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Whatever you are interested in, we've got it covered.

Inkspot

Baseball season recap: Iron 15-5 midway through ’23 campaign

At the halfway point of the Ironmen baseball team’s 2023 campaign, Community is 15-5 and 8-1 in Big 12 action–good for second place in the Conference.

Power Pitching

Head coach Mr. Ryan Short’s three-headed pitching monster has been chewing up batters. 

The trio of Ethan Eberle, Troy McLeese and Jacob O’Day have combined for 108 strikeouts across 69.1 innings of work.

“The three of them combined… are basically averaging one run a game,” Short said. “That says a lot about those guys.” 

In their season opener, Eberle and O’Day threw a combined no-hitter against Limestone. 

Three weeks later, Eberle tossed a perfect game against Richwoods.

The Louisville commit carved up the Normal West Wildcats on April 20, punching out 14 Wildcats on his way to a complete game shutout.

In 20 contests, the Iron pitching staff has held opponents to an average of just over two runs a game.

 

Big Bats

In the Ironmen’s 15 wins this season, the team is outscoring opponents by an average of almost 9 runs.

Leading the offensive onslaught is the big bat of junior Kaileb Hackman with 18 RBIs. 

Every time Hackman steps to the plate, Short said, he “wants to destroy baseballs like the scene out of ‘The Sandlot’ where they tear the cover off the ball. That’s what Kaileb’s goal is.”

The junior has left the yard three times so far this season–leading the Ironmen in homeruns.

The Iron are hitting above .280 as a team.

 

Clutch Performers

Off the mound, Troy McLeese has displayed some clutch performances at the plate. McLesse leads the ballclub with 7 two-out RBIs. 

Ryan Theile has been Mr. Reliable at the plate, reaching base safely in over half his plate appearances. Theile boasts a .509 on-base percentage and has drawn a team-leading 15 walks.

Defensively, sophomore Kyle Beaty has proven himself as a plug-in player for the Ironmen–whether it be filling in at catcher or starting at second base or in left field.

“The moments don’t get too big for Kyle. He’s not nervous. He’s always prepared,” Short said.

 

Speed Demons

This season, the Ironmen have been dangerous on the basepaths. As a team, the Ironmen have stolen more than 53 bases and carry a success rate of above 93%.

Hudson Burrows leads the Iron, swiping 10 bags so far this season. 

Burrows has the elite ability to do something that few Ironmen have had before him–steal third base.

“Hudson Burrows is one of the most elite stealers of third base that we’ve ever had,” Short said. “Hudson has really embraced the art of stealing bases. 

“It’s a program-wide philosophy that it’s easier to score a runner from second base with a single than it is to score from first with a double,” Short continued.

 

Senior Leadership

The team’s six seniors, Short said, “have been fantastic this year.

“I’m really leaning hard on our seniors, not just for what they contribute on the field during games, but our dugout has been full of energy and enthusiasm.”

The team’s .750 winning-percentage, the veteran head coach believes, “starts with our seniors.”

“Hudson [Burrows], Tommy [Felstead], Jacob [O’Day], Chase [Wiese], Troy [McLeese] and Will [Naour] have been fantastic.”

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About the Contributor
Dylan Wehmeyer, Senior Staff Reporter
Dylan Wehmeyer is a senior at Normal Community High School and is involved with Best Buddies and FMP. This is his third year working with the Inkspot; he is a senior staff reporter. A book that moved me is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. A slogan I live by is "You never know what someone is going through. Be kind. Always."
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