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Senior Babe Ruth Baseball: Porter County to host Ohio Valley Regional

Schererville's Tony Schneider gets tagged out by Crown Point's third baseman Mitch Kooi (12) seventh inning during Babe Ruth 16-18

Schererville's Tony Schneider gets tagged out by Crown Point's third baseman Mitch Kooi (12) in the seventh inning during the Babe Ruth 16-18 state baseball tournament championship game in Crown Point, In., on Monday, July 15, 2013. | John Smierciak~for Sun-Times Media ORG XMIT: cpbaberuth-PTB-071613-13

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Updated: August 19, 2013 4:04PM



With some steamy weather in the forecast, Nick Doud is preparing for more than just a few baseball games.

The founder and manager of the Porter County Storm also is trying to make sure everything is set off the field for the biggest week in program history.

The Storm are hosting the Senior Babe Ruth (16-18) Ohio Valley Regional Thursday through Sunday at Chesterton High School. It’s the third time in recent years the Senior Babe Ruth’s biggest Midwest tournament has come to Northwest Indiana and the first time it hasn’t been hosted by the Hammond Chiefs.

So Doud has been wearing a couple hats as he works on plans for the 12-team tourney and on getting his own club up to speed without having played in the postseason yet this summer.

“I’ve been fortunate not to have put in as much time as a lot of other people (on tourney prep),” Doud said. “We’ve had a great group.”

But he has had to deal with the curveballs thrown by Mother Nature.

“It’s going to be hot,” Doud said. “We’re going to keep water bottles in all the dugouts for kids.”

He’s also hoping to provide some relief for fans by getting some tarps to shade the stands.

But Doud also wants to make sure his team — one of three from the area in the field — is ready to play.

He’s learned from Porter County’s first regional appearance a few years ago.

“State is one thing,” he said. “Ohio Valley is completely different. You’re playing kids that are all going to pitch (well). They’re all going to hit well; one through nine (in the lineup) can hit it to the fence.”

Porter County Storm Black (21-6) counters with a deep pitching staff led by Tyler Frye (Washington Township) and Garrett Walter (Purdue North Central).

“We do have the luxury of having up to nine available pitchers,” Doud said.

Leading the way at the plate for the Storm have been Austin Porter (Morgan Township), Walter, Tyler Crussen (Wheeler) and Matt Polito (Purdue North Central).

Also in the regional field are the top two teams in the recent Northern Indiana state tournament: champ Crown Point 20 and the runner-up Schererville Indians.

Jeremy Swart picked up a pair of wins for Crown Point at state, while Jimmy Tarala was a mainstay on the mound and behind the plate for Schererville.

The regional champ advances to the Senior Babe Ruth World Series in Covington County, Ala.



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