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    Lafayette Central Catholic baseball prides itself on small ball and Squires youth program

    By Ethan Hanson, Lafayette Journal & Courier,

    2024-06-14
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0JpISk_0trPwRcJ00

    LAFAYETTE — The sounds of repeated pinging off of bats echoed at different tones and paces at Gordon Leming Field this week.

    Executing bunts, swinging for contact to move base runners over and playing flawless defense are the expectations required to earn a spot in a Lafayette Central Catholic Knights baseball program who carry an Indiana record of nine state championships.

    "Every practice is going to be hard work and we're going to use every minute possible," said senior starting pitcher Keaton Brooks. "You're not going to get out early. You got to show up early and if everyone is here early, we are going to use that extra time to practice."

    The Knights are vying for their 10th state title at 5:30 p.m. today

    Getting to the state championship and maintaining the high standard is all rooted in the process and philosophies established by its skipper Tim Bordenet. The Knights (27-6) battle Barr-Reeve (27-6) today at Victory Field in Indianapolis for the IHSAA 1A state title. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

    "It's not just the bunting, it's putting pressure on the other team," Bordenet said. "In high school baseball the teams that win are the teams that make the fewest mistakes. And if you can put pressure on the other team and force them to make plays all night long, most high school teams are going to crack. And when they do crack, you have to take advantage of it."

    Squires and late arrivals all welcome in the Knights' baseball castle

    Part of what's allowed Central Catholic to have continued success has started by establishing the Lafayette Squires, a youth baseball team rooted in the school's preliminary education system.

    Players starting in the third grade are indoctrinated on how to field ground balls, run bases, hit and eventually become ready to join Bordenet at the high school ranks.

    Players like Brooks along with senior pitcher and first baseman Lucas Gerkey and second baseman Gavin Boutelle are among the multiple classes who came through the Squires to eventually become Knights.

    "I remember the baseball camps and the high school kids putting balls on tees for us," Brooks said. "Even for pitching, Coach Bordenet would give us tips."

    "Our Squires team went to the 2015 and 2016 state championship," Boutelle added. "So from a young age we are getting pressed upon on how to win and get to the point we want to get to."

    Not every player who competes at Central Catholic has gone through the Squires. Junior catcher Jackson Cain, considered to be one of the power hitters of the Knights' lineup didn't join Central Catholic until the sixth grade.

    Football star gives Central Catholic punch middle of the order

    Cain is a multi-sport athlete who plays catcher and made the Journal & Courier All-Area Small School football team as an ATH after rushing on 48 carries for 274 yards and 4 touchdowns along with 48 receptions, 470 yards and six touchdowns in addition to making 95 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks on defense.

    Cain's multi sport skillset is considered an asset at Central Catholic for a school that hosts between 425-450 students.

    "I think the competitiveness our guys have is the beauty of who we have at Central Catholic," Bordenet said. "Our athletes play multiple sports. They are competing year round, not just during baseball season. They are competing in the fall, during the winter as well and there's nothing that replaces competition."

    Ethan Hanson is the sports reporter for the Journal & Courier in Lafayette. He can be reached atehanson@gannett.com, on Twitter at EthanAHansonand Instagram at ethan_a_hanson.

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