When the most important part of the Cascade baseball team’s routine, transport, when depleted, would easily damage the team’s mind.
Prior to Wednesday’s game against Beech Grove, the Cadets’ usual route was not available. So Cadet had to wait for the school bus to finish its route, pick them up and fight Indianapolis traffic jams to get them to Jim Hensley Baseball Stadium for their 5:30 pm start time.
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The Cadets arrived well after the first scheduled field, but quickly recovered the lost time. Hunter Howard started scoring with RBI twice in the second inning. The Cadets spent four seconds securing a 6-4 victory over the Hornets.
“Arriving here late, I know we were all running, it was a different kind of game,” Cascade coach Ty Foster said. “But we responded well in advance.”
Adapting to change is a big part of how Cascade qualified to start 15-3 and ranked 5th in the Class 2A Indiana High School Coaches Association referendum referendum.
Last season the heavyweight team took the record 24-1 until after the season before falling to University in a Sectional Championship game.
Cascade’s list of names has changed but seniors Wyatt Blinn, Trey Gruca and Howard have taken over leadership positions after serving as supporting members. Lower-class students such as second-degree holder Logan Gibbs have quickly adapted to university level, thus keeping the programming talent level high.
Gruca and Gibbs lead Cadeti with 19 hits each. Gibbs is Cascade’s best producer with five home runs and 24 RBI. Second-year Evan Lanphier has the highest hitting average at .433. He doubles as a top pitcher with a record 5-0 and .93 ERA over 30 innings. Wyatt Blinn leads the Cadets in 58 shots out of 37.
The combination of returning veterinarians and new talented faces has a Cadet looking forward to returning to the Sectional crown game.
“Even though we lost a lot of seniors and had a lot of positions that we needed to fill, people came forward and took control,” Gruca said. “We have good leaders on the team who support each other and make us learn faster.”
The rise towards consistent success has been gradual under Foster. Cascade won 7-14 his first season at the helm 2015-16. They were two games under .500 in 2017 and only one game under .500 in 2018. The Cadets achieved a record 14-12 in 2019 and were ready for the 2020 growth, losing the season due to the coronavirus epidemic. .
Foster said building solidarity and promoting growth at the youth level has helped him turn the plan around.
“What was different was that we had baseball players coming and going from school,” he said. “… Most of them play some kind of summer ball. Then we can bring them back here and you don’t have to start from scratch with most of them.
“Most of them have that baseball mind. And the older kids feed and help them along the way.”
Last week’s Sectional Draw drew Cascade farewell in the first round, avoiding possible games against University, Speedway, Covenant Christian and Park Tudor. Cascade will face Monrovia in the Sectional semi-finals with a trip to the playoffs.
Cascade has six section heads in school history. His latest episode name came in 2005.
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Confidence within the program is high, and these Canadians are not escaping their main goal.
“Partial championships,” Gibbs said when asked about the team’s main goal. “We have people to get there.
“We have what it takes. We have a car,” added Gruca.