The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

April 8, 2013

Weather permitting, let the games begin

Muller tourney set to begin tonight

ANDERSON, Ind. — Fingers crossed, the 13th annual Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament will get underway today with a pair of doubleheaders at Memorial Field and Pendleton Heights.

There is a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms, but some forecasts are optimistic much of the rain will be out of the way before the first pitches are slated to be thrown at 5 p.m.

Mother Nature certainly owes the tournament a break or two.

In each of the past two years, the traditional four-game Saturday finale at Memorial Field has been washed out because of rain. If forecasts hold up, the tournament will be fortunate to make it that far this time around.

In addition to isolated thunderstorms today, there’s a 40 percent chance of scattered storms on Wednesday and an 80 percent probability of rain Thursday. There’s less wiggle room in the schedule this year, as well.

Elwood and Frankton will open play at Pendleton Heights today at 5 p.m. Madison-Grant and the host Arabians are slated to follow, optimistically, at 6:30.

Newcomer Anderson Prep, the ninth team in this year’s field, takes on host Anderson at 5 p.m. at Memorial Field, and Alexandria and Lapel will follow at 6:30.

Things get interesting on Wednesday at Pendleton Heights.

The Elwood-Frankton winner is scheduled to meet Liberty Christian at 5 p.m. with a trip to Thursday’s semifinals on the line. The loser will battle the Anderson Prep-Anderson loser at 6:30 to stay alive in the consolation bracket.

The rest of the tournament will play out in traditional fashion with doubleheaders at the two first-round sites on Thursday and a — hoped for — grand finale Saturday at Memorial Field.

This week’s weather isn’t the only element causing guesswork this year.

Heavy snowfall two weeks ago, combined with spring break, has conspired to keep many teams indoors ahead of today’s tournament debut. As a result, coaches aren’t certain what to expect from their teams when the games begin.

“We’re both going to kinda come out rusty,” Anderson Prep coach Alex Bare said of the Jets’ debut against Anderson. “I’m not saying we’re going to tuck our heads in the sand. We’ll give it our best effort and see what happens.”

That’s been a successful approach throughout the years in this event.

Defending champion Alexandria is the fourth different school to win the title in the past four years. Dating back to Anderson’s last championship in 2007, five different schools have hoisted the trophy in the past six tournaments.

This year’s field features new head coaches at Pendleton Heights (Travis Keesling), Elwood (Nick Oldham) and Liberty Christian (Mark Miller) in addition to Anderson Prep playing in its inaugural tournament.

Several teams have key starters returning, and the general lack of quality practice time lends an even more wide-open feel than usual to the proceedings.

“It’s an interesting mix this year,” Lapel coach Brad Lantz said. “It’s going to depend on how the ball bounces and how prepared guys are. It could absolutely be wide open. I want to make sure my guys are as prepared as they can be so if that door is wide open, we can take advantage of it.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Elwood, Liberty Christian advance in county softball tournament The 2014 Madison County Softball tournament got off to a wild start at Liberty Christian on Wednesday night as Elwood and the host Liberty Christian Lions advanced with victories.

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT - HB0417 - Nick Muller - 05 Bulldogs, Indians impress in openers Lapel and Anderson have very different histories in the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0417 - Pendleton v Mad Grant 2 Eagles, Arabians move to second round Frankton got off to an uneven start, falling behind 4-3 and 6-4, but rallied for a 14-6 triumph over Alexandria in the first round of the Madison County Softball Tournament here Wednesday. In the second contest, Pendleton Heights topped Madison-Grant 2-1 in a game where both runs and hits were at a premium.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rick Bramwell: Improving weather should aid morels When I looked at my wilted daffodils Tuesday morning, I knew this would be a setback for morels. The long-range forecast through April 29 calls for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. This is good news for the blacks and grays.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Hunter-Reay's blunder proves costly A lack of patience cost Ryan Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe a chance at victory last weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Long Beach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0416 - tennis file - 14 Many girls tennis teams return top talent With spring sports getting off to a good start thanks to some spring-like weather last week, local girls tennis teams are taking to the court.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wild week will get later start The busiest week on Madison County's high school sports calendar is going to start a day later than expected.

    April 14, 2014

  • Familiar trio leads boys track teams Much like in years past, Anderson, Lapel and Pendleton Heights have assembled the largest number of track athletes of the area’s 11 high schools. And, while the remaining teams may struggle to compete from a team standpoint, they will send capable athletes to the line to challenge in individual events.

    April 14, 2014

  • New roles, same goals for Arabians

    Perhaps the most remarkable fact about the first 13 years of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament is that no team has repeated as champion.

    April 14, 2014

  • Track stars prepare for numbers game

    Track is a numbers game, not just with times and distances, but with roster sizes as well. Smaller schools often abandon the philosophy of competing for team titles when running against larger schools with nearly double the number of athletes. Instea

    April 14, 2014