Kirk Cabana’s life path has been anything but a straight one. “My journey is not orthodox,” says Cabana. At 35, Cabana is the new head baseball coach at Marian University’s Ancilla College, a National Junior College Athletic Association and Michigan Community College Athletic Association member in Donaldson, Ind. “It’s such a welcoming community,” says Cabana. “It met me right where I’m at in my growth and development.” The MCCAA has three divisions: Northern (Alpena, Cay, Delta, Grand Rapids, Mid Michigan and Muskegon), Western (Glen Oaks, Kalamazoo Valley, Kellogg, Lake Michigan, Lansing and and Marian’s Ancilla) and Eastern (Henry Ford, Jackson, Macomb, Mott, Schoolcraft and St. Clair County). Including 8-40 in 2022, the MUAC Chargers have won 67 games since 2013. It wasn’t too many years ago that West Covina (Calif.) High School graduate Cabana worked in pest control more than a decade after going to Citrus College in Glendora, Calif., where he played football but neglected his studies. “I ruined opportunities I had because I wouldn’t go to class,” says Cabana, who years later decided he wanted a change and went back to the same school, played baseball at age 30 and earned an associate in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Citrus in 2018. That was followed by a General Studies bachelor’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University and a master’s degree in Positive Coaching and Athletic Leadership from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was a player then an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Carolina University in Winston-Salem, N.C. (the Bruins went to the National Christian College Athletic Association World Series in 2021 and 2022), from August 2019 until moving to Indiana for a chance to be a head coach and impact lives. “I’ve fallen in love with this process,” says Cabana. “Making the sacrifices these last five years have been fun and rewarding.” His coaching experience also includes head coach in the Puerto Rico Collegiate League, bench coach for the Coastal Plain League’s High Point-Thomasville (N.C.) Hi-Toms and All-American Amateur Baseball Association’s Winston-Salem-based Carolina Disco Turkeys. In September 2021, Cabana founded Pursuit 4 Purpose to help athletes with their struggles of trying to become their best and has released 33 P4P podcast episodes to date related to personal development. “It’s a character-developing, goal-setting organization intended to take the principles, values and life lessons we learn from sports and take them and apply them to other areas of our lives,” says Cabana. “I want to encourage and implore students to be more than athletes so when your sport fails you and it will you’ll have something more to stand on.” Renowned physical and mental skills trainer Alan Jaeger has been a frequent guest. His first guest was Jeremy Sheetinger, former assistant at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., and College Division Liaison for the American Amateur Baseball Coaches Association who is now head coach at Georgia Gwinett College (the Grizzlies won the NAIA World Series in 2021). Making himself a sponge, Cabana is soaking up the information while sharing it with others. “I’m just doing my part to help athletes through the process,” says Cabana. Kirk, wife Katie and sons Kooper (6) and Karson (infant) have settled near MUAC in Plymouth, Ind., while he goes about building his first Chargers team with about 25 players and the help of assistants Chuck Bowen, Josh Pitts and Matt Pitney. Bowen played and has coached at Ancilla. Pitts was on the Knox (Ind,) High School staff. The 2023 season is slated to open Feb. 11 against Southeastern Illinois College. “We’re ready to attack the spring,” says Cabana. That will be done while emphasizing team. It’s the model of Mudita promoted by University of Alabama head softball coach Patrick Murphy. “It’s vicarious joy through others’ success,” says Cabana. “What I’m trying to do for my guys is know that somebody else’s success does not mean less success for you. “You have to be willing to move the team forward … There are so many roles on the team … You have to successful where you’re at.” Cabana notes that during a 55-game season there will be chances for players to prove themselves. “It’s a lot more than a baseball team,” says Cabana. “It’s a group of people learning to be their best.”
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.
Attacking games and practices with passion. That’s what Trey Bickel expects as the new baseball head coach at Marian University’s Ancilla College in Donaldson, Ind. “It’s business out there,” says Bickel, 27. “In baseball you have to be 100 percent focused. “There has to be 100 percent intensity and focus or they’re wasting time.” Bickel, who came to the Chargers as an assistant in the fall of 2018, took over the three weeks ago when Chris Woodruff left to become Assistant Athletic Director/Compliance Director at Dodge City (Kan.) Community College. At the moment, Bickel is a one-man show. He is seeking at least one assistant. “I have feelers out with buddies I played with,” says Bickel. “I want to make sure I get someone who fits in with our guys and gets us where we want to be.” Bickel relinquished his athletic groundskeeper duties when Marian University came into the picture and hired a company to handle that, leaving the coach free to focus on baseball. That includes recruiting. “If you’re not getting that offer from your dream school don’t shut down any other options,” says Bickel. “Junior college is the route to go for a majority of guys if you don’t have those dream schools calling.” There are currently 21 on the Marian University’s Ancilla College roster, including four pitcher-only players and a number of two-way players. Ideally, Bickel would like 25 to 30 athletes. “Next spring I hope to have 15 to 20 pitchers rostered,” says Bickel. Outside practices are now short and intense. When the team goes indoors its at the LifePlex in Plymouth. This fall, the school formally known as Ancilla College took to the diamond to play five games against outside competition with others cancelled for COVID-19 reasons. The Chargers were in 9-inning contests against Bethel University and Purdue Northwest and a doubleheader (two 7’s) against Indiana University South Bend. The spring portion of the schedule is to begin Feb. 12-13 for a four-game series at Southeastern Illinois College. The first on-campus game is slated for March 19 vs. Morton College. Marian University’s Ancilla College is a member of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association and National Junior College Athletic Association District 12. Bickel finished his playing career at IUSB in 2018. The 2012 Mishawaka (Ind.) High School graduate went to Parkland College in Champaign, Ill., of the fall of 2012. While he was not around the following spring then Cobras head coach Matt Kennedy (now a Butler University assistant) made an impression on him. ‘He’s a go-getter,” says Bickel of Kennedy, who he encountered again in the 2021 College Summer League at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. “He knows how to bring out intensity in his coaching. It shows in a (NJCAA) national championship (at Parkland in 2009 with a fifth-place finish in 2010). I definitely enjoyed the intensity he had as a coach. “He attacks it. That’s what I’m looking to do.” With a gap year mixed it, Bickel played two years at Holy Cross College for Brian Blondell before that program ceased and two at IUSB for Blondell, Mike Huling and Jon Koepf. “They all brought something to the table to help me,” says Bickel, who was a right-handed pitcher. He threw a no-hitter in the Titans’ first-ever home game in 2016. At Mishawaka, Bickel had John Huemmer as a head coach and Chadd Blasko as a pitching coach. “(Huemmer) is one of the most genuine people I know,” says Bickel. “He’s a very nice guy and he’s there for his players and building relationships. “He’s very good at that.” Bickel spent a couple of seasons picking the brain of Blasko, who was selected 36th overall in the 2002 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Chicago Cubs out of Purdue University. Born in South Bend, Bickel spent parts of his elementary school years in Goshen, Elkhart and Mishawaka and was in the latter city from Grades 6-12. Trey is from a big family. He has two older brothers and one older sister plus one younger sister and one younger brother.
Notre Dame powered its way to a South Bend Regional championship and now the Irish know they will play host and No. 7 national seed Mississippi State in the NCAA Division I tournament‘s Starkville Super Regional (the Bulldogs went unbeaten in winning the Starkville Regional, which wrapped Monday, June 7). The winner of that best-of-3 super regional series June 11-14 at Dudy Noble Field/Polk-DeMent Stadium will advance to the eight-team College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Former Indiana University head coachChris Lemonis is the bench boss for the MSU Bulldogs. Link Jarrett is in his second season as head coach at Notre Dame (33-11). The No. 10 seed Irish lashed 49 hits with 23 for extra bases and 15 home runs in beating Central Michigan 10-0, Connecticut 26-3 and Central Michigan 14-2 Friday through Sunday June 4-6 at Frank Eck Stadium in taking the South Bend Regional. Irish senior first baseman Niko Kavadas (Penn High School graduate) belted two home runs and drove in four runs in the first win against CMU. The lefty slugger that smacked two homers and drove in eight against UConn. In the second game against Central Michigan, Kavadas hit one homer (his school record-setting 21st of the season) with one RBI. The other dingers rang off the bats of junior Carter Putz (4), senior Ryan Cole (3), junior Brooks Coetzee (2) and senior David LaManna. Indiana State saw its season end at the Nashville Regional hosted by Vanderbilt. The Mitch Hannahs-coached Sycamores lost 7-6 to Georgia Tech, beat Presbyterian 9-2 and lost 9-0 to Georgia Tech. Redshirt junior Jordan Schaffer (West Vigo High School) hit .367 with seven homers, one triple, 10 doubles, 34 runs batted in, 52 runs scored and 11 stolen bases for ISU (31-21). Indiana University Southeast was greeted by a large crowd when it got back to New Albany after its first appearance in the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. Playing May 28-June 1, Ben Reel’s Grenadiers (50-16) topped against Concordia (Neb) 4-2, lost 11-5 to Central Methodist (Mo.), bested Keiser (Fla.) 9-7 and lost 14-10 to Faulkner (Ala,). For the season, senior Matt Monahan (who missed the World Series because of injury) hit .428, junior Brody Tanksley (Bedford North Lawrence High School) drove in 70 runs and junior Clay Woeste (Lawrenceburg High School) stole 38 bases. Georgia Gwinnett — coached by former Saint Joseph’s College (Rensselaer, Ind.) assistant Jeremy Sheetinger — won the red banner as 2021 NAIA national champions. Sheets returned to coaching this season after serving with the American Baseball Coaches Association. He hosts the Dugout Chatter Podcast Powered by Stick & Ball TV.
After beating Virginia Tech 8-0 and losing to Virginia 14-1 at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., the Irish will host the South Bend Regional. It will be the first time postseason baseball has been at ND since 2004.
Each regional field features four teams, playing in a double-elimination format. All 16 regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, June 4 to Monday, June 7 (if necessary).
Notre Dame (30-11) plays Central Michigan (40-16) at 1 p.m., followed by Connecticut (33-17) against Michigan (27-17) at 7. Irish head coach Link Jarrett was named the ACC Coach of the Year.
Indiana State went 3-2 at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in Carbondale, Ill. — beating Illinois State 5-2 and Southern Illinois 11-8, losing to Dallas Baptist 10-1, beating Southern Illinois 9-7 then losing to Dallas Baptist 12-8 (in 11 innings).
The Sycamores are in the Nashville Regional. Georgia Tech (29-23) plays Indiana State (30-19) at 1 p.m. Friday while Vanderbilt (40-15) takes on Presbyerian (22-21) at 7.
Indiana State earned its 11th NCAA postseason appearance in program history and the third under head coach Mitch Hannahs.
Ball State (38-18) swept a four-game Mid-American Conference home series with Miami (Ohio). The Cardinals did not hear their name called Monday.
Nor did Indiana (26-18). The Hoosiers went 1-2 in a Big Ten Conference series at Maryland.
Purdue (16-26) wrapped the season with one win against Penn State and a doubleheader split against Minnesota in a Big Ten pod weekend.
The 2021 season also closed at the MVC tournament for Valparaiso (16-35) and Evansville (28-27). Valpo went 2-2 and UE 1-1 in Carbondale.
The event is slated for May 25-30 in Greensboro, N.C.
The Irish meet No. 12 seed Virginia Tech in Tuesday’s second game. ND’s current four-game win streak includes a three game weekend sweep at Virginia Tech.
Penn High School graduate and Notre Dame first baseman Niko Kavadas heads to Carolina with 16 home runs and 49 runs batted in.
Missouri Valley Conference tournament play begins and Indiana State (27-17, 14-10) goes in as the No. 2 seed while Evansville (28-26, 11-16) is No. 7 and Valparaiso (14-33, 9-19) No. 8.
Games will be played May 25-29 at Southern Illinois-Carbondale.
The Sycamores receive a first-round bye to Day 2 while UE (vs. Illinois State) and Valpo (vs. Missouri State) play on the first day.
Indiana State overcame an 8-0 deficit to win 13-10 at Evansville Saturday to secure the No. 2 seed in the eight-team tourney behind Dallas Baptist (33-15).
Left-hander Geremy Guerrero is 9-1 with a 1.92 earned run average and catcher Max Wright has 14 homers and 37 RBIs for the Sycamores.
Ball State (34-18, 25-11) won its first two games then lost two in a Mid-American Conference series at Ohio. The Cardinals wrap the MAC season May 28-30 with four games against Miami (Ohio) in Muncie.
Nick Powell (.353) leads BSU in hitting. Right-hander John Baker (7-3, 2.45) has been the No. 1 starting pitcher.
Indiana (24-16, 24-16) has lost the first three games of its Big Ten Conference pod series, dropping two to Nebraska and one to Ohio State in Bloomington. The Hoosiers host the Buckeyes again today (May 24).
A 9-8 loss for Purdue (14-25, 14-25) at Minnesota Sunday kept the Boilermakers from a four-game sweep of the Golden Gophers.
A three-team pod (Purdue, Penn State, Minnesota) in West Lafayette is slated for May 27-29.
The 2021 season came to a close for both Butler (14-23 overall, 8-13 in the Big East Conference) and Purdue Fort Wayne (11-35 overall and 8-28 in the Horizon League).
The five-team finals of the NCAA Division III Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament saw Transylvania emerge as champions.
Transy bested Earlham (25-20, 21-18) in the final game. Bluffton knocked out Anderson (23-19, 20-17). A loss to Anderson eliminated Franklin (25-14, 23-12).
Indiana Tech (35-27) and Indiana Wesleyan (44-14) both bowed out in NAIA Opening Round play in the Marion Bracket.
Vincennes (24-31) saw its slate finish in the junior college Mid-West Athletic Conference tournament.
Of the state’s 38 college baseball programs, eight are still playing. There’s seven in NCAA Division I and there’s one in NAIA.
Indiana University Southeast (48-14) earned its first trip to the NAIA College World Series, which is May 28-June 4 in Lewiston, Idaho.
No. 2 seed Indiana Wesleyan (43-12) and No. 5 Indiana Tech (31-25) are part of the five-team Marion (Ind.) Bracket at Indiana Wesleyan.
IWU, coached by Rich Benjamin, won the regular-season and tournament titles in the Crossroads League.
Indiana Tech, coached by Kip McWilliams, was the regular-season champion in the Wolverine-Hoosier Conference.
No. 2 seed Indiana University Southeast (45-14) will be one of five teams competing in the Kingsport (Tenn.) Bracket.
IU Southeast, coached by Ben Reel, was the regular season and tournament champion in the River States Conference.
The NAIA season has ended for Taylor (37-20), Saint Francis (34-22), Huntington (33-16), Indiana University-Kokomo (28-20), Marian (25-29), Indiana University South Bend (24-24), Oakland City (17-27), Bethel (15-39), Grace (12-31), Calumet of Saint Joseph (7-29) and Goshen (3-34).
The 34 wins is a single-season school record for Saint Francis and Panthers coach Dustin Butcher.
Franklin (25-12), Earlham (23-18) and Anderson ( 20-17) were among teams winning opening round series and making it to the five-team finals in the NCAA Division III Heartland Collegiate Conference tournament.
Transylvania and Bluffton will be the other two teams. The tourney is to conclude Sunday, May 23.
The 2021 season is over for Indiana’s other D-III programs — Rose-Hulman (23-14), Hanover (20-20), Manchester (19-22), Wabash (18-15), DePauw (15-21) and Trine (6-28).
NCAA D-III teams Indianapolis (27-21), Southern Indiana (24-20) and Purdue Northwest (11-22) have also seen their slates come to a close.
Ivy Tech Northwest (31-25) lost 2-1 to Kellogg in a three-game National Junior College Athletic Association Regional in Battle Creek, Mich., and wrapped its season.
Max Flock homered three times and collected five hits and six runs batted in as Vincennes swept a doubleheader from Spoon River and made the Mid-West Athletic Conference tournament May 20-23 in Normal, Ill.
NJCAA member Ancilla (6-29) has concluded its season.
NCAA Division I Notre Dame (26-10) was idle in Atlantic Coast Conference play and yet the Irish earned the program’s first regular season title since 2006 by winning the ACC Atlantic Division.
ND has one more ACC series May 20-22 at Virginia Tech before the conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C.
Indiana (24-12, 24-12) is second in the Big Ten Conference to Nebraska (25-11, 25-11). The Hoosiers have eight more conference games remaining. There will be no Big Ten tournament.
Ball State (32-16, 23-9) holds a slight lead on Central Michigan (32-17, 23-10) at the top of the Mid-American Conference standings.
BSU has a May 21-23 road series against Ohio and May 28-30 home series with Miami (Ohio) before the postseason.
The eight-team Missouri Valley Conference tournament is scheduled for May 25-29 in Carbondale, Ill. Right now Dallas Baptist (31-13, 16-4) and Indiana State (25-15, 12-8) are the top two seeds with Evansville (26-24, 9-14) No. 6 and Valparaiso (14-29, 9-15) No. 7.
Ivy Tech Northeast (30-23) swept a National Junior College Athletic Association sub-regional series against Lakeland over the weekend.
The Great Lakes Region 12 tournament will be hosted by the highest seed.
In the second season of the program (2019), Ivy Tech went 33-14. For now, that is the school victory record.
The 2021 sub-regional win was also the 10th postseason championship of Titans boss Lance Hershberger’s college coaching career.
He had earned two NAIA independent sectionals (1996, 1998), one conference tournament title (2000), five consecutive NAIA regional crowns (1998-2002) and one NAIA super regional title (2001) at Indiana Tech prior to Saturday’s feat for Ivy Tech.
Hershberger’s 55 postseason victories is the most all-time among college baseball coaches in Indiana.
Indiana University Southeast (43-14) has made it to championship game of NAIA River States Conference tournament.
By going 3-1 Thursday through Saturday, the Grenadiers earned the right to meet Point Park Monday (May 10) for the right to move on to the NAIA Opening Round.
With a RSC tournament loss to IU Southeast, Indiana University Kokomo (28-20) saw its 2021 season come to a close. Point Park put out Oakland City (17-27).
The top six seeds — Indiana Wesleyan (41-12), Taylor (36-19), Huntington (33-14), Saint Francis (34-21), Mount Vernon Nazarene (29-18) and Marian (25-28) — are still alive in the NAIA Crossroads League tournament at IWU in Marion, Ind.
Play began Friday and resumes Monday, May 10. The championship will be Tuesday, May 11 (Wednesday, May 12, if necessary).
With each win, Saint Francis adds to its single-season school record for victories.
With a 10-inning Saturday loss to Saint Francis, Bethel (15-39) concluded its season.
Indiana Tech (31-25) went 1-2 in the NAIA Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament and now awaits the NAIA Opening Round pairings.
Indiana University South Bend (24-23) went 1-1 in its first two games of the NAIA Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament and was slated to play again Monday, May 10 in Joliet, Ill.
Next up for NCAA Division II Indianapolis (21-19) and Southern Indiana (22-18) is the eight-team Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament, slated for Thursday-Sunday, May 13-16 at Lindenwood in St. Charles, Mo.
The first part of the two-tier NCAA Division IIII Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament has been set.
Best-of-3 series are slated for Friday-Saturday, May 14-15 with No. 10 seed Defiance (6-31) at No. 1 Transylvania (26-10), No. 9 Mount Saint Joseph (12-26) at No. 2 Franklin (23-12), No. 8 Bluffton (16-22) at No. 3 Rose-Hulman (23-12), No. 7 Manchester (19-20) at No. 4 Earlham (21-18) and No. 6 Hanover (20-18) at No. 5 Anderson (20-17).
A five-team double-elimination tournament will follow May 20-23 at the best remaining seed after Round 1.
Fifth-year senior Danny Dopp is now the career hits leader at Earlham. His 194 — reached in Saturday’s doubleheader against Manchester — surpass the 192 of Nate Lynch, who played for the Quakers 2014-17.
DePauw (15-21) saw its season wrap Saturday in non-conference D-III play against Washington University of St. Louis.
NCAA Division I Indiana (23-10, 23-10) went 2-0 against Rutgers and 1-1 against Nebraska in Piscataway, N.J., and hold a 1/2-game lead on Michigan for the lead in the Big Ten Conference standings. IU is slated to play three at Michigan Friday-Sunday, May 14-16.
Even with a 1-2 series against Florida State, Notre Dame (25-10, 22-10) is well ahead of Louisville (26-15, 16-10) for the lead in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
By splitting a four-game series at Central Michigan, Ball State (30-14, 21-7) remains 1 game behind first-place CMU in the Mid-American Conference standings.
Indiana State (24-12, 11-5) went 3-1 in a Missouri Valley Conference series at Missouri State. The Sycamores trail MVC front-runner Dallas Baptist by 2 games.
With a win in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Youngstown State, Purdue Fort Wayne gave Mastodons head coach Doug Schreiber the 500th win of his collegiate coaching career.
Because of health concerns within the Northwestern program, the Northwestern at Purdue series was postponed.
Purdue has worked an arrangement with Ohio State to add a Tuesday, May 11 game at Alexander Field.
Jared Heard’s two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning helped Indiana University-Kokomo (22-16, 10-8) to a walk-off 2-1 baseball victory against Brescia Saturday, April 17 at Kokomo Municipal Stadium.
It was the Cougars’ seventh straight victory — the longest current streak among Indiana’s 38 collegiate programs.
By beating Brescia 8-1 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, IUK gave head coach Matt Howard his 100th career victory.
Indiana Wesleyan (36-11, 25-3) built a three-game lead in the Crossroads League standings with a four-game sweep of Huntington. The Wildcats have won six in a row.
Frank Plesac pitched a seven-inning complete game with 14 strikeouts as Bethel (13-30, 10-18) completed a four-game sweep of visiting Crossroads League foe Goshen and ran the Pilots’ win streak to five.
Indiana State (20-8, 7-1) finally played games at Bob Warn Field after opening the season with 24 on the road. The Sycamores swept a four-game Missouri Valley Conference series against Valparaiso.
Ellis Hanna II drove in four runs in a 12-1 win in the series finale. ISU has won five straight.
Clay Woeste collected nine hits, scored nine runs and drove in seven as Indiana University Southeast (32-13, 20-1) racked up 41 runs in a three-game River States Conference series sweep at West Virginia Tech.
Indiana University Southeast is the hottest college baseball program in the state.
Through April 4, Ben Reel’s Grenadiers (24-11 overall, 15-0 River State Conference) had won 15 straight.
IUS, based in New Albany, has won at least 31 games every season since 2008 not including the COVID 19 pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign when the NAIA-member Grenadiers went 18-1 overall and 6-0 in the RSC.
At seven, Evansville (16-11) has the longest current win streak among Indiana’s NCAA Division I schools. It is last full season — 2019 — the Purple Aces went 24-29.
Indiana Wesleyan (29-10) has rolled since an 0-7 start to 2021. Rich Benjamin’s Wildcats could soon match or surpass the 37 wins of the 2018 and 2016 IWU teams.
A clash of the NAIA Crossroads League’s top two teams is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 9-10 when Taylor (17-3 in the league) visits Indiana Wesleyan (18-2) for a pair of doubleheaders.
Taylor (28-9) has won its last four games after dropping three of four at Huntington. Excepting 2021, Kyle Gould’s Trojans won at least 32 every year since 2009.
Saint Francis (22-13, 13-7 Crossroads League) has reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since 2013.
Leaving out 2020, Huntington (20-8, 13-7 Crossroads League) has now won at least 20 each season since 2014.
The longest current winning streak among the state’s NCAA Division II programs belongs to Southern Indiana with seven. Tracy Archuleta’s Screaming Eagles won the last three games of a four-game series at Mayrville then swept four games from Missouri-St. Louis in Evansville.
Notre Dame left-handed slugger Niko Kavadas (Penn High School graduate) slammed 24 home runs in 393 at-bats his first three seasons with the Fighting Irish.
In 58 2021 at-bats, Kavanda has already bashed 11 circuit clouts.