Patriots picking up statewide attentionApril 23rd, 2013 at 5:55 pm by Ross Rowling under Ross Rowling's Roundup, Sports, WTHI Blog
Though it certainly hasn’t felt much like baseball season around the Valley, it’s upon us. Terre Haute North is gaining statewide attention, ranked third in the 4A Indiana High School Baseball Association Poll. Now the question moves to their ability to keep it up. Is this Patriot baseball team really this good? There are plenty of reasons to think that it is.
For North, it starts with their lineup. When asked about the Patriots one opposing coach told me, “Their ability to hit the opposite way was phenomenal. Not an easy out in their lineup. They play the game the way it’s meant to be played.”
That’s pretty high praise from the competition, and it’s true. We all knew Sam Wolf could hit, but he’s tearing the cover off the ball. As of this writing, Wolf is hitting .558 with 2 home runs and 25 RBI. Freshman T.J. Collett looks like the next big thing to come out of the WabashValley. I’ve never seen a player with such poise at such a young age. His stat line is also a head turner, hitting .486 with 8 home runs and 32 RBI. Collett and Wolf are absolutely fearsome in the middle of the Patriot lineup.
One Patiot coach says, “Contrary to the views of some, we haven’t been a one or two man team offensively.” He couldn’t be more correct in that statement. The middle infield could stack up with anyone this season. Slick fielding Gabe Sevigny is great with the glove up the middle, and his bat has been impressive. Sevigny is hitting .455 with 20 runs scored and 7 stolen bases on the season. His middle infield mate Jonathan Eilbracht leads the team with 25 runs scored while hitting at a .333 clip this year. Another force of this lineup, 3rd baseman Zach Milam was a little slow to get going, but he’s picked it up as of late and has his average all the way up to .356. This is a wrecking crew top to bottom.
Austin Hicks has been fantastic on the mound to lead the pitching staff. He’s 5-0 with a 2.70 ERA in more than 33 innings this season. One coach said, “Hicks has started to settle into the staff ace. He has started to find the strike zone and miss bats.” That’s a great combination for a starting pitcher.
At the end of the day, with such a powerful lineup, these Patriots don’t have to dominate on the mound. They play good defense and have an interesting roster composition. One coach says, “We have a great mix of youth (1 freshman and 2 sophomores) with great experience in our juniors and seniors. This has been a fun group to coach. (They are) always working hard and always looking to get better.”
With players like Sevigny, Hicks, and Milam coming on strong to join Collett and Wolf crushing the baseball up and down the order, I like the pieces in place for this 12-1 start to continue.