. “My curveball is more of a slurve,” says Besser of the pitch that’s often delivered at around 78 mph. “I mix and match. Sometimes it’s 12-to-6 and sometimes I sweep it. It depends on the situation.” Grant is the oldest of Mike and Katina Besser’s two sons. Adam Besser, a right-handed pitcher for Ivy Tech Northeast in Fort Wayne, turns 20 in August. Mike Besser is a salesman for Moser Motor Sales. Katina Besser is chief financial officer at Swiss Village Retirement Community. The family moved from Geneva and Berne when Grant was in the fifth grade. Beginning at 9U, he played travel ball for the Muncie Longhorns and Indiana Bandits and then Summit City Sluggers founder Mark DeLaGarza reached out to him and he spent two summers with the 17U Sluggers, playing for head coaches Todd Armstrong and Brent Alwine. “My parents’ sacrifices let me do that,” says Grant. “The Sluggers gave me a lot of knowledge on baseball.”
With two years of eligibility remaining, has committed to NCAA Division I Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. He signed with the Scarlet Knights over the winter. Why Rutgers? “What really attracting me was coming home to the Big Ten,” says Besser, who was born in Fort Wayne and grew up in Geneva and Berne. “It’s up-and-coming program and pretty hard-nosed.” With Steve Owens as head coach and Brendan Monaghan guiding pitchers, the Scarlet Knights posted an overall mark of 44-17 and Big Ten record of 17-7 in 2022. Rutgers played Michigan in the conference tournament championship game. After earning an Associate of Arts degree in Business Management at Florida SouthWestern State, Besser is considering a Labor and Relations major at Rutgers.
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.
Josh Pyne decided early in life that he wanted to play college baseball. And not just anywhere. Pyne desired to play at Indiana University, having been born in Bedford, Ind., and grown up near Bloomington in Linton, Ind. “We were a 25-minute drive away,” says Pyne, a 19-year-old freshman who has started all 31 games so far for the 2022 Hoosiers. “My dad a huge IU basketball fan and still is. I grew up an IU baseball fan.” Pyne verbally committed to IU his freshman year at Linton-Stockton High School when Chris Lemonis was Hoosiers head coach. Jared Pyne is a lineman superintendent for Greene County REMC. His wife, Brooke Pyne, works for a Navy contractor. Oldest son Jacob, 23, is a Daviess County REMC lineman. Daughter Adalyn, 17, is a Linton-Stockton junior involved in cheerleading and track and interested in animals. Middle child Josh followed Jacob into motocross as the family criss-crossed the country on that circuit. After Josh raced for a few years, along came baseball. He threw himself into the diamond sport, playing for the Smithville Scrappers at 9. Family friend Mike Vaughn coached that team and would be Pyne’s coach with the Indiana Nitro and Indiana Bulls through his 15U summer. “I appreciate everything he’s done for me,” says Pyne of Vaughn. Another summer with the Jeremy Honaker-coached Bulls was followed by a summer with Jay Hundley’s Canes Midwest team. In the fall of his junior year at Linton-Stockton, Pyne was with the Jeff Petty-coached Canes National squad. The next summer he played for Johnny Goodrich’s Orlando Scorpions. To help with the transition from high school to college, freshmen were brought on-campus last summer to take classes, get in the weight room and begin the bonding process. It’s a class that includes infielder Evan Goforth (Floyd Central), right-handed pitcher Luke Hayden (Edgewood) and outfielder Carter Mathison (Homestead). The latter has started in 29 games and appeared in 31 this spring. Business Management major Pyne already had a relationship with one Hoosier, having played baseball and basketball with Kip Fougerousse (who was a 1,000-point scorer on the hardwood) at Linton-Stockton. Josh and sophomore catcher/infielder Kip hang out a lot at IU. “I go over to his house almost everyday,” says Pyne. “We play cards or get some food. We have a background like nobody else on the team.” Pyne say it was a big adjustment going from high school to college, but that has been eased by the bonding, the leadership or older players and the coaching staff led by Jeff Mercer. The biggest difference in high school and college baseball to Pyne is the pace of play. “I see how much faster everything is,” says Pyne. “Balls are balls hit harder. Pitches are quicker. You have less reaction time.” To adapt to this, the Hoosiers practice and train at game speed. “You have to go full speed and push yourself to get used to that pace of play,” says Pyne. “Some drills uncomfortable because it speeds us up. But you have to be uncomfortable to be better.” Pyne, who was a shortstop in high school and travel ball, has gotten used to “27 outs” when Mercer or assistant Derek Simmons laces balls all over the field and Pyne can get live reads off the bat at 100 mph or more. Mercer has plenty of praise for Pyne. “Josh is just an A ++ kid. I’m super proud of him,” says Mercer. “He’s a southern Indiana kid at IU playing his tail off. He’s an awesome dude. He’s very talented. He can have a great at-bat. He’s a great defender and baserunner and an awesome teammate. “He’s everything a Hoosier should be.” Pyne was a four-year letterwinner and four-time captain at Linton-Stockton playing for Miners baseball head coach Matt Fougerousse, Kip’s father. As a senior, Pyne was an all-state selection and the team MVP. He was all-Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference three times and set a single-season school record with 50 hits. As a basketball player for coach Joey Hart, Pyne was part of three IHSAA Class 2A sectional championships and played in the 2019 2A state championship game as a sophomore. “I played basketball to keep in shape and for the fun of it,” says Pyne. Josh recalls that Matt Fougerousse’s was always there for late-night batting practice after basketball games or practices. “He helped me for those four years,” says Pyne. “He even stayed and coached me for my senior year when he really didn’t have to.” Matt stepped away from coaching at the end of the 2021 season, giving himself more of a chance to see Indiana play. Going into a Big Ten Conference series April 15-17 at Rutgers, righty swinger Pyne is hitting .301 (37-of-103) with four home runs, seven doubles (tied for second on the team), 31 runs batted in (second on the team) and 19 runs scored. He carries an OPS of .820 (.365 on-base plus .455 slugging). Pyne produced a career highs three hits, four RBIs and two runs scored April 10 at Purdue. He rapped two doubles April 2 against Northwestern. Indiana 13-18 overall and 2-4 in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers are 3-5 in April. The team’s freshmen third baseman is confident IU will get rolling. “We just need to compete on the mound and at the plate,” says Pyne. “It will all fall into place. “We have the talent to do it.”
With the beginning of IHSAA baseball practice, the Northeast Indiana Baseball Association has put out its Dick Crumback/NEIBA High School Player of the Year Watch List for 2022. An email was sent to baseball coaches in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Noble, Huntington, Wells and Whitley counties. These are the counties that the NEIBA covers when choosing their Hall of Famers. Each coach was asked to nominated any player(s) that he feels could be in the running for such an honor. The list of 72 will be narrowed down in finalists in early May and the Dick Crumback/NEIBA Player of the Year will be announced May 25 to coincide with the beginning of the IHSAA baseball tournament series. The player of the year will be honored at a Fort Wayne TinCaps game in early June and at the NEIBA Hall of Fame banquet June 12. Homestead’s Carter Mathison was the 2021 honoree. The organization has honored local baseball players, personnel and ambassadors since 1961. For more information, contact Gary Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brett Windmiller at email@example.com.
DICK CRUMBACK/NEIBA HIGH SCHOOL PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST 2022 Adams Central (Coach Dave Neuenschwander) Sr. Alex Currie Jr. Ryan Black Sr. Jaron Hildebrand Sr. Blake Heyerly Bishop Dwenger (Coach Jason Garrett) So. Brayton Thomas Sr. Xavier Aguirre Sr. Jack Tippmann Bishop Luers (Coach Jeff Stanski) Jr. Cam Martinez Sr. Paul Birkmeier Carroll (Coach Dave Ginder) Sr. Alex Smith Sr. Jaydan Duba Sr. Jordan Malott Jr. Will Worrel Jr. Thomas Tratnyek Jr. Andrew Sinish Jr. Daniel Kirk So. Conner Barkel Central Noble (Coach Tyler Graybeal) Sr. Will Hoover Churubusco (Coach Jordan Turner) Sr. Keenan Hendricks Sr. Cal Ostrowski Columbia City (Coach Rob Bell) Sr. Sam Gladd Sr. Adin Miller Sr. Julian Osselaer DeKalb (Coach Collin Bice) Sr. Bryce Dobson Sr. Logan Jordan Jr. Eli Ehmke Jr. Tegan Irk Jr. Ethan Jordan Jr. Alex Leslie Jr. Logan Montoya Jr. Parker Smith Jr. Donnie Wiley East Noble (Coach Aaron Desmonds) Sr. Brayden Risedorph Eastside (Coach Aaron Willard) Sr. Jack Buchanan Sr. Nick Snyder Sr. Owen Willard Garrett (Coach Jason Richards) Sr. Graham Kelham Sr. Trey Richards Sr. Kail Baughman Jr. Luke Byers So. Luke Holcomb Heritage (Coach Dean Lehrman) Sr. Dalton D. Wasson Homestead (Coach Nick Byall) Sr. Brennen Weigert Sr. Nick Hockemeyer Sr. Caden Tarango Jr. Jake Goode Jr. Bryce Yoder Sr. Braydon Quintana Sr. Carter Dixon Sr. Jackson Todor Huntington North (Coach Jarod Hammel) Sr. Austin Oswalt Leo (Coach Gary Rogers) Sr. Cohden Brubaker Sr. Donavin Massing Jr. Jevon Walker So. Kylar Decker New Haven (Coach Dave Bischoff) Sr. Connor Cannon Northrop (Coach Matt Brumbaugh) Sr. Luke Siren So. Pernell Whitsett North Side (Coach Austin Mannan) Jr. Gabriel Oliva Snider (Coach Josh Clinkenbeard) Sr. Trevor Newman Sr. Cade Hinton Fr. Landen Fry Fr. Brandon Logan Sr. Aaron Fenn Sr. Domanic Moon Sr. Jakob Byler South Adams (Coach Brad Buckingham) Sr. A.J. Dull South Side (Coach Will Coursen-Carr) Sr. Perry Stow So. Evan Harl Southern Wells (Coach Blade Rheinhart) Sr. Branson Rheinhart Sr. Evan Reynolds Sr. Owen Vickrey
Several players doubled down on power during the Indiana college baseball week of Feb. 28-March 6. NCAA Division III Hanover’s Alex Christie (Center Grove High School graduate) knocked five home runs for the week — two against Purchase and one each against Mary Washington, Kean and Neumann — in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It was Christie’s first five homers of the 2022 season. Also lofting five homers was NAIA Indiana Wesleyan’s Evan Salmon — two homers in Game 1 and one in Game 2 against Cleary and one apiece in Games 3 and 4 against Spring Arbor. IWU’s Zach Rabe clouted two in Game 1 against Cleary and two in Game 3 against Spring Arbor. Salmon has eight homers in ’22 and Rabe four. NCAA D-I’s Ball State’s Trenton Quartermaine socked four home runs for the week — one against Coastal Carolina, one in Game 1 against Florida A&M and two in Game 2 against Florida A&M. Quartermaine’s season total for circuit clouts is five. NAIA Indiana Southeast’s Trevor Campbell homered twice against Lindsey Wilson and once each in Games 1 and 3 against Northwestern Ohio. Ray Aponte smacked homers against Lindsey Wilson and Northwestern Ohio (Games 1 and 3). NCAA D-III Franklin’s Logan Demkovich (Munster) homered in all three games against Hope while Noah Wood (Indianapolis Lutheran) produced big flies in Games 1 and 2. Purdue’s Cam Thompson cracked a walk-off homer as Purdue (12-0) topped Longwood 6-5 in 11 innings in Game 3 of the series. The Boilermakers continue to enjoy the best start in program history. Thompson has two homers in ’22. Indiana’s Brock Tibbitts (New Albany) rapped two homers against Miami (Ohio) while teammates Matthew Ellis (Miami and Game 2 vs. Missouri State) and Homestead graduate Carter Mathison (Games 1 and 3 vs. Missouri State) also enjoyed two-homer weeks. Ellis has five dingers on the year while Tibbitts and Mathison (the 2021 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year) have two each. Butler’s Aaron Steinhart went deep twice against Northern Kentucky. The blasts were his first two of ’22. Evansville’s Tanner Craig (Austin) cranked homers against Kentucky, Ohio (Game 1) and Illinois-Chicago (Game 2). He has six homers on the season. At 5-3, Valparaiso is off to its best eight-game start since 1999. NCAA D-II University of Indianapolis third baseman Armen Torosian homered in Games 2 and 3 against Wayne State, raising his season total to three. Purdue Northwest finally opened its season and went 3-1 in a series at Southwest Baptist. Anderson’s Tyler Smitherman (Westfield) bashed two homers in Game 1 against St. Norbert, doubling his season HR tally. Earlham’s Christian Lancianese homered twice in Game 2 against Wilmington. Nathan Lancianese homered once in Game 3 of the series. They were the season’s first bombs for both players. Manchester’s Brady Perez (Rochester) ahieved lift-off in Games 2 and 4 against Kalamazoo, raising his season HR mark to five. Rose-Hulman’s Shane Garner (Sullivan) rapped his first two homers of ’22 in Game 1 against Saint Mary’s (Minn.) and Dubuque. NAIA Saint Francis freshman Sam Pesa (Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger) homered in Games 1 and 3 against Huntington. His grand slam in Game 1 was part of a 13-run fifth inning. Pesa has a team-best five homers in ’22. Goshen’s Peyton Smith (Daleville) homered in Games 3 and 4 against Grace. He has three homers on the season. It wasn’t all about slugging. NAIA Indiana University Kokomo posted three shutouts against visiting Ohio Christian — 5-0, 10-0 and 1-0. Owen Callaghan (Hamilton Southeastern), Lucas Letsinger (Hamilton Heights), Ben Harris (Northwestern), J.T. Holton (Clinton Central) and Ryan Beck (Mt. Vernon of Fortville) combined for 18 strikeouts and six walks over 23 innings. Indiana University South Bend beat Concordia (Neb. 1) 2-1 in Game 2 in Auburndale, Fla., without a hit. Nolan Unger’s second-inning groundout drove in Coby Campbell with the first run and Jake Dykstra (Lake Central) scored on a seventh-inning wild pitch. The Titans have won four straight. Crown Point graduate Josh Hoogewerf (9 K’s, 0 BB, 7 IP) and New Prairie alum Noah Brettin (2 K’s, 0 BB, 1 IP) combined on a 1-hitter as NCAA D-III Trine beat John Carroll 1-0 in the first game of a doubleheader in Lake Myrtle, Fla. Dalton Nikirk (Bedford North Lawrence) delivered the walk-off RBI single to plate Easton Rhodes (DeKalb) for the Thunder.
Friday, March 4 Indianapolis 5, Wayne State 3 Southwest Baptist 7, Purdue Northwest 4 Purdue Northwest 5, Southwest Baptist 0 Southern Indiana 11, Trevecca Nazarene 3
Saturday, March 5 Wayne State 13, Indianapolis 2 Wayne State 26, Indianapolis 11 Purdue Northwest 7, Southwest Baptist 2 Trevecca Nazarene 9, Southern Indiana 4 Trevecca Nazarene 15, Southern Indiana 3
Sunday, March 6 Wayne State 13, Indianapolis 3 Purdue Northwest 6, Southwest Baptist 5
Saturday, March 5 Earlham 19, Wilmington 9 Franklin 18, Hope 6 Hope 27, Franklin 7 Hanover 11, Neumann 3 Anderson 11, St. Norbert 4 Anderson 20, St. Norbert 11 Kalamazoo 19, Manchester 6 Kalamazoo 13, Manchester 5 DePauw 9, Hendrix 6 Hendrix 8, DePauw 6 Aurora 9, Wabash 8 (10 inn.) Wabash 16, Aurora 3
Sunday, March 6 Anderson 6, St. Norbert 2 Earlham 12, Wilmington 11 Kalamazoo 15, Manchester 1 Kalamazoo 8, Manchester 6 Trine 1, John Carroll 0 (8 inn.) John Carroll 15, Trine 0
NAIA Monday, Feb. 28 Spring Arbor 9, Goshen 2 Spring Arbor 3, Goshen 0
Tuesday, March 1 Calumet of St. Joseph 19, Lincoln Christian 1 Calumet of St. Joseph 8, Lincoln Christian 0 (suspended in 3rd to April 11) Grace 12, IU South Bend 7
Wednesday, March 2 Indiana Wesleyan 17, Cleary 8 Cleary 11, Indiana Wesleyan 2 IU Southeast 16, Lindsey Wilson 2
Friday, March 4 Brewton-Parker 20, Calumet of St. Joseph 4 Saint Francis 14, Huntington 9 Huntington 6, Saint Francis 1 Bethel 9, Mt. Vernon Nazarene 6 Mt. Vernon Nazarene 13, Bethel 0 Grace 6, Goshen 2 Goshen 1, Grace 0 Spring Arbor 2, Indiana Wesleyan 1 Indiana Wesleyan 7, Spring Arbor 6 Taylor 8, Marian 1 Taylor 5, Marian 1 IU Kokomo 5, Ohio Christian 0 Oakland City 4, West Virginia Tech 2
Saturday, March 5 Calumet of St. Joseph 6, Brewton-Parker 4 Brewton-Parker 12, Calumet of St. Joseph 11 Huntington 6, Saint Francis 5 Saint Francis 6, Huntington 1 Bethel 9, Mt. Nazarene 6 Mt. Vernon Nazarene 5, Bethel 2 Mt. Vernon Nazarene 5, Bethel 3 Grace 16, Goshen 12 Grace 13, Goshen 11 Indiana Wesleyan 26, Spring Arbor 1 Indiana Wesleyan 19, Spring Arbor 18 Marian 20, Taylor 10 (8 inn.) Taylor 12, Marian 10 IU Kokomo 10, Ohio Christian 0 IU Kokomo 1, Ohio Christian 0 Oakland 11, West Virginia Tech 10 (11 inn.) Oakland 7, West Virginia Tech 6 IU Southeast 26, Northwestern Ohio 12 Northwestern Ohio 3, IU Southeast 2 IU South Bend 20, Michigan-Dearborn 5 IU South Bend 13, Michigan-Dearborn 9
Sunday, March 6 IU Southeast 11, Northwestern Ohio 8 IU South Bend 8, Concorida (Neb.) 7 IU South Bend 2, Concorida (Neb.) 1 Southeastern 6, Indiana Tech 2 Southeastern 6, Indiana Tech 0
Junior College Monday, Feb. 28 Vincennes 7, Joliet 2
Friday, March 4 Ivy Tech Northeast 4, Anderson JV 3 Wabash Valley 16, Vincennes 0 Kellogg 16, Vincennes 7
Saturday, March 5 Wabash Valley 16, Vincennes 0 Kellogg 16, Vincennes 7 Miami-Hamilton 13, Marian’s Ancilla 8 Ivy Tech Northeast 13, Lincoln Trail 3 Lincoln Trail 8, Ivy Tech Northeast 6
Sunday, March 6 Lake County 1, Marian’s Ancilla 0 Lake County 16, Marian’s Ancilla 5 Lincoln Trail 12, Ivy Tech Northeast 5 Ivy Tech Northeast 6, Lincoln Trail 1