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IU baseball's future displayed in Indianapolis

Three of the four IHSAA baseball state championship games had a future Hoosier involved

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IU head coach Jeff Mercer and his staff have recruited the state of Indiana heavily, getting commitments from some of the best in-state recruits in the process.
Auston Matricardi

Over the last two days Hoosier baseball fans got a peek at the future as the high school baseball season closed out at Victory Field with the IHSAA State Championship Games.

On Monday the only IU signee or commit was Reese Sharp of University High School. In the Class A game the right-hander was dealing. He powered the Trailblazers to their first state title by throwing a complete game, striking out a state finals record 17 batters and giving up just one run on the evening. He allowed just four hits in his 118 pitches despite struggling early and giving up a few walks. Now that his season has ended Sharp could be getting even more attention as he now has to decide whether he will play for the Hoosiers next year or if he will sign with the San Francisco Giants, who selected him in the 28th round of the MLB Draft earlier this month. Ahead of the championship game he said that he was undecided, saying he felt like it was 50-50.

Tuesday saw a few more future Hoosiers take the field. The Class 3A game pitted Edgewood’s Ethan Vecrumba and Luke Hayden against Andrean’s Tyler Nelson. Hayden started and finished the game on the bump for the Mustangs and was the most noteworthy of the trio as the game turned into a pitchers duel. He was the losing pitcher in the matchup despite a very good game overall in which he gave up just two runs on three hits. He struck out 10 batters and walked six in his complete-game performance. Hayden also went 1-3 at the dish with two strikeouts and a stolen base, faring better than most hitters. He was also credited with an error in the field, one of four total for Edgewood.

In his final game as a high schooler Vecrumba had an impact. He managed a 1-3 performance by beating out an infield single, then stealing a base and scoring Edgewood’s only run of the evening in the sixth inning. He also struck out twice in the game.

Nelson didn’t manage to get into the hit column for Andrean. He finished the game at 0-2 with a walk, a stolen base and a strikeout as the Fighting 59ers picked up their second consecutive state title with a 2-1 win over the Mustangs. He also committed an error in the field as Andrean’s shortstop.

In the final IHSAA event of the school year future Hoosier Tucker Schank and the Southridge Raiders took on the Alexandria-Monroe Tigers in the Class 2A State Final. Schank is no stranger to the spotlight of a state final, he qualified for state twice during his high school career as a wrestler and also scored a two-point conversion to win a state championship for the Raider football team in 2017, but he struggled to be a factor in Tuesday evening’s game. He went 0-4 with a strikeout as the Raiders crumbled late and ultimately lost 4-3.

Now that the high school season has officially ended Schank, Vecrumba and potentially Sharp will join the rest of the class of newcomers in Bloomington to begin preparing for their first year of college.