The plan for Indian Creek baseball is straightforward: win, win again, move up, and win some more.
Already sitting on a championship earned last May, the Eagles have the next phase of their plan off to a strong start this spring.
At 7-1 in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference play through eight games, the Eagles and their young core of primarily juniors and sophomores have beaten opponents with a mix of potent hitting, slick fielding and pitching depth.
“It’s getting real good real quick on the competitive side,” said head coach Matt Selmer following Indian Creek’s 18-2 win over Chapelgate Christian Academy on April 24. “Our starting nine are juniors and sophomores now, and next year we bring them all back again. That core is really starting to gel. They’re really playing together. It’s exciting. They give us confidence.”
It wasn’t hard to see why during Indian Creek’s overpowering win over Chapelgate. Evan Selmer hit for the cycle with seven RBIs in a 4-for-4 day that included a grand-slam home run, while Parker Harris (three hits), Alex Seidleck (2 for 2 with a home run and three RBIs) and Travis Garnett (2 for 3 with three RBIs) all had multi-hit days. Additional hits my Maurice Elder, Jordan Cann, Matthew Hawes, Logan Harris, Chris Kokoski and Andrew Biggers rounded out the Eagles’ overwhelming offensive output, while Cann earned the victory on the mound, allowing two earned runs on four hits and striking out eight in five innings.
Other wins throughout the season have highlighted Indian Creek’s strengths. Harris hit a solo home run on April 18 that lifted the team to a 1-0 victory over Concordia Prep, who the Eagles defeated in last year’s championship and who dealt Indian Creek its only conference loss this season, a 3-2 defeat on March 27. Seidleck pitched a no-hitter in a dominant 19-0 victory over St. Frances on April 8, striking out 12 and walking only one on 65 pitches.
Offensively, the exploits of Seidleck (.433 batting average, three home runs, 10 RBI, team-high 13 runs), Selmer (.433, 12 RBIs), Garnett (.467, 12 RBIs, team-high 14 hits), Harris (.370) and Elder (.368, team-high 14 hits, 10 runs) jump off the page.
The pitching has been there, too. Selmer has a 1.34 ERA in a team-high 26 innings, while Elder has two wins in 19.2 innings, Cann has three wins in 18.0 innings, and Seidleck hasn’t allowed a run in 8.2 innings. They’ve accomplished a team ERA of 2.063 almost entirely without Garnett, the towering 6-foot-5 sophomore lefty ace and University of Maryland commit who has thrown only 1.1 innings while working his way back from minor arm soreness, primarily just playing first base and batting. Garnett is returning fully to the rotation with the playoffs just near on the horizon.
“We’re getting a lot of good pitching,” said coach Selmer. “Maurice has really done well, Alex has pitched well, so our big-game pitchers are Maurice, Evan, Alex and then of course Travis.”
Depending on who’s pitching, the players’ versatility allows them to star in multiple roles. Harris has excelled as the team’s catcher, while Selmer plays multiple infield spots, Cann and Elder possess excellent speed and athleticism in the outfield, and Seidleck has fielded superbly at shortstop.
Add it all up, and Indian Creek’s ceiling lies above the opportunities that will be afforded them this season, when the Eagles can max out with another C Conference title.
Elder said the team just focuses on continuing to build on its success.
“This year we came in already knowing who we are and getting ready to play baseball every single day, and we’re tracking for the championship game while working on fundamentals,” Elder said.
Cann noted the program’s window is wide open not just with the current core, but also with the pipeline of kids coming in, many of whom train at Athletic Performance Inc., where coach Selmer is the baseball director.
“We’ve got really good freshmen coming in,” said Cann, a junior. “So we’re a young team, and we’re just getting better each day.”
Opponents, notably Concordia Prep, will probably have some say in whether Indian Creek fully executes the vision for this season, but as of late April the Eagles are established as favorites to win a second consecutive championship.
Said Evan Selmer, “Obviously this year the goal is to win the C Conference and then next year move up to the B Conference and make a solid record up there.”
He didn’t stop at just a solid record, and the program isn’t shy about stating its long-term goals once promoted to the more competitive B Conference.
“The plan is to win it,” said Selmer.