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Friday, May 06, 2016
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from the dugout
Wow! What a week in high school baseball! A couple of county heavyweights squared off for a couple of critical conference battles. North Montgomery and Crawfordsville laced them up to play ball. Boy did they play! Monday and Tuesday, these two great teams stood toe to toe and battled it out. When the dust settled, the Athenians got the sweep and the Chargers deserved better, and the fans got great baseball. The win nearly guarantee the Athenians at least a share of the Sagamore crown. They just have to beat Frankfort again on Friday. The Chargers of Coach Matt Vorhees have served notice that they are here to stay. A lot of young kids on the squad. You'll probably see a bunch of these battles the next several years. And don't be surprised if the Athenians and Chargers do battle down the road in the tournament. Tough to beat a team three times in a year.
Another Triple Crown
Now that the Kentucky Derby is in the books, California Chrome can start casting her sights on the elusive Triple Crown. I'm not that much of a fan of horse racing, but I do know that the Triple Crown is a tough thing to pull off in that sport. You rarely, if ever, see it accomplished in baseball either. In either sport, pulling it off is special.
The Wabash Track and Field teams and Cross Country squad pulled off the conference Triple Crown this season.
It is the second time Wabash has accomplished this very difficult feat. The outdoor Little Giant cindermen again dominated the North Coast Athletic Conference meet, outdistancing second place Ohio Wesleyan by over a hundred points. Along with the indoor title in February and the Cross Country championship in the fall, the Little Giants dominated them all in order to continue their dominance in these sports. The Little Giants have won the last four indoor and outdoor conference meets. Coaches Clyde Morgan and Roger Busch have both been Coach of the Year in their respective sports for several years.
Getting too old for this
As the meat grinder known as the NCAC West wound down last week, it was still full of drama and yet another fantastic finish.
At Goodrich Ballpark, the fans were treated to some great weather and a good amount of great baseball. The Little Giants and Ohio Wesleyan's Battlin' Bishops laced them up for the last series of the regular season and certainly didn't disappoint. As the dust cleared Sunday evening, the teams split the series, 2-2. Both teams qualified for the conference play-in tournament, and a chance to play for the conference championship.
Saturday was filled with some great pitching, as Ohio Wesleyan got game one, 14-8. Ross Hendrickson had an atypical off day. He's been great all year, but Saturday he left the breaking ball up in the zone and the Bishop hitters took advantage. Ross will be back on the hill this weekend. You can pretty much rest assured the outcome will be different.
What a weekend for 'Bash
Wabash and DePauw baseball strapped it up last weekend for a four-game NCAC West Division series. We knew it would be a battle--it always is. We didn't know that it would become an "instant classic" weekend series.
The two teams stood toe-to-toe and battled it out in every game. Neither squad gave an inch. No lead was safe, and the outcome of every game came down to the last inning.
When the brickdust had settled Sunday evening at Walker Field in Greencastle, the Little Giants and Tigers had battled to a 2-2 split. Even though I'm on the Wabash coaching staff, I must say that neither team deserved to lose more than two games in this series. It was classic Division 3 baseball.
The walk off - how sweet it is
Now that we're finally starting to get some semi-good weather, the crack of the bat and the pounding of leather can be heard all over the place. The Major Leagues have kicked things off as well. It's baseball season!
Last weekend the Wabash baseball squad ventured to Chillicothe, Ohio, for a three game series with the College of Wooster at Veterans' Stadium. Wooster is one of the best programs in NCAA Division 3 baseball year in and year out. We love playing these guys every year because to be the best, you have to play the best.
How sweet is a sweep
A couple of months ago all the NCAC head baseball coaches got together for their annual pre-season meeting in Ohio. During the sessions, they all voted to predict the finish of the conference in 2014.
Wabash was selected to finish eighth this season. EIGHTH! REALLY? Now, all the players and coaches have taken this slap very personally. I suppose it really is good to be picked to finish that far down the standings.
It has given these guys something to prove above and beyond their own expectations (a conference championship). Our spring pre-season schedule was, by far, the most difficult schedule of any conference team. We even threw in a game with a Division 1 program (Butler), and gave them a tussle. The Little Giants played well in February and March and, more importantly, found an identity for the 2014 squad.
They are keeping the fun in baseball and have developed and great team chemistry that goes beyond the field. Taking the show on the road to Arkansas, Kentucky and Georgia means a lot of time on the bus--so they'd better get along.
Baseball wars begin
As we're still waiting for real spring weather to arrive, the sports beat goes on as usual at Wabash.
Baseball, golf, tennis, track and field, and lacrosse are in full bloom. Throw in spring football and soccer and the plate fills up quickly.
This weekend begins the conference horserace in baseball. The Little Giants travel to Springfield, Ohio, for a four game series with the evil Wittenberg Tigers at Carleton Davidson Field. That's a venue that hasn't always been kind to us. The weather does look promising though. Maybe we'll get them all played.
Now the home stretch
As the Wabash campus enjoyed a mass exodus for spring break and warmer climates last week, the Little Giant baseball team also ventured south for some great competition, both on and off the field.
Is it spring break? Really?
As winter continues to hang around, it's hard to believe that spring break is next week. As the forecast calls for some more rotten weather, the Wabash wrestling team continues to heat things up on a regional and national level.
Geez! What better way for Mother Nature to welcome baseball season than bringing back sub-zero temperatures. I think I speak for all of us when I say--ENOUGH ALREADY!!
Speaking of baseball, Wabash actually played some last weekend in sunny, warm (really) Arkansas. Enjoying 70 degree weather on Saturday, the Little Giants split a twin bill with a very good Hendrix Warrior squad. We ran in to a great pitcher on Sunday and dropped the rubber match of the series, 8-1.
A return to the tropics
It's funny how a couple of warmer days can rejuvenate a community. The 50 degree temperatures are finally giving us all hope that there's a light at the end of the snowy tunnel. Darn near tropical the last couple of days. Of course, I've seen several students in shorts and tee shirts. It's not that warm yet boys!
End in sight for winter seasons
We finally start to get a little encouraging weather news, with temperatures expected to reach the mid-30s.the next day or two. Naturally, our thoughts turn to swimming. Just kidding, but it's a nice segue into Wabash swimming.
Business as usual
While we're still buried by winter's wrath, spring sports are revving up at Wabash.
Inspiration and perspective
The Wabash basketball team has had plenty of ups and downs this season. It's a young team that lost its first eight games. They've gotten significantly better the last few weeks and have won five of the last eight, including four NCAC games. The Little Giants now stand at 5-11 overall, 4-6 in the NCAC.
Wabash keeps busy during cold
Okay. I'm pretty sure I'm sick of this weather. But if Old Man Winter thinks he can stop the classes and athletic competition, he's got another thing coming.
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
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The Challenge 2016
Closings and Delays