The Top 25 Team Rankings have been posted for this week. We are currently half way through the season so we felt it was important to add some comments and descriptions as to why teams are ranked where they are.
We compiled a list of 50 teams for this week’s Top 25 and have seen every one of those teams except for one out of those 50. Teams earn their ranking based on current record, players, and their ability to advance in the state tournament. To advance in the state tournament we feel pitching and defense are the keys to winning. Offensively, teams need to be able to execute in certain situations, but when it comes down to it, solid pitching performances, pitching depth, and good defense win most of the time. The third factor is experience. Youthful teams tend to struggle come playoff time.
Top 25 Team Notes
1. Elkhart Central---Tanner Tully and Cory Malcolm lead the team on the mound. Their number three is Riley Futterknecht. All three are juniors and have very good arms. Offensively, they are very athletic and swing aggressively at the plate. The South Bend area is very strong and they have only lost once.
2. Lake Central---If Elkhart is No. 1 then Lake Central really should be 1B. Jimmy McNamara and Taylor Lehnart lead them on the mound. Both are D-1 arms and are really good. Lake Central is also a very athletic, offensive minded team. Chase Fieldhouse is their top offensive threat. Their only loss was to Chesterton and RHP Jake Post (Ohio State).
3. Columbus North---They are currently undefeated. Daniel Ayers and Hunter McIntosh are their top 2 arms, and when they’re on the mound this team is tough to beat. Combined with a team that swung it well last year 1 through 9, it appears North is hitting its stride. They have beaten several top level arms already this year. We give the offensive nod to the two teams ahead of them however.
4.Huntington North--- With only one loss and a team that starts 7 seniors, It is hard not to argue Huntington North as one of the top two teams in the state. Offensively, Huntington North is 1 or 2 in the state. On the mound, however, they are not as deep as the three teams in front of them. Trevor Storie really knows how to pitch and will give them a chance to win any game.
5. Zionsville--- They are right there with Huntington North offensively. Zionsville will score a lot of runs, and their lineup is tough to pitch too. Like North, they start a lot of college bound seniors, and on the mound Parker Dunshee is as good as anyone in the state.
6.Cathedral---The Irish have been to back to back state championship games. Nick McCarty has one loss in the last two years on the mound. Offensively, they have McCarty, Dauby, and Levenhagen, and all three seniors are D-1 commits. Austin Sparks is as good of a defensive catcher as there is in the state. Head Coach, Rich Andriole, knows how to teach winning. To win state, you will have to go through Cathedral at some point.
7.New Albany ---Josh Rogers is really good on the mound. I would argue if there is a junior I want to give the ball too in a must win, it would be him. Behind him on the mound, is Jordan Striegel, Brandon Johnson, and Garrett Sherrell. All three are capable of winning big games. At the plate, Jordan Striegel leads a top 10 offense. New Albany is the clear favorite to come out of its region.
8.Homestead--- Homestead’s last two losses have been too Huntington North. Homestead is a really good team. On the mound, Jake Weber leads the Spartans. Offensively, Homestead has Andre Jernigan, Brandon Soat, Jake Weber, and Austin Plasterer, all of which are seniors and college bound. If they can get past Huntington North, they have a chance to advance deep into the tournament.
9.Pendleton Height---The team that we caught the most grief about has slowly won 9 straight games behind one of the top pitching staffs in the state. Mitch Patishall is a top three arm in the state as far as the guy I want to have the ball in a must win game. Behind him you have Jordan Humfleet, also a division one commit, and Skylar Reis who has been up to 88. Trevor Jennings leads a very good defensive team as one of the top senior defensive catchers. This team has a lot of seniors and will be a tough out in a really tough sectional.
10. Andrean--- Andrean looks like the best team in the state when you watch them take infield. They have a lot of good juniors and seniors. Zac Ryan leads them on the mound. Ryan’s stuff is good enough to beat anyone in the state. Andrean’s key will be scoring enough runs. Andrean should be one of the early favorites to win the 3A state title. They are fast, athletic, and have good depth on the mound.
11. Crown Point---Crown Point keeps winning games in a tough conference and region. Pleasac leads them on the mound. Crown Point is well coached and will be a team to look for to get out of a tough sectional.
12.Jasper---Mark Geisler andvNick Gobart are one of the top 1-2 combos in the state on the mound. If Andrean is the favorite in 3A, Jasper is a very close two.
13.McCutcheon---McCutcheon is winning a lot of games. Justin Curry and Christian Vukas have been very good on the mound. McCutcheon hits 1-9 in their lineup very well. McCutcheon is a clear favorite to make it to regionals.
14.Fishers---Fishers leads the state in wins at 16. Offensively, the middle of their order is as good as anyone in the state with Woolwine and Clark.
15.Portage---David Jercha leads Portage on the mound. Jercha and Acevedo are really good at the plate as well. Portage has lost to only the top teams in the region.
16.Penn---Tyler Thompson and Chad Whitmer make a great 1-2 on the mound. Birkey is one of the better leadoff hitters in the state.
17.Evansville North---Dills and Williams make up the best 1-2 on the mound in Evansville.
18.FW Carroll--- Carroll is the two time defending state champions in 4A. Carroll has the best at bats in the state, and will be a tough out, come tournament time.
19.Mishawaka Marian---The have plenty of pitching depth. Lost a couple of games to top talent in 4A, but should be a favorite to come out of their sectional.
20.Greenwood---Greenwood lost some games early in the year, but lately has been on a good role. Fink has been dominating opponents. They are strong when it comes to the top of the batting order, and have good team speed.
21.Center Grove---They are making their first appearance in the rankings this year. They have three good arms and a lot of good senior baseball players.
22.Norwell---Norwell has a lot of talent on their roster, but are still young overall. If the talent matures quickly, then this is a team no one will want to see in the state tournament.
23.Greensburg---- Another team with a good defensive catcher in Austin Schultz. With Meyer on the mound, Greensburg is a very tough opponent in 3A.
24.New Palestine--- Anytime you ask anyone about New Pal you hear “They are always really good.” That is a mark of a good program and this year is no different.
25. North Harrison---They are 14-1, and with a win over a struggling Jeffersonville team last week, North Harrison makes their way into the Top 25.