2023 Spring Previews - 2A: No. 1-5

Indiana Staff
PBR Indiana


2023 HS TEAM PREVIEW: Illiana Christian Vikings

Head Coach: Jeff VanderWoude

Class: 2A

2022 Record: 22-7

Conference (2022 Record):  8-3

Returning Starters/Pitchers: 5/5

2023 Team Strengths:

  • Strong Leadership

  • Frontline Pitching

  • Defense

  • Team Speed

Top Players: 

Outlook: The defending 2A State Champions return 5 starters and a core group of arms that will put them in contention to make another deep playoff run in 2023. Senior Kevin Corcoran returns to lead the Vikings after he had a massive junior campaign. Corcoran hit .477 with 21 XBHs and 36 RBIs, as well as logging 53.2 IP with a 5-1 record, 1.83 ERA, and 81 strikeouts a season ago. Corcoran will be joined by Ohio State recruit Gavin Meyer atop the starting rotation. Meyer, who pitched 11.2 innings as a freshman, will be called upon to step into a larger role this spring. Senior Cody DeJong will be another arm that will be expected to see a lot of innings for Illiana Christian this spring. Junior Isaac VanderWoude, a Virginia recruit, hit .319 with 20 SB as a sophomore and will be a major impact again in the middle of the Vikings’ lineup. Meyer, DeJong, and Junior C Aaron Gouwens are all returning starters that give Illiana Christian experience throughout the lineup. The Vikings will need a few underclassmen to step into every day roles, but expect the core of this team to help carry them to another deep playoff run.


2023 HS TEAM PREVIEW: University Trailblazers

Head Coach: Chris Estep

Class: 2A

2022 Record: 19-8

Conference (2022 Record):  8-0

Returning Starters/Pitchers: 6/5

2023 Team Strengths:

  • Pitching

  • Defense

  • Varsity Experience

Top Players: 

Outlook: University will be led by Senior two-way standout and Xavier recruit Jake Hooker. Hooker hit .405 with 10 2B, 4 3B, and 3 HR while also posting a 1.83 ERA in 30.2 IP last year. He will be joined atop the starting rotation by Senior Seth Hogg who went 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA. Hogg will also be an impact bat in the middle of the lineup after he batted .306 with 13 XBHs as a junior. Junior Mark Hamby returns behind the dish after he hit .429 as a sophomore. Sophomore Sam Woodward, as well as Juniors Jasper Owens and Owen Schellhase, are all returning starters that will add quality depth to the Trailblazers’ lineup. Transfer INF Jimmy Caldwell should make an immediate impact on the University lineup as well. Sophomore Cooper Burnett will be expected to take over an every day role after seeing some starting time in 2022. Expect Freshmen Beckett Suh and Ryan Castetter to make an immediate impact on both sides of the ball.


2023 HS TEAM PREVIEW: Forest Park Rangers

Head Coach: Jarred Howard

Class: 2A

2022 Record: 21-8

Conference (2022 Record):  11-1

Returning Starters/Pitchers: 7/5

2023 Team Strengths:

  • Experience Lineup

  • Deep Pitching Staff

Top Players: 

Outlook: The Rangers have a loaded pitching staff that could potentially be one of the deepest in 2A. Forest Park will be led by two-way performer and Western Kentucky recruit, Reid Howard. Howard batted .410 as a sophomore and also saw plenty of time on the mound as well. Senior USI recruit Clayton Weisheit pitched 61 innings as a junior while posting a 2.05 ERA with 68 K’s. Junior Joel Bueltel logged 45 IP as a sophomore and posted a 2.30 ERA. Weisheit and Bueltel will also be expected to be contributors in the middle part of the Rangers’ lineup. Junior Sage Stout and Sophomore Tyler Fetter are both talented, two-way players that will factor into the lineup as well as the pitching staff. Senior INF Keegan Abell is another returning starter that will likely hit near the top of the Rangers’ order.


2023 HS TEAM PREVIEW: Providence Pioneers

Head Coach: ​Tre’ Watson 

Class: 2A

2022 Record: 18-11

Returning Starters/Pitchers: 7/6

2023 Team Strengths:

  • Senior Leadership

  • Hitting

  • Defense

  • Team Speed

Top Players: 

Outlook: Providence returns a strong core of players that helped them to a sectional championship in 2022. Senior SS Grant Borden will be a force in the middle of a strong Pioneer lineup along with Senior 3B Cody Jackson. Junior OF Jack Beyl and Sophomore OF Cole Huett are two high-contact type bats that should hit near the top of the order. Seniors Casey Kaelin, Nathan Julius, and Brantley Whitlock are returning starters that will provide quality depth to the lineup. Junior OF Luke Kruer gives Providence another right-handed bat with some power potential. This Providence team will be led by a strong group of position players, but expect Senior Grant Seebold to provide quality innings as the ace of the pitching staff. Jackson, Julius, Kruer, and Beyl should all be in the mix to get innings on the mound as well. A trio of freshmen in RHP/3B Blake Straub, RHP/CIF Gavin Jackson, and OF Lincoln Kruer could see some varsity time for the Pioneers.


2023 HS TEAM PREVIEW: Wapahani Raiders

Head Coach: Brian Dudley

Class: 2A

2022 Record: 24-5

Conference (2022 Record):  7-1 

Returning Starters/Pitchers: 7/6

2023 Team Strengths:

  • Varsity Experience from Deep Playoff Run

  • Pitching

  • Experience

Top Players: 

  • Gavin Lash, RHP/SS, 2023: Purdue Northwest recruit

    • .471 avg, 13 2B, 4 HR, 43 RBI / 64.1 IP, 9-3 record, 2.61 ERA, 63 K’s

  • Daxton Dudley, RHP/3B, 2023

    • 48 IP, 6-0 record, 2.04 ERA, 36 K’s / .347 avg, 8 2B, 23 RBI, 30 R

  • Paul Fisher, C, 2023

    • .370 avg, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 16 RBI

  • Joe Foster, OF, 2023

    • .313 avg, 2 2B, 23 R

  • Isaac Andrews, INF/P, 2024

    • 20 IP,  3-0 record, 4.20 ERA

  • Landon Weller, 1B, 2024

    • .247 avg, 3 2B, 13 R

  • Carter Noble, OF, 2024

    • .274 avg, 2 2B, 12 R

  • Ian McClellan, P, 2023

    • 15 IP, 1-0 record, 1.40 ERA

  • Nate Luce, P, 2025

    • 19.2 IP, 3-0 record, 2.14 ERA, 26 K’s

Outlook: Wapahani returns a large portion of the group that took them to Semi-State in 2022. The Raiders will be led by Seniors Daxton Dudley and Gavin Lash, both major impact players on both sides of the ball. The two combined to pitch 112.1 innings last season, with a record of 15-3. Lash also added 13 2B, 4 HR, and 43 RBI while batting .471, and Dudley hit .347 with 8 2B and 23 RBIs. The Raiders will have a deep stable of returning arms, including Junior Isaac Andrews (20 IP, 3-0 record), Senior Ian McClellan (15 IP, 1.40 ERA), and Sophomore Nate Luce (19.2 IP, 3-0 record). Offensively, Wapahani returns Seniors C Paul Fisher (.370 avg) and OF Joe Foster (.313 avg). Expect Juniors Landon Weller and Carter Noble to step into bigger roles after starting last season.