Morris Hoosier Bats Farm Bridges The Arc Strack and Van Til


Saturday, May 7, 2011 • POSTED BY:  Matt Douthett Times Correspondent

HIGHLAND | Highland coach Dan Miller simply isn't one to brag about personal milestones, no matter how remarkable they may be.

With the Times No. 1 Trojans' 7-2 win over No. 10 Munster on Saturday, Miller picked up his 600th career victory, all in his 30 seasons at the helm of Highland's varsity program. Players gathered for a team picture after the victory holding simple, yellow signs emblazoned with "600."

For Miller, however, the significance of winning 600 games pales in comparison to how his team played against the Mustangs (9-9, 2-6 NCC).

"It feels good," Miller said of his milestone. "It feels good to beat Munster and it feels good to be in the conference race. Six hundred is down the line a little bit, but it feels good. It means I'm still alive."

"Coach Miller is a really good coach -- I really respect him," Highland pitcher Jordan Minch said. "He finally got 600, so good for him."

Minch kept Munster largely in check from the outset, giving up one earned run while striking out 10 batters -- even though he was a little rattled early on with Munster's 1-0 lead and some problems locating his pitches.

"When they scored that run and we were down 1-0, I knew I needed to control my composure," said Minch, a visibly emotional pitcher.

After that, it was smooth sailing for Minch, thanks to the five-run third inning the Trojans (15-3, 7-1) mustered. No. 9 hitter Billy Gerstner reached on a dropped third strike to ignite the rally. Minch then clobbered a line drive up the middle to score Gerstner. Later in the inning, Luke Polster's two-run single scored Jake Klocek and Matt Knesek to cap the damage.

"We had a dropped third strike, and who knows what that could have changed, but that's baseball," Munster coach Bob Shinkan said. "They took advantage of the situation."

Every player in Highland's batting order reached base at least once, while the Mustangs mounted two threats. Munster went scoreless in all but the second and seventh innings, as Nate Eagan's two-out RBI single in the seventh inning scored Kyle Wargo.

"We've been struggling a little bit lately, but we've got time to turn it around," Shinkan said.