Edgewood’s Luke Hayden, IU Baseball Rookie, HT Player of the Year


Luke Hayden pitched 62 2/3 innings this season and still finished with twice as many hits and 11 more RBIs at home than the hits and runs he gave up on the mound.

It’s the kind of performance that leaves even a 37-year-old head coach with a limited number of comparisons. Bob Jones had some great pitchers. He had some great hitters. So the two rarely combine as they did for Hayden this season at Edgewood.

His future at the next level, whether at Indiana University or as a professional, is pitching and that aspect was most certainly the focus during his off-season races with powerful travel teams or this summer. with Terre Haute Rex of the Midwest Prospect League.

But Hayden, HT Baseball Player of the Year also did a lot of work in the batting cage. He was a .275 hitter with six more hits and 18 RBIs in 2019 as a second-year pitcher assigned to the pitch in the 3A State title game.

Those numbers increased exponentially to 0.494 with 14 more hits and 30 RBIs. All the while lowering his pitch numbers to outrageous levels.

“Full and total return,” Jones said and Hayden approached to strike. “I’m sure in the summer he didn’t beat that much. But since he started his freshman year he’s been really working hard on it.

“You saw a little bit of it last year. This year he really seemed to blossom. He was more confident at home plate. He wants to strike in college. He wanted to strike in the All-Star game and thought that ‘ he might get a chance to play a position on the field. But with 27 players you have to face everyone. I told him he would be lucky to have three innings to pitch. “

Which he did effectively, of course, on the show in Evansville a few weeks ago.

“His main focus in college is to launch,” Jones said. “You don’t meet a lot of Shohei Ohtanis.”

But that’s what Hayden was for the Mustangs this year as he led them to the regional semi-finals. Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels was recently the first player named to the All-Star as a pitcher and positional player.

Hayden led the region in batting average, home runs (seven) and trailed only teammate Coleman Sater (31) in RBI. He also walked 18 times to finish with a base percentage of 0.604.

“He focused on the ground he was looking for,” Jones said. “He was looking for what he wanted and he learned to let go of the curve. And if he had to hit it, he could take it the other way around.

“He knew what they were doing to try to get him out.”

Hayden was also smarter at taking out hitters. There was that 92-93 mph fastball, but it also had a slider that slid out of sight for anyone sitting on the heat and a curved ball just to mess up any hitter’s timing further.

The opponents finished a collective of .091 against him with just 19 hits. His 0.87 ERA included just seven earned runs. He stoked 143, hitting double-digit numbers with each start, while walking just 22.

“He just learned more about how to pitch,” Jones said. “The different approaches the hitters take and remembering what the guys did the last time. It becomes a launcher instead of a simple launcher.

“He focused more on his mechanics, slowing down some things. Sometimes he struggled with that, but he was a little more in control. He really developed as a player. He continues to there. work. He took the extra time to work on things. “

As for draft status, the Major League Baseball Draft, which was moved to All-Star Weekend (July 11-13) to get more attention, has been reduced to 20 rounds. There were only five last year. There had been as many as 40 in 2019.

In the meantime, Hayden moved to the Indiana University campus and enrolled in classes. On Friday, he joined Southern graduate Jacob Young in the Terre Haute Rex pitching team of the Midwest Prospect League.

Things did not get as easy as they did during the school season.

“He’s got a good arm,” Rex manager AJ Reed told the Tribune-Star after a recent outing. “He’s excited to be here and he’s trying to reverse a bit (12 walks in nine innings so far). But he will continue to improve throughout the summer.”

And Edgewood’s schedule should continue to improve thanks to Hayden and the legacy he leaves behind. His numbers will be hard to reproduce, but not the work that got him there.

Hayden was never the most vocal leader, but he didn’t hesitate to show his teammates the things he was doing to improve himself.

As he has been doing all season, he gave more than he took.

Jones best coach

Bob Jones of Edgewood is HT Baseball Coach of the Year.

He led the Mustangs, who had just two starters since the 2019 season, to a 19-9 record, a Western Indiana Conference title share and a section crown.

Along the way, Jones also earned his 500th career victory.

2021 ALL TERRAIN BASEBALL TEAM

MADDIX BLACKWELL, South, Sr. CF / C: Won his third All-Area selection of the year (football / basketball). Hit .252 (26-for-103), with seven doubles and 16 RBIs. Scored 25 points and stole 12 goals. Has been hit by the pitch eight times. Made only two mistakes in 90 chances. Indiana of all conferences. Indiana State Football Rookie.

GARRETT BLEVINS, South, Sr. P / 1B: Staff ace for the Panthers, 6-3 with a 2.46 ERA in 54 innings. Withdrawn 56 points and walked only 19. Allowed only 19 earned runs and 44 hits. Tracked one homerun and 11 RBIs at home while shooting 17 walks. All-CI. Will play at Wilmington College.

MASON DAVID, South, Sr. P / SS: One of South’s best hitters, hit 0.330 (30 for 91) with two homers, seven doubles, one triple and 19 RBIs. Scored 22 points, made four interceptions and had a base percentage of 0.436, a team-high punching percentage of 0.484. All-CI. Will play at Taylor University.

LUKE HAYDEN, Edgewood, Sr. P / 2B: The HT Player of the Year has racked up numbers on the mound and on the plate. As a pitcher, he went 7-2 with an absurd 0.78 ERA, allowing just seven earned runs (five in a game), striking out 143 and walking just 22 in 62 2/3 sleeves. He threw three hits. He’s never fanned less than 11 batters each start with games of 19 and 18 (twice) strikeouts. Also best hit zone .494 (39-for-79) with six doubles, one treble, seven homers and 30 RBIs. He scored 22 runs and walked 18 times. Had a base percent of .604 and a slugging percent of .861. All-WIC. Headed to Indiana and a possible MLB draft pick.

CAM INGALLS, Edgewood, Jr. CF: Stepped into first place and thrived, hitting 0.338 (24 for 71), with an over bases percentage of 0.415, scoring 26 points and tying for the team lead, stealing 10 bases. Had five doubles. Had a commissioning percentage of .974.

CADEN MCCOY, Nord, Fr. P: Lefty was a cool customer from the start, finishing 3-5 with two saves and a 2.51 ERA in 53 innings. Withdrawn 62 points, walked 29 and allowed only 19 earned runs. The opponents hit only 0.187 against him. All-CI

DOMINIK POLVERINI, North, Jr. C / 2B: Solid top bat in the Cougars order, hit .323 with three doubles, 10 RBIs, four steals. He took over with an expected starter injury and kicked out eight would-be base thieves. All-CI.

COLEMAN SATER, Edgewood, Sr. 1B / P: The Mustangs second hitter produced .362 (29 for 80) with four homers, six doubles and the team’s best 31 RBIs. Scored a team-high 26 points and stole five goals. Hit only 11 times and had a 0.588 slugging percentage. As a pitcher he performed best off the pen, going 2-2 with two saves, a 2.29 ERA. Hit 24 and walked eight in 18 1/3 innings. Only one error out of 109 chances. All-WIC. Hanover basketball rookie.

AARON STEINFELDT, North, Sr. 1B: Led Cougars with an average of .344 (31 for 90) with four homers, 10 doubles and 26 RBIs. Scratched only nine times. Had a base percentage of .400 and a slugging percentage of .589. All-CI

CONNOR THUMMEL, Edgewood, Jr. P / 2B: Provided a top arm, with a 4-2 record with a 2.39 ERA, an indent of 35 and a walk of just 10 in 29 1/3 innings. Also reached 0.312 (24 for 77) with six doubles, 18 RBIs and 14 runs scored.

BRYCE TIEMAN, Eastern Greene, Sr. C / P: Leadership meant as much as his stats to a young team. Hit .361 (26-for-72), seven doubles, 13 RBI with a base percentage of .446. Started five games on the mound, walking only nine and striking out 30 in 31 2/3 innings. All-SWIAC.

HONORABLE MENTION

LUC ABRAM, Is Greene, then. 2B / DH (.475, 10 doubles, 9 RBI, 17 RBI, .537 OBP); DYLAN BARROW, North, therefore. RF / 2B / P (.309, 6 doubles, 14 walks, 4 steals, .429 OBP; 1-0, 1 save, 4.75 ERA); AJ BRINSON, South, Jr. 3B (0.287, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 7 SB, 19 R, 15 BB, 0.398 OBP; 1-0, 1 save, 1.98 ERA, 18 Ks, 6 BB); CARSON DRUCKREY, Edgewood, Fr. 3B (0.288, 14 RBI); ANDRE GOOD, Edgewood, P. RF: (.361, 21 RBI, 19 R, 4 SB); BLAISE OEDING, South, Jr. P / LF (3-3, 37 Ks, 4.16 ERA); COOPER WEBB, South, Jr. P / 1B / RF (.293, HR, 17 RBI, 5 doubles; 3-5, 4.36 ERA. All-CI); YOUNGER MASON, South, Jr. DH / 1B (.323, 2 HR, 16 RBI, .475 OBP).


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