Issuu on Google+


starting lineup

8 Conquering the Conference

It doesn’t matter what sport you’re talking about; life in the Duneland Athletic Conference is never easy.

10 Almost Perfect

A look back at some key games during Lake Central’s 2012 regular season that took them down the road to the state title.

18

When Opportunity Knocked

22

A Pair of Aces Wins

The Indians lineup may have lacked some of the glamour the pitching staff received, the prowess of the Big Blue offense should in no way be overlooked.

Taylor Lehnert and Jimmy McNamara had a season like Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.

26 The Straw That Stirred The Drink

Although Zach Mantel wouldn’t be confused for Mickey Mantle at the plate, the co-captain’s work with the glove made him a key piece in the state championship puzzle.

28 Seven Games To Glory

The Blue Crew came, they saw — and then they conquered. Here’s how they did it in the final title matchups leading up to the Class 4A state championship game against Indianapolis Roncalli.

28

34 McNificent!

Lefty pitcher Jimmy McNamara dominated as the Indians grab their first state title.

36

Lannin’s Line: What Goes Good With Crow?

When the 2012 prep baseball season began, this reporter would not have predicted a state championship for the Lake Central Indians. Today he’s here to tell you he couldn’t be happier to be wrong.

Also Inside: The Sandor File, game and player stats, trivia, and more. 18

26

REGION SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Published by Region Sports Network, Inc. P.O. Box 1927 • Highland, IN 46322 219-923-2169 REGION SPORTS NETWORK “The Only Game In Town”

Publisher/Editor: Chris Ramirez (chris.ramirez@regionsports.com) Operations Manager: Rich Castillo Sales Director: Chris Lannin Sports Director: Nathan Laird Photography: Roland Lewis, Jerry Lipski, Strempkagallery.com Art Direction & Design: Scott Buckner Additional Design: Chris Geiger (chris.geiger@regionsports.com) Region Sports Network would like to acknowledge Brian McShane, president and CEO of McShane’s Business Solutions in Munster. Thanks to Mr. McShane’s generosity and vision, the publication you are reading went from idea to reality. So on behalf of all of us at RSN, thank you, Brian. You have helped to shape our business in ways we only used to dream about. To all the wonderful people working at McShane’s Business Solutions, we thank you for the incredible customer service we receive!


Conquering the Conference

By Nathan Laird RSN Sports Director

I

t doesn’t matter what sport you’re talking about – life in the Duneland Athletic Conference is never easy. As a conference that features eight of the 46 largest schools in the state

(and four of the biggest 19), DAC schools have access to talent that coaches at smaller schools can only dream about.

With all of that athletic ability roaming the halls, the Duneland features quality programs from top to bottom in all sports, but without question baseball is the deepest and most decorated. LaPorte has more state titles than anyone in the history of Indiana baseball, Crown Point has gone to five semi-states in the past seven seasons, Valpo has produced major league talent such as Jeff Samardzija and Chesterton is managed by a Hall of Famer in Jack Campbell. And while Portage (a program on the rise), Michigan City & Merrillville don’t have those credentials, they aren’t exactly slouches. Oh yeah, and it’s the home conference of the defending class 4A state champion Indians. “I’ve been a part of DAC play for three full years,” LC head coach Jeff Sandor said. “The last two we won the conference, however, the first we did not. My first year we were 12-2 in the DAC and took 2nd; the next year we were 11-3 and won it. That alone tells you how tough it is to win the conference.” How difficult is it to win the DAC? Check out this list of players who have played in the conference in just the last two years alone: Jake Post (Ohio State; Drafted by Pittsburgh), Anthony Cheky (Michigan State), Connor Podkul (Purdue), Kyle Upp (Purdue) & Jerrick Suiter (TCU). That’s just a sampling, and it doesn’t even include any talent from LC!

8

Even with all of that talent, according to Sandor, coaching is one of the big reasons the DAC is as tough of a conference as you’ll find in the state. “From top to bottom, the coaching is excellent,” Sandor said. “Teams are fundamental from both offensive and defensive standpoints. The coaches scout and exchange scouting reports with regularity, which means you either have to adjust or get exploited by the same reports week in and week out.” With all of those credentials the conference has, it only further shows how good the Indians were last season. Try 13-1 in conference play with an average margin of victory of over 5.5 runs per contest. Part of the success that LC had in conference play last season was that Sandor knew his team had to be ready to play every day, no matter if they were playing the Bulldogs who finished two games back or LaPorte who ended the 2012 season in the bottom spot of the standings. “What I’ve learned is if you aren’t ready to play one day you are in trouble regardless of the opponent,” he said. “There are upsets regularly and with good reason. It’s enjoyable preparing for games you know can go either way. Baseball is fun when it’s competitive. Baseball is fun when you’re fighting for your life. Baseball is fun when each play is so darn important. Baseball is fun when a bad call, a bad decision, a bad read, a bad jump, a bad at bat, a bad throw (the list goes on) can influence so much.” As fun as that was for Sandor and the

“What I’ve learned is, if you aren’t ready to play one day, you are in trouble regardless of the opponent.” — Lake Central head coach Jeff Sandor Indians, those 13 wins in 14 games made it fun – for the rest of the conference who took the field against LC, “fun” was probably not the operative word. With a state championship on their resume, the Indians already had a bull’s eye on their back coming into the season, but playing in the Duneland means they can’t wait until tourney time to bring out their “A” game. Life in the DAC means you have to bring it every single day.


Almost

3/27/12 at Bishop Noll Season Opener Lake Central 1, Bishop Noll 0

PERFECT

In what would become a familiar scenario over the 2012 season, the Lake Central Indians pitching staff kept an opponent off the scoreboard. This time it was Jimmy McNamara and Taylor Lehnert combining to shutout Bishop Noll 1-0 in the season opener. The shutout would be the first of 14 over the course of the season for the Indians. McNamara scattered four hits over six innings for the win and Lehnert slammed the door by striking out the side in the seventh to earn the save.

— By Chris Lannin, RSN Writer

“One thing that doesn’t show in this game is we swung it pretty well,” Indians coach Jeff Sandor said. “The wind was blowing in at close to 35 mph and

A look back at some key games during Lake Central’s 2012 regular season

10

Continued on next page 12


Almost Perfect balls hit hard in the air became routine outs. We knew from our kids’ approaches and attitudes in this situation this was going to be a special group. Mac was outstanding. If I remember correctly, they didn’t have a hit leave the infield off of him.”

4/3/12 vs. Munster Lake Central 1, Munster 0 The Indians ran their early season record to 5-0 with a 1-0 victory over the Mustangs in the home opener. Starting pitcher Nick Kellams twirled five shutout innings and Austen Wagoner picked up the win in relief with two shutout innings in his first ever varsity pitching appearance. The two hurlers combined for eight strikeouts while scattering seven hits in notching the teams fourth shut-out in the first five games. The Indians managed just five hits of their own in the contest, but strong performances by Kellams and Wagoner kept the Indians in the game, setting the stage for a dramatic walk-off finish highlighted by Ryan Pachowicz’ game winning single in the bottom of the 7th. “This was the 1-0 game that I felt would never end,” stated Sandor. “It was miserably cold and two soft-throwing lefties went at it. Kellams was fairly sharp for us and Wagoner showed us he would contribute on the mound as he earned the save. This was also the first time we learned just how much of a gamer Ryan Pachowicz was. Every team needs a Pachowicz to achieve what we did.”

4/10/12 at Michigan City Duneland Athletic Conference Opener Lake Central 5, Michigan City 0 Jimmy McNamara threw four shutout innings for the win and Austen Wagoner threw goose eggs for the final three innings as the pair combined to blank Michigan City 5-0 in the Duneland opener at Michigan City. Adam Fulk had a pair of hits and two RBI and Ryan Pachowicz added two hits

12

and scored twice to pace the Indians’ attack. “All in all this was one of the sloppiest games we played all season,” Sandor said of his team’s outing. “Mac, although tossing four shutout innings, was not very good. Adam Fulk was our best player on this day.”

4/16/12 vs. Crown Point Lake Central 12, Crown Point 5 The Indians remained unbeaten in the DAC and a perfect 9-0 for the season with a 12-5 victory over the always tough Bulldogs in a measuring stick game for the Tribe. The offense got it going and took some pressure off the pitching staff by pounding out 10 hits and plating 12 runs. Adam Fulk led the way with three hits and four RBI to pace the attack. Chase Fieldhouse and Ryan Pachowicz each added a pair of hits and Pachowicz and DH Jimmy McNamara both drove in a pair of runs to support Taylor Lehnert, who picked up the victory. “This was the first time Taylor Lehnert was truly challenged,” Sandor said of one of his aces. “He threw a complete game, but we still didn’t know what we truly had. CP had double digits hits, but he battled adversity and earned a great win. It let us know we had two guys that could beat Crown Point if a regional showdown occurred.”

4/18/12 vs. Portage Lake Central 7, Portage 3 The Blue Indians stayed on the warpath with another DAC victory, knocking off the Red Indians of Portage 7-3. Starting pitcher Jimmy McNamara settled down after a shaky first inning, fanning 10 over six innings before giving way to Taylor Lehnert who worked a scoreless seventh to nail down the win. Adam Fulk stayed red hot at the plate, blasting a three-run homer in the third inning to put LC ahead to stay. McNamara aided his own cause with an RBI single and Chase Fieldhouse drove in a run to help key the Blue Indians attack. Lake Central improved to 4-0 in Duneland conference play and 11-0 overall with the victory. “This was the second consecutive start Mac wasn’t sharp,” Sandor recalled. ”Portage scored three early. The kid

was all tough though as he settled down and owned them for the next six.”

4/20/12 vs. Valpo Lake Central 8, Valpo 0 Taylor Lehnert was exceptional in going the distance, striking out 12 along the way as the Indians notched their ninth shutout of the season with an 8-0 blanking of Valparaiso 8-0 at Lake Central. LC slapped out seven hits and played a little small ball to capitalize on Viking miscues in the field and remain unbeaten in the conference (5-0) and on the season (13-0). Nick Kellams and Anthony Fushi each had a pair of RBI and Adam Fulk had two hits, an RBI and scored three times for the Tribe in the victory. “I remember taking a half personal day from school just to get the field ready,” Sandor said. “This was all because we didn’t want Taylor to lose a start and possibly a shot at DAC MVP or All-State. I never would have told the kids this, but it was a Friday game that we couldn’t delay until the following week. Lehnert was phenomenal; it was one of the most dominating pitching performances of the season.”

4/24/12 at Chesterton Chesterton 4, Lake Central 3 After opening the season with 13 straight wins, it was game 14 that proved to be the unlucky number as the Tribe stumbled on the road, dropping a 4-3 decision at Chesterton. Jimmy McNamara went the distance for the Indians and suffered the hard luck decision, in what would be the only loss of the season. Mac allowed four runs on just five hits, but just one of them was earned as the defense struggled. The Indians could muster just six hits, with two of those off the bat of lead-off man Nick Kellams, who also scored two of the three runs. The loss dropped the Indians back into a tie with Crown Point atop the DAC standings at 5-1. “I laugh about this game every time I think about it,” recalled Sandor. “We were just darn awful on the defensive side of the ball. The kids seemed disinterested and we were seeing a future Pirates draft pick. The mistakes we made were inexplicable, but this was the first true adversity we had to face. We left there uneasy, knowing we were heading Continued on Page 14


Almost Perfect

5/10/12 at Valpo Clinch DAC Championship Lake Central 8, Valpo 6 The Indians trailed the Vikings 6-5 in the top of seventh when Ryan Burvan came through with a two out base hit to drive in a pair runs, giving the Indians their 20th victory of the and second straight Duneland title. Jimmy McNamara started, working two scoreless innings before giving way to relievers Nick Kellams and Austen Wagoner before returning for another scoreless frame in the bottom of the seventh to save the game he started, something you don’t see every day. Kellams, who had a pair of hits in the game, notched the win for Lake Central. Alec Olund drove in three runs, while Burvan and Chase Fieldhouse had two hits each and two RBI to lead the Indians offense.

to LaPorte on Thursday (a place we always struggle).”

4/26/12 at LaPorte Lake Central 1, La Porte 0 (9 Innings) Getting back on track after the loss, the Indians managed a 1-0, nine inning win in a game played in a cold hawk wind at LaPorte. Once again it was pitching that led the way, as Taylor Lehnert went eight shutout innings with seven strikeouts, allowing just four hits to pick up the victory. The Indians and Slicers were deadlocked in a scoreless tie heading into the top of the ninth, when a single by Jimmy McNamara plated the games’ only run. Austen Wagoner worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth to nail down the save and the victory. With the win, the Tribe improved to 6-1 in the DAC and 14-1 overall. The shutout marked the tenth time the Indians’ pitching staff had blanked their opponent in 15 games. “This was another bitter-cold game and another nail biter,” Sandor said of the contest against LaPorte. “These kids just found ways to win tight games. Lehnert was great again and Wagoner showed grit in the save. I remember us hammering balls into the gaps that just hung there for LaPorte fielders to make plays and I remember some excellent execution by Mantel behind the plate. This was the norm for him.”

5/2/12 at Crown Point Lake Central 10, Crown Point 1 After starting the second half of the DAC slate with a home victory over Michigan City, the Indians retook sole possession of first place with a 10-1 thrashing of Crown Point on the road. The Indians scored in five of seven innings, pushing 10 runs across the plate despite managing only seven hits. Nick Kellams and Alec Olund each had a pair of hits and a double to back winning pitcher Jimmy McNamara, who allowed just one run on four hits while striking out 13 Bulldogs.

14

Olund also had a pair of RBI to lead the way from the #9 slot in the batting order. “This game was the epitome of executing a game plan,” Sandor said of his team’s outing. “We were seeing a great pitcher from CP and each kid bought in to how to attack him. We drew walks, swiped bases, and found key hits. We made them work. Jimmy was sharp on the mound. There may have been one small blemish which he was pretty good at in late innings.”

5/8/12 at Portage Lake Central 4, Portage 2 The Indians improved to 10-1 in the DAC and 19-1 overall with a 4-2 road victory over the Portage Indians behind fire-baller Taylor Lehnert, who went the distance to pick up his seventh victory of the season. Lehnert fanned 12 and allowed two runs on just four hits to lead the Blue Tribe over the Red Tribe. An RBI single by Ryan Pachowicz in the first gave LC a lead they would never relinquish. Pachowicz drove in a pair, Nick Kellams had three hits, including a double, and drove in a run to pace the offense. “I don’t remember many key events this game, except Taylor Lehnert jumping on the MLB radar,” Sandor said. “Two teams came out to watch.”

“If we lost this game, it was purely my fault,” Sandor stated. “We removed Mac after two innings because we were saving him for Cathedral in the North Central tourney that weekend. We thought we would get him a quick bullpen and out. We jumped out to a great lead and pulled him. Well, we struggled in relief and brought him back to earn the save. You kind of forget we were down to our last out in the game that sealed the conference outright.”

5/15/12 vs. Chesterton Lake Central 8, Chesterton 1 Avenging their only loss of the season, the Indians disposed of the Trojans with an 8-1 home victory over Chesterton. Taylor Lehnert turned in another glittering performance, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out nine to pick up his eighth victory. Nick Kellams, Ryan Burvan and Anthony Fushi all had two hits and an RBI apiece. With the win, Lake Central improved to 23-1 on the campaign and 12-1 in the Duneland . “Payback!!!” Sandor said of getting revenge against the Trojans. “I knew when Post walked out to the bullpen this game was over. Our kids wanted him so bad. They got him and hit the ball all over the park. This was the Fieldhouse breakout party which didn’t end until June 16.”


When Opportunity Knocked Lake Central’s Offense Was Productive, Balanced And Opportunistic — By Chris Lannin, RSN Writer 18

M

uch has been made, and rightly so, of the dominance of the Lake Central pitching staff in 2012. The dynamic duo of Taylor Lenhart and Jimmy McNamara were as good as any in recent Region history. The Indians lineup may have lacked some of the attention the pitching staff received, the prowess of the Big Blue offense should in no way be overlooked. Led by Chase Fieldhouse, the Indians attack was balanced and productive. And more importantly, it was opportunistic. “From top to bottom, our lineup had balance,” said head coach Jeff Sandor. “Because we had guys who accepted their roles and put the team first, I was able to set up the batting order to get certain guys up in key situations, and it was

amazing how the kids came through.” Come through they did. Over the course of the 33 game 2012 season, LC averaged over seven runs a game. In nine of those games, the Blue Crew blew their opponents away by putting 10 or more runs on the board. If you want to talk about production from top to bottom, the Indians batting order certainly had it. Six starters hit .348 or better, six players scored 20 or more runs and nine players were in double figures in runs batted in; and of those nine players five had 20 RBI or more. As a team, the Indians hit .340. Leadoff man Nick Kellams hit .387 and scored 33 runs. In the number two hole, second baseman Ryan Burvan hit .352 and scored Continued on Page 20


Opportunity 24 runs. “The top of the order did a great job of setting the table by getting on base and moving runners along to set things up for the heart of the order,” said Sandor. “Nick Kellams always seemed to find ways to get on base. He didn’t strike out a lot (only six strikeouts all season) always seemed to put the ball in play, and scored a lot of runs. “Ryan Burvan was a perfect number two hitter. He’s a great bunter and did a great job of hitting behind the runners,” continued Sandor. “But one thing about Ryan that might get overlooked was he always worked the count and saw a lot of pitches. Because he was always taking the count out to 2 and 2 or 3 and 2, the guys behind him, Fieldhouse, Wagoner and Pachowicz were able to get a much better look at the opposing pitcher because they got to see him throw so many pitches.” The three, four and five hitters for Lake Central, Fieldhouse, Wagoner and Pachowicz combined for six homers, drove in 85 runs and scored 80 more. Fieldhouse led the team in average (.440), home runs (4), and RBI (35). In seven post season games, Fieldhouse hit .529 with nine hits and nine RBI despite being intentionally walked five times, and was charted by the LC coaching staff to have had 21 quality at bats in 26 plate appearances. There were some who felt Fieldhouse had a down year after his power numbers were off from the year before (11 HR, 40 RBI) and it would have been easy to blame the dip on the new composite bats but Sandor doesn’t think so. “The new bat didn’t really affect him much,” said Sandor. “He missed our first four games with a virus and the next four games we played with wooden bats, so

that’s like a quarter of the season. “I think teams were trying to pitch around him and he had some trouble finding holes,” continued Sandor. “But he’s a good kid and a hard worker and a guy you want on your side. When we needed a big hit we wanted him up there, he was our guy. In the tournament he put us on his back and carried us. “During the year he homered off Jake Post of Chesterton, Jordan Minch of Highland and Tanner Tulley of Elkhart Central, and those are some pretty good pitchers.” At .271 Wagoner’s average may not seem all that impressive, but he came through in the clutch, finishing second on the team with 27 RBI’s. Pachowicz hit in the five hole, and contributed a .352 average while driving in 23 runs. “Wagoner had a tough stretch but he was still productive so we hid him there in the cleanup spot,” laughed Sandor. “Austen was probably our second most valuable defensive player after Zach Mantel. “Pachowicz was Mr. Clutch. He was third on the team in RBI, but he had so many big two out hits,” said Sandor. “Against Munster (in sectionals) he hits a two out three run homer; in semi-state he doubles with two outs in the seventh to drive in two runs to tie the game and send it in to extra innings for us. Just a solid, solid player.” Things didn’t get any easier for opponents when they reached the bottom half of the order either. Left fielder Adam Fulk and catcher Zach Mantel were tied for second on the team in homers with three each, and Fulk also led the team in stolen bases with 10, drove while in 26 runs, scored 25 more and hit .355. Third baseman Anthony Fushi contributed several big hits at key moments during the year, Alec Olund hit .348 batting

ninth and pitching ace Jimmy McNamara chipped in offensively as the designated hitter with 20 RBI. “Fulk was the guy who carried us early in the season,” said Sandor. “He got off to a great start and hit over .500 in the first half of the conference season. He hit a huge home run in the Lowell game (in sectionals) and he ran the bases so well. “Jimmy (McNamara) showed he could hit and Alec Olund can really play,” continued Sandor. “Alec was our best base runner and was really coming on at the end of the season; he had extra base hits in each of the last three post- season games we played. He’s going to be a great one and playing Division I baseball somewhere next year.” With the kind of pitching Lake Central had last year it’s understandable that the offense was perhaps a bit overshadowed. But if you look at the numbers and the production up and down the batting order you realize that the Indians were in fact an offensive powerhouse. And when you put the two together you have a special baseball team. “I’m a big believer that good teams create their own luck,” said Sandor. “The guys believed in what we were trying to do, they accepted their roles, they trusted one another and they just didn’t want to lose. “They put the team first and somehow always found a way to make the big plays in every game because they had a never say die attitude and they learned how to win,” continued Sandor. “When you have a special group like that, great things are going to happen.”


Pair Of Aces Wins

Koufax-Drysdale An ‘Unfair Comparison’ — But To Whom?

McNamara and Lehnert had a season like Koufax and Drysdale

my McNamara and Taylor In the decades past, baseLehnert. ball has produced its share of The Lake Central gradudominant one-two pitching ates have a lot in common punches. Lefty-righty combos with the Hall of Fame duo. like Arizona’s Randy JohnLike Drysdale, who stood at son/Curt Shilling and Jerry 6’5 on the hill, Indian southKoosman/Tom Seaver of the paw Lehnert was a daunting 1969 New York Mets easily figure of his own on the hill. come to mind. At 6’4” and 230 pounds, his As good as those guys stature alone intimidated the were, and they were good, opposition when they stood neither tandem has anyTaylor Lehnert in the box against him. thing on Sandy Koufax and Both big men are known Don Drysdale. for their control, with Get a load of the numbers Drysdale walking only 1.9 the Dodger greats posted in hitters per nine innings 1965, en route to winning in ’65 and Lehnert 1.3 per the World Series: For the seven last season. They also southpaw Koufax, the stats excelled in pitching inside, are mind-boggling: 41 games which added to their already started, 27 complete games, intimidating mound pres26 wins and eight shutouts. ences, but they each gave Koufax led the Majors in away some free bases, and three different categories, bruises, via hit batsmen. including with a 2.04 ERA Jimmy McNamara Drysdale led the majors with (which is the highest he 12 batters plunked in ’65 with Lehnert posted between ’63-’66), 382 strikeouts and hitting 10 batters in 2012. a workhorse like 335-2/3 innings pitched. Surprisingly though it wasn’t the Drysdale was almost as good, starting imposing figure in each pair that was the 42 games, completing 20 of them. The strikeout artist – it was the more diminbig right hander won 23 games, had 210 utive pitcher in both cases that excelled strikeouts in 308-1/3 innings a posted an in fanning hitters as both Koufax and ERA of 2.77. McNamara made their livings via the “K”. Forty seven years after those incredible In 1965 Koufax recorded 382 strikeouts, accomplishments, another dynamic duo still a major league record for most in a left its mark in similar fashion not in season by a left-hander and only one “K” the Major Leagues, but in the Duneland behind Nolan Ryan for the all-time lead. Conference. If 1965 belonged to Koufax and Drysdale, then 2012 belonged to JimContinued on Page 24

By Chris Lannin When asked to compare Jimmy McNamara and Taylor Lehnart to Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, Indians manager Jeff Sandor wasn’t sure it was a fair comparison. “I don’t know if it’s realistic to make that kind of comparison because that’s major league baseball and this is high school,” said Sandor. “But I challenge anyone to come up with another pair in the history of northwest Indiana high school baseball that were any better than they were.” Because the Tribe’s tandem was even more dominating than the Dodger duo, an argument can be made that the comparison would be unfair to Koufax and Drysdale, not McNamara and Lenhart. Much like Dodger manager Walter Alston, Sandor knew the odds were favorable when one of his aces took the hill. “We had two guys that were really good and felt we would always have a chance to win with either of them out there, no matter what,” said the LC skipper. The blue’s big two started 23 of the Tribes’ 33 games and one or the other pitched a complete game in 15 of those contests. The two worked a combined 151 2/3 innings of the total 223 innings thrown by the LC staff over the course of the season, or 68% of the total. Not even Koufax and Drysdale can make such claims. In those innings, McNamara and Lehnert combined to strike out an incredible 40% of the hitters the tandem faced, fanning 235 of 594 hitters. Lehnert held the opposing hitters he faced to a meager .169 batting average and hitters didn’t fare much better

Continued on Page 24

2012 SEASON STATISTICS: PITCHING PLAYER

BF

GS CG G

IP

R

ER

H

2B 3B HR BB

HB SO WP W L

SV SHO ERA

Ryan Pachowicz

10

0

0

2

3.0

0

0

1

0

0

0

2

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

Ryan Burvan

4

0

0

1

1.0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

Taylor Lehnert

289

10

7

14 75.0

11

7

38

4

0

2

14

10

111 3

11 0

3

0

0.65

Jimmy McNamara

305

13

8

13 76.2

14

9

47

7

0

4

13

7

124 0

10 1

1

0

0.82

Antonio Majstorov

61

3

1

4

16.1

3

3

8

2

0

1

2

1

17

0

4

0

0

0

1.29

Austen Wagoner

57

0

0

7

14.0

4

3

12

2

0

0

3

1

15

0

1

0

1

0

1.50

Nick Kellams

124

6

1

7

29.0

10

8

21

3

0

0

11

2

38

0

5

0

0

0

1.93

Aaron Glatt

39

1

0

3

8.0

4

4

11

0

0

0

4

2

7

0

1

0

0

0

3.50

TOTALS

889

33

17

51 222.3 46

34

139 18

0

7

50

24

315 3

32 1

5

0

1.07

OPPONENTS

1087 31

11

33 212.2 233 207 299 64

114 29

127 2

1

30 0

0

6.81

11 16


A Pair of Aces

Comparison

With all of those strikeouts, Koufax had an impressive 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings, but that’s nothing compared to McNamara. During the 2012 campaign, the LC righty fanned an astonishing 11.4 hitters per seven innings. Not only does that surpass Koufax’s stellar 1965 season, but it’s a rate that he never reached. However, the similarities don’t even end with the numbers. Going into game seven of the ’65 series against Baltimore, Dodger manager Walt Alston had to choose which of his aces to throw. He ultimately decided on Koufax, who threw a complete game shutout, scattering three hits and striking out 10 on his way to being named World Series MVP. Drysdale would’ve been the first option out of the pen. Indians manager Jeff Sandor had a similar decision heading into the state finals last season. He went with McNamara, who threw a complete game shutout, surrendering three hits while striking out nine, before being named the L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award winner. Lehnert was ready in relief if needed. The decision wasn’t based on talent, a gut feeling or even a coin flip. Sandor just applied old-fashioned baseball logic. “They had four lefties in their lineup,” said Sandor said of Roncalli.” We like that lefty-lefty matchup. I don’t think there’s a better lefty in the state than (McNamara).” One difference between the two duos can be seen in the awards they received. In ’65 Koufax hogged all of the hardware. Besides being named World Series MVP, he won his second Cy Young Award and finished second in the National League MVP voting. Not the same for LC, as it was Taylor

“We had two guys that were really good and felt we would always have a chance to win with either of them out there, no matter what.”

Lehnert who was named the Duneland Conference Most Valuable Player in 2012 Both Koufax and Drysdale have been inducted into Cooperstown, enshrined among the best to play Major League Baseball and heralded as two of the best pitchers to ever play the game. Since their high school careers ended just last season, McNamara and Lehnert aren’t in the LC Halls of Fame just yet. But that’s only a matter of time, as the duo will most certainly be listed among the best of the best — something else they will have in common with Koufax and Drysdale, the greatest one-two punch in baseball history.

against McNamara either, as the southpaw held opposing lineups to an anemic .204 mark — all numbers the former pro pair would envy. The LC version of Koufax and Drysdale allowed just 27 bases on balls on the season, an average of just over one and a half (1.54) bases on balls per seven innings pitched. “There are a lot of things you could say about those two kids but the biggest thing was that they threw strikes,” said Sandor. “Jimmy and Taylor had the stuff to go out and challenge hitters and throw strikes early in the count but for the season we charted them at over 70% first pitch strikes. At the start of the season we knew they could be great, but we didn’t know they would be that great.” Lehnert was 11-0 with a glittering ERA of just 0.65 and added three saves for good measure. He threw four shutouts, seven complete games and struck out 111 hitters in 75 innings pitched for the season. McNamara finished the campaign with a 10-1 record, an ERA of 0.82 and one save. The lefty also threw four shutouts and worked eight complete games with 124 strikeouts in 76-2/3 innings pitched. Each pitcher was as dominant as any Northwest Indiana hurler in recent memory. Yet as good as they were individually, they were even more overwhelming together. Simply put, McNamara and Lehnert were to Lake Central what Koufax and Drysdale were to the Dodgers. Or is it the other way around?


Like an offensive lineman, a rebounding specialist on the hardwood or a defenseman in

Looking at the wins and losses for the Indians and seeing zero after zero as the opponent’s score, it’s easy to give the combo of Taylor Lehnert and Jimmy McNamara the lion’s share of the credit. While they definitely deserve the praises that have been heaped upon them, Mantel’s contributions as their catcher were just as important.

hockey, a sturdy catcher in baseball is sometimes easy to overlook, and that may have been the case with the 2012 Lake Central Indians. From the outside, there weren’t too many singing the praises of Zach Mantel. While press clippings and feature stories are nice, it’s what your

The Straw That Stirred The Drink By Nathan Laird, RSN Sports Director 26

coaches and teammates think of you that’s more important, and to say that they had high opinions of the backstop would be an understatement. Those around LC baseball know exactly why Mantel was a major piece to the championship puzzle.

Out of every player on the roster with over 30 defensive chances, Mantel had the best fielding percentage on the team at .987 (only four errors in 317 chances) and he threw out nine of 13 base stealers on the season.

“His handling of our pitchers was superb and he helped make them so dominant,” Indians head coach Jeff Sandor said. “Pitchers threw him lots of speed stuff but he could handle it.” One of the reasons Mantel, one of the team’s co-captains, worked so well with the two aces was familiarity. He’s been catching Lehnert since they were 10 years old and his relationship with McNamara goes even further back. “We’ve been neighbors since we were three years old,” McNamara said. “So we’ve been playing baseball and he’s been my catcher for probably a decade or more.” Those relationships between a catcher and his pitchers cannot go understated. With years of experience working with the top of the rotation, Mantel knew what was working with each of the guys and what changes needed to be made. “He gave a good amount of input,” Lehnert said. “He would tell me if something looked wrong or if the breaking ball wasn’t moving.” “Z knew what he was talking about,” added McNamara. “He knew me as well as anyone, so obviously any tip he gave I was going to listen to it.” It wasn’t just working with the pitchers and adding his two cents that made Mantel a key contributor for the Indians. For all of the things they were excellent at in 2012, defense was not one of the strengths of the Indians, except for behind the plate. Out of every player on the roster with over 30 defensive chances, Mantel had the best fielding percentage on the team at .987 (only four errors in 317 chances) and he threw out nine of 13 base stealers on the season. “No one could run on him,” Sandor said. “He threw out over 70% of base stealers in

his career.” That high of a percentage of caught runners not only prevents the opposition from nabbing an extra bag, it helps the confidence of his pitchers and lets them focus on throwing strikes, instead of who’s on base. “It helped an insane amount,” Lehnert said of Mantel’s efficiency at throwing out would-be base stealers. “It helped protect the running game in the sense of if we threw the ball in his zone he was going to throw the runner out.” While Mantel wouldn’t be confused for Mantle at the plate, Sandor said he handled the bat well and often came through with runners on, as he was only one of two Indians who had more RBI than hits. But prowess at the plate is not what made Zach Mantel a huge part of the team’s success. Handling the pitch-

ing staff and stellar defense earned him the high praises of his coach and teammates. “You could argue that he was our MVP,” Sandor said. “In my opinion he was the number one catcher in the area.” “I think he was one of the most important pieces on the team,” added Lehnert. “He was as important as anyone else,” McNamara said. “He was the straw that stirred the drink. What we did last year was special and I don’t think it would’ve been that way without Zach.” Maybe he was overlooked last year, but only from the outside. From the guys inside the dugout working with him day in and day out, Zach Mantel’s contributions to the Indians’ state title run will never be ignored or forgotten.


7 Games To Glory By Chris Lannin

SECTIONAL OPENER

Class 4A Sectional #1 @ Munster 5/25/12 vs. Munster Lake Central 7, Munster 0 After finishing the regular season with an impressive 25-1 mark, the Indians opened the second season in typical fashion, as Jimmy McNamara blanked Munster 7-0 in a glittering 12-strikeout, three-hit performance. The victory was the Indians’ 13th straight win and 11th shutout on the campaign. It also marked the second time the Tribe had whitewashed the Mustangs. Chase Fieldhouse led the way with a pair of hits, two runs scored and three RBI. Nick Kellams and Anthony Fushi each added two hits and Fushi and Ryan Pachowicz also drove in a run to give the Indians the victory in the class 4A sectional opener for both teams. “It seems like we draw these guys every year, and as coaches we were worried that such a special season could potentially end in game #1,” Sandor said. “Our kids wouldn’t let it. All around, we were sharp and it set the tone for us to keep this streak going.”

SECTIONAL SEMI-FINAL

5/28/12 vs. Lowell Lake Central 9, Lowell 3

The Blue Crew came, they saw — and then they conquered. Here’s how they did it.

Adam Fulk blasted a two-run homer and Alec Olund added a solo shot to back the pitching of Nick Kellams and Antonio Majstorov as the Indians advanced to the sectional #2 championship game with a 9-3 victory over the Lowell Red Devils. Kellams and Majstorov each went threeplus innings for the Indians, with Majstorov picking up the win for the St. John Blue Crew. The performances were key for the Indians because the clutch pitching allowed Coach Jeff Sandor to have aces Jimmy

“We attacked one of the best around and chased him in a huge game. I remember leaving and saying we may need to get a bus ready for Indy.” McNamara and Taylor Lehnert both available for the championship game against Highland later that same evening. Chase Fieldhouse continued to swing a hot bat as he matched Fulk with two RBI, giving him five in two games in the sectional. “Fulk and Olund homers were key and so were Majstorov and Kellams pitching performances,” Sandor recalled. “They allowed us to pocket

Lehnert for a Jordan Minch showdown. These games are always scary as trap games. You can’t get caught looking past.”

SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

5/28/12 vs. Highland Lake Central 7, Highland 0

Chase Fieldhouse continued to sizzle Continued on next page


7 Games To Glory in sectional play with a pair of hits, including a towering, tworun homer in the first to run his sectional RBI total to seven and lead the Indians to the 4A sectional championship. Ryan Pachowicz had a three-run bomb while Austen Wagoner added two hits and two RBI as the Indians rocked Purdue bound, Highland ace Jordan Minch for the victory. Taylor Lehnert was brilliant once again as he went the distance, allowing just one hit while striking out nine to earn his ninth win of the season. The shutout was the twelfth of the season for the LC pitching staff and the second time the Indians had blanked the Trojans. With the victory, the Indians improved to 28-1 on the season heading into the LaPorte regional. “This was maybe our best hitting performance of the year,” Sandor described. “We attacked one of the best around and chased him in a huge game. I remember leaving and saying we may need to get a bus ready for Indy.”

REGIONAL SEMI-FINAL

6/2/12 vs. Elkhart Central Class 4A Regional @ La Porte Lake Central 2, Elkhart Central 1 Jimmy McNamara bested Elkhart Central ace Tanner Tully in a pitchers duel as the Indians advanced to the regional championship with a tense, 2-1 victory. McNamara allowed just a solo homer as he scattered five hits and struck out seven to improve to 9-1. The left-hander was so dominant in the complete game victory that he didn’t allow a runner past second base after the second inning. Chase Fieldhouse continued to tear the cover off the ball as he blasted a game winning homer off the school in left field to lead the Indians attack. In the first four tournament games, Fieldhouse banged out six hits, including two homers with eight RBI. Anthony Fushi contributed a pair of safeties and Adam Fulk chipped in with an RBI single for the Blue Crew. “In a game that featured more in-game and pre-game drama, our kids were awesome about keeping the game inside the lines,” Sandor said of the tension-filled regional. “Adam Fulk had a monster game tying double, and all I remember is we were sharp, they were sharp, and Chase Fieldhouse hit a home run that won it that is still going. Continued on Page 32

30

Test Your Indians IQ 1) True or False: Lake Central’s 15 sectional championships is the most of any DAC school. 2) Prior to the Indians winning the 2012 title, who as the last Region team to win a class 4A baseball state championship? A) LaPorte B) Munster C) Valparaiso D) Crown Point 3) Jeff Sandor is now one of four active Region baseball head coaches with a state championship victory. Which of the following is NOT a member of that group? A) Dave Pishkur B) Bob Shinkan C) Jack Campbell D) Scott Upp 4) Which MLB closer was a teammate of Jeff Sandor’s at the University of Michigan? A) Jason Grilli B) Joe Nathan C) Addison Reed D) JJ Putz

5) On their road to state, the Indians got revenge on what team that upset the 2011 Lake Central squad in the regional? A) Elkhart Central B) Crown Point C) Penn D) Warsaw 6) Which former White Sox outfielder is a graduate of Lake Central High School? A) Scott Podsednik B) Jerry Owens C) Rob Mackowiak D) Darin Erstad 7) Indians pitching coach Brett Summers was selected twice in the MLB draft, once out of high school and once out of college. He was selected by the Cubs the second time, but who was the first team to take him? A) White Sox B) Yankees C) Red Sox D) Marlins 8) Despite only pitching eight varsity innings last season, Indians senior hurler Aaron Glatt is committed to play

baseball at what college? A) Ball State B) Kent State C) Dayton D) Bowling Green 9) Jeff Sandor required all players on the 2012 roster to deactivate their accounts on what social media site during the season? A) Twitter B) Facebook C) Instagram D) Myspace 10) Which Indians player was also the starting quarterback of the 2012 LC football team? A) Ryan Burvan B) Nick Kellams C) Antonio Majstorov D) Alec Olund Answers on Page 42


7 Games To Glory

two RBI. Nick Kellams chipped in with three hits and three runs scored. Hot-hitting Chase Fieldhouse was intentionally walked three times, yet still contributed an RBI base hit for the never say die Indians, giving him nine hits and nine RBI in six tournament games. By winning the 4A northern semi-state, the Indians improved to 31-1. “HA! Down two heading into the seventh, our life was close to over. Not with these kids,” remembered Sandor. “All it took was one base runner, a few errors, and Pachowicz (two outs down, one double). It may have helped that they intentionally walked the winning run with a runner on first. Taylor Lehnert was unbelievable in relief.”

R.I.P. ECC.”

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

SEMI-STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

6/2/12 vs. Penn Lake Central 3, Penn 1

Class 4A Semi-State @ Kokomo 6/9/12 vs. Zionsville Lake Central 4, Zionsville 3

Taylor Lehnert pitched a three hitter, allowing just one unearned run while striking out seven for his tenth victory, to lead the Indians to the 4A regional title. The Indians jumped out to an early lead, getting all seven hits and three runs in the first three innings. Lehnert made them stand up as LC advanced with a 3-1 victory. Chase Fieldhouse continued his torrid pace at the plate with two more hits to lead the attack. Anthony Fushi added a base hit and two RBI, and Austen Wagoner drove in a run with a single as the TriTown Tribe ran their winning streak to 17 heading into semi-state play. “Chad Whitmer is the best pitcher we faced last year,” Sandor said of the competition. “He had outstanding stuff and gave us fits once he settled in. Huge hitting by Anthony Fushi saved us in this one, along with another Taylor Lehnert clutch start.”

The Indians snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a come-from-behind win over Zionsville in nine innings. Taylor Lehnert notched his 11th victory by pitching four and one-third innings of shutout relief while fanning eight. Lehnert came on for a shaky Jimmy McNamara with two outs in the fifth after Zionsville had taken a 3-1 lead and slammed the door to keep LC in the game and set the stage for the late-inning heroics. After squandering a couple of earlier scoring chances it looked grim for the boys in blue, who trailed by two runs heading into their final at bat. But then Ryan Pachowicz doubled up the right field power alley with two outs to drive in the tying run and force extra innings. In the ninth, Pachowicz was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the game-winning run. Pachowicz, the slugging first baseman, had two doubles and

CLASS 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

State Championship @ Indianapolis 6/16/12 vs. Indianapolis Roncalli Lake Central 1, Indianapolis Roncalli 0

Austen Wagoner’s RBI single in the top of the third plated Ryan Burvan with the game’s only run after Burvan had singled with two outs to stake Jimmy McNamara to a 1-0 advantage. The Indians never relinquished that lead and came away with the school’s first ever baseball state

2012 SEASON STATISTICS: OFFENSE PLAYER

G

AB

R

H

2B 3B HR

TB

BB

HP SO SH SF SB RBI

OBP

SLG

BA

Brad Staszewski

4

3

3

2

1

0

0

3

3

1

0

0

0

0

1

0.857

1.000

0.667

Cody Brack

8

12

3

7

2

0

0

9

3

0

0

0

0

0

3

0.867

0.750

0.583

Chase Fieldhouse

30

91

32

40

10

1

4

64

15

3

10

3

2

6

35

0.613

0.703

0.440

Nick Kellams

33

111

33

43

12

2

2

65

13

3

6

0

0

9

16

0.528

0.586

0.387

Tony Schneider

6

8

1

3

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

1

0

2

0.333

0.375

0.375

Adam Fulk

33

93

25

33

3

3

3

51

10

1

20

6

1

10

26

0.505

0.548

0.355

Ryan Pachowicz

32

88

25

31

7

0

1

41

18

2

14

1

3

2

23

0.486

0.466

0.352

Ryan Burvan

31

88

24

31

6

1

1

42

7

6

13

9

0

6

11

0.446

0.477

0.352

Alec Olund

28

66

14

23

7

2

2

40

5

0

12

2

2

1

13

0.425

0.606

0.348

Alec Pickert

10

13

4

4

0

0

0

4

1

1

2

0

0

0

2

0.600

0.308

0.308

Jimmy McNamara

26

66

18

20

5

2

0

29

11

1

8

3

1

1

20

0.494

0.439

0.303

Antonio Majstorov

14

24

5

7

1

0

0

8

0

1

3

1

0

0

2

0.320

0.333

0.292

Steve Fulk

11

11

6

3

0

0

0

3

1

3

5

1

0

3

1

0.467

0.273

0.273

Austen Wagoner

33

96

23

26

6

0

1

35

16

4

19

2

3

6

27

0.462

0.365

0.271

Zach Mantel

27

58

10

15

2

0

3

26

8

8

19

3

2

2

18

0.421

0.448

0.259

Anthony Fushi

22

53

5

13

1

0

0

14

4

1

13

2

1

0

9

0.390

0.264

0.245

0

0

0

0

2

0

0.000

0.000

Taylor Lehnert

3

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

TOTALS

33

885

231 301 63

11

17

437 115 35

146 33

16

46

209

0.488 0.494 0.340

OPPONENTS

33

797

46

0

7

176 50

296 12

2

7

37

0.285 0.221 0.172

32

137 18

21

championship. McNamara earned his tenth win in grand fashion on the biggest stage of his life, allowing just three hits while striking out nine to end the Indians’ season the way it began, with a shutout. As it was all season long, pitching was once again the name of the game for the Big Blue Wrecking Crew as the gem by McNamara was the fourteenth time an opponent was held scoreless. The memorable season concluded with a 32-1 record, the best in school history. “The season couldn’t have ended in a more fitting matter (1-0),” Sandor said of the finale. “Tight games and clutch performances were what defined this group. You never knew who and you never knew when, but they got it done. On this day it was everyone. We weren’t perfect and we never were. We would have it no other way. The tighter the game, the looser we played. “These kids were the best team I’ve ever seen. They may not have been the most talented, but we had 20 kids that would run through a brick wall for each other. And it didn’t hurt they were pretty darn talented. This is a group I’ll never forget, and neither will northwest Indiana.”

2012 SEASON STATISTICS: FIELDING PLAYER

G

C

PO A

E

DP PB SB CS CSA

FA

Nick Kellams

31

29

23

6

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

1.000

Chase Fieldhouse

28

28

27

1

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

1.000

Cody Brack

3

18

17

1

0

0

1

0

0

0.000

1.000

Tony Schneider

4

10

8

2

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

1.000

Alec Pickert

7

6

5

1

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

1.000

Brad Staszewski

6

4

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

1.000

Aaron Glatt

2

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

1.000

Zach Mantel

31

317 292 21

4

0

4

4

9

0.692

0.987

Ryan Pachowicz

32

195 186 5

4

0

0

0

0

0.000

0.979

Ryan Burvan

29

77

32

42

3

0

0

0

0

0.000

0.962

Austen Wagoner

32

109 35

67

7

3

0

0

0

0.000

0.936

Jimmy McNamara

20

22

7

13

2

0

0

0

1

1.000

0.909

Taylor Lehnert

13

25

5

17

3

0

0

0

0

0.000

0.880

Anthony Fushi

23

32

10

17

5

0

0

0

0

0.000

0.844

Adam Fulk

30

18

12

3

3

0

0

0

1

1.000

0.833

Alec Olund

14

23

5

13

5

0

0

0

0

0.000

0.783

Steve Fulk

8

3

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

0.000

0.667

Antonio Majstorov

7

3

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0.000

0.333

TOTALS

33

920 669 212 39 3

5

4

11

0.733

0.958

OPPONENTS

33

903 632 213 58 12

19

46

15

0.246

0.936


McNificent! LC lefty dominates as Indians grab first state title In the 32 games leading up to the state championship at Victory Field, the Lake Central lineup was cranking out better than seven runs per game. While the latter rounds of the tournament saw a dip in that number (only three runs per game from regionals through semi-state), the threat of an offensive outburst was always present with the bats of Chase Fieldhouse, Austen Wagoner & Adam Fulk in the order. So with all that firepower and run producing pedigree, one would think scoring a single run might be a disappointment, but nothing could be further from the truth. That lone run was all the Indians needed for a history making state championship victory over Indianapolis Roncalli, as left-handed pitcher Jimmy McNamara threw a complete game shutout to secure the first baseball state championship in school history. Heading into the game, Indians coach Jeff Sandor had a tough decision to make – which of his two aces would he start. With McNamara and fellow senior Taylor Lehnert to choose from, Sandor, a former Indian pitcher himself, looked at the matchups and decided to go with the southpaw. “They had four lefties in their lineup, and we like that lefty-lefty matchup,” Sandor said. “I don’t think there’s a better lefty in the state than (McNamara).” The lefthander was on top of his game all night long – which is really saying something for pitcher with a sub 1.00 ERA entering the championship. In his seven innings of work, McNamara threw 103

pitches, struck out nine Roncalli batters, scattered three hits and walked only one. After the game, the McNamara focused more on the journey that he and his teammates just went through instead of his own dominating performance. “I don’t even know if it’s going to set in until tomorrow morning when I wake up,” McNamara said during the celebration on the field. “This is unbelievable. I’ve been playing with a lot of these guys since I was seven or eight years old and this is the last game we’re going to play together, but there’s no better way to end it.” The Indians only run came in the third inning thanks to some clutch hitting. After two quick outs it looked like it was going to be an easy 1-2-3 inning, but then Ryan Burvan singled up the middle and Fieldhouse followed that up with a walk, setting the table for Wagoner. Showing his aggressiveness at the plate, Wagoner lined the first pitch he saw to center for a single, bringing home Burvan and providing the only run that the Indians. Roncalli would threaten in the fifth, getting two hits, but as he did all season long, McNamara rose to the occasion and left the Rebel runners stranded. It’s only appropriate that a dominating season was punctuated by a dominating performance and that’s exactly what Jimmy McNamara gave his team in the state

championship. His performance will definitely be remembered as one of the highlights in Region baseball history.


What Goes Good With Crow?

I’m still not quite sure why, but I didn’t believe in the Indians’ destiny last year. I was hopeful like I am for any Region team, but I just didn’t see them getting it done. Today I’m here to tell you that I couldn’t be happier to be wrong.

so the rest of the LC When the 2012 prep pitching staff had to baseball season began, pitch in, and pitch in this reporter would not they did. Nick Kellams, have predicted a state Antonio Majstorov, championship for the Austen Waggoner and Lake Central Indians. the rest of the staff put Certainly, Lake Central up a combined mark of had a pair of dominant 11-0, allowing just 18 pitchers in southpaw earned runs over 71.1 Jimmy McNamara and innings for an ERA of fireballer Taylor Lehnert; just under 2.0. By Chris Lannin and led by slugging outIncluding unearned fielder Chase Fieldhouse, runs, opponents tallied just 46 the Indians had a solid lineup. But with the recent post season runs in 33 games, a paltry aversuccess of Crown Point (five trips age of just 1.3 runs per game. to the class 4A semi-state in the The Tribe was a near sure thing in seven previous years, including close games, going 5-1 in one run 2011) and the generally high level games and 11-1 in games decided of talent in the Duneland Confer- by three runs or less. Now let’s talk about the offense. ence, I wouldn’t have predicted with any certainty Lake Central If they didn’t blow the competition would get out of the regional or off the field, then they found a even win the conference for that way to win, including an improbmatter, despite the fact the Indi- able two run comeback in the seventh inning of the 4A semi-state ans were ranked #1 in the state. Even though they’d had won the against Zionsville to forced extra conference a year ago the DAC is innings, where the Indians pulled never a cake walk. Crown Point out the victory. Combined, the pitching domiwas loaded, Portage was expected to challenge and Valpo was tal- nance and offensive prowess led ented. Chesterton figured to be in to an average margin of victory the race and you can’t count out of just under six runs (5.96) per LaPorte when it comes to baseball. game. Even if you remove the As it turned out, the Indians nine games the Indians blew opraced through the DAC schedule, ponents out by double digits, they losing only to Chesterton. For the still had an average margin of viccampaign, it can be said the Big tory of just under four runs (3.91) Blue Wrecking Crew just ran away per game. Now that’s dominance! I’m still not quite sure why, but from opponents in the regular season and played like a team of des- I didn’t believe in the Indians destiny last year. I was hopeful like I tiny in the tournament. So just how was it that the Indi- am for any Region team, but I just ans accomplished this feat? Well, didn’t see them getting it done. Today I’m here to tell you that I let’s start with pitching. The LC staff wasn’t just overwhelming, couldn’t be happier to be wrong. Sometimes you just gotta believe, they were dominant. McNamara and Lehnert com- and I didn’t. I had to come around bined to go 21-1 with an amazing the hard way. So if you’ll excuse combined ERA of 0.74. But the two me, I have some crow to attend to. seniors couldn’t pitch every game,

LANNIN’S LINE

36


2012 IHSAA CLASS 4A BASEBALL FINAL BRACKETS

State Title Fun Facts 2012 FINAL DAC STANDINGS SCHOOL

DAC RECORD

SEASON RECORD HEAD COACH

1

Lake Central

13-1

32-1

Jeff Sandor

2

Crown Point

11-3

27-5

Steve Strayer

3

Portage

8-6

25-7

Tim Pirowski

4

Chesterton

7-7

15-13

Jack Campbell

5

Valparaiso

7-7

20-12

Dave Coyle

6

Michigan City

5-9

13-13

David Ortiz

7

Merrillville

3-11

5-24

Mark Schellinger

8

LaPorte

2-12

12-19

Scott Upp

38

Indians head coach Jeff Sandor, in his third year as the varsity coach at his alma mater Lake Central, where he was a standout pitcher, opposed Keith Hatfield, who was also in his third year as head coach of his alma mater, Roncalli …where he was a pitcher. The starting center fielders for both teams in last year’s 4A championship game had the unique first name of Chase. (Fieldhouse for LC, Steinbrunner for Roncalli). For those of you who were wondering, Chase was the 69th most popular boys name in 2011 and 226th in 1993, when Fieldhouse was born.


The Sandor File PERSONAL

Name: Jeff Sandor Born: June 2, 1980 Teaches: English/Language Arts

EDUCATION

High School: Lake Central, 1998 College: University of Michigan, 2002 Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in English

FAMILY

Jeff and his wife Lauren, a guidance counselor at Lake Central High School, reside in Crown Point.

PLAYING CAREER

High school: Baseball/basketball at Lake Central High School College: Baseball at University of Michigan

HIGHLIGHTS

As a senior at Lake Central in 1998, Jeff was named first team all area in both papers in both baseball and basketball. Jeff also earned all state honorable mention in both sports. For basketball, he was a McDonald’s All American nominee. Jeff is a member of Lake Central High School’s Hall of Fame.

COACHING CAREER (ALL AT LAKE CENTRAL)

• Volunteer Asst Basketball 2003 • Freshman Basketball 2003-2004 • JV Basketball 2004-2007 • Assistant Basketball 2007-2010 • Varsity Asst Baseball 2003-2007 • Freshman Baseball 2007-2009 • Varsity Baseball 2010-Present

HIGHLIGHTS

Jeff is in his fourth season as head coach at Lake Central High School. During his first three years, his teams have compiled a 79-11 record; including a 2011 Sectional Championship and 2012 State Championship. Lake Central also won the DAC during two of his three years and finished runner-up his first year (12-2). Jeff’s career DAC record is 36-6. The 2012 season featured a 32-1 record which ties for 2nd best winning percentage in Indiana history. The Indians finished ranked 7th nationally in 2012. Seven LC players have gone on to earn Division 1 scholarships and many others are finding success at other collegiate levels.

AWARDS

• NWI Times Coach of the Year 2012 • IHSBCA District 1 Coach of the Year 2012 • IHSBCA 4A State Coach of the Year 2012

40


Trivia Answers 1) False. LC’s 15 sectional titles actually is the fifth most out of the DAC teams. The Indians are far behind LaPorte, who lead the entire state with 35 sectional trophies. 2) B. The 2002 Mustangs were the last Region team to win the 4A state title, with the 2000 LaPorte Slicers as the only other Northwest Indiana team to also win

the largest class crown since the multi-class tournament started in 1998. 3) C. Although Jack Campbell and has had a long and successful tenure as head coach at Chesterton, a state title has eluded him. 4) D. Putz, who has pitched for the Mariners, Mets, White Sox & Diamondbacks, was selected in

the sixth round of the 1999 draft. 5) A. Elkhart Central knocked out LC by an 8-3 score in 2011, but the Indians got their revenge last season with a 2-1 win in an tense game. 6) C. Mackowiak graduated from Lake Central in 1994 before playing in the majors for eight seasons. 7) B. The Yankees selected Summers in the 36th round of the

2005 draft, but he opted to play for South Suburban. 8) C. Glatt will by a Flyer next season at the University of Dayton 9) A. Indian players weren’t allowed to tweet during the season last year to prevent any trash talking with opposing teams. 10) D. Olund helped guide the Indians to an 8-3 record on the gridiron in 2012.


2012 LAKE CENTRAL INDIANS

Nick Kellams

Alec Pickert

Jimmy McNamara

Steve Fulk

Anthony Fushi

Adam Fulk

Chase Fieldhouse

Brad Staszewski

Cody Brack

Ryan Burvan

Zach Mantel

Antonio Majstorov

Ryan Pachowicz

Taylor Lehnert

Tony Schneider

8400 Wicker Ave., St. John, IN • Established 1966 • 2012-2013 Enrollment: 3,236 Head Coach: Jeff Sandor

Varsity Assistants: Joe Stanisz, Brett Summers • JV Coach: Jeff Myszak

44

No. Player

Pos

B/T Grade HT/WT

1 2 3 4 5

Alec Olund Austen Wagoner Nick Kellams Steve Fulk Chase Fieldhouse

2B SS/3B OF/P OF OF

R/R R/R L/L R/R R/R

10 12 11 11 12

6’1”/165 5’11”/160 5’10”/160 5’11”/170 5’11”/195

6 7

Ryan Burvan Ryan Pachowicz

IF/P 1B

R/R R/R

11 12

5’10”/155 6’3”/195

11 13 14 15 19

Alec Pickert Anthony Fushi Brad Staszewski Zach Mantel Taylor Lehnert

2B IF 3B C P

L/R R/R R/R R/R R/R

11 12 11 12 12

5’9”/165 6’3”/170 5’9”/165 6’0”/185 6’4”/230

20 21 22

Jimmy McNamara Adam Fulk Cody Brack

P/OF OF C

L/L R/R R/R

12 12 11

6’2”/180 6’0”/185 6’1”/190

23 24

Antonio Majstorov Tony Schneider

3B/P 1B

R/R L/R

11 11

5’10”/190 6’3”/215

Alec Olund

Austen Wagoner


2012 SEASON RESULTS BY GAME REGULAR SEASON 27-Mar

at Bishop Noll

W, 1-0

31-Mar

at Morton

W, 6-0

31-Mar

at Morton

W, 16-1

2-Apr

at Lowell

W, 16-0

3-Apr

Munster

W, 1-0

5-Apr

at Hanover Central

W, 5-0

6-Apr

Highland

W, 10-0

10-Apr

at Michigan City

W, 5-0

12-Apr

Crown Point

W, 12-5

16-Apr

Merrillville

W, 12-0

18-Apr

Portage

W, 7-3

19-Apr

Benton Central

W, 14-4

20-Apr

Valparaiso

W, 8-0

24-Apr

at Chesterton

L, 4-3

26-Apr

at LaPorte

W, 1-0

1-May

Michigan City

W, 6-2

2-May

at Crown Point

W, 10-1

3-May

at Merrillville

W, 10-4

5-May

Elkhart Memorial

W, 14-2

8-May

at Portage

W, 4-2

10-May

at Valparaiso

W, 8-6

12-May

at Franklin Central

W, 3-1

12-May

at Indpls Cathedral

W, 7-1

15-May

Chesterton

W, 8-1

17-May

LaPorte

W, 6-1

19-May

at Whiting

W, 7-0

SECTIONALS AT MUNSTER 25-May

Munster

W, 7-0

28-May

Lowell

W, 9-3

28-May

Highland

W, 7-0

2-Jun

Elkhart Central

W, 2-1

2-Jun

Penn

W, 3-1

REGIONALS AT LAPORTE

SEMI-STATE AT KOKOMO 9-Jun

Zionsville

W, 4-3

STATE FINALS AT VICTORY FIELD 16-Jun

Indianapolis Roncalli

W, 1-0


STATE CHAMPIONSHIP BEST RECORDS SEASON SCHOOL

RECORD REGION

2007 2005 1978 2006 2012 1979 1993 1988 2001 1995 1987 2009 2005 2011 1999 2010 2006 2009 2003 2006 1974

35-0 35-0 30-0 34-1 32-1 29-1 36-2 35-2 34-2 34-2 34-2 33-2 33-2 32-2 31-2 31-2 29-2 28-2 26-2 25-2 25-2

Norwell Brownsburg Evansville Memorial Jasper Lake Central Evansville Memorial Evansville Memorial Seymour Penn Lafayette Harrison LaPorte Andrean Andrean FW Carroll Madison Indy Cathedral Norwell West Vigo Triton Central FW Blackhawk TH North

3A 4A 3A 4A

4A

3A 3A 4A 3A 4A 3A 3A 2A A

result 1.000 1.000 1.000 0.971 0.969 0.967 0.947 0.946 0.944 0.944 0.944 0.943 0.943 0.941 0.939 0.939 0.935 0.933 0.929 0.926 0.926

LOST IN FINALS

LOST IN FINALS LOST IN FINALS LOST IN FINALS


2012 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME BOX SCORE LAKE CENTRAL, 1 (32-1) PLAYER

AB

R

H

RBI BB SO PO A

LOB

Nick Kellams - RF

4

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

Ryan Burvan - 2B

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

Chase Fieldhouse - CF

2

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

Austen Wagoner - SS

2

0

1

1

1

0

1

5

0

Ryan Pachowicz - 1B

3

0

1

0

0

0

9

0

2

Anthony Fushi - 3B

3

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

Adam Fulk - LF

2

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Antonio Majstorov - PH

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Zach Mantel - C

3

0

0

0

0

1

8

1

2

CHESTERTON

Alec Olund - DH

3

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

Jake Post

TOTALS

26

1

4

1

2

4

21

8

6

Crown Point

IP

H

R

ER

BB SO AB NF NP

Zach Plesac

Pitcher

7

3

0

0

1

Jake Lindeman

2nd Baseman

Joe Hopman

Outfielder

Jimmy McNamara

9

23

24

103

RONCALLI, 0 (23-9-1)

2012 DUNELAND ALL-CONFERENCE BASEBALL TEAM Pitcher

PLAYER

AB

R

H

RBI BB SO PO A

LOB

LAKE CENTRAL

Colin Hawk - P

3

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

0

Taylor Lehnert

MVP

Jason Simpkins - SS

2

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

Jimmy McNamara

Pitcher

Austin Alte - PR

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Taylor Lehnert

Pitcher

Joe Ardizzone - 3B

3

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

Chase Fieldhouse

Outfielder Outfielder Utility

Nick Wright - C

3

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

Adam Fulk

Jordan Reeser - 2B

3

0

1

0

0

1

3

1

0

Nick Kellams

Chase Steinbrunner - CF

3

0

0

0

0

2

3

0

0

LA PORTE

Aaron Schnell - RF

2

0

1

0

0

1

3

0

0

Francis Silfa

Drew Biddle - LF

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

2

MERRILLVILLE

Brad Fey - 1B

2

0

0

0

0

2

6

0

0

Aaron Dye

TOTALS

23

0

3

0

1

9

21

4

3

MICHIGAN CITY

IP

H

R

ER

BB SO AB NF NP

Andrew Ray

Colin Hawk

7

4

1

1

2

4

26

28

83

PORTAGE

SCORE BY INNINGS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

R

H

Gabe Acevedo

3rd Baseman

Lake Central

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

4

Dave Jercha

1st Baseman

3

Zach Simmons

Catcher

Roncalli

50

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Shortstop Outfielder Utility


THE NEXT LEVEL

RYAN BOSS - UIC AVG

GP

GS

AB

H

R

RBI

BB

2B

3B

HR

0.285 35

35

130

37

23

24

8

6

3

6

BRIAN CRIDER - IU SOUTHEAST AVG

GP 0.289 34

GS

AB

H

R

RBI

BB

2B

3B

28

90

26

7

21

6

5

2

CODY DYKEMA - HEARTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE AVG

GP

GS

AB

H

R

RBI

BB

2B

HR

0.355 39

39

124

44

33

26

16

7

1

CHASE FIELDHOUSE - KASKASKIA COLLEGE Ryan Boss

Brian Crider

No stats available

STEVE LETZ - SOUTH SUBURBAN No stats available

EDDIE MOLDENHAUER - PURDUE NORTH CENTRAL AVG

GP 0.088 22

GS

AB

H

R

RBI

BB

2B

20

57

5

4

4

3

1

ANTHONY OLUND - PURDUE NORTH CENTRAL AVG

GP 0.300 36

Cody Dykema

Eddie Moldenhauer

GS

AB

H

R

RBI

BB

2B

HR

36

130

39

23

27

13

9

1

JORDAN POLITO - PURDUE NORTH CENTRAL W

L

ERA

2

3

3.09 43.2

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

3B

HR

33

18

15

9

21

2

2

FRANK PLUSKOTA - IU SOUTHEAST AVG

GP 0.340 49

GS

AB

H

R

RBI

BB

2B

3B

HR

49

147

50

37

27

36

15

1

1

AJ DOYLE - IU SOUTHEAST AVG Anthony Olund

Jordan Polito

GP

GS

AB

H

R

RBI

BB

2B

0.261 50

50

142

37

18

23

31

7

KURT KUDRECKI - INDIANA STATE W

L

ERA

IP

1

1

1.61 28

H

R

ER

BB

SO

19

9

5

9

22

TAYLOR LEHNERT - CENTRAL MICHIGAN W

L

ERA

IP

2

2

4.59 33.1

H

R

ER

BB

SO

38

19

17

14

20

JIMMY MCNAMARA - CENTRAL MICHIGAN Kurt Kudrecki

Steve Letz

W

L

ERA

IP

0

2

3.09 32

H

R

ER

BB

SO

32

13

11

9

26



A Season of Glory - Commemorating the 2012 LC Indians