Prep Baseball Report

Power 25 Team Previews: No. 11-15

By Thad Satre
Prep Baseball Report, Indiana 

No. 11, Western HS

Head Coach Ty Calloway once again returns to lead the Western Panthers in 2013.  Last season the Panthers had a season to remember as they won the Class 3A state championship and had a 25-9 overall record, with a 5-2 record in the Mid Indiana Conference. 

Coach Calloway and his Panthers once again have aspirations of winning another State Title.  They return five starters with 5 pitchers coming back.

Evan WardenTop returners include Evan Warden (left), a RHP/SS, that was 4-1 last season on the mound with a 1.59 ERA.  Warden is ranked No. 21 in Indiana’s 2014 class and was up to 86 mph at the Preseason All State Showcase last month.  Senior OF,Marcus Pingleton, will be a key contributor at the plate.  In 2012 Pingleton hit .375, with 10 HR, and 22 RBI.  Pingleton is ranked No. 29 in Indiana’s 2013 class. Devon Eaker and Dakota LaMott will also contribute at the plate.  Eaker hit .326 with 14 RBI last year, while LaMott hit .366 with 17 RBI.

On the mound the Panthers will rely heavily on Warden along with UAB commit Ronnie Smith, a 6-foot-7, 185 pound RHP.  Smith was 9-5 on the mound with a 2.34 ERA and was strong throughout last year’s state tournament run.  Smith is currently ranked No. 28 in Indiana’s 2013 class.

Cameron Kuntz is also expected to contribute on the mound.  Kuntz went 5-1, with a 1.69 ERA last season.  Other players expected to make an impact for the Panthers include; Drew Bellus (2014), and Austin Weaver (2015). 

No. 12, Andrean HS 

Expectations are high for Andrean High School Fighting 59’ers. The 59’ers enter this spring with plenty to be excited about following a 28-5 finish last season. The 2012 season ended in the regional round for Coach Dave Pishkur and his Andrean squad. The 59’ers also claimed the Northwest Crossroads Conference title with an 11-1 record. Coach Pishkur returns three starters and four pitchers. 

Zac RyanAndrean will lead this spring by a couple of talented right handed pitchers. Senior and Georgia Tech commit, Zac Ryan (left) and junior Matt DeSomer (right) will be a solidMatt Desomer one-two punch atop Coach Pishkur’s rotation. Ryan is ranked as the No. 3 prospect in Indiana’s 2013 class and No. 14 in the overall 2013 PBR rankings. He was 9-1 with a 1.49 ERA last season, and is also the top returning bat in the 59’ers lineup after batting .427 with 10 doubles, 3 home runs, and 26 RBI’s last season. DeSomer, ranked No. 24 in Indiana’s 2014 class, compiled a record of 3-0 and an ERA of 2.70. 

Jeremy WrightAnother senior, third baseman Jeremy Wright (left), will play a key role in the lineup. Wright batted .308 and knocked in 14 runs in 2012. 

Donovan Chandler (OF) and Jimmy Skiff (RHP/OF) are two juniors who will be asked to step into larger roles this season. Other players expected to make an impact for Andrean this season are senior Joe Plesac (RHP/INF), juniors Frank Podkul (1B) and Rob Long (C), and sophomore Nick Podkul (SS).

No. 13, Cathedral HS

Perennial baseball power Cathedral finished 2012 with a disappointing loss in the second round of sectionals.  The Irish were an impressive 22-5 overall on the year and ranked in the top 10 throughout the year. 

This season the Irish will have to make up for some key losses from last year’s squad in Nick McCarty (Notre Dame), Matt Dauby (Virginia Tech),  Austin Boos (Illinois Institute of Tech.),  Ryan Levenhagen (Army),and Michael Kseniak (Butler). 

Leading the way on the mound for Cathedral in 2013 will be sophomore Ashe Russell.  Russell is a 6-foot-3, RHP currently ranked No. 3 in Indiana’s 2015 class, and No. 6 in the overall 2015 PBR Rankings.  Russell is a high 80’s arm, that’s been up to 90 mph, and is currently committed to Notre Dame. 

Senior OF Luke Cureton, brother of Justin Cureton, an OF currently playing at Indiana University, will be a key cog to the Irish lineup both in the field and at the plate.  Cureton is a strong, athletic 6-foot-1, 205 pound prospect. 

The No. 33 ranked player in Indiana’s 2013 class, Austin Sparks, will once again lead the Irish behind the plate.  The 5-foot-11, 175 pound C has been a fixture behind the plate since he was a freshman and is the top unsigned catcher in the state.  

Alex BoosJunior Alex Boos (left), No. 42 in Indiana’s 2014 class, is expected to contribute both in the field and at the plate.  Boos is an all-around solid baseball player that can play multiple positions including pitching and catching, and is a solid hitter.  Boos was a member of Team Indiana at this past year’s Under Armour Midwest Future Games.  

Other players expected to contribute this season are Will Birch (2013), Brendon Flood (2013), Mike Hammel (2013), and Jake McCarty (2014).

No. 14, Fort Wayne Carroll HS

Fort Wayne Carroll and Coach Ginder are coming off another successful season in 2012. The Carroll Chargers finished 23-8 overall, going 6-1 in conference (tied for the lead with Homestead), and cruised through their two sectionals games to claim the Sectional 5 Crown. The Chargers bring back 8 starters from last year and four pitchers. 

Drue TranquillTop returning players include Junior OF Drue Tranquill (left), Junior RHP/3B Taylor Goshen, and Senior MIF/C Ross Koble. Tranquill was a member of Team Indiana at the Midwest Future Games this past summer and had an impressive year in 2012Taylor Goshen hitting .372 with 4 HR, 24 RBI, and 42 runs scored. Goshen (right) will be counted on to be Carroll’s No. 1 on the mound. He finished 2012 going 5-2 in 46 IP and at the Preseason All State showcase last month showed a fastball that sat consistently 84-86. Koble brings back the best average at the plate from the 2012 squad hitting .391 with 25 RBI. He will play an important role for them, possibly being the man behind the plate. 

Matthieu MeihlsCarroll will need to rely on a few other players if they hope to repeat and surpass 2012’s achievements. Grant Inman saw some time on the mound in 2012 as a freshman and should get even more innings this season. Two others that should see quality time are sophomore RHP Matt Kent (member of Team Indiana in the 2013 Midwest Futures Games) and Junior RHP/1B Matthieu Meihls (left). 

Carroll competes in a tough conference (Northeast Hoosier), but as always with the Carroll Chargers expectations are high. 

No. 15, Center Grove HS

Center Grove High School, led by Coach Dave Gandolph, starts the 2013 season with sights set on repeating as Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference (MIC) champions. The Center Grove Trojans finished 2012 with a 21-8 overall record and a conference best 10-4 record. Coach Gandolph returns four starters and four arms from the 2012 squad. 

The Trojans are led by seniors Josh Piper and Terrance Parks. Piper was 2-1 in 2012 on the mound for the Trojans while posting 5 saves and a 1.67 ERA. Also the starting catcher, Piper batted .329 with 2Jay Prior homeruns. Parks, starting leftfielder, led the team in hitting at .440 and one home run. Starting shortstop Jay Prior (right), ranked No. 18 in Indiana’s 2014 class, will anchor the defense up the middle. Prior hit .310 in 2012, while posting a 3-1 record on the mound with a 3.90 ERA. 

Left-hander Nick Owen will also be a key member of the Trojans pitching staff in 2013. Owen was 3-0 with a 3.03 ERA. Other key members of the 2013 Trojans include Will Todd , Patrick Norris , and Elijah Weartz. 

The Trojans return plenty of experience for 2013 but will be challenged for the MIC title by Terre Haute South, North Central, and Lawrence North.