CHS Hall of Fame
Reetooled Athenians expect to continue winning ways
March 19, 2013Crawfordsville High School
A revamped version of Crawfordsville baseball will hit the field this spring and look to build on its winning ways. With the departure of six seniors, all of whom contributed in a big way for the past two seasons, the latest edition of Crawfordsville baseball will look to plug in a new batch of talent.
The 2013 team garnered a 3A preseason ranking of #5 in the IHSBCA poll, but will have plenty to prove in order to maintain the Athenian’s stature around the state.
Caleb Rasmussen…was an Energizer Bunny type of figure that helped to keep the Athenians going for the past four years. As the leadoff man and shortstop the last two seasons, he set the table for a lineup that shattered the school record for runs scored in 2011. Last spring, Rasmussen batted .378 and swiped 32 bases, going on to be named First Team All-State and an Indiana All-Star.
Joel Hobson…set a school record with 21 doubles in 2011 and followed that up by creating a new benchmark at CHS with 41 walks last season, finishing with an eye-popping on base percentage of .589. Hobson was an All-State player in 2011. Gone too, are the left-hander’s 40+ innings on the mound.
Chris Minks…blasted 14 home runs in his career. Used mostly behind the plate, he proved a major force in the middle of the lineup. His average of 43 RBI’s over the past two seasons will have to be replaced if Crawfordsville hopes to maintain its prodigious offensive output.
Craig Brainard…held down a corner outfield spot, predominantly left field over the past two seasons. He hit .253 as a junior and .394 a senior. As one of the team’s most improved players over the course of his career, Brainard is testament to what dedication can do in the context of a strong program, and serves as an example to younger player’s looking to earn starting roles.
Mitchell Reeves…primarily a designated hitter, chalked up 25 extra base hits in the past two seasons and provided a run-producing punch that most high school lineups lack towards the lower third of the order.
Alex Ehrlich…was a highly specialized type of hitter, adept at moving runners and reaching base. Ehrlich’s speed and creativity created opportunities for the top of the lineup. He batted .380 in his two Varsity seasons, and creates a void in the nine spot.
Jordan Jackson…already a three-year starter, has verbally committed to Division 1 Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Jackson was an All-State player in 2011 as a sophomore and is the unquestioned big bat in the middle of the order. His defense was much improved last year, and at 5’9” 185 pounds, Jackson has enhanced both his speed and strength significantly since last spring. Jackson led the team in RBI last season with 33 (in 27 games). He was recently dubbed Preseason Second Team All State by the publication Prep Baseball Report. The senior is the baseball version of a gym rat, spending countless hours refining his swing and approach at the plate. He was slotted in the middle of the Indiana Bulls order this past summer, facing some of the nation’s top 17U competition, experience that could pay off in his last go-round as an Athenian.
Jake Zurawski…is also a three year Varsity player. He will make the move to shortstop, a position not unfamiliar to the rangy senior even though he has mainly played second base the past two years. His unique combination of speed, length, and hands make Zurawski a potential All-State candidate at a premier position. His bat will be crucial if he is positioned behind Jackson in the lineup. Zurawski missed a month last spring with a broken right hand, yet still managed to slash .438/.542/.557 while driving in 24 runs in 16 games. Zurawski plans to attend Anderson University where he will continue his playing career for the Ravens next year.
Cameron Monroe…stepped into the fold last year, improving his defense at the hot corner as the season progressed. Monroe hit at a .350 clip and knocked in 23 runs. He has added surprising speed to his skill set and will be part of a high octane, base-stealing approach that lends itself conveniently to the new BBCor era of baseball. He also brings defensive versatility, with the ability to play second base and the corner outfield positions. Monroe plans to attend Indiana Wesleyan next fall where he will suit up for the Wildcats.
Logan Meadows...is a switch-hitter with speed who projects towards the top of the batting order. Defensively, he can catch and cover a lot of ground in the outfield. Meadows has shown a propensity for getting on base a number of ways: with the hit, but also by getting hit by pitches, bunting, and drawing walks. Last season with the Varsity, he hit .319 (15-47) and posted a .507 OBP thanks to 11 base on balls and eight HBP's.
Chase Justus…got his feet wet on the mound last year against some of the state’s best competition. Justus faced top tier opponents such as 3A power Norwell and a slew of 4A squads: Lafayette Harrison, Lafayette Jeff, Bloomington South, and McCutcheon. He had mixed results overall, but was able to dominate at times. In conference play, for example, Justus struck out 37 in 29 innings to go along with a miniscule 0.95 ERA. With the benefit of last year’s experience, Justus has an opportunity to have a breakout year on the bump.
Chandler Pursell…came on especially strong in terms of pitching towards the end of the 2011 campaign. As a junior, he posted a 3.82 earned run average and possesses swing-and-miss stuff, averaging a strikeout per inning. He limited opponents to a minuscule .195 batting average. Pursell also has a slick glove at the corner infield positions and hopes to crack the offensive lineup in his senior season.
Garrett Phelps…had a strong sophomore year on the on the mound in 2012, putting up a 3.53 ERA and 5-0 record in 37.2 innings. Phelps, who showed a fastball registering as high as 85 mph at a showcase this offseason, has a workhorse type mentality but is currently limited while resting a back injury suffered in the fall.
Joel Monroe…is a senior hoping to find some at-bats. He hit .400 with three doubles, three triples, and one home run for the Junior Varsity last year. Joel plays the outfield and is a consistent strike-thrower on the mound.
Casey Reeves…is a senior who is currently rehabbing a shoulder injury. Last spring, Reeves had a big offensive year for the JV. He hit .490 (25-51) with 5 doubles in 19 games. Reeves also stole 21 bases in as many attempts.
Austin Turpin…is a hard-throwing senior looking for opportunities on the mound. Turpin has one of the strongest throwing arms in the program and continues to work to find his command of the zone. The righty has scrapped his curveball for a slider to counter his four seam fastball. Turpin can also play some outfield and adds positive energy to the mix. He fanned 22 batters in 10.2 innings for the JV in 2012.
Nick Page…got a small taste of Varsity action last season, providing a solid set of wheels off the pine. As a sophomore, he hit .451 for the Junior Varsity and stole 17 bases in 18 tries. His speed from the left side should fit well somewhere towards the top of the batting order. Page can play second base, but will likely spend the majority of his time in the outfield. Last summer, Page played for a talented 16U Hoosier North team. That experience should pay off when the lights come on this spring.
Shad Conrad…also got a few Varsity opportunities last season and made the most of them, collecting his first hit in a game at Lebanon. Conrad hit .349 (15-43) on the Junior Varsity last year. He also played for Hoosier North this past summer and could provide some pop in the middle order along with patrolling the outfield.
Cole Williams…hopes to follow in the footsteps of his brother, Clay (2006), and become the regular second baseman. Williams has an instinctive feel for the game and the right combination of skills to become a sure-handed glove. Offensively, he could be the productive on-base type of guy needed toward the bottom of the order. He hit .345 (20-58) and had a .433 OBP to go along with seven doubles in 19 games at the JV level last spring as a sophomore.
Nathan Baer...has been making strides since the day he stepped into the program and is now hoping for his chance to shine as a junior. Baer is primarily a catcher and could spell Meadows behind the plate as well as offering the team a bat off the bench. He has even been doing a little work on the mound in the offseason and could add pitching depth.
Connor Smith…is a junior who pitched well for the JV last season, striking out 38 in a 21.2 innings. He swings from the right side and also sees time at third base. Smith is amongst those vying for Varsity innings.
Dalton Scaggs…is a pint-sized southpaw who is not afraid to throw strikes on the mound. He also gets good jumps on the ball in the outfield and has markedly improved his bat over the course of his time in the program. He hit .345 (19-55) in 24 games with JV last spring.
Justin Raters…is a lefty arm with a fine pitching touch. He has been hard at work in the offseason and hopes to find a place in the pitching rotation this spring. Last season for the JV, he tossed 31.2 innings, going 6-0, while striking out 37 and posting a 1.99 ERA. Defensively, he can play first or roam the outfield.
Nathaniel Busenbark…is another sophomore left-hander looking for mound time. He bats from the right side and possesses good pop. Busenbark has added velocity and should be a very solid presence on the hill at the JV level, where he put up strong numbers last spring with a 1.38 ERA and 26 K’s in 20.1 innings.
Nick Corbin…is a sophomore pitcher with an overhand delivery. He racked up the K’s at the JV level last spring with 53 in 35.2 innings. He also plays third and could potentially add to his defensive versatility as his career progresses.
Sam Page…is a sophomore infielder likely to see a lot of time as the JV shortstop this season. He brings range in the infield, speed to the bases, and a quick bat at the plate. Page will continue to increase his all-around baseball knowledge and, in turn, his ability to become an impact player as his career progresses.
Michael Minks…is another emerging sophomore prospect. He spends time behind the dish and at second base. He has added considerable size and strength since his freshman season and, accordingly, a lot of arm strength. Minks likes to hit to the opposite field and is a solid contact guy with the bat.
Dane Baldwin…is an up-and-coming freshman with some sock in his left-handed stick. He pitches (right- handed) and can play the corner infield positions. Baldwin has made the rounds on the summer baseball circuit and is dedicated in the offseason, which may enhance the odds of success if he is to make the leap to facing Varsity competition in 2013.
This group of guys will take the field for the first time on Monday, March 25 when the Greencastle Tiger Cubs visit the Athenian Complex for a 6 p.m. first pitch.