Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus has hit a home run, launching a successful intercollegiate men’s baseball program with a 13-0 record during fall exhibition play and securing National Junior College Athletic Association Division II status.
The College announced its team intent with the Ivy Tech Titans at a press conference in late spring and named Lance Hershberger as head coach, a well-respected baseball figure in northeast Indiana.
Inducted into the Northeast Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017, Hershberger has several years of coaching experience at many levels of play, including the Wildcat Baseball Organization; Concordia, Bishop Luers, and Bishop Dwenger high schools; and Indiana Tech. At Indiana Tech, his teams appeared in five consecutive National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics World Series from 1998 to 2002.
“Under Lance’s leadership, Titans Baseball will provide a new opportunity for Ivy Tech students in northeast Indiana, allowing them to develop their potential on the field and in the classroom, as they prepare for their future,” says Jerrilee K. Mosier, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus.
The Titans roster consists of 26 full-time students, who began exhibition play at Shoaff Park in September. The College is providing these student-athletes with the opportunity to compete at an intercollegiate level, while also focusing on their academic studies at Indiana’s most affordable college, which makes the opportunity and experience more accessible for regional athletes.
“Fall ball is important for any college baseball program. It’s even magnified for a new program,” Hershberger says. “I liked what I saw, based on our 13-0 record, as our players got their feet on firm ground.”
The baseball program is being supported solely through sponsorships, private donors, and fundraising efforts at the College. Several donors have already made pledges to the program, such as Indiana Representative Bob Morris. Currently, the College is crowdfunding for student scholarships, and more than $18,000 has been raised to date. Donations are still being accepted to the Ivy Tech Titans Baseball Program.
The Titans face Sinclair Community College of Dayton, Ohio, during the team’s spring opener on Feb. 27.