The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

April 4, 2013

Panthers hope to pounce on new beginning

ANDERSON, Ind. — Nick Oldham played in the first two Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournaments for Elwood in 2001 and 2002.

On Tuesday, he’ll open his coaching career by leading his alma mater in the 13th edition of the event against Central Indiana Conference rival Frankton in a first-round game.

“I’m excited,” Oldham said. “I think we’ll do well this year. We’ve got a lot of returners this year, and I think we’ll be competitive.”

The Panthers also have quite a bit of old-school experience for a program under its third head coach in four years. Oldham has assistance from holdover coaches Chuck Everson and Mike Davis.

Davis has seen some eight Elwood baseball coaches come and go during his time with the program, and he helped coach Oldham during his playing days. That kind of institutional knowledge, and support, is critical for a first-time varsity head coach.

“I use him as a crutch,” Oldham said. “I’m going to lean on Mike a lot.”

Though the Panthers finished just 11-19 last season, they had a strong fourth-place showing in the Muller tourney. And the heart of the lineup is back.

As important as Davis is to Oldham’s development, the return of star Oscar Dimas is even more integral.

The senior led the Panthers with a .427 batting average last year and added two home runs and 21 RBIs. He also threw 60 2/3 innings on the mound, picking up three wins and pitching to a 2.54 ERA.

Dimas leads an experienced core that also includes Jared Bourff (.373, 1 homer, 13 RBIs), London Leavell (.300, 0, 20), Drew Wells (.275, 3, 19) and C.J. Sanqunetti (3.60 ERA, 11 2/3 innings pitched).

“It’s been a positive transition,” Oldham said. “We started out a little rough, but I’m not really changing anything.”

Elwood remains a proud program with high expectations.

The Panthers reached the Class 2A state championship game in 2008 and won their only Muller championship a year later in 2009.

This team isn’t necessarily chasing those heights, but the slow start to the spring season promises a wild and unpredictable campaign.

Unseasonable snowfall has forced many teams to practice indoors, and coaches have needed to get creative. Oldham moved his team’s portable pitching mound inside to the batting cage in an attempt to give his hitters a look at something as close to live pitching as possible.

But there are some things that simply can’t be replicated indoors. And that leads to an air of uncertainty.

“As far as my coaching standpoint, I’d like to see where our kids are at,” Oldham said of looking forward to Tuesday’s season opener. “We’re kinda going into the tournament blind.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT-HB0725-ColtsCamp-080.jpg Comfortable Richardson looking for production

    Last year Trent Richardson must have felt like the lead character in Robert A. Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land."

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0725-ColtsCamp-128.jpg Luck plans to use preseason time wisely

    Managing the situations that crop up during a football game is at the top of Andrew Luck's to-do list. But his more immediate concern is maximizing every snap of training camp at Anderson University.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts Camp Football_Brem.jpg Colts Camp Blog: Reggie returns and other musings

    News and notes of interest from Colts Training Camp in Anderson.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chris Hacker image Hacker helping kids go to camp Born with an injury that affects the nerves controlling the muscles in his left arm hasn’t slowed Chris Hacker when he climbs behind a race car.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • MDU1.jpg Colts Camp Update: Pagano praises city, AU

    Blue skies and comfortable temperatures greeted the Indianapolis Colts on the first practice day of training camp Thursday at Anderson University.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0725 - Newsome - JC - 1 Former BSU star Newsome ready to prove his worth

    Jonathan Newsome knows what it feels like to be a spectator at the Indianapolis Colts' training camp. He spent one day in each of the past two summers watching practice alongside his Ball State teammates. When the first public practice of 2014 begins today at 1:50 p.m., Newsome — a fifth-round pick in May's draft — will be on the other side of the fence as a rookie outside linebacker earning his stripes.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0725 - Getting healthy - JC - 3 Colts getting healthy as training camp opens Reggie Wayne's arrival Wednesday in an IndyCar driven by two-time Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Ed Carpenter drew national attention. But the most important news coming out of reporting day for the Indianapolis Colts concerned the wide receiver's health.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • HB0724 _ Teverbaugh mug Rick Teverbaugh: Finding Anderson no mystery for Luck

    Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck might find sleep hard to come by the night before training camp opens, but finding his way to Anderson is no source of anxiety.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • bramwell mug Rick Bramwell: Poison ivy not a problem any more

    "Never have a serious poison ivy rash again" came across my email. This is such a problem for so many people. Could this be true?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0723 - Pagano art Colts' 'monster' now preparing to 'hunt'

    There's a different kind of buzz surrounding the Indianapolis Colts as they prepare to report for training camp today at Anderson University. Expectations have been high inside the locker room since Chuck Pagano arrived in January 2012 and promised shortly thereafter to "Build the Monster." Two 11-win seasons and one playoff victory later, the mantra has changed.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News