GAME STORY: Millers rally for HCC win (TheTimes24-7.com)
AVON — Noblesville baseball coach Justin Keever preached the same sermon Friday night he’s been preaching all season about the Hoosier Crossroads Conference.
“This league is tough,” Keever said after the Millers beat Avon, 7-4. “We got other good teams trying to win, too. They’re going to punish you for your mistakes just like we punish them for theirs.”
After two tough wins over Zionsville two weeks ago (including a walkoff win at home), Keever’s theme was similiar.
“That’s the HCC. Every game is going to be like this,” Keever said. “Everybody’s pretty evenly matched.”
The Millers (15-6, 8-3 HCC) sit atop the HCC by a 1/2 game over McCutcheon — a team that earlier in the week gave the Millers back-to-back losses for the first time this season.
Two squads (No. 6 Noblesville and No. 8 Fishers) are ranked in Class 4A’s Top 10 poll and eight of the ten schools have overall records at .500 or better. Westfield was ranked No. 1 in 4A early in the season before dropping out of the poll. The Rocks have had mixed results in the HCC at 6-5 (12-7 overall).
Keever’s not the only one with this opinion.
“”Conference’s going to be a gauntlet,” Fishers coach Matt Cherry said before conference play began. “Everyone’s got pitching and (add) a couple D-I hitters. It’s going to be a tough road.”
The Tigers had one of the best starts in schools history at 8-0-1 before hitting the conference slate. Conference play has handed Fishers four losses.
Perhaps no one know how tough the HCC like Hamilton Southeastern. The Royals entered conference play at 3-2 and proceeded to lose their first five conference games. The Royals are 7-11, 4-7 in the HCC.
“There’s a lot of good ballclubs and ball players here in central Indiana,” HSE coach Scott Henson said earlier in the season. “All the coaches in the HCC have said that if you win 12 (conference) games, that’s going to win it.”
Behind the leaders (Noblesville, McCutcheon, Fishers and Westfield), three schools have conference records at the .500 mark giving credence to the opinion that there’s plenty of parity in the HCC.
LEADERS: Fishers’ Griffin Hulecki leads the HCC with six home runs . . . Noblesville’s Andrew Wilson tops the league with 31 runs scored . . . Noblesville’s Brian McLean leads the HCC with 12 stolen bases. There are three Millers in the top five in that category.