Dimitri Ivetic does not yet know where he will play college baseball in 2022-23. But the right-handed pitcher has been in this position before and he’s not pushing the panic button. Along his college baseball path, 2019 Highland (Ind.) High School graduate Ivetic has been at Palomar College in San Marcos, Calif., Santa Barbara (Calif.) City College and Danville (Ill.) Area Community College. Ivetic (pronounced Eave-Uh-Titch) made the decision to attend each only a few weeks before going there. “I think it helps me weigh my options and advice and make the decision that I think works best for me,” says Ivetic, 21. Born in Dyer, Ind., and played in the Highland Babe Ruth League, then travel ball with Morris Chiefs (now 5 Star Great Lakes Chiefs) coached by Matt Mamula and Dave Sutkowski and Florida Pokers. His head coach at Highland High was John Bogner. “He’s very adamant on the fundamentals,” says Ivetic of Bogner. “He was very big on arm healthy and keeping guys healthy. Those are the biggest things I’ve been able to carry over into college. “We had a rough senior year, but my sophomore and junior years we won quite a few games.” How did a kid from northwest Indiana end up on the West Coast? “Ever since I was younger it was my dream to play college baseball,” says Ivetic. “My favorite school was UCLA. I always wanted to play there. I wasn’t good enough to go to UCLA so I decided to go to JUCO out in California.” Through a friend, Ivetic met Palomar pitching coach Hayden Carter while the latter was managing the summer wood-bat Kokomo (Ind.) Jackrabbits. After a visit and seeing the facilities and experiencing the weather, Ivetic joined the program. The righty got into five games totaling three innings for the 2020 Palomar Comets. “I struggled with command a little bit,” says Ivetic. “Then the pandemic hit and we got shut down with mandates and restrictions. We are all like super-disappointed. “During that time I was able to go throw at nearby fields. On one of the last days I strained my forearm. I felt something pull in there. “That bugged me for the next couple months. I worked through it and made some mechanical adjustments which ended up paying off.” Away from baseball, Ivetic went to the beach and on hikes with his roommates. “We became a lot closer,” says Ivetic. “Those are some of my best friends to this day that I still talk to (regularly).” In the summer of 2020, Ivetic did not play but trained at Randy Sullivan’s Florida Baseball ARMory in Lakeland. “He’s a great guy,” says Ivetic of Sullivan. “He’s very innovative. He helped me a lot over the course of a couple years.” When Ivetic learned that the pandemic was going to keep Palomar from baseball activities in the fall of 2020 he decided to transfer to Santa Barbara City College. That turned out to be a tough situation with several COVID-19-related shutdowns and — eventually — no 2021 season. He played for the Bomb Squad in the College Summer League at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., then went back to Santa Barbara in the fall and it did not go well. “My velocity was down and I struggled,” says Ivetic. “I made one little adjustment that kind of messed everything up.” During his fall exit meeting, Ivetic was advised that if he wanted more playing time in 2022 he should transfer so he went back to the Midwest and Danville Area, where he pitched in 12 games (26 2/3 innings) and went 2-2 with two saves, 36 strikeouts and 12 walks. “Danville was great,” says Ivetic. “The coaches were great. We struggled through some stuff, but overall it was decent. “I definitely made some memories.” Throwing from a high three-quarter arm slot, Ivetic uses a four-seam fastball (which has been clocked as high as 90 mph), curveball and sweeping slider. “My slider is what I’ve been most comfortable with,” says Ivetic. “I can throw it for a strike in basically any count. It’s got more horizontal movement, but sometimes it will start to look more like my curveball.” Ivetic says he could return to Danville Area in the fall, but has no plans to do so. “It wouldn’t make much sense to go back to junior college at this point because — academically — it would just put me so far behind on how many credits would transfer,” says Ivetic, a Finance major who is in the Transfer Portal. “I’m not quite sure where I’m going. But we’re starting to get some idea of where I’d like to go.” Ivetic is back with the CSL’s Bomb Squad and was named to the July 4 All-Star Game. He also trains with PRP Baseball at the Mojo Up Sports Complex in Noblesville, visiting there before games at Grand Park. PRP Baseball, which was founded by Greg Vogt (now a rehab pitching coach for the Toronto Blue Jays organization), is under the day-to-day guidance of Anthony Gomez. He has coached Ivetic since he was 16. Dimitri is of Serbian descent and the only child born to Zarko and Paula Ivetic. His father sells for Jack Tuchten Wholesale Produce in Chicago and his mother works at Nordstrom.
Gage Smith grew up in the small town of Garrett, Ind. The third baseman/right-handed pitcher is playing in another bantam burg this summer while playing for the Wellington Heat in Kansas Collegiate League Baseball. “The community is close-knit and we have great group of guys here,” says Smith, a 2021 graduate of Garrett High School who has completed one season of college ball for the Connor Wilkins-coached Ivy Tech Northeast Titans in Fort Wayne. Heat home games are played under the lights at Hibbs-Hooten Stadium in the seat of Summer County — Wellington. Road trips in the KCBL are as short as 30 minutes and as long as 1 hour, 40 minutes. Wellington won the National Baseball Congress title in 2007 and were NBC World Series runners-up in 2013. In his first eight games with the 2022 Heat, Smith is hitting .238 (5-of-21) with two home runs, four runs batted in and five runs scored. He has pitched in five games (all in relief) and is 0-0 with one save, a 2.70 earned run average, 11 strikeouts and two walks for 6 2/3 innings. In 26 games at Ivy Tech in the spring, Smith hit .341 (29-of-85) with one homer, four triples, six doubles,15 RBIs and a .952 OPS (.411 on-base percentage plus .541 slugging average). The righty batter has also scored 16 runs and swiped 10 bases. In four mound appearances (one start), Smith was 0-0 with a 4.91 ERA, nine strikeouts and four walks over 7 1/3 innings. Smith does not wish to choose between infielder/hitter and pitcher as his favorite. “I love both equally,” says Smith, 19. “I’d like to be a two-way for my whole career. I try to balance out the work with both positions. “As a fielder my strength is putting it all on the line while backing my pitchers. At the plate, I try to spray it anywhere and be a tough out.” While working with Ivy Tech pitching coach Javier DeJesus, Smith took the velocity on the four-seam fastball from 83 mph to 88 mph from the fall to the spring. But Smith does not focus on speed. “I try to be dominant on the mound,” says Smith. “I’m pitching in the (strike) zone and attacking hitters with their weaknesses. “Every hitter has a tell about what he’s going to chase. The catcher will also help you with that.” Throwing over the top, Smith has a 12-to-6 curveball and “circle” change-up and he has been working on a two-seamer. Smith calls DeJesus “a pitching genius.” “He’s been moving the ball around in our hand to get the best break we can on (pitches),” says Smith. Another Titans hurler that has benefitted from working with DeJesus is Matt Peters, who is moving on to NCAA Division I Miami University (Oxford, Ohio). “It was awesome playing with him,” says Smith of Peters, who throws the ball in the high 90’s. “We got to face him in live (at-bats). “He made an impact on all of us.” Smith has three Ivy Tech teammates at Wellington — Joel Deakins, Coby Griffith and Noah Matheson. Deakins is an outfielder, Griffith a pitcher and Matheson an infielder. Another — Zach Green — plays for KCBL’s Park City Rangers as a catcher. Smith and Matheson are roomies with host family parents James and Jodie McCarthy. “They are some sweet people,” says Smith. “They are willing to have people live there and care for them. “It’s definitely more comfortable having (Ivy Tech mates) around.” At Ivy Tech — an National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association Division II team — Smith has embraced the idea of a “JUCO Bandit.” “I means you have some sort of grit to you. You’re dirtbags,” says Smith. “You train hard and play the game hard. “That’s what a ‘JUCO Bandit’ means to me.” Smith is in Kansas this summer and plans to return to Ivy Tech in the fall as a General Studies major with the idea of attracting a four-year school who will give him the opportunity to continue his baseball career. Born in Fort Wayne, Smith grew up in Garrett and played about eight years at what is now Garrett Youth Baseball. The summers before and after his last high school season, he played for the Brett Ratcliffe-coached DeKalb County Thunder. Ratcliffe was head coach at Garrett High in Smith’s freshman and sophomore years with Jason Richards leading the Railroaders in 2019-20 (the season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic) and 2020-21. “(Ratcliffe) was kind of an old school coach,” says Smith. “He taught me the basics of baseball and got me to where I wanted to play college baseball. “(Richards) coached me in football in middle school. He was a guy I knew really well and could trust and depend on him.” Gage’s parents are Pamela Smith and Chris Smith. He has a twin sister, Morgan Smith. Tori Smith is a few years older. Austin Carroll is second oldest sibling. Beau Carroll (who died in 2021 at 29) was the oldest.
South Bend, Ind., native Dylan Brammer has pitched his forkball on multiple continents. For most of the past decade, the right-hander has played professional baseball in independent U.S. leagues and abroad. At 32, he’s still got his eye on his next pitch while sharing his knowledge with youngsters coming up in the game. The 2008 graduate of Mishawaka (Ind.) Marian High School who played at Ancilla College (Donaldson, Ind.), Vincennes (Ind.) University and the University of Northwestern Ohio started his pro career with the independent Frontier League’s Rockford (Ill.) RiverHawks in 2012. Rich Austin was the manager. Rockford was giving Brammer — who was a two-way player in high school and college — a shot at shortstop. “I was always a good hitter, but not a great hitter,” says Brammer. The RiverHawks discovered how hard he threw and sent him to the bullpen to see if he could harness his speed. By the time Brammer was released last day of transactions, he saw his future on the mound. “I know I can compete at that level as a pitcher, but I couldn’t throw strikes,” says Brammer. “I told myself I’m going to concentrate the next eight, nine, 10 years on my craft — pitching.” Brammer, who has Marketing degree from UNOH, worked a genetic software sales job in 2013. But he heard and headed the call of baseball and went back to the diamond. He played with he Pittsburg (Calif.) club for three seasons in the independent Pacific Association. Wayne Franklin managed the Pittsburg Mettle in 2014 while Aaron Miles was in charge of the Pittsburg Diamonds in 2015 and 2016. Brammer started 33 games for Pittsburg and went 16-9 with 206 strikeouts and 102 walks in 217 innings. In the latter part of 2016, Brammer landed with the Steve Brook-managed River City Rascals, a Frontier League team in the St. Louis suburb of O’Fallon, Mo. In four games (two starts), he went 2-1 with 13 K’s and eight walks in 17 2/3 innings. An opportunity to play overseas came in 2017 and Brammer was off to the Czech Republic to play for 3n2 International Stars at Prague Baseball Week and for Czech Baseball League’s Skokani Olomouc. A month break between the end of the regular season and the playoffs gave Brammer the opportunity to travel all over eastern Europe. In what is winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer south of the equator, Brammer played in Australia in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. The first two seasons he was with the Port Adelaide Magpies in the South Australia State League and won two Capps Medal awards as MVP. Port Adelaide went to back-to-back championship series. Brammer had games of 23, 21 and 19 strikeouts. He managed in both Port Adelaide and Perth. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he did not go back to club ball in Australia. The 5-foot-10 righty was with the New Jersey Jackals for parts of four seasons, winning 16 games, saving 18 and whiffing 184 while walking 90 in 218 2/3 innings. Brooks Carey managed the team in 2018 and 2019 in the Canadian-American Association. The COVID-19 season of 2020 saw the Jackals in the All-American Baseball Challenge. Carey guided New Jersey in the Frontier League in 2021. When the Jackals were not going to the playoffs, Brammer finished the season with the Atlantic League’s Stan Cliburn-managed Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. In nine games (all in relief) with Southern Maryland in 2021, Brammer went 1-0 with 16 strikeouts and six walks in 14 innings. A testing ground for Major League Baseball, the Atlantic League pushed the mound back to 61 feet, 6 inches, restricted infield shits and had Trackman call balls and strikes during the 2021 season. “It didn’t take that much time to adjust (to 61-6),” says Brammer. “My off-speed was up in the zone at 60-6. It broke a little more and stayed lower in the zone (at 61-6). They did me a favor.” Throwing straight over the top, Brammer uses four pitches — four-seam fastball, cutter, slider and forkball. “I have a heavy fastball that goes from 90 to 92 mph,” says Brammer. “I hide the ball really well and have fast arm speed.” Brammer’s family moved to Florida after his high school days and he has been there in the off-seasons since 19. He received an invitation to pitch in the Mexican League in 2022. With his girlfriend due to have a boy in December, Dylan opted to stay in Delray Beach, Fla., and teach baseball lessons while coaching the 12U East Boynton Blaze. He’s also staying sharp for his next playing opportunity. “I take pride in how serious I take baseball,” says Brammer. “I work at it daily.” Born in South Bend to Michael and Lisa Brammer, Dylan is the second oldest of 10 (seven girls and three boys). Brammer played at South Bend Southeast Little League and helped his team to the state tournament at age 12. When he got older, one of his summer teams was Mishawaka American Legion Post 161 coached by Jeff Moore. He played for Tim Prister at Marian High. “He was tough on us,” says Brammer of Prister. “I loved that about him. He expected a lot out of our class. “We took practices and games serious.” Marian was IHSAA Class 3A state runners-up in 2008, losing 5-1 to Crawfordsville in the championship game at Victory Field in Indianapolis. Brammer played shortstop and batted third that day, getting one of three hits off Athenians left-hander Cameron Hobson. Brammer drew interest from some NCAA D-I schools, including Butler and Michigan State. He says he did not have the grades to get into Butler and went the junior college route. Playing for Ancilla Chargers head coach Joe Yonto, Brammer hit .420 with 13 extra base hits in 44 games in 2009. At Vincennes U. in 2010, Brammer hit .372 with 18 extra base hits and a .428 on-base percentage for the Chris Barney-coached Trailblazers. VU went to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Baseball World Series in Enid, Okla. At Northwestern Ohio in 2011 and 2012, Brammer hit a combined .292 and posted a 1.21 earned run average on the mound with 61 strikeouts in 49 innings. The Racers head coach was Kory Hartman.
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
NAIA’s Taylor and Indiana University Southeast moved on in postseason play as did NCAA Division III’s Earlham during the week of May 9-15. The Crossroads League crowned Taylor as tournament champion and IU Southeast prevailed in the River States Conference tournament. The NAIA Opening Round was slated for May 16-19 at 10 sites. Taylor is a site host and the No. 3 seed in a field which features No. 1 Southeastern (Fla.), No. 2 Northwestern Ohio, No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) and No. 5 Bryan (Tenn.). IU Southeast is the No. 2 seed in the Santa Barbara Bracket with No. 1 and host Westmont, No. 3 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and No. 5 Antelope Valley (Calif.). By edging Rose-Hulman 10-9 Saturday in Kokomo, Earlham reigned as Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament champions. The Quakers qualified for regional play and will be in a four-team field hosted by Lynchburg (Va.) and also including Birmingham (Ala.)-Southern and Salve Regina (R.I.). Action starts May 20. In junior college play, Vincennes qualified for the Mid-West Athletic Conference tournament. The Trailblazers are to meet Danville Area on Wednesday, May 18 at The Corn Crib in Normal, Ill. The 2022 season has concluded for 25 of the state’s 38 baseball-playing schools. NCAA Division I is heading into the final week of the regular season. Winners of weekend series were Indiana (2-1 vs. Minnesota), Notre Dame (2-1 vs. Pittsburgh), Purdue (2-1 at Northwestern) and Purdue Fort Wayne (2-0 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee and also 1-1 at Wright State). Ball State went 2-2 at Ohio while Evansville was 1-2 at Dallas Baptist, Valparaiso 1-2 vs. Bradley, Butler 0-3 vs. Xavier and Indiana State 0-3 at Southern Illinois. In the latest D1Baseball.com RPI, Notre Dame is No. 14, Evansville No. 67, Ball State No. 90, Indiana No. 119, Purdue No. 120, Indiana State No. 121, Valparaiso No. 217, Butler No. 229 and Purdue Fort Wayne No. 251. Final regular-season games this week include: • Ball State is at Miami (Ohio) May 19-21. • Notre Dame at Northwestern May 17 and Miami (Fla.) May 19-21. • Purdue vs. Maryland May 19-21. • Evansville vs. Murray State May 17 and vs. Valparaiso May 19-21. • Indiana vs. Illinois State May 17 and at Iowa May 19-21. • Indiana State vs. Dallas Baptist May 19-21.
Butler at Purdue Fort Wayne May 17 and vs. Seton Hall May 19-21
Purdue Fort Wayne vs. Butler May 17 and at Akron May 20-21.
Valparaiso at Western Michigan May 17 and at Evansville May 19-21.
NCAA D-II Thursday, May 12 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Wayne State 10, Saginaw Valley State 4 Purdue Northwest 10, Davenport 8 Northwood 11, Grand Valley State 6
Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Quincy 12, Lindenwood 3 Maryville 3, Lewis 1 Illinois-Springfield 5, William Jewell 4 Indianapolis 11, Drury 1
Friday, May 13 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Davenport 12, Saginaw Valley State 8 Purdue Northwest 11, Grand Valley State 3 Wayne State 7, Northwood 4
Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Lewis 12, William Jewell 6 Drury 12, Lindenwood 2 Quincy 4, Indianapolis 3 Illinois-Springfield 12, Maryville 2
Saturday, May 14 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Purdue Northwest 7, Wayne State 5 (12 inn.) Davenport 8, Northwood 5 Davenport 8, Wayne State 5
Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Lewis 5, Maryville 4 Drury 9, Indianapolis 7 Lewis 6, Quincy 4 Illinois-Springfield 14, Drury 2
Sunday, May 15 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Purdue Northwest vs. Davenport 6, Purdue Northwest 4 Championship Davenport 2, Purdue Northwest 1
Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Quincy 9, Lewis 4 Championship Illinois-Springfield 16, Quincy 3
NCAA D-III Thursday, May 12 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Anderson 6, Hanover 2 Earlham 5, Rose-Hulman 3 Franklin 7, Anderson 3
Friday, May 13 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Rose-Hulman 14, Hanover 6 Earlham 9, Franklin 8 Rose-Hulman 8, Anderson 5
Saturday, May 14 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Rose-Hulman 13, Franklin 8 Championship Earlham 10, Rose-Hulman 9
NAIA Monday, May 9 River States Conference Tournament Championship Indiana University Southeast 19, Point Park 4
Crossroads League Tournament Marian 22, Spring Arbor 14 Mount Vernon Nazarene 10, Bethel 8 Taylor 8, Indiana Wesleyan 7 Huntington 15, Saint Francis 8 Mount Vernon Nazarene 5, Indiana Wesleyan 3 Marian 12, Saint Francis 8
Ball State pushed its victory streak to 11 games and Evansville won for the sixth straight time as part of college baseball the week of May 2-8. The NCAA Division I Cardinals (32-14, 26-4) won the first three games of a Mid-American Conference series at Kent State. BSU has two more four-game MAC series left — May 13-15 vs. Ohio and May 19-21 at Miami (Ohio). The double-elimination MAC tournament is May 25-28 (highest seed hosts). The D-I Purple Aces (27-18, 12-3) took three from visiting Missouri Valley Conference foe Illinois State. First-place Evansville is a half game ahead of Southern Illinois in the MVC. The double-elimination Valley tournament is May 24-28 in Springfield, Mo. Besides a midweek non-conference home games against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville May 11 and Murray State May 17, UE has conference series May 13-15 at Dallas Baptist and May 20-22 at home against Valparaiso. NAIA double-elimination conference tournaments have already began. Indiana University Southeast (38-13) takes an eight-game win streak into the River States Conference tournament championship game May 9 against Point Park in Chillicothe, Ohio. The Crossroads League tournament had its first session May 7 and others are slated for May 9-11 at Taylor. The host Trojans (37-16) have won their last five games. Northwestern Ohio won a pair of 10-inning games May 7 against Indiana Tech to earn a spot in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament championship series May 9-10 (if necessary). Two of the state’s NCAA Division II teams have qualified for double-elimination conference tournament play. Indianapolis will take part in the eight-team Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament May 12-15 in St. Charles, Mo. UIndy has won a GLVC-record six league titles. Purdue Northwest will be a part of the six-team Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament May 12-15 at U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind., and Dowling Park in Hammond, Ind. (Games 7 and 8). Indiana will send six of its NCAA Division III squads into double-elimination conference tournament action. Franklin, Rose-Hulman, Earlham, Hanover and Anderson are to play in the five-team Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament is slated for May 12-15 at Kokomo Municipal Stadium. DePauw, which is riding an 11-game win streak, is bound for the four-team North Coast Athletic Conference tournament May 12-14 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
INDIANA COLLEGE BASEBALL Records Through May 8 NCAA D-I Ball State 32-14 (26-4 MAC) Notre Dame 28-10 (13-8 ACC) Evansville 27-18 (12-3 MVC) Purdue 26-16 (7-9 Big Ten) Indiana State 23-16 (8-7 MVC) Indiana 22-25 (8-10 Big Ten) Butler 18-29-1 (2-12-1 Big East) Valparaiso 14-28 (2-10 MVC) Purdue Fort Wayne 13-31 (10-14 Horizon)
Week of May 2-8 NCAA D-I Tuesday, May 3 Illinois 6, Indiana State 3
Friday, May 6 Evansville 5, Illinois State 4 Michigan 8, Indiana 4 Iowa 5, Purdue 2
Saturday, May 7 Ball State 12, Kent State 0 Xavier 7, Butler 5 Xavier 19, Butler 8 Evansville 5, Illinois State 3 Indiana 9, Michigan 5 Indiana State 8, Bradley 5 (12 inn.) Bradley 4, Indiana State 3 Purdue 10. Iowa 6 Dallas Baptist 5, Valparaiso 1 Dallas Baptist 3, Valparaiso 0
Sunday, May 8 Ball State 9, Kent State 5 Ball State 9, Kent State 3 Xavier 11, Butler 2 Evansville 4, Illinois State 3 Indiana 10, Michigan 8 Bradley 5, Indiana State 3 Iowa 9, Purdue 1 Purdue Fort Wayne 3, Illinois-Chicago 2 Illinois-Chicago 11, Purdue Fort Wayne 6 Dallas Baptist 8, Valparaiso 3
NCAA D-II Friday, May 6 Davenport 6, Purdue Northwest 2
Saturday, May 7 Southern Indiana 7, Indianapolis 4 Southern Indiana 5, Indianapolis 3 Davenport 3, Purdue Northwest 1 Davenport 6, Purdue Northwest 4
Sunday, May 8 Southern Indiana 9, Indianapolis 7 Southern Indiana 11, Indianapolis 8 Davenport 5, Purdue Northwest 3
NCAA D-III Wednesday, May 4 Manchester 6, Anderson 5 Anderson 6, Manchester 5 DePauw 6, Wabash 5 DePauw 5, Wabash 4 Franklin 13, Earlham 9 Earlham 8, Franklin 4
Thursday, May 5 Hope 2, Trine 1
Saturday, May 7 Manchester 3, Earlham 1 Earlham 12, Manchester 3 Franklin 9, Hanover 6 Franklin 11, Hanover 6 Rose-Hulman 15, Defiance 0 Defiance 5, Rose-Hulman 3 Hope 12, Trine 3 Hope 11, Trine 2 Denison 9, Wabash 3 Denison 19, Wabash 5
Sunday, May 8 Transylvania 10, Anderson 2 Anderson 4, Transylvania 3 DePauw 13, Allegheny 4 DePauw 14, Allegheny 5 Rose-Hulman 10, Wabash 4 Rose-Hulman 10, Wabash 3
NAIA Thursday, May 5 River States Conference Tournament IU Southeast 5, Rio Grande 3 Point Park 11, Oakland City 0 Midway 12, IU-Kokomo 11
Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament St. Francis (Ill.) 6, Roosevelt 0 Judson 8, Saint Xaver 1
Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament Madonna 5, Cornerstone 4 Cornerstone 5, Lawrence Tech 1 Lawrence Tech 16, Madonna 6 Indiana Tech 2, Concordia 1 Northwestern Ohio 4, Concordia 2
Friday, May 6 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament St. Ambrose 14, Calumet of St. Joseph 13 (10 inn.) Olivet Nazarene 5, IU South Bend 4
Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament Cornerstone 7, Madoona 4 Madonna 11, Lawrence Tech 1
Saturday, May 7 Crossroads League Tournament Indiana Wesleyan 4, Marian 2 Taylor 9, Spring Arbor 2 Saint Francis 5, Mount Vernon Nazarene 1 Huntington 8, Bethel 0
Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Saint Xavier 13, Calumet of St. Joseph 4 IU South Bend 9, Roosevelt 1 St. Ambrose 5, Judson 2 Olivet Nazarene 4, St. Francis (Ill.) 3 (10 inn.)
River States Conference Tournament Oakland City 6, Rio Grande 1 IU Southeast 4, IU-Kokomo 0 Point Park 11, Midway 5
Sunday, May 8 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Judson 7, IU South Bend 5 St. Francis (Ill.) 7, Saint Xavier 5 Judson 4, St. Francis (Ill.) 3 Olivet Nazarene 5, St. Ambrose 2
River States Conference Tournament IU Southeast 9, Point Park 7 Midway 10, Oakland City 9 Point Park 13, Midway 3
Junior College Monday, May 2 Lewis & Clark 5, Vincennes 0 Vincennes 9, Lewis & Clark 7
Thursday, May 5 NJCAA Sub-Regional Ivy Tech Northeast 8, Lakeland 0 Edison State 4, Ivy Tech Northeast 2
Friday, May 6 Grand Rapids 10, Marian’s Ancilla 0 Grand Rapids 2, Marian’s Ancilla 0
Saturday, May 7 Grand Rapids 9, Marian’s Ancilla 3 Grand Rapids 4, Marian’s Ancilla 3
Three Indiana-based Crossroads League head coaches reached victory milestones as the regular season came to a close the week of April 25-May 1. Taylor’s Kyle Gould earned his 600th win, Indiana Wesleyan’s Rich Benjamin his 500th and Bethel’s Seth Zartman his 400th. The eight-team Crossroads League tournament is slated for May 6-10 at Taylor. Mount Vernon Nazarene won the regular-season title. Seeds 2-8 are Taylor, Indiana Wesleyan, Huntington, Bethel, Spring Arbor and Saint Francis. The 2022 season came to a close for CL members Grace and Goshen. Indiana Southeast swept three River States Conference games from Midway and Oakland City went 3-0 in conference play against Ohio Christian. The six-team RSC tournament featuring Indiana Southeast, Indiana University Kokomo and Oakland City is May 5-8 in Chillicothe, Ohio. Indiana Tech went 2-0 against Northwestern Ohio in Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference games. The WHAC tournament first round is May 5-6 with No. 5 seed Indiana Tech, No. 1 Northwestern Ohio (host) and No. 6 Concordia in Pod B. The championship round is slated for May 9-10. The tournament winner receives the second automatic qualifier to the NAIA national tournament. If it is the conference champion, then the runner up of the tournament will receive the second berth. NCAA Division I Ball State (29-14, 23-4) ran its win streak to eight and took over the lead in the Mid-American Conference with a four-game sweep of visiting Central Michigan. The Chippewas had won 22 straight MAC games prior to Friday’s loss to the Cardinals. Four-game conference series against Kent State, Ohio and Miami remain on BSU’s regular-season slate. The MAC tournament is schedule for May 25-28. Notre Dame (28-10, 13-8) won two of three games in an Atlantic Coast Conference series against Boston College. The Irish are No. 8 in the D1Baseball.com RPI. Evansville (24-18, 9-3) took all three Missouri Valley Conference games from Bradley. Purdue (25-14, 6-7) went 2-1 vs. Michigan and Indiana (20-24, 6-9) 2-1 against Illinois in a pair of Big Ten Conference series. NCAA Division II Southern Indiana split four Great Lakes Valley Conference games against Missouri Science & Technology. NCAA D-III Franklin won both Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contests against Transylvania. Also in the HCAC, Hanover was 2-0 against Transylvania and 1-1 vs. Defiance, Rose-Hulman 2-0 against Bluffton, Manchester 1-1 vs. Mount St. Joseph and Earlham and Anderson split a two-game series. The five-team HCAC tournament is scheduled for May 12-15 at Kokomo Municipal Stadium. Wabash went 1-1 against Hiram in North Coast Athletic Conference play. The four-team NCAC tournament is May 12-14 in Chillicothe, Ohio. By beating Anderson Wednesday, DePauw’s Blake Allen got his 100th career victory as a head coach.
Wednesday, April 27 Indiana 3, Illinois State 1 Michigan State 7, Purdue Fort Wayne 4
Friday, April 29 Ball State 7, Central Michigan 1 Connecticut 8, Butler 7 (10 inn.) Evansville 6, Bradley 5 Indiana 7, Illinois 6 Missouri State 7, Indiana State 6 Boston College 7, Notre Dame 4 Purdue 18, Michigan 4 Illinois-Chicago 7, Purdue Fort Wayne 3 Southern Illinois 4, Valparaiso 0
Saturday, April 30 Ball State 6, Central Michigan 4 Ball State 10, Central Michigan 7 Connecticut 14, Butler 7 Evansville 8, Bradley 7 Illinois 18, Indiana 10 Missouri State 11, Indiana State 4 Notre Dame 11, Boston College 5 Purdue 12, Michigan 4 Illinois-Chicago 4, Purdue Fort Wayne 2 Southern Illinois 15, Valparaiso 12
Sunday, May 1 Ball State 4, Central Michigan 3 Connecticut 17, Butler 4 Evansville 15, Bradley 4 Indiana 11, Illinois 7 Indiana State 8, Missouri State 1 Notre Dame 16, Boston College 10 Michigan 13, Purdue 2 Illinois-Chicago 21, Purdue Fort Wayne 5 Valparaiso 11, Southern Illinois 10
NCAA D-II Tuesday, April 26 Ohio Dominican 13, Indianapolis 3 Ohio Dominican 2, Indianapolis 1 Kentucky Wesleyan 11, Southern Indiana 7
Friday, April 29 Illinois-Springfield 15, Indianapolis 2 Wayne State 23, Purdue Northwest 4 Southern Indiana 12, Missouri S&T 9
Saturday, April 30 Indianapolis 9, Illinois-Springfield 8 Illinois-Springfield 11, Indianapolis 1 Wayne State 9, Purdue Northwest 2 Wayne State 9, Purdue Northwest 2 Southern Indiana 7, Missouri S&T 6 Missouri S&T 5, Southern Indiana 1
Sunday, May 1 Illinois-Springfield 11, Indianapolis 10 (10 inn.) Purdue Northwest 11, Wayne State 10 Missouri S&T 5, Southern Indiana 1 Missouri S&T 12, Southern Indiana 9
NCAA D-III Monday, April 25 Webster 5, Franklin 1 Webster 7, Franklin 1 Calvin 15, Trine 5
Tuesday, April 26 DePauw 12, Rose-Hulman 8 Hanover 19, Transylvania 7 Hanover 20, Transylvania 13 Huntington 10, Manchester 1
Wednesday, April 27 DePauw 11, Anderson 10 Denison 15, Hanover 8 Indiana Tech 15, Manchester 5 Rose-Hulman 5, Greenville 2
Friday, April 29 Earlham 7, Anderson 4 Anderson 7, Earlham 6
Saturday, April 30 Franklin 9, Transylvania 6 Franklin 5, Transylvania 4 Hanover 5, Defiance 1 Defiance 8, Hanover 4 Manchester 9, Mount St. Joseph 6 Mount St. Joseph 8, Manchester 7 Albion 8, Trine 4 Trine 3, Albion 1 Wabash 8, Hiram 6 Hiram 6, Wabash 5 (11 inn.)
NAIA Tuesday, April 26 IU Kokomo 7, Grace 2 Huntington 10, Manchester 1 St. Francis (Ill.) 9, Indiana Tech 8 Indiana Tech 10, St. Francis (Ill.) 2 IU Southeast 11, Cumberlands 9 Kentucky State 2, Oakland City 0 Kentucky State 2, Oakland City 0
Wednesday, April 27 Calumet of St. Joseph 5, Trinity International 4 Calumet of St. Joseph 6, Trinity International 1 Indiana Tech 15, Manchester 5 St. Francis (Ill.) 2, IU South Bend 1 St. Francis (Ill.) 6, IU South Bend 2
Thursday, April 28 IU Southeast 3, Midway 2 IU Southeast 8, Midway 7 Oakland City 3, Ohio Christian 2 (11 inn.)
Friday, April 29 Bethel 7, Saint Francis 4 Saint Francis 5, Bethel 4 Roosevelt 20, Calumet of St. Joseph 6 Roosevelt 5, Calumet of St. Joseph 2 Goshen 10, Spring Arbor 6 Spring Arbor 10, Goshen 3 Taylor 9, Grace 0 Taylor 16, Grace 0 Mount Vernon Nazarene 13, Huntington 0 Mount Vernon Nazarene 17, Huntington 16 IU Kokomo 8, Point Park 5 Point Park 5, IU Kokomo 4 IU Southeast 12, Midway 6 IU South Bend 12, Lincoln 7 Indiana Wesleyan 9, Marian 2 Indiana Wesleyan 11, Marian 3 Oakland City 10, Ohio Christian 9 Oakland City 7, Ohio Christian 6
Saturday, April 30 Bethel 5, Saint Francis 3 Bethel 2, Saint Francis 1 Roosevelt 4, Calumet of St. Joseph 1 Spring Arbor 13, Goshen 6 Spring Arbor 11, Goshen 9 Taylor 19, Grace 11 Taylor 9, Grace 8 Mount Vernon Nazarene 5, Huntington 0 Mount Vernon Nazarene 7, Huntington 0 Indiana Tech 8, Northwestern Ohio 1 Indiana Tech 5, Northwestern Ohio 2 Point Park 7, IU Kokomo 5 IU South Bend 15, Lincoln 6 Lincoln 1, IU South Bend 0 (10 inn.) Indiana Wesleyan 8, Marian 3 Marian 8, Indiana Wesleyan 5
Junior College Tuesday, April 26 Lincoln Trail 12, Vincennes 7
Jarrett Bickel had a decision to make after playing junior college baseball for two seasons. The infielder from South Bend, Ind., with two years of eligibility remaining could take another year at the JUCO level allowed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Head coach Kyle Forbes invited him to stay at Palm Beach State College. “I was ready to move on to a four-year school and play at the (NCAA) Division I level,” says Bickel, who chose Purdue Fort Wayne over East Tennessee State, New Orleans, Alcorn State and Savannah State. Why the PFW Mastodons? “I was sold on Coach (Doug) Schreiber and his history at Purdue University,” says Bickel. “I knew he was coming here to turn the program around. “He’s awesome. His knowledge for the game is through the roof.” Bickel appreciates Schreiber not only for what he can do for him on the diamond, but away from it. “He shows you how to carry yourself off the field and be a man,” says Bickel, 22. As a player, Bickel has gone from third base to shortstop and settling in as Purdue Fort Wayne’s starting shortstop and lead-off hitter. His double play partner is redshirt sophomore second baseman Brian Erbe. “He has a confidence and swagger he brings everyday,” says Bickel of Erbe. “We kind of feed off that energy.” Going into an April 27 non-conference game at Michigan State, righty swinger Bickel was hitting .259 (38-of-147) with five home runs, 12 doubles, 19 runs batted in, 18 runs scored and a .306 on-base percentage. He collected a season-best four hits April 3 against Wright State and drove in a season-high three runs April 16 at Northern Kentucky. Bickel even pitched 2/3 of an inning Feb. 27 at Cal Baptist. Though he was not in the middle of either, two memorable moments for Bickel came with walk-off wins March 20 against Youngstown State and April 22 vs. Northern Kentucky. Away from the field, Bickel likes to hang out with teammates. He also likes to play golf and go fishing. “I’m an outdoorsy person,” says Bickel. “I don’t like to be inside that much. I love to fish.” A St. Joseph River dam near campus gives him a chance to pull in catfish and bass. In the warm climes of Florida, he liked going on the ocean and catching snook. Bickel grew up a few minutes from Notre Dame and Bickel got to play against the Irish April 20, going 1-for-4 with an RBI. “I’ve always been a Notre Dame fan since I was little,” says Bickel. “Going back there and playing them was pretty special.” ND is No. 3 behind Tennessee and Dallas Bapist in the D1Baseball.com RPI. Bickel assessed the Link Jarrett-coached Irish. “They’re very well put-together and do all the little things,” says Bickel. “They’re well-coached. They are good at situational hitting and have very good (pitching) arms.” Currently fifth in the Horizon League, the Mastodons are looking to finish in the top six to earn a berth in the conference tournament May 25-28 with games hosted by the top seed. The last HL series wraps May 14. The regular season is to end May 21. Enrolled at Purdue Fort Wayne as a General Studies major, he has been taking mostly Business classes. Bickel plans to spent the summer with the Prospect League’s Lafayette (Ind.) Aviators. Mastodons pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Brent McNeil managed that team a few years ago. Chris Willsey, Bickel’s head coach two years ago in the College Summer League at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., is slated to guide the Aviators in 2022. A 2018 graduate of Marian High School in Mishwawaka, Ind., Bickel played for Joe Turnock. The Knights won an IHSAA Class 3A Jimtown Sectional title in 2016. In 2019, Bickel played 41 games for Miami Dade College. He did not play in the spring of 2020 — the COVID-19 season. That summer, Bickel was with the Indiana Collegiate Summer Baseball League’s Mishawaka Brewers as well as the CSL’s Snakes and Northwoods League’s Bismarck (N.D.) Bull Moose, hitting .271 with a .403 OBP in 16 games. He played for the Bismarck Larks in 2021 with a OBP of .321 over 112 at-bats. Jarrett is the middle son of Joe and Megan Bickel. Tyler Bickel (24) is working toward becoming a fireman. Xavier Bickel (18) is a Marian senior. Cousin Trey Bickel is head baseball coach at Marian University’s Ancilla College — a junior college in Donaldson, Ind.
Ivy Tech Community College Board of Trustees voted 8-1 April 7 to discontinue athletics at the Northeast campus in Fort Wayne, Ind., after 2022-23. Titans baseball (established in 2017-18 by Lance Hershberger) is moving forward with the 2022 season and is looking to the 2023 slate, which appears it will be the school’s last. Ivy Tech Northeast is 15-18 heading into a doubleheader Saturday, April 30 at Indiana Tech JV. After that comes a May 3 twin bill at Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College followed by a National Junior College Athletic Association Region XII sub-regional May 5 in Sandusky, Ohio. The Titans must win two games in the four-team single-elimination event featuring the Nos. 2-4 seeds from the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference to advance to regional play. “I’m enjoying the public response and fight to keep the program,” says Ivy Tech head coach and dual-credit advisor Connor Wilkins, 29. “I’m doing my part. (The board is) pretty dead-set on not having athletics. It comes down to financials and Title IX (gender equity).” Wilkins describes the mood of the team. “There’s a little defiance there,” says Wilkins, a Fort Wayne native. “We’ll show you how good we are and lay everything on the line representing our college. It’s frustrating as a coach knowing what we’ve built as a program and serving the community. “In my opinion, northeast Indiana needs a junior college program.” The Fort Wayne campus is the only one in the statewide Ivy Tech system with sports. An Ivy Tech Northeast volleyball team folded when the coach left and players followed after the COVID-19 year. There are currently three junior college baseball programs in the state — Ivy Tech Northeast in Fort Wayne, Marian University’s Ancilla College in Donaldson and Vincennes (Ind.) University. Ivy Tech’s 2022 baseball team has 38 players with 22 on-target to graduate from the two-year school this spring. Some of that number have indicated that they will come back for a third year (granted because of the pandemic). Six players — right-handed pitcher Matt Peters (Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger High School graduate) to NCAA Division I Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), twins outfielder Conner Beatty and catcher Alec Beatty (Augusta, Mich.) and catcher/outfielder Joel Deakins (Heritage) to provisional NAIA start-up Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, infielder Brayden Dockery (Continental, Ohio) to the NCAA D-II University of Indianapolis and Coby Griffith (Papillion, Neb.) to NAIA Huntington University — have made commitments to their next school and others are expected to make that announcement soon. This summer, fireballer Peters is to play in the MLB Draft League. Other Ivy Tech players are bound for the Great Lakes, Jayhawk and Florida circuits plus the local Indiana Collegiate Summer Baseball League. Two players whose only college offers coming out of high school were from Ivy Tech Northeast are Grant Lashure (now a starting catcher at NCAA Division I Eastern Illinois University) and Zach Haefer (a right-handed pitcher at NCAA Division II Davenport University in Grand Rapids). There are also 13 recruits coming to the Titans in 2022-23. “We still have next year,” says Wilkins. “The recruits are still coming. It’s a testimony to our staff that they wanted to develop and leave after that. “We’re going to do right by them. It’s our job to get them on to four-year or two-year schools.” Besides Wilkins, the 2022 coaching staff features Scott Bickel (who is heading to IUPUC as part of Crimson Pride head coach Zach McClellan’s staff), recruiting coordinator Drew Buffenbarger (a member of the “Dirty Dozen” — Ivy Tech’s first team and an assistant admissions director at the school), pitching coach Javier DeJesus and hitting coach Mark Flueckiger. Without conference membership, the Titans schedule this spring has been on-the-fly and inclement weather has not helped. NJCAA Region XII has a rule that teams are not supposed to play when the “Real Feel” temperature dips to 35 degrees. Ivy Tech Northeast plays home games at Shoaff Park. The diamond is owned by the city, but is maintained by coaches and players. “We take care of it,” says Wilkins. “We mow it. We weed-and-feed. We do it as a team.” Fundraisers and donors have made it possible to do things like laser-grading the infield. “It was hard to get donations during the COVID year,” says Wilkins. And if the Titans are heading into their final days, the coach wants them to go out with their heads held high, representing their institution and community. Says Wilkins, “We’re going to finish it out and hopefully make them proud.”