LAKEVILLE, IN. – At the end of the 2017 high school baseball season, the LaVille baseball team finished 14-2 in the Hoosier North Athletic Conference and forced to share the HNAC title with Winamac.
This year, the goal was simple.
Win it outright!
“We were co-champs last year and one our first goals this year was to win the conference outright,” said LaVille head coach Brian Lawler. “We were able to that and it means a great a deal to the program.”
The Lancers finished a perfect HNAC schedule at 14-0 for the outright title. Pioneer finished in second at 10-4, Knox 8-6, Winamac 7-6 (and will play at Caston May 18), North Judson 7-7, Triton 5-9, Caston (4-9 and will play host to Winamac May 18), and Culver Community (0-14).
The HNAC plays a home-and-home schedule with some doubleheaders sprinkled in the schedule, Making pitching a priority.
“The HNAC does the back-to-back games and so that really forces you to beat the other teams best,” explained Lawler. “More importantly not look past a team based on what happened the night before. We always have to be ready to play and bring an energy level to that day’s game because you don’t win just by showing up.
“This is the second year for the new pitch count rules and it forces you to develop more pitchers,” continued Lawler. “It keeps more kids in the game because they always have to be ready to pitch, especially when you play 4-5 games a week.”
Lawler has been proud of the leadership this season, and says it started back in the winter.
“The leadership, effort, and energy for this team has been great all season long,” concluded Lawler. “It started during the winter workouts and the commitment we got and it has carried thru the conference run and the season. This team has been improving all year, working hard, and most importantly, I think they are having fun.”
That hard work has other folks taking notice. The Lancers started the season unranked, moved into the others “receiving votes”, then climbed into the Class 2A Top 10 during the May 14 rankings.
* * * * *
1)SOUTH ADAMS H.S. 21-2 (88)
2)LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC H.S. 20-4 (86)
3)UNION COUNTY H.S. 22-3 (80)
4)HERITAGE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 20-4 (72)
5)LINTON-STOCKTON H.S. 19-5 (44)
6)WAPAHANI H.S. 16-7 (36)
7)SOUTH VERMILLION H.S. 5-1 (28)
8)CASS H.S. (LEWIS – CASS) 7-2 (26)
9)SOUTH RIPLEY H.S. 18-3 (18)
10)LAVILLE H.S. 20-2 (16)
ADAMS CENTRAL H.S., ALEXANDRIA H.S., COVENANT CHRISTIAN H.S., DELPHI H.S., HAGERSTOWN H.S., HENRYVILLE H.S., LAPEL H.S.,