CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 8, 2023) – Illiana Christian baseball could have a better record than its current 22-9.
The Vikings, who won the Indiana Class 2A state title last season, split a doubleheader with reigning 3A champ Andrean. They’ve also played a bunch of bigger schools, including Crown Point, Munster, Highland, Portage, Chesterton and Lowell.
“We bumped the schedule up,” coach Jeff VanderWoude said. “I’ve been trying to do that since I got here.”
The idea is not to be surprised once the postseason starts, or as VanderWoude puts it:
“Let’s see everything we can so we don’t see anything new in the playoffs.”
Illiana has dominated so far in the postseason. They beat three sectional opponents by a combined 41-1, including an 11-1 victory over Bishop Noll in the title game on May 29.
Kevin Corcoran Jr. pitched a two-hitter with no strikeouts and eight walks. He also had two hits, as did Gavin Meyer and Cody DeJong.
They then shut out Hebron 18-0 on Saturday to win the regional. But as VanderWoude noted, that score’s a little deceiving.
The game was scoreless heading into the third inning, when Isaac VanderWoude hit a grand slam. The Vikings broke the game open with 12 runs in the fifth. Isaac VanderWoude was 2-for-3 with six RBI. Meyer, Tanner Post and DeJong also had two hits each. Corcoran pitched a three-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts.
Up next for Illiana is the Kokomo Semistate, which presents a different challenge than the first two postseason rounds. It’s a four-team, one-day tournament, meaning the Vikings will have to win twice to earn their second straight trip to the state finals.
They play Westview at 10 a.m. Central (11 Eastern), with the winner advancing to the 7 p.m. Central title game against either Winchester or Delphi. Illiana will start the road trip on Friday, staying in Lafayette to make the early start more manageable.
Jeff VanderWoude has watched video of Westview and was impressed, especially by sophomore left-hander Max Engle. The Warriors are 19-8 and lost just 1-0 to Class 4A power Penn.
“They pitch well and play good defense,” Jeff VanderWoude said.
That’s also the scouting report on Illiana. Corcoran, who was instrumental in last year’s playoff run, has been even better this spring.
“His (velocity) is up,” Jeff VanderWoude said, noting Corcoran’s 15-strikeout game against a talented Hanover Central team.
Though the Vikings graduated some key members of the state championship team, they also have some other veterans besides Corcoran.
“They love competition,” Jeff VanderWoude said of his players. “They don’t shy away from it. … They’ve been in that atmosphere, they know what it feels like.”
Ottawa pushed across a run in the bottom of the ninth inning to edge Marian 2-1 in the Class 3A Lemont Sectional semifinals on May 30.
The Spartans went up 1-0 in the third when Jasmine Venson reached on a dropped third strike, moved to second on a sacrifice by Ella DeNormandie and scored on a single by Emily Pacheco.
Katie Pollock went the distance for Marian, which finished 21-11.
Pollock, a senior, also was named to the All-East Suburban Catholic Conference team for the third straight season. She was joined on the team by senior catcher Isabel Alvarez, who was named all-conference for the second consecutive season, and senior infielder Kayden Porter.
Two Spartans were named to the All-ESCC team: senior outfielder Kevin Denty and junior outfielder Jonah Weathers. It was the second straight all-league honor for Weathers.
Marian’s Hannah Krydynski was named ESCC Coach of the Year, while junior setter Justin McGary and senior libero Sebastian Jaculbe represented the Spartans on the All-ESCC team. McGary also was named all-conference last season.
Senior forward Chloe Terry was named All-ESCC for the second straight season. Teammate Monserrat Coyt, a senior defender, also was named all-conference.
Summer college baseball
The Northern League expansion team is looking to introduce itself to area fans by offering up to 200 free tickets to families for Sunday home games, thanks to a partnership with Laborers 41.
Families may go to griffithgenerals.com/family_sundays to receive up to six tickets each for Sunday games. The remaining dates are June 18 and 25; and July 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30.
The Generals play home games at Griffith High School, 600 N. Wiggs Street in Griffith.
The Generals will host free baseball camps for kids ages 5-12 on several dates through August. Check-in is at 2 p.m., with the camps to follow from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on June 12, June 22, June 30, July 7, July 20, and August 2.
- Marian Catholic’s Braydon Waller earns first at state 100 meter dash – other local scores (May 30, 2023)
- Chance encounter led to Marian Catholic senior placing in shot put at state – other local scores (May 23, 2023)
- SSC Baseball wins region title, enters Midwest District tournament – other local scores (May 17, 2023)