TERRE HAUTE —
Three players and a coach are hoping to make an impact for the southern half of Indiana in the annual North-South All-Star Series this weekend.
Terre Haute North’s Sam Wolf had a monster season as a senior to make first-team all-state in Class 4A. The first baseman had a team-high .465 batting average to go with eight home runs, 49 RBI and 12 doubles to lead the Patriots to a 24-7 sectional championship season. He’ll play for Lincoln Trail College in 2014.
“Individually, I was very very pleased and very happy with the sectional win. But getting season cut short in regionals stung a little bit,” said Wolf, who made a big jump from his junior season when he batted .322 with two homers, 22 RBI and six doubles.
Taking it up a notch was all about a re-newed focus to stay confident and consistent.
“Coach Turner allowed me the chance to play since sophomore year. My sophomore and junior year I was overzealous and would get too mental about things,” Wolf said. “I really matured about things, that’s what led to my success. I just tried to keep a level head.”
Terre Haute North coach Shawn Turner appreciated watching Wolf develop into an outstanding player — and leader.
“As a senior, he finally got it and everything came together. He hit like he was seeing beach balls all year,” Turner said. “Level-headed, did a nice job in the dugout. Kept everybody grounded throughout.”
Wolf has picked up where he left off, hitting .333 with two homers and a team-high 19 RBI for Wayne Newton Post 346 this summer.
Shakamak’s Patrick Green and South Vermillion’s Kaden Lawson will join Wolf in the All-Star series this weekend, as will Terre Haute North assistant Fay Spetter.
Wolf was happy to hear Spetter — a second-team all-state selection in 1974 —would be joining him.
“He was instrumental in my high school career,” Wolf said. “He would always be especially kind with me, but when he needed to be stern to me he would tell me what was going on. Everyone respects him because he has a great knowledge and love of the game.”
Spetter has spent 20 years as a Terre Haute North assistant, and he’ll relish the chance to help direct some of the top players in the state this weekend.
“I was sitting in the middle of lake fishing when coach Turner told me I was selected to coach. I was surprised as anybody. It’s a pleasant surprise. It’s a lot of fun working with those kids,” Spetter said.
Like Wolf, Shakamak’s Green and South Vermillion’s Lawson are looking forward to the weekend at Wabash College in Crawfordsville.
Green, a right-handed pitcher who also hit 11 home runs with a .505 batting average this spring, hopes to make an impact in the three-game weekend.
“Make some new friends, go out there and play good competition,” Green said. “We never play any of those northern teams. Over the years, they’ve had some pretty good pitchers from that part of the state. I’d like to go up there and face them and see what it’s like.”
Green posted a 1.81 ERA and 9-2 record for the Lakers in the spring. Whether it’s with his bat or arm, Green would like to play his way to a four-year school.
Lawson is headed to Indiana State after an remarkable career for coach Tim Terry at South Vermillion. He’ll be among three catchers on the South roster.
Lawson hit .507 with a .958 slugging percentage, totaling five home runs during his senior season at South Vermillion, where he was a four-year starter. He’s the third All-Star in school history.
“Definitely ready for the competition. It will get me excited for playing at ISU. I’ll meet a lot of guys that are also going to college,” Lawson said. “Definitely an honor. A lot of people around me are proud.”
Terry watched Lawson work extremely hard for four years.
“That’s such an honor to be a part of all those players. I’m sure he’ll remember that the rest of his life,” Terry said.
On Friday, teams will practice and Mr. Baseball will be honored at a banquet. The action Saturday begins at 1 p.m. with a doubleheader, and Sunday’s game will be played with wood bats.