Tag Archives: Joey Butz

Indiana Wesleyan, Rose-Hulman, UIndy among state’s hottest teams

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Indiana Wesleyan and Rose-Hulman have the longest current win streaks among the 38 college baseball programs in Indiana.
The NAIA Wildcats have won six straight as have the NCAA Division III Fightin’ Engineers.
IWU (12-4) and NCAA Division II Indianapolis (11-5) have the most victories in April.
Among the other leaders in April triumphs are NCAA Division I’s Evansville (9-2) and Notre Dame (8-3), NAIA’s Taylor (9-5) and Indiana University Southeast (8-2) and NCAA D-III’s Franklin (7-1), Rose-Hulman (7-3) and Earlham (7-3).
At 20-8, Taylor is tied atop Crossroads League standings with Mt. Vernon Nazarene, two games ahead of Indiana Wesleyan.
At 15-3, NAIA Indiana University Southeast is tied with Point Park for first place in the River States Conference, 1/2 game ahead of Indiana University Kokomo.
At 10-6, UIndy is two games behind Illinois-Springfield in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Blue Division.
Franklin (7-1) paces the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, one game ahead of both Rose-Hulman and Earlham.
Indiana State (6-2 in April) is 5-1 in leading the Missouri Valley Conference by one game over Southern Illinois, Dallas Baptist and Evansville.
Ball State (6-6 in April) is 15-3 in the Mid-American Conference, two games behind leader Central Michigan.
Pitching victory and batting average leaders among D-I teams include Jackson Smeltz (6) and Evan Albrecht (.407) of Purdue, John Michael Bertrand (5) and Carter Putz (.357) of Notre Dame, Tyler Schweitzer (5), Ty Johnson (5) and Amir Wright (.349) of Ball State, Matt Jachec (7) and Sean Ross (.421) of Indiana State, Shane Gray (5) and Mark Shallenberger (.389) of Evansville, Jon Vore (3), Derek Drees (3) and Aaron Steinhart (.299) of Butler, Colin Fields (4), Jake Miller (4) and Nolan Tucker (.359) of Valparaiso, Bradley Brehmer (3) and Phillip Glasser (.343) of Indiana and Jacob Myer (2), Mitchell Spencer (2), J.D. Deany (2), Brian Skelton (2) and Cade Fitzpatrick (.350) of Purdue Fort Wayne.
In NCAA D-II, there’s Xavier Rivas (5) and Brandon DeWitt (.368) of Indianapols, Brice Stuteville (4) and Lucas McNew (.341) of Southern Indiana and Joe Sullivan (3) and Ray Hilbrich (.429) of Purdue Northwest.
NCAA D-III leaders are Jackson Young (5) and Logan Demkovich (.398) of Franklin, Aidan Talarek (5) and Cameron McCabe (.408) of Earlham, Ian Kline (5) and Kade Kline (.380) of Rose-Hulman, Tavic Simmons (4) and A.J. Reid (.394) of Wabash, Evan Doan (3), Landen Southern (3) and Tyler Smitherman (.413) of Anderson, Matthew Alter (3) and Charlie Burton (.355) of Hanover, Michael Vallone (6) and Allen Cameron (.398) of DePauw, Robert Kortas (2), Cam Nagel (2) and Adam Stefanelli (.375) of Trine and Carter Hooks (2) and Brett Wathen (2) and Zach White (.356) of Manchester.
In NAIA, there’s Luke Shively (9) and Kaleb Kolpein (.410) of Taylor, Hunter Kloke (7) and Trevor Campbell (.408) of IU Southeast, Brennan Morehead (4) and Denver Blinn (.421) of Indiana Wesleyan, Owen Callaghan (6) and Patrick Mills (.365) of IU Kokomo, Cory Wolter (6) and Alec Brunson (.354) of Saint Francis, Owen Spears (4) and Noah Baugher (.364) of Oakland City, Hayes Sturtsman (4), Jared Maxfield (4) and Ashtin Moxey (.311) of Indiana Tech, Damien Wallace (4) and Matteo Porcellato (.365) of Marian, Noah Arbuckle (3), Joey Butz (3), Isaac Horton (3), Tyler Papenbrock (3) and Ian McCutcheon (.394) of Huntington, Frank Plesac (5) and Eli MacDonald (.411) of Bethel, Evan Etchison (3), Kameron Koch (3) and Alex Rich (.345) of Grace, Zack Dobos (3) and Brenden Bell (.386) of IU South Bend, Bubba Davenport (2) and Michael Machnic (.325) of Calumet of Saint Joseph and Camm Nickell (2) and Jenner Rodammer (.350) of Goshen.
Junior college leaders are Connor VanLannen (3) and Peyton Lane (.440) of Vincennes, Adam Besser (2), Matt Peters (2) and Jaden Parnin (.476) of Ivy Tech Northeast and Rylan Huntley (2 and .413) and Bryce Woodruff (2) of Marian’s Ancilla.

INDIANA COLLEGE BASEBALL
Records Through April 17
NCAA D-I
Purdue 22-9 (4-6 Big Ten)
Notre Dame 21-8 (8-7 ACC)
Ball State 21-13 (15-3 MAC)
Indiana State 19-9 (5-1 MVC)
Evansville 19-16 (4-2 MVC)
Butler 16-20 (2-4 Big East)
Valparaiso 13-18 (2-4 MVC)
Indiana 13-21 (2-7 Big Ten)
Purdue Fort Wayne 10-23 (7-8 Horizon)

NCAA D-II
Indianapolis 18-18 (10-6 GLVC)
Southern Indiana 15-20 (4-8 GLVC)
Purdue Northwest 13-12 (2-8 GLIAC)

NCAA D-III
Franklin 22-6 (7-1 HCAC)
Earlham 18-8 (7-3 HCAC)
Rose-Hulman 16-7 (7-3 HCAC)
Wabash 14-11 (0-8 NCAC)
Anderson 13-12 (5-3 HCAC)
Hanover 12-14 (6-4 HCAC)
DePauw 10-14 (3-5 NCAC)
Trine 10-16 (5-6 MIAA)
Manchester 5-18 (2-6 HCAC)

NAIA
Taylor 30-14 (20-8 CL)
Indiana University Southeast 28-11 (15-3 RSC)
Indiana Wesleyan 25-18 (18-10 CL)
Indiana University-Kokomo 24-14 (14-3 RSC)
Saint Francis 24-19 (13-15 CL)
Oakland City 21-16 (6-10 RSC)
Indiana Tech 21-18 (9-7 WHAC)
Marian 20-20 (12-14 CL)
Huntington 19-17 (17-11 CL)
Bethel 19-25 (13-15 CL)
Grace 15-24 (9-17 CL)
Indiana University South Bend 11-24 (5-14 CCAC)
Calumet of Saint Joseph 9-26 (4-14 CCAC)
Goshen 9-31 (4-24 CL)

Junior College
Vincennes 15-21 (6-10 MWAC)
Ivy Tech Northeast 13-11
Marian’s Ancilla 6-28 (4-10 MCCAA)

Week of April 11-17
NCAA D-I
Tuesday, April 12
Evansville 11, Butler 1
Indiana 6, Indiana State 5
Notre Dame 14, Michigan 5
Eastern Illinois 7, Valparaiso 5

Thursday, April 14
Georgetown 14, Butler 8
Duke 15, Notre Dame 5
Penn State 12, Purdue 7
Purdue Fort Wayne 9, Northern Kentucky 5

Friday, April 15
Ball State 8, Akron 3
Butler 8, Georgetown 7
Evansville 6, Southern Illinois 4
Rutgers 5, Indiana 3
Duke 4, Notre Dame 3 (11 inn.)
Purdue 11, Penn State 5
Northern Kentucky 5, Purdue Fort Wayne 4
Illinois State 7, Valparaiso 0

Saturday, April 16
Ball State 5, Akron 1
Ball State 16, Akron 0
Georgetown 8, Butler 4
Evansville 9, Southern Illinois 2
Evansville 14, Southern Illinois 2
Rutgers 4, Indiana 2
Duke 6, Notre Dame 2
Penn State 7, Purdue 5
Purdue Fort Wayne 10, Northern Kentucky 5
Valparaiso 10, Illinois State 2

Sunday, April 17
Akron 4, Ball State 3
Rutgers 10, Indiana 9
Valparaiso 2, Illinois State 1

NCAA D-II
Tuesday, April 12
Indianapolis 15, Kentucky Wesleyan 1
Indianapolis 11, Kentucky Wesleyan 7
Grand Valley State 10, Purdue Northwest 7
Grand Valley State 9, Purdue Northwest 6
Oakland City 6, Southern Indiana 4

Thursday, April 14
Quincy 14, Indianapolis 4
Purdue Northwest 21, Northwood 19
Truman State vs. Southern Indiana

Friday, April 15
Indianapolis 3, Quincy 2
Indianapolis 3, Quincy 0
Purdue Northwest 2, Northwood 0
Northwood 18, Purdue Northwest 0
Truman State 6, Southern Indiana 5
Truman State 11, Southern Indiana 10

Saturday, April 16
Indianapolis 5, Quincy 3
Northwood 9, Purdue Northwest 7
Southern Indiana 16, Truman State 4

NCAA D-III
Monday, April 11
Trine 7, Kalamazoo 5

Tuesday, April 12
Earlham 12, Transylvania 7
Transylvania vs. Earlham
Hanover 12, Spalding 11
Wabash 6, Manchester 4
Manchester vs. Wabash
Rose-Hulman 3, Mount St. Joseph 2
Rose-Hulman 16, Mount St. Joseph 1

Wednesday, April 13
Trine 11, Adrian 5

Thursday, April 14
Wittenberg 10, Wabash 4

Friday, April 15
Bluffton 11, Earlham 6
Bluffton 9, Earlham 3
Alma 8, Trine 5

Saturday, April 16
Hanover 10, Anderson 4
Hanover 10, Anderson 8
Kenyon 12, DePauw 1
Kenyon 4, DePauw 3
Franklin 9, Manchester 8
Franklin 6, Manchester 4
Rose-Hulman 10, Transylvania 4
Rose-Hulman 12, Transylvania 8
Alma 9, Trine 6
Alma 10, Trine 6
Wooster 4, Wabash 3
Wooster 12, Wabash 7

NAIA
Monday, April 11
Bethel 13, Goshen 10
Bethel 12, Goshen 1
Calumet of St. Joseph 13, Trinity Christian 8
Indiana Tech 1, Rochester 0
Indiana Tech 12, Rochester 5
Spring Arbor 15, Taylor 7
Taylor 10, Spring Arbor 9

Tuesday, April 12
Goshen 17, Grace Christian 5
Goshen 3, Grace Christian 1
Marian 5, Huntington 2
Marian 19, Huntington 5
Oakland City 6, Southern Indiana 4
IU South Bend 18, Trinity Christian 8
IU Southeast 7, Georgetown (Ky.) 5
Madonna 7, Indiana Tech 6
Indiana Tech 16, Madonna 6
Indiana Wesleyan 10, Cleary 7
Indiana Wesleyan 8, Cleary 0
Mount Vernon Nazarene 10, Saint Francis 6
Saint Francis 9, Mount Vernon Nazarene 2

Thursday, April 14
Saint Xaver 17, IU South Bend 13

Friday, April 15
Bethel 2, Huntington 1
Huntington 9, Bethel 7
Olivet Nazarene 15, Calumet of St. Joseph 2
Indiana Wesleyan 14, Goshen 2
Indiana Wesleyan 13, Goshen 6
Saint Francis 5, Grace 3
Saint Francis 2, Grace 1
IU Kokomo 9, Brescia 1
IU Southeast 11, West Virginia Tech 0
Spring Arbor 8, Marian 5
Marian 16, Spring Arbor 3
Taylor 9, Mount Vernon Nazarene 5
Taylor 17, Mount Vernon Nazarene 9

Saturday, April 16
Bethel 3, Huntington 1
Huntington 9, Bethel 2
Olivet Nazarene 12, Calumet of St. Joseph 4
Olivet Nazarene 14, Calumet of St. Joseph 3
Indiana Wesleyan 12, Goshen 2
Indiana Wesleyan 15, Goshen 6
Grace 10, Saint Francis 8
Saint Francis 14, Grace 4
IU Kokomo 7, Brescia 3
IU Kokomo 13, Brescia 2
IU Southeast 11, West Virginia Tech 1
IU Southeast 9, West Virginia Tech 6
Lawrence Tech 2, Indiana Tech 1
Lawrence Tech 7, Indiana Tech 4
Marian 7, Spring Arbor 5
Marian 11, Spring Arbor 3
Mount Vernon Nazarene 6, Taylor 4
Mount Vernon Nazarene 14, Taylor 1

Junior College
Monday, April 11
Ivy Tech Northeast 6, Trine JV 5
Ivy Tech Northeast 8, Trine JV 5

Tuesday, April 12
Kellogg 6, Ivy Tech Northeast 3
Kaskaskia 13, Vincennes 6

Friday, April 15
Lake Michigan 7, Marian’s Ancilla 2
Lake Michigan 9, Marian’s Ancilla 1
Heartland 11, Vincennes 2
Heartland 13, Vincennes 4

Saturday, April 16
Lake Michigan 13, Marian’s Ancilla 3
Lake Michigan 7, Marian’s Ancilla 3
Heartland 16, Vincennes 5
Heartland 12, Vincennes 2

Building a winning culture a priority for Ambrose, Heritage Christian Eagles

RBILOGOSMALL copy

By STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com

In more than two decades guiding a high school baseball program, Dan Ambrose has learned that the X’s and O’s are important.

But in the last decade of so, Ambrose has begun to place his emphasis on building and maintaining a winning culture. He wants opponents to notice the way his Eagles go about warming up, how they hustle on and off the field and how they treat each other.

“That’s a big part of my coaching now,” says Ambrose. “I want to have a culture that is strong and healthy.”

The 2019 season will mark Ambrose’s 23rd at Heritage Christian School on the northeast side Indianapolis. He spent his first two seasons as junior varsity coach. Before that, the Cleveland, Ohio, native spent three seasons at Heritage Christian in Milwaukee.

Ambrose’s Indy-based program has won eight sectionals, three regionals, two semistates and a pair of IHSAA Class 2A state titles (2009 and 2010) while always being competitive in the Circle City Conference (which along includes 3A Brebeuf Jesuit, 2A Covenant Christian, 3A Guerin Catholic, 3A Indianapolis Bishop Chatard and 4A Roncalli).

Heritage Christian (a pre-kindergarten through senior school with a current enrollment about 460 in the top four grades) has appeared in the last three city championship games against Indianapolis Cathedral, winning once.

Ambrose, who also teaches social studies at the high school level, has used different key words over the years and currently centers his team philosophy around the acronym E-A-G-L-E-S.

E — Each other.

A — Attitude.

G — God first.

L — Little things are Big things.

E — Effort.

S — Service to others.

The idea is to be both competitive between the while lines while still embracing and displaying Christian values.

“If you don’t care about winning, it’s easy,” says Ambrose. “But can i hold onto to my Christian character traits in the midst of an intense competitive situation?”

Ambrose had this in twins David and Ryan Ledbetter, who helped Heritage Christian to a football state title in the fall of 2008 and baseball state championships in the spring of 2009 and 2010.

First acquainted with the Lebetter boys as junior high youth group members at church, Ambrose later got to coach them when they transferred from Hamilton Southeastern to Heritage Christian after their sophomore year.

The Eagles go on a Dominican Republic mission trip every other year and the Ledbetters went that first year and bonded with their new teammates.

“We were a good team without them,” says Ambrose. “We were a great team with them.

“They were the icing on the cake.”

Both twins went to Cedarville (Ohio) University — Ambrose’s alma mater — and then pitched in the Texas Rangers organization. Ryan pitched through 2016, David through 2018.

“They were high energy, which can drive a coach crazy,” says Ambrose of the Ledbetter twins. “But I’d much rather pull back on a thoroughbred than kick a mule.

“They added that winning edge. Their teammates loved them.”

Team building is also done through a World Series party (scheduled for Friday, Oct. 26) and a leadership retreat for juniors and seniors and other events.

Looking ahead to the 2019 season, Ambrose sees a young team with plenty of freshmen and sophomores in the mix. The Eagles will field two high school teams — varsity and junior varsity.

With Rob Barber going to part-time status, he is looking for another top varsity assistant to pair with Nick Hibner, who is also head JV coach. Gary Vaughan is a JV assistant. Bryan Baker heads up the middle school program (Grades 7-8) with help from Jonathan Baker and Travis Willman.

Ambrose does have a veteran returning in Cooper Williams. The senior right-hander has already verbally committed to Xavier University in Cincinnati.

In order to get him used to being a college closer, Ambrose is thinking of using Williams in short starting stints of about 35 to 50 pitches, where he can use all his arsenal in the first inning if he so chooses.

Circle City Conference games are played at Tuesdays and Thursdays in home-and-home series. CCC coaches have been talking about adding an end-of-season conference tournament.

With the help of director of athletics Michelle York, Ambrose builds a non-conference schedule that includes as many sectional opponents as possible (HC is grouped with Eastern Hancock, Indianapolis Howe, Indianapolis Scecina Memorial, Irvington Prep Academy, Knightstown and Triton Central) plus neighboring rival Park Tudor as well as Faith Christian, Liberty Christian and Traders Point Christian.

Dan Ambrose graduated from Parma (Ohio) Senior High School in 1989, where he played for varsity coach Conrad Pokorski and JV coach Tim Tomc (who later took over the Redmen varsity).

Ambrose credits Tomc for teaching him the importance of an organized, focused practice.

“Baseball wasn’t just taking BP while people stood in the outfield,” says Ambrose. “(Tomc) was very structured.”

A full-squad Heritage Christian practice usually features multiple stations with players doing something different at each one.

“Every minute, every kid is doing something,” says Ambrose. “(Baseball coaches) gained a lot from football coaches. With so many kids in football, you have to be organized.”

During the fall, Ambrose had about eight or 10 players two hours two days a week to get in individual skill work while others were occupied with a fall sport. The same will be true in the winter, when the IHSAA practice window re-opens the first week of December.

“I encourage guys to play another sport,” says Ambrose.

Heritage Christian plays its game on-campus. A few years ago, a clubhouse was built near the baseball field and the net backstop — higher than the previous fence — was added last year.

“We lose a lot of foul balls in the neighborhood,” says Ambrose, who raises money for the upgrades through donations, the sale of hats and the Heritage Christian Youth Baseball League.

Started about a dozen years ago, the league for pre-K through fourth grade meets twice a week in the summer on the HC softball field. It is coach-pitch and score is not kept.

“My main goal is to allow kids to get a taste of baseball and realize how fun it can be,” says Ambrose. “If I’ve them them well and they keep playing, I hope they’ll come back to me in the seventh grade.”

Most seasons, the majority of Heritage Christian’s high school players take part in summer travel baseball.

“There’s a big difference when a kid plays the game all summer long,” says Ambrose. “His instincts are better.”

Dan and Amy Ambrose (a Brownsburg, Ind., native who went to Bethesda Christian) have three baseball-playing sons.

Jadon Ambrose is a freshman at Cedarville. Seth Ambrose is a 6-foot-6 sophomore first baseman. Will Ambrose is in the sixth grade.

Coaching for USAthletic (a travel organization started by Barber), Ambrose began coaching Jadon in the summers when he was in junior high and plans to do the same with Will’s 12U team next summer.

Ambrose’s rule of thumb with travel ball is one out-of-town tournament per season.

Heritage Christian graduate Joey Butz is also joined the college baseball world with Huntington (Ind.) University.

DANAMBROSE

Dan Ambrose is the head baseball coach at Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis. His Eagles have won eight sectionals, three regionals, two semistates and a pair of IHSAA Class 2A state titles (2009 and 2010) during his tenure. (Heritage Christian School Photo)