Athleticism and Speed Highlights Team Indiana



The inaugural Under Armour Mid-West Futures Games was held in Chicago, Illinois this past weekend.  Team Indiana was made up of 18 players; 14 from Indiana, 3 from Illinois, and one from Missouri. Team Indiana set the tone for the weekend from the very beginning. It was obvious early on what Team Indiana was going to do, and that was run. The 60s for Team Indiana might have been the most impressive part of the weekend for any state. Spencer Gaa (IL, Bradley University commit) led the way turning in a 6.47.  Alex Krupa (Greenwood HS) turned in a 6.5 tying him with Brad Mongolian (IL), and finally Anthony Ray (IL) ran 6.56. If that was not enough Matt Eppers ran a 6.81, Brad Hartman, a 6.85, and Jeremy Wright a 7.0

After the excitement of running the 60s, Team Indiana brought the same energy to batting practice. Zeth Tanner (Yorktown HS) showed some pop hitting several balls deep including one that cleared the left field wall. Zach Brown (Seymour HS) showed a compact contact swing with the potential to hit the ball in the gap. Anthony Ray (IL) proved why he is a top player in Illinois, combing speed with quick hands. Joey Perkins (Brebeuf HS) showed a quiet smooth swing. Jesse Smith (Griffin HS), in spite of an unorthodox setup, showed the ability to barrel up the baseball. Andy Roser (Fairfield HS)showed some power to the opposite field.

The final showcase portion of Saturday was infield/outfield. Anthony Ray showcased the most impressive arm, touching 88 from the outfield.Matt Eppers (Elkhart Central) was 85 from the outfield, Alex Krupa 85, Anthony Curry (MO) 83, and Chris Ninneman 79. In the infield, Zach Brown stole the show with a couple of 87s across the diamond. Brad Hartman (South Bend St. Joespeh) showed his ability to pick the baseball, and Spencer Gaa showed off an 81MPH arm combined with smooth hands. Behind the plate, Zeth Tanner popped a 2.03, Margolian a 1.95, and Roser a 2.06. 

The energy level was high in the Indiana dugout in game 1 against Ohio. Trent Astle (Jeffersonville) got the ball in game one. The 12th ranked prospect in Indiana showed off a good strong body and rhythm on the mound. He flashed a filthy breaking ball touching 69-70 and followed it up with a fastball that sat from 78-83. Astle had been up to 85 at an earlier PBR event, but was coming off an injury. He held Ohio at bay for 3 innings,  giving up 1 hit and striking out 4. Nineman got hit by a pitch to drive in the first run in the seond for Indiana. 

Daniel Ayers (Columbus North), 6th ranked prospect in the state, took the ball next for Team Indiana. He was somewhat of an unknown to people across the state, college coaches included. However, that is no longer the case. Ayers was disgusting during his three innings. He sat 84-85 most of the day and threw a 75-77MPH slider that at times was unhittable. He went three innings giving up two runs and striking out 7. His slider was voted the best pitch of the weekend. Ayers was able to relax in the 6th, as team Indiana plated 5 in the top half of the inning fueled by a two run double from Jeremy Wright (Andrean), a Jesse Smith RBi single, and a two RBI single by Anthony Ray. 

Brad Margolian closed down the game for Indiana working two innings of scoreless baseball. He struck out 5 behind an 82-84MPH fastball and a hard 73MPH slider with some late bite. He was one of the many pleasant surprises of Team Indiana. 

Saturday was defined by speed, strong arms, and athleticism.

Have a Day Award: Anthony Ray runs a 3.87 on a bunt, touches 88 in the outfield, steals 3 bases, and goes 3-3 at the plate

Solid Performance Award: Jeremy Wright. He’s not flashy, but is just a good baseball player. He barrels up baseballs and makes all of the routine plays.  Wright had a two run double in game 1.

Pitcher of the Game: Daniel Ayers led a great day for Team Indiana. He struck out 7 in 3 innings, including the side in the second.

Team Indiana struck out 17 Ohio Batters in Game 1 and only gave up 4 hits.

Team Indiana 9, Team Ohio 2