TERRE HAUTE —
Cody Gardner enjoyed his freshman baseball season at Wright State and earned more time on the field than he honestly expected to get.
Coach Rob Cooper departed WSU after last season to take over at Penn State, however, and Gardner jumped at the chance to return to his hometown as an Indiana State Sycamore and perform for the school where two members of his family previously excelled.
“I learned a lot about the game last year,” said Gardner, who will have three years of eligibility left after sitting out next spring as a transfer. “I didn’t expect a starting position going in, but as I proved myself I earned a starting job in left field.
“Soon after I was moved to second base for the heart of the season and finally I was the designated hitter during the conference tournament. I couldn’t have asked for a better freshman year.”
Like many college athletes, the coach was a primary reason for Gardner choosing to go to the Dayton, Ohio, school. Mitch Hannahs took over for Rick Heller earlier this year, and that change led to Gardner’s decision to transfer.
“I’ve always wanted to play in the legacy of my father [John] and grandfather [Harlan Lautenschlager] at ISU, but coming out of high school I was not given the chance,” he said. “Coach Hannahs was given the head-coaching job and I saw a great opportunity to play for my hometown and under a great baseball mind. Not only was coach Hannahs a deciding factor, but the whole coaching staff is very knowledgeable in the game and I knew I would learn a lot about the game. My family has great respect for the current coaches at ISU.”
John Gardner was a standout pitcher on ISU’s only College World Series team in 1986, while Lautenschlager was an NAIA All-American infielder for the Sycamores in 1963.
Last season at Wright State, Cody Gardner played in 37 games (starting 30) and hit .222 with three doubles and 14 RBI.
He hopes to continue the family legacy in blue and white.
“As far as accomplishments go, personally I would like to earn an everyday starting position,” he said. “But I think I can speak for the whole team by saying we would love to bring another championship to the Wabash Valley and go back to the World Series like the 1986 team.”
I I I
n Valley athletes moving on — Former Terre Haute North basketball standout Jake Newton is one of several Wabash Valley athletes to make college choices this fall and sign national letters-of-intent.
Newton, a 6-foot-6 wing forward, is one of the leading scorers for Lincoln Trail Community College. He is coming off an excellent freshman season in which he was a first-team All-Great Rivers Athletic Conference selection and a second-team All-Region selection, in which he averaged 11.2 points and four rebounds per game.
Newton will continue his career next fall at Division I Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference.
“Jake is a very good shooter,” SIUE Coach Lennox Forrester said of Newton. “He has an incredibly high basketball IQ. He is a very skilled and savvy player.”
Newton, who helped lead the Patriots to the sectional championship in high school, had a great impression when he visited SIUE.
“I really enjoyed my visit,” he said. “The campus was very nice and the people there were first class. It felt like a great fit in every aspect of the process, basketball as well as getting my degree.
“It’s also going to be nice to finish my college career close enough to home that my family can make it to watch some games.”
In an era when great outside shooters are not easy to come by, Newton will help fill a need for his new team.
“They were looking for a guard to come in right away and contribute,” Newton said. “Coach Forrester and his staff are looking for me to be able to score when needed and also add to rebounding from perimeter. My goal right now is to continue to get better and win a national championship here at LTC.”
n Paris baseball standout Hunter Morris also will play at the Division I level in Illinois in the spring of 2015 as an Eastern Illinois Panther.
Morris was a first-team All-Apollo selection as a sophomore and junior and holds four school baseball records. A team captain, he has helped his teams to three winning seasons.
The hard-hitting catcher was named the Terre Haute Tribune-Star Area Player of the Year in 2013 after posting a .539 batting average last season.
“Hunter is exactly the type of player you want leading your team, especially as a catcher,” Paris coach Creighton Tarr said. “His work ethic, his leadership abilities and his commitment to the game make him not only a top player in the area but also the state. Once he gets to EIU and works with coach [Jim] Schmitz and his coaching staff, I really feel he will develop into something special.”
“Hunter has been to our camps for years,” he said. “We knew he could hit but didn’t know where to play him defensively. Over the past year, his catching skills improved where he has a chance to come in and play right away.
“He has an above-average arm and is a great leader behind the plate. He gives us left-handed power.”
n Kelsey Marlow of Terre Haute South is yet another Valley standout heading to the Land of Lincoln and will play softball for Western Illinois in 2015.
Marlow comes to Macomb after being named All-Vigo County in each of her first three seasons at Terre Haute South. She led her team in batting average during her freshman year and won the team’s Gold Glove award the following season.
Last year, she was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. In her first three seasons, Marlow hit .416 with 53 stolen bases, driving in 58 runs and scoring 86 runs.
“Kelsey caught our eye with her presence on the field and her approach at the plate,” coach Holly Van Vlymen said. “She plays all out no matter where she is on the field and has a great knowledge of the game.”
I I I
Another Mount Union familiar face — North Putnam grad Hank Spencer, a sophomore starting linebacker for the defending NCAA Division III national football champions, was named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District Football Team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Spencer is a computer-science major with a 4.00 grade-point average. He graduated from high school a semester early last December after excelling for coach Greg Barrett and enrolled at Mount Union last January.
A key contributor and team captain on the nation’s No. 2-ranked defense, Spencer played in all 15 games as a freshman and started the final six games as he finished third on the team in tackles. This season, he has started seven games and has 20 tackles and two forced fumbles.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tracking former Wabash Valley athletes
(Statistics listed when available)
Patrick McCown, R-Fr., Indiana State — Became a starting defensive lineman by season’s end, finishing with three solo tackles, 10 assisted tackles, three tackles for loss, and one sack.
Shawn McCown, Fr., Rose-Hulman — Serving as a backup offensive lineman.
Jordan Greenlee-Hickam, Jr., DePauw
Tanner Parker, Jr., Hanover — Caught 20 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown.
Nick Gilliam, Fr., Siena Heights (Mich.)
Hunter Smith, Fr., Franklin — Made one assisted tackle.
Andrew Okruch (has family in Linton area), Fr., Rose-Hulman — Played nose guard, registered five unassisted tackles and six assisted along with 1.5 sacks.
Kyle Risinger (former Terre Haute resident), Jr., St. Cloud (Minn.) State — Made 33 solo tackles and 19 assisted tackles, including 2.5 for losses. Made two interceptions and recovered one fumble.
Larry Shaffer (former Northview student), Fr., University of the Cumberlands (Ky.)
Taylor Duncan, R-Jr., Eastern Illinois — Ranks second on team in rushing with 809 yards in 176 carries. Has long run of 45 yards and nine touchdowns. Has caught 26 passes for 218 yards.
Taylor Sanders, So., Millikin — Led team in receiving with 38 catches for 433 yards and two touchdowns.
Dante Rehmel, Fr., Franklin — Had four solo tackles and two assisted tackles. Also had one tackle for loss and one interception.
Lane Clark, So., Mount Union — Has made three catches for 44 yards and two touchdowns, with a long of 26 yards.
Damon Hyatt, So., DePauw — Played in seven games with two solo tackles and two assisted tackles. Returned one kickoff for 17 yards.
Trent Lancaster, R-Fr., Indiana State — Played in two games, completing 9 of 18 passes for 88 yards and one touchdown. Rushed for 37 yards in 15 carries.
Chance Talbot, R-Fr., Urbana
Keaton Neeley, Fr., Millikin
Jacob Whitacre, Fr., Rose-Hulman
James Kent, Sr., Mount Union — Starting center for the defending NCAA Division III national champions. Named second-team all-Ohio Athletic Conference.
Tophel Secuskie, Sr., DePauw — Made 13 solo tackles and 12 assisted tackles. Had 5.5 tackles for loss and one sack.
Matt King, Sr., Siena Heights (Mich.) — Completed 109 of 169 passes for 1,291 yards and eight touchdowns. Ran 51 times for 96 yards.
Nick Wheeler, Jr., Anderson
Cody Wheeler, So., Anderson
Derek Dean, Sr., Wabash
Adam Masters, Jr., Indiana State — Was team’s starting right guard this season.
Andy Walsh, Sr., Wabash — As the backup quarterback, completed 16 of 20 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown. Rushed 13 times for 47 yards.
Michael Thompson, Jr., Wabash
Jordan Brower, Jr., Manchester
Terre Haute North
Steve Englehart, head coach, Florida Tech — Coached team to 5-7 record in its inaugural season, capped by a 32-20 win over Alderson Broaddus in the first-ever Eastern College Athletic Conference Division II Futures Bowl.
Ethan Tyler, strengthconditioning coach, Florida Tech — Is in first year at Florida Tech.
Scott Weatherford, R-Sr., Eastern Illinois — Has averaged 36.7 yards per punt with a long of 53, two touchbacks, 18 fair catches, eight landing inside the 20 and one of more than 50 yards.
Daniel Millington, strengthconditioning coach, Indiana State — In third year as assistant.
Ben King, Jr., DePauw — Made five solo tackles and three assisted tackles.
Chris O’Leary, Jr., Indiana State — Caught seven passes for 80 yards with a long of 21 yards.
A.J. Hughes, So., Virginia Tech — Has punted 64 times for 2,851 yards (a 44.5 average), ranking him second in the Atlantic Coast Conference and ninth nationally.
Tyler Lawrence, So., Earlham — Made one assisted tackle.
David Knight, So., Marian
Dakota Vermillion, R-Fr., Indiana State — Was team’s starting left tackle.
Vasco Bilberry, Fr., Kentucky Wesleyan — Ranked third on team with 32 solo tackles and 23 assisted tackles. Also had one sack and one interception.
Charles Dillahunt, Fr., Wabash
Austin Lewis, Fr., Western Michigan — Played in 10 games, starting the final two of the season, recording 15 solo tackles, 24 assisted tackles, two tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
Calvin Blank, Fr., Ball State — Sitting out season as a reshirt.
Cole Seward, Fr., Wabash
A.J. Grady, Fr., Dodge City Community College (Kan.) — Earned honorable mention all-conference honors as a starting guard.
Terre Haute South
Trent Miles, head coach, Georgia State — In first year as head coach at GSU after five years as head coach at Indiana State.
Cam Cameron, offensive coordinator, Louisiana State — In his first year at LSU after serving as OC of NFL’s Baltimore Ravens for the first half of last season.
Michael Engle, assistant coach, Bryant (R.I.) — In his second year as wide receivers coach.
Brock Lough, assistant coach, Georgia State — Took over early this season as running backs coach after briefly serving as graduate assistant.
Logan Buske, So., Indiana State — Caught three passes for 38 yards and one touchdown as a tight end.
Tre Stephens, Jr., Earlham — Led team in rushing with 495 yards in 120 carries and three touchdowns. Earned honorable mention all-Heartland College Athletic Conference honors.
Tyler Evans, Fr., Indiana State — Had one carry for 32 yards.
Tsali Lough, R-Fr., Indiana State — Played key role in secondary mostly as a reserve, started last game of season. Had nine solo tackles, 22 assisted tackles and two interceptions.
Thomas King, So., DePauw
Danny Etling, Fr., Purdue — Has played in seven games at quarterback, completing 116 of 218 passes (53.2 percent) for 1,205 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. Also ran for one touchdown.
Zach Harper, Fr., Anderson
Seth Marshall, Sr., Greenville
Thomas Girdler, Fr., Greenville — Made one solo tackle, one unassisted tackle and one-half of a tackle for loss.
John Burt, Sr., Rose-Hulman — Had two assisted tackles, 11 solo tackles, two tackles for loss and one interception.
Ethan Boatman, Fr., Earlham — Made six solo tackles and three assisted tackles, and also had a fumble recovery.
Chris Neidinger, Fr., Hanover
TERRE HAUTE —
Cody Gardner enjoyed his freshman baseball season at Wright State and earned more time on the field than he honestly expected to get.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida
Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
“The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”
Oh snap: Reed's 18-game hitting streak falls in No. 20 UK's loss at No. 16 IU
No. 16 Indiana mounted two-run rallies in the first and fourth innings and the Hoosiers ended the hitting streak of Terre Haute native A.J. Reed at 18 games to post a 7-2 win over No. 20 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Despite going hitless, Reed remains the NCAA leader in home runs (8) and RBI (28) for a potent Wildcats’ offense.
Kentucky (13-4) dropped its first game with the Hoosiers in the last four meetings, with the meeting marking the first time in modern UK history (2003-present) that the two teams faced off as top-20 foes.
Munn named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Indiana State leads the Missouri Valley with six of the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards after Anna Munn earned the recognition Tuesday for the 2013-14 season.
Munn joins Kourtney Mennen (2003), Melanie Boeglin (2006), Laura Rudolphi (2007) and Kelsey Luna (2009 and 2010) as winners of the award, which began in 2002.
ISU win streak at 12
Ryan Keaffaber recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities Monday as Indiana State won its 12th straight college baseball game, holding off a rally by visiting Western Illinois for a 7-4 victory on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Another Rose freshman making big splash
The Rose-Hulman men’s swimming team received a much-needed boost last season when a talented freshman from Ohio entered to set school records, rack up conference titles and qualify for the NCAA Division III championships. So when the Rose women’s swimming team needed a boost this season, what did it do? Yep, the Engineers found another talented freshman from Ohio to do pretty much the same things.
Metro sports: Indiana State's Abdul-Qaadir honored by MVC again
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir of Indiana State has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for women’s basketball, the league announced Monday.
Guts, sweat, tears: Sycamores fall to perfect Shockers
No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
Todd Golden: Sycamores ran with the best
It’s hard to run with Secretariat. Secretariat, for the uninitiated, won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and famously stormed to victory in the Belmont Stakes by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and his Belmont performance is one of sports’ all-time greatest moments. In Missouri Valley Conference terms, Wichita State is Secretariat.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge
When you’re getting ready to play the No. 2 team in the country — the undefeated No. 2 team in the country and the best Missouri Valley Conference team in a generation — the unwritten rule says you’re not supposed to rile them. That you’re not supposed to poke the hornet’s nest.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
Robinson leads No. 12 Michigan over Indiana
Glenn Robinson scored 20 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:10 to play, and Jordan Morgan had a double-double in his final home game to help No. 12 Michigan finish off its Big Ten championship season with an 84-80 victory over Indiana on Saturday night.
Michigan (23-7 15-3) avenged last year’s defeat in the last game of the regular season. In that game, Morgan’s tap-in rolled off the rim as time expired, giving the Hoosiers the victory and costing the Wolverines a share of the conference title.
ISU headed to MVC title game
Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
Ramblin’ On: Sycamores use defensive stops to reach Missouri Valley semifinals
It sounds counter-intuitive, but to go forward in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament you must first get stops. In Friday’s MVC Tournament quarterfinal against Loyola, ISU followed that bit of zen to a tee. The Sycamores never let the Ramblers get comfortable offensively and put a hammer-lock on Loyola standout Milton Doyle. ISU rode its defense to an easy 75-62 victory at Scottrade Center.
ISU baseball looking to carry success home
Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title
Senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 23 points to lead Indiana State to a 73-71 win at Drake on Thursday. The point guard led four Sycamores in double figures in the win.
Anna Munn, Jasmine Grier and Chelsea Small each chipped in 11 points as ISU shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range as a team.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
Rose-Hulman seniors lead Engineers into NCAA Division III Tournament
For Rose-Hulman’s six senior men’s basketball players, this weekend will mark the beginning of their third and final appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Having left Terre Haute by bus Thursday, Rose (22-5) will open the Division III four-team regional at Hope College in Holland, Mich., today against Wheaton College (19-8) at the unique time of 5:30 p.m.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers are coming off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular-season and tournament championships for the second consecutive year.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana
Indiana’s slim hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are all but done, unless the Hoosiers can win the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska never trailed Wednesday night, completing a season sweep of the Hoosiers with a 70-60 win. The loss ensures a losing conference record for IU (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) while boosting the Huskers’ chances at an at-large berth.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
ISU's Scott booked for OWI, possession
Indiana State men's basketball player Brenton Scott was booked into the Vigo County Jail on Saturday for operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana/hash, possession of paraphenalia and false reporting/informing.
Odum can't get roll on game-winning attempt on Senior Day
The storybook was ready to be opened at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Down two with 4.5 seconds to go, Indiana State rebounded a free throw miss by Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle. ISU senior point guard Odum timed his dash perfectly up the floor. He released his shot from just behind the 3-point line at just the right second. The shot was true and online.
TODD GOLDEN: Lansing's belief in his team has not wavered
In the wake of Indiana State’s 71-69 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, and the three-game losing streak that comes with it, ISU coach Greg Lansing wanted to get one point across crystal clear in his postgame press conference.
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- METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida