Indiana Baseball League 18+ Division
Submitted by Kyle Anderson, Hurricanes manager
After a long season created by heat and long double-headers
the Canes were able to make it to their fifth straight Indiana Baseball League Championship.
The Canes were able to make it to the playoffs by compiling a 16-1 record after
winning out the last 14 games of the season. There was a solid return of the
main core of the Canes and added some new guys who were intricate parts of the
successful season. The Canes had a very dominant year where they led the league
in 10 offensive categories (BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, Runs, RBIs, Hits, Triples, HBP’s
and Stolen Bases) and solid pitching that led to a league best 1.56 ERA. The
successful regular season allowed the Canes to come away with the top two
player awards with Cory Rupert winning his third Cy Young and first time winner
of the MVP Deaun Williams.
Canes knew they had a shot to compete with any of the
pitchers they had on the mound especially with Cory Rupert. Cory finished up
possibly his last IBL season by finishing 6-1 through 50 innings in nine
games. He threw to 200 batters who had a
.130 BA against him and finished with a 1.07 ERA while striking out 69. Veterans Todd Dodson (0.00 ERA, .78 WHIP, .150 OBA in 16.2 innings) and Zach McLean (0.00 ERA, .47 WHIP, .135 OBA in 15 innings pitched) rose up to the challenge
again to help keep the Canes on the winning path. Rookie Hayden Cleveland (2.70
ERA, 24 Strike Outs in 20 innings) was picked up mid-season after finishing his
last year at Franklin College and kept cruising into this IBL season as a solid
new addition to the Canes pitching staff.
The Canes could have had many MVPs throughout this
successful offensive season as they are happy to see Deaun come away with his
first. Deaun finished up with a BA of .404, 25 RBIs, 12 SBs, 1.116 OPS in 15
Games. Deaun finished as a top candidate for the award due to his well-rounded
player with his bat, speed and defense. Other possible candidates were A.J.
Smith (.500 BA, 1.147 OPS, 13 Runs), Andrew Smith (.514 BA, .865 SLG, 1.499
OPS, 19 RBIs, 16 Runs) and Tony Bruns (.447 BA, 1.229 OPS, 12 RBIs, 11 Runs and
12 Stolen Bases).
The IBL 18+ Championship was a little chaotic to say the
least. The Canes and the Mustangs had to meet three different times to finish
out a full nine inning game. The game started the same Sunday, August 12th,
as the Semi-Finals where both teams were exhausted from tough play and heat.
Then after the Mustangs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first the game was
postponed due to lightning in the bottom. The game restarted that next Wednesday, August 31st, where the Canes were able to tie up the game in the
bottom of the first and then was postponed again due to rain in the second
inning. Finally both teams met back up on Tuesday, September 6th,
and were able to finish the game. The 2016 IBL Championship game showed that
baseball can be a crazy game where it all just depends on who shows up on any
given day. The red hot bats of the Canes couldn’t find a way to finish off the
solid season. After a tough game battled between Cory Rupert and Brad Fetters on the mound the Canes fell short of their third title in five years by losing
in the ninth inning. Even though the Canes didn’t finish out the season with a
Championship they can take away one heck of a performance that just fell one