Carmel’s 2015 girls swim team has established itself as perhaps the best in U.S. history and certainly the best ever in Indiana.
In conjunction with that, The Indianapolis Star is selecting all-time best teams in the 19 other Indiana high school sports. Selections were made in consultation with experts from around the state.
One could make a strong case for 1978 Evansville Memorial as the best baseball team in Indiana high school story. Evansville Memorial went 30-0, led by future New York Yankees star Don Mattingly.
But that came before the implementation of the four-class system in 1998, which classified the Tigers as a 3A program.
With the exception of 3A Norwell’s 35-0 mark in 2007, Brownsburg is the only other team in state history to go undefeated. But the Bulldogs did it at the highest level, winning the 4A title in 2005 with a perfect 35-0 record. They did it playing in the baseball-rich Hoosier Crossroads Conference that has produced three state champions and three runners-up since 2003. They also wound up ranked No. 3 in the nation by Baseball America.
“(They were) loaded in all aspects of the game,” said Dave Ginder, coach of two-time state champion Fort Wayne Carroll, which lost to that Bulldogs team in the semistate.
Brownsburg outscored the opposition 321-74 and smacked 48 home runs as a team – or one every 19.7 at-bats.
Pitching was the team’s real strength, though. Current MLB stars Lance Lynn (St. Louis Cardinals) and Drew Storen (Washington Nationals) combined to go 25-0, with Lynn capturing Mr. Baseball. As a team, Brownsburg allowed just 1.93 runs per seven innings.
“When people find out Lance and I went to the same high school, they laugh,” said Storen, who lives in Downtown Indianapolis in the offseason. “They couldn’t imagine having both of us on the same pitching staff. I think that shows a lot.”
The team was several years in the making. Players ranging from seniors to sophomores played on three different state championship-winning Little League teams from 1999-2001, including two World Series appearances.
Eight Brownsburg players were named to The Star’s All-West first team in 2005 and another made honorable mention. Pat O’Neil was the Indiana Coach of the Year. That’s an entire team of all stars. Including pitchers, 11 of the team’s 12 starters went on to play college baseball.
“It’s one of those things, as I’ve gotten older, I learn to appreciate that more and more,” Storen said. “To play 35 games and win day in and day out was pretty incredible.”