TERRE HAUTE —
Terre Haute South, Terre Haute North, Northview and West Vigo return veteran pitchers to the high school baseball mound this spring, some more than others.
But all four coaches agree some actual spring weather would be nice so they can get their defenses out of the gymnasium and onto the baseball diamond to better help those pitchers out.
Braves’ coach Kyle Kraemer is fired up to have a senior trio of Cody Brock, Damon Olds and Pete Lannoo that had quality junior seasons on the hill. Terre Haute North features strong-armed junior Austin Hicks, West Vigo features a pair of southpaws — Brandon Calleja and Kevin Stewart — with vast experience, and Northview senior right-hander Craig Peters leads a staff that coach Scott McDonald says is seven or eight deep.
Let’s take a closer look (in alphabetical order) at the outlook for all four teams:
I I I
n Northview — Coming off a 21-win season and Class 4A sectional title, the Knights are hoping to maintan a high level of success.
Northview will mix in several underclassmen on the mound with the aforementioned Peters, who doubles as the Knights’ shortstop, and senior righty Brock Smith, who is the likley No. 2 in the rotation.
Left-hander Damon Bass was a spot starter as a freshman in 2012, and freshman right-handers Tucker Stewart and Nathan Thomas will be in the mix this spring along with junior Trevor Hetrick.
“Don’t have anybody that will get a ton of strikeouts, but we’re around the plate a lot,” McDonald said.
At the plate, junior Connor Pierce returns to the middle of the lineup, and Devin Clark returns to the top of the lineup. Clark led the team in stolen bases.
“We’ll have a lot of team speed,” McDonald said. “Maybe the fastest team I’ve had. Just have to put the ball in play.”
Junior infielder Connor Ganly, who had a game-winning double in that sectional championship, and junior infielder Kyle Moore are also returnees.
Joe Ball and Bo Stewart are competitors for the starting catcher job, and Ball could also earn time in the outfield.
“I think our defense will be our strongest point. I can’t tell right now,” McDonald said.
Northview (21-9) plays in a scrimmage Thursday against Crawfordsville.
n Terre Haute North — The Patriots graduated a pair of Division I hitters — Tony Rosselli (Indiana State) and Cody Gardner (Wright State) — but coach Shawn Turner is excited about a good mix of veterans and young players who are looking to build on an 18-win campaign.
Hicks led North with a 2.14 earned-run average last season in 39 1/3 innings as a sophomore. Sophomore Greg Hannum, a “hard-throwing and heady” right-hander, could be the Patriots’ No. 2 pitcher, while Tristan Pate slots in at No. 3 on the mound, Turner said.
“He’s picked up velocity and added more movement,” Turner said of Hicks. “He mixes his pitches a little bit better. Any time you can throw three or more pitches where you want them, that’s a good sign.”
The Patriots also lost .300-hitting outfielder Nick Long to a knee injury this season, but senior Sam Wulf, junior third baseman Zach Milam and senior outfielder Colton Pittman all return after batting over .300 last spring.
Wolf is the top returning run producer who’s likely to bat cleanup this year. Milam was second on the Patriots in runs scored in 2012.
“We’re excited to see Wolf complete his high school career with a lot of success,” Turner said. “Zach has a very bright future. Colton is a very strong hitter, hits to all fields, runs well. And has a very hard-throwing arm.”
Junior Jonathan Eilbracht, sophomore Cody Maloon — who’s also a pitcher — Hicks and senior Gabe Sevigny will be in the mix in the middle infield.
“All four are pretty strong,” Turner said. “It’s a good problem to have.”
In the outfield, junior Lane Dransfield will move to center field after playing some in left last year. The lefty will also do some pitching.
“Pretty smooth kid, covers a lot of ground. We’ve had a lot of good center fielders over the years, and he’s another one that fits right into the mix,” Turner said.
Senior MacKenzie Minger looks to take over in right field.
At catcher, freshman T.J. Collett, junior Jake Schlosser, Hannum and junior Nathan Will are all in the mix.
Left-handed pitcher Nick Norton will also add depth for North on the mound.
“I think going in that we have the most talent that we’ve had across the field since I’ve been there. We may not have the dominating one, two or three presence we had when [Josh] Phegley and [Nick] Ciolli were playing. This is a very tallented group.”
n Terre Haute South — Terre Haute South came up short in a bid for a sixth straight Class 4A Sectional crown, but the Braves are enthusiastic about getting back to work on starting another streak.
Brock went 7-0 on the mound in 2012 with a 2.32 ERA, while also batting .300 with five home runs and 26 RBIs.
Lannoo chipped in three wins, four saves and a 3.30 ERA, while Olds struck out 49 in 34 1/3 innings to get three wins. Throw in sophomore left-hander Timmy Herrin, who got some experience as a freshman, and freshman right-hander Logan Ames and Kraemer likes the looks of his staff.
“I don't know that we’ve ever had three senior pitchers,” Kraemer said. “They’ve all logged considerable innings. We're interested in seeing what those pitchers can do this year.”
South’s lineup features some veteran returnees as well. Brock, Lannoo (.387, 17 RBIs) and senior catcher Preston Tofaute (.330, 3 homers, 28 RBIs) will make up a formidable middle of the order.
Shortstop Jacob Johnson (.348, 19 RBIs, 57 runs, 18 stolen bases) will be the South table-setter once again.
Kraemer is looking to fill holes at second base, third base and all three outfield spots.
Senior Cam Higgins and sophomore Jared Wolfe are vying for second base, while Zach Donnally and sophomore Conner Shipley — also a potential pitcher — are battling at third base.
In the outfield, freshman Justin Jenkins and junior Nathan Reed are potential starters in center field, while Sander Downs and Clayton Streeter are working in left field. Austin Slover, a junior, could man right field.
South has the makings of a successful team, but “we have to have guys step up and earn the other spots,” Kraemer said.
n West Vigo — The Vikings have 12 players that started at least one game last season, coach Steve DeGroote said, meaning he expects improvement on a 20-10 campaign. The Vikings finished second in the Western Indiana Conference.
Twin brothers Kevin and Kyle Stewart are two key leaders for the Vikings, DeGroote said. Kevin, a left-handed pitcher, finished strong in 2012 on the mound. He’s joined by Calleja, a southpaw who won seven games.
Kyle Stewart batted third for the Vikings, finishing with a .439 average. He and senior outfielder Kade Lindsey — a .305 hitter in the leadoff spot — are key to making the Vikings offense go.
Senior infielder Lucas Fagg batted .450 as a sophomore and .325 last season with 21 RBIs, DeGroote said.
“He really worked on his pitching. He can throw hard, he’s a prospective pitcher and probably bats among the top five,” DeGroote said.
Sophomore infielder David Inman hit .345 as a freshman with 25 RBIs.
“We’ve had an awesome offseason and worked so hard in the weight room. We’re going to be tough,” DeGroote said.
Austin Wallace and sophomore Donnie Ames split time behind the plate for the Vikings.
Braiden Cardinal is also hoping to return to the lineup at third base as a “much improved” player, DeGroote said.
Brandon Behringer and Alex West will battle for playing time at first base, DeGroote said.
“Behringer really came on in the summer. Some of these kids just put time in. He’s a left-handed hitter that realy improved. West started last year as a freshman,” DeGroote said.
Freshman Jordan Schaffer could fill in at second base when Fagg is pitching. Freshman Bryson Scank is another potential contributor as an infielder/pitcher.
“I’m just ecstatic. I’ve got more kids than I can mention. I couldn’t ask for more to work with and better attitudes and better leadership,” DeGroote said. “I’ve got speed. I don’t have a [Jeremy] Lucas or a [Tyler] Wampler, but I’ve really got some talent here. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.”
TERRE HAUTE —
Terre Haute South, Terre Haute North, Northview and West Vigo return veteran pitchers to the high school baseball mound this spring, some more than others.
- High School
Goatee, Bertoli ran away with Spring Athlete of the Year
When honoring athletes after a season of excellence, the phrase “what might have been” doesn’t usually come up.
But in the case of Terre Haute South’s Jackson Bertoli and Terre Haute North’s TaPring Goatee – the Tribune-Star’s Athletes of the Year for spring sports – there’s an air of unfinished business despite obvious recent successes.
Post 346 opens tournament with two victories
Preston Tofaute got on base enough to score three runs, Cody Thornton smashed a two-run triple in the first inning and pitcher Pete Lannoo scattered four hits over a seven-inning complete game.
All of that helped Wayne Newton Post 346 down Lafayette Post 11 by a 7-2 score in the opener of the Terre Haute Inviatational tournament for American Legion baseball Thursday afternoon at Terre Haute North High School.
North boys move up to 13th in golf state finals
Early Wednesday morning, Terre Haute North senior Ryan Baker and coach Abe Nasser headed out to the Legends of Indiana Golf Course for a range session.
Baker wasn’t happy with the 85 he shot in Tuesday’s first round of the IHSAA boys golf state finals.
“He was frustrated,” Nasser said.
Problem solved. Baker bounced back with a 2-over 74 Wednesday, helping the Patriots improve their team score by seven strokes.
The Patriots shot 304 as a team Wednesday, giving them a two-day score of 615, good for 13th place in the 15-team field.
Big hill to climb for North golf
Terre Haute North boys golf is 21 strokes behind leaders at IHSAA boys golf tourney.
Top of her game
There are a lot of surprising facts about blossoming volleyball prodigy Caitlyn Newton, including that shape-shifting thing she can apparently do, but maybe one of them stands out the most. She may only be scratching the surface.
Camp, Howe win, then lose in state tennis tourney
Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe of Terre Haute South won their first match of high school tennis Friday at the state individual doubles finals, then won the first set against a powerful Park Tudor team before falling in three sets.
Terre Haute North heading back to state finals in boys golf
Terre Haute North is going back to the state finals in boys high school golf for the first time in more than 10 years. The Patriots qualified for a trip to The Legends Course next week by tying for third in the Washington Regional at Country Oaks Golf Club and advancing with the better fifth score.
North, South, Sullivan to compete at golf regional
Boys high school golf teams from the Wabash Valley will compete in the Washington Regional on Thursday, seeking a spot in the state finals to be played next week.
Terre Haute North falls 6-1 to Brownsburg in opening game of Class 4A Regional
Terre Haute North coach Shawn Turner told the Patriots to raise their heads. He wanted to see their eyes at the close of their 24-7 high school baseball season.
Terre Haute North girls shine on dreary day at track state finals
Led by a record setting 3,200-meter relay team and Keirra Porter’s long jump, Terre Haute North turned in its best finish ever in the 40th annual IHSAA Girls Track & Field Championships on Saturday at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Valley teams will have to wait until Monday for baseball regionals
Rain and the threat of more rain caused postponements of high school baseball regionals involving Terre Haute North, West Vigo and Shakamak on Saturday.
Rockville's season ends at Lafayette Central Catholic
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IHSAA boys state track finals: Standing alone
It hadn’t been a particularly good day for Wabash Valley track and field Friday, and it wasn’t looking like a good one for Jackson Bertoli either.
Terre Haute North, West Vigo return to baseball regionals
Terre Haute North’s baseball team hasn’t participated in an IHSAA regional since 2006. West Vigo’s wait hasn’t been as long, but it was 2010 when the Vikings last advanced from a sectional.
Patriots girls take aim at state track title
Terre Haute North’s girls have several potential state champions today at Indiana University.
South, North track athletes looking for big performances at state finals
Terre Haute South’s distance trio of Jackson Bertoli, Logan Hambrock and Riley Stohler appear to be the favorites to crack all-state status among Wabash Valley competitors today in the IHSAA boys track and field state finals at Indiana University.
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South Vermillion softball can't overcome errors, Tri-West
Uncharacteristic errors led to eight unearned runs and hard-luck hitting made that impossible to overcome for South Vermillion, which fell 8-0 to Tri-West in Class 3A regional play.
Clay City softball comes up short against Lutheran
Clay City closed its high school softball season Tuesday night with the best record ever for the program at 21-9.
The Eels wanted to add another win, the school’s first regional title, but they came up short.
PREP ROUNDUP: Rockville wins baseball sectional
Rockville won its own Class A sectional in high school baseball Tuesday, defeating Covington 10-4 in the rain-delayed championship game.
Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional:The wait is over
Three minutes into an interview with various media members, Terre Haute North baseball coach Shawn Turner couldn’t react fast enough to avoid a bucket of ice water being dumped over his head from behind by his giddy players. The soaking-wet Turner could shake it off with a smile, however, because his Patriots had just won the IHSAA Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional championship with a 13-3 six-inning triumph over Plainfield on Monday evening.
Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional: TH North, Plainfield win squeakers
The high school baseball teams of Terre Haute North and Plainfield proved Monday that what a batter does early in the game is not necessarily indicative of what he will do in the late innings.
Class 2A Linton Sectional: Eastern rains on Sullivan parade
Mother Nature put Sullivan’s quest for a high school baseball sectional championship on hold Monday night at Linton-Stockton High School. Sullivan (14-15) and Eastern Greene (16-7) will resume play in the Class 2A Sectional 47 championship game at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Linton’s Roy Herndon Field.
Opening Day: Terre Haute Rex host Quincy
In his first season at the helm, first-year Terre Haute Rex manager Ronnie Prettyman is going to be surrounded by men he knows and trusts.
Class A Shakamak Sectional: Stout pitching leads Union, Shakamak to final
Trey Bedwell and Patrick Green made sure their respective high school baseball teams would meet for the championship of the Class A Shakamak Sectional by pitching shutouts in semifinal contests Monday afternoon.
Class A Rockville Sectional: Covington, Rockville title game postponed
Rockville and Covington won semifinal high school baseball games Monday to advance to the championship game of the Rockville Class A Sectional. Due to rain, the championship game was postponed. A decision was expected this morning whether the game will be played today or Wednesday.
South Vermillion, Linton, Clay City look to stay alive in softball
There might have been as many reasons to think they wouldn’t be winning sectionals this spring as evidence to show they would, but high school softball teams from South Vermillion, Linton and Clay City will be playing one-game regionals Tuesday with the chance to keep defying the odds.
West Vigo back on top of Class 3A baseball sectional
West Vigo won its sectional with a 6-4 victory over South Vermillion on a rainy night at Dick Ballinger Field.
South runs into ‘buzzsaw’ at girls tennis semistate
Postmatch interviews don’t often begin with a coach and a reporter ready to blurt out the same word, but that was the case for Bill Blankenbaker and his interviewer Saturday morning after the Center Grove Semistate for girls high school tennis.
Unfortunately for Blankenbaker’s Terre Haute South team, that word was “buzzsaw.”
Greenwood’s Kawamoto twins made quick work of the top of the Braves’ singles lineup, so despite stellar efforts by both South doubles teams the Woodmen’s 3-2 victory didn’t seem all that close.
Greenwood moves on to Fishers, where it plays Floyd Central or Jasper on Friday in the state quarterfinals.
Also playing Friday, but at Park Tudor, will be South’s Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe, who reached the individual doubles finals for the second straight season by virtue of their 6-4, 6-2 win over the Greenwood team of Taylor Hudnall and Brittany Toney.
“It’s really exciting,” said Howe of the prospect of a second straight finals trip, “but I wish our team could’ve gone with us.”
- More High School Headlines
- Goatee, Bertoli ran away with Spring Athlete of the Year