28. INDIANPOLIS GREYHOUNDS (46-16)
2012 Final Ranking: 12
The Greyhounds had been on the cusp for a breakout season the past few years and finally made their mark in 2012. After running away with the GLVC regular season and tournament titles the upstart ‘Hounds won their first regional crown in 12 years by sweeping the Midwest Regional. UIndy had their season come to an abrupt close in Cary however as the club was bounced following a pair of disappointing offensive efforts. A return trip to North Carolina will not be easy for Head Coach Gary Vaught and the boys in crimson and grey. Gone will be GLVC and Midwest Region Pitcher of the Year, Donovan Drake as well their leading hitter and shortstop Mike Page. While the losses aren’t insurmountable, the Greyhounds will certainly need some players to step up and develop if they are to challenge for another national title.
Tyler O’Daniel put up the most impressive numbers of UIndy batter last season and will be back to lead the team once again. Last season he hit .325 with a team leading five home runs and .498 slugging percentage. Nick Whitty batted .321 and had an on base percentage of .480, but most impressively he was able to throw out 44% of would be base stealers from behind the plate. Jake Hartley paced the club with 50 RBI and added a .311 batting average with 55 walks and Mitch Ransburg impressed in the limited time he was on the field, batting .345 in 29 at bats. He also wants you to watch more soccer. Dan Eliopulos, a NJCAA All American transfer from Joliet JC, will be joining the team after helping the Wolves win the national title.
The Greyhounds top two starters will no longer be in the rotation, leaving Hugo Lalonde, who went 6-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 70 innings as the most seasoned starter. Alex Wood made a start in eight of his 12 appearances last season and posted a 4.43 ERA and earned a 6-1 record. Each of them will have to ratchet up their game to relieve some of the pressure from the offense. Phil Wheeler looked sharp in a dual role last season and could climb into the rotation seamlessly. He had a 2.63 ERA in 37.2 innings, struckout 35 batters and threw a no-hitter against Rockhust, one of the top teams in the region. There is also anticipation that Josh Witt, a transfer from Parkland CC, could make a big impact this season. Last year he posted a 7-1 record with a 1.82 ERA for the Cobras.