Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

April 4, 2013

Final Four not enough for Pirate baseball

Nick Gonnella
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — The Greensburg baseball program ended the 2012 season with a lot to ponder after coming within mere outs of a state final berth.

The Pirates finished 27-2 and clinched the program’s first regional championship since 2008. Greensburg led 7-2 after just three innings, but Brebeuf Jesuit scored eight runs for a 10-9 win and trip to the championship.

“Last year’s run was a nice run for us,” said head coach Scott Holdsworth. “Reaching the final four and not advancing to the championship game leaves a sour taste in your mouth.”

Without question, though, the Pirates have the tools and composition to make another deep tournament run. Coming off the Final Four ride last spring, five players on the current baseball roster competed on the basketball team that won the Class 3A state championship. Three players were also starters on the regional-champion soccer team.

“The fact that we do have a group that it battle-tested and tournament-tested lends itself to the fact that we do have several guys who have the right mindset,” said Holdsworth. “We are excited about getting things started.”

Holdsworth welcomes back 11 of the 14 players from last year’s roster, including eight returning position starters. Graduating were Kevin Meyer (Greensburg’s top pitcher), Ethan Bailey (starting center fielder and leadoff hitter), and Clayton Tressler, the designated hitter (.344 average, 5 home runs, 29 RBI).

“We lost guys who were impact guys in our program,” said Holdsworth, “but we feel good about the guys we have returning. We have youth and experience. We like what they’re going to bring to the table.”

Greensburg’s offense was among the best in the state, batting .374 with 267 runs scored and an on-base percentage of .459. Six of the returning regulars batted .350 or better last season.

Returning for a fourth year at catcher is senior Austin Schultz, who committed to play for Northern Kentucky. Schultz produced team highs in batting (.478), six home runs, 37 RBI’s, an .844 slugging percentage and 1.411 OPS.

Junior Macy Holdsworth, an Indiana commit, is a standout at shortstop who batted .370 with 30 RBI and 32 runs scored.

Senior Tyler Burcham (.381, team-high 44 runs) and junior Collin Rigney (second-best .475, 32 runs, 31 RBI) will bat at the top of the order. According to Coach Holdsworth, Burcham will be the starting center fielder. He said players will rotate to plug in the first base spot, as well as rotate to occupy spots for pitching needs.

Playing infield spots will be senior Riley Billieu (.352), Rigney and Holdsworth. Burcham, junior Andy Meadows (.372) and sophomore Josiah Buell (.309) will staff the outfield spots.

The loss of Meyer opens pitching spots for senior Luke Kane, Burcham and Billieu.

Other seniors chipping in will be Jack Eberhardt, Elliott Green and Kyle Moeller.

Assisting Holdsworth is longtime coach Lynn Welch, Aaron Pfeffenberger, junior varsity coach Justin Tucker and assistant JV coach Andrew Ruble.

“We are finally here to this point where we’re ready to start a new season,” said Holdsworth. “That’s what it is - a new season. We’ll face some quality pitching, and some good lineups. We will live day-to-day in our approach.”

Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.