Program enjoys consistent success under Pirowski
The Portage baseball team, which will start its season next Wednesday at Elkhart Memorial, has established a program with a constant influx of talented players. The Indians have featured large and talented senior classes each of the last three years. Each class currently in high school is stacked with quality depth. Head coach Tim Pirowski has led the team to three consecutive winning seasons and back-to-back sectional championship appearances.
“I think it’s the guys, actually. We go year round now and we’ve got a good thing going where guys are excited to play. They take ownership in it and they have pride in the program,” Pirowski said.
The winning ways of the team in recent years and Portage’s reputation for producing college level ballplayers works to the advantage of the current players in their college searches. Sixteen Indians have gone on to play collegiately in the last four years.
“We’re starting to get the recognition by college coaches and the state, so I think that’s the biggest factor,” Pirowski said.
This year, the varsity lineup will be loaded with players who will go on to play baseball in college.
The baseball team went 25-8 last year. The Indians fell 4-1 to Crown Point in the Sectional Championship game.
Much of the varsity program’s success can be credited to the various systems that feed into the high school program, such as Little League and travel ball. The coaching staff is making an effort to continue to build the relationship between the varsity staff and the coaches at the younger levels.
“We’re supporting both (Little League and travel ball). We’ve had meetings with Little League, and we’re going to have a coaches’ clinic at the end of the month with the Little League coaches,” Pirowski said.
The varsity team will play two night games at the Portage Little League complex against South Central on May 1 and against Morton on May 22.
The high school program has added the Tribe travel ball organization to try to get more Portage students to play travel ball.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be Tribe specifically, but just giving them the opportunity to play better baseball and get better as a player with the opportunity to play year round instead of just your 15-16 game Little League schedule,” Pirowski said.
With less than a week remaining until the start of the varsity season, there are still several starting spots up for grabs.