Babe Ruth Baseball: Three area teams set for regionals
By Mike Clark Post-Tribune correspondent July 24, 2013 11:04PM
Updated: August 26, 2013 4:31PM
This might be the last go-round for the Schererville Shock, so the hope is it’ll be a memorable one.
The core group of Shock players have been playing together since they were 8 years old. Now they’re 14 and with high school looming, no one really knows what the future holds.
One thing that’s all but assured is the players won’t be playing the same extensive schedule next year if they do stay together because of the spring conflict with high school ball.
So there’s a sense of urgency as the Shock (36-2-1) head to Jasper for the Babe Ruth (14) Ohio Valley Regional Thursday through Sunday.
Two other local teams also are going to regionals after winning Northern Indiana titles: the Crown Point Reds (13) are bound for Zanesville, Ohio, while the Crown Point Legends (15) are off to Robinson, Ill. Those regionals also run Thursday through Sunday.
The Shock won the Babe Ruth (13) regional last season en route to becoming the first Schererville Babe Ruth team to advance to a World Series, where it was eliminated in pool play. That makes this year’s regional berth not a surprise, but welcome nonetheless.
“We returned every player from last year’s World Series team,” said Shock coach Dave Lopez, who runs the team along with manager Dan Bosold. “We knew coming in we had the talent. We wanted to get back to the World Series. We didn’t play our best game (there).”
The Shock prepared for this year’s postseason by playing up against 15- and 16-year-old teams, a move that obviously hasn’t hurt the team’s record.
“Our pitching has always been our plus,” Lopez said, “and our defense behind it.”
The Shock have seven players who can pitch: Bo Hofstra, Joe Graziano (the lone lefty), Ben Nisle, Pat Reardon, Bryce Morris, Tyler Winiecki and Hunter Mihalic.
Crown Point’s two regional qualifiers are similarly deep on the mound.
The Legends 15s can call on Alex Basic, John Rogers, Casey Wolf (the one lefty), Trevor Miller, Morgan Kral and Nick Drothaus.
“Our defense and pitching are our strengths,” Legends manager Steve Wolf said.
Like the Shock, the Legends are driven by the memory of 2012. “Last year we took fourth in state — we lost on a heartbreaker,” Wolf said. “I knew we were going to have a good team this year.”
The Crown Point Reds 13s bounced back at state after losing twice to Schererville in district play.
“One of the strengths (is) we could hit the ball,” Reds manager Scott Angel said. “That’s what I told the kids all along: ‘We’re going to win games by scoring runs.’”
The Reds do go seven-deep in pitching, too, according to Angel. Among the key contributors so far have been Andrew Miles, Jacob Loosemore, Andrew Magurany, Adam Regan, Jacob DeFries, Evan Georgas and John Vittori.