News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 25, 2013

COLLEGE REPORT: Several Valley standouts busy with baseball

Joey Bennett
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — Several of the Wabash Valley area standouts now in college baseball are busy with summer league teams.

They include:

• A.J. Reed (Terre Haute South/Kentucky) — Playing for Harwich Mariners in Cape Cod League. Won his only pitching start, going six innings with five strikeouts, one walk and four hits allowed. He has taken a leave of absence from the team to try out for the USA Baseball Collegiate National team.

Reed had two RBI on Sunday night to lead the USA team hopefuls to a 10-2 exhibition game victory. He walked and went 0-2 at the plate in the team’s 1-0 win on Saturday night. Some players have already been chosen for the team; Reed is one of 15 players vying for one of the other roster spots.

• Tyler Wampler (West Vigo/Indiana State) — Ranks second in hitting for the Terre Haute Rex of the Prospect League at .344 and leads the team in RBI with 12.

• Connor Strain (North Central/Evansville) — Is playing for the Dubois County Bombers in southern Indiana, a franchise formerly in the Prospect League and moved this year to the Ohio Valley League. Strain has started two games and has a 2.84 ERA and has struck out 18 batters in 19 innings while walking only 14. He has a 0-0 record.

• Josh Dove (Terre Haute South/Lincoln Trail/Indiana State) — Has pitched 17.1 innings in eight appearances for the Rex with a 0-1 record, 4.15 ERA, 14 strikeouts and six walks.

• Derek Hannahs (Robinson/Ohio State/Indiana State) — Was scheduled to play for the Covington Lumberjacks of the Valley Baseball League, but he was sent home because of a leg infection.

• Jacob Hayes (Terre Haute South/Ohio State/Indiana State) — Is the fifth-leading hitter for the Marysville (Calif.) Gold Sox of the Horizon Air Summer Series, batting .311. Has started 13 of 14 games, and leads the team with 15 runs scored. Has one homer, one triple and three doubles and is 8-for-8 in stolen base attempts.

• Bryan Nacke (Terre Haute North/Vincennes/

Morehead State) — Has pitched 5.2 innings in six appearances for the Rex, with a 4.76 ERA, two saves and a 0-0 record. He has struck out seven batters and walked five.

• Tony Rosselli (Terre Haute North/Indiana State) — Is on the roster of the Park City Rangers of the Walter Johnson Baseball League. His statistics do not appear on the team website.

• Cody Gardner (Terre Haute North/Wright State) — Hitting .274 (fifth on team) for the Rex with three doubles and seven RBI.

• John Robert Patterson (Terre Haute North/

Olney Central College) — Has pitched 17.1 innings in seven appearances (starting twice) for the Rex with a 2-1 record, one save, a 3.24 ERA, eight strikeouts and six walks.

• Kyle Funkhouser (Oak Forest, Ill./

Louisville) — College team recently ended season in College World Series, has not yet appeared for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod League.

Three other players, all from Olney Central College, are all young enough to still retain eligibility for American Legion teams.

Brock Dowell (Shakamak) plays for Sullivan Post 139, while Cody Thornton (West Vigo) and T.J. Decker (Northview) are two of the top players for Wayne Newton Post 346 of Terre Haute.

Dowell and Decker are both pitchers and had a huge advantage this spring (along with Patterson) being tutored by former Indiana State pitching coach Ken Westray.

Westray also had a long career at the University of Illinois.

“Coach Westray is a great pitching coach,” OCC coach Dennis Conley said. “Our guys buy into what he’s teaching.”

• Ex-Sycamore update — Former ISU baseball player Kyle Rupe of Perry Meridian, who played just one season for the Sycamores last spring but helped his team to the NCAA tournament, had an excellent season for Wabash Valley College this spring.

Rupe had a 5-3 pitching record and a 3.25 ERA in 61 innings pitched with 37 strikeouts and 18 walks.

Kuong Duluony, who transferred from ISU to Nebraska-Omaha after four seasons on the men’s basketball team, played in seven games (starting six). He is listed on the team’s statistics report as an “inactive player.”

He averaged 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game.


Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at