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By the numbers: Senior Garrett Weber a unique member of loaded Lake Central lineup

By CJ Peters

In an age of data and analytics being readily available, Garrett Weber is all for the movement of advanced statistics in baseball.

With the season the Lake Central senior outfielder is having as part of a potent Indians lineup, Weber could have some fun breaking down his own stats, as well as three other seniors who are hitting over .450.

To Weber’s delight, L.C. has a tracker that allows him to delve a bit into his love of statistics.

“It’s a thing that tracks our quality at-bats, whether it’s hitting the ball hard, hits, walks, moving the runner,” he said. “I think it’s really good for hitters because like you can have a kid hit a ball three or four times and have nothing to show for it, but with this you can see your chart after the game and look at it and ease yourself a little bit.”

Through 21 games, Weber is hitting .438 with a .538 on-base percentage for Class 4A No. 3 Lake Central (18-3). He is second on the team in hits with 20, is tied for the team lead in RBI with 31, and his three home runs lead the team.

It doesn’t take a stats nerd to figure out Weber can play college baseball, but of Lake Central’s eight seniors, Weber is the only one that won’t be doing so. Instead, he’ll attend Purdue in pursuit of a major in Data Science.

“I’ve always really liked numbers,” he said. “I like numbers in sports, too, so it’s like the perfect major for me. There’s some statistics, a little bit of computing, a lot of numbers, coding, all of that stuff.”

A regular in looking at player stats wOBA (weighted on-base average), wRC+ (weighted runs created plus), Weber is a likely menace in his fantasy baseball leagues.

“I’m a nerd when it comes to the MLB, especially with fantasy baseball,” he said. “All of those metrics, I love all of them.”

After losing his freshman year due to COVID, coach Mike Swartzentruber said he really didn’t know what he had with a lot of players in a class that included Weber.

“He had a good sophomore year with the bat and I thought it would translate to varsity play but you are just never 100 percent sure until a player actually does it,” Swartzentruber said. “He came in as a junior and was in the mix for some playing time but he was in a battle with some others. He got opportunities early in the year last year and took advantage of them.”

Ever since, Weber has done nothing but hit, hit, and hit some more.

“He produced so much we had to keep him in the line-up,” Swartzentruber said. “He has continued to hit for two years now and is one of our top hitters and a guy who I have the utmost confidence in to produce in big situations. He has really turned himself into a very good high school baseball player.”

With Wednesday’s win over Portage, Lake Central clinched its third straight outright Duneland Athletic Conference title and have a shot to sweep the conference next week against Crown Point. Through 12 DAC games, L.C. has outscored opponents 122-17.

“We compete,” Weber said. “We have a lot of varsity experience for the most part and even with the new guys, there’s no easy outs. That makes it tough for pitchers because we can get to them and even when they throw well, we compete and have good at-bats and can run pitch counts up.

“It’s just gotta be draining because it’s one through nine.”

Weber, along with the likes of seniors Matt Santana (.466 average), Josh Adamczewski (.463) and Hunter Snyder (.525), gives the Indians a top four that they hope carries them to a repeat sectional title. Junior Griffin Tobias, who is committed to Indiana, has a 0.59 ERA with 36 K in 23 and 2/3 innings atop the rotation.

“We have each other’s back,” Weber said. “We know some games some guys don’t have it going, but we always know someone will pull through. It’s really good you can have that confidence in that next man up mentality.

Being that it’s his last year of competitive ball, Weber has looked to find ways to cherish each and every one of these games as much as he can.

“One-hundred percent that’s what I’m trying to do,” he said. “It’s hard to do in the moment, but after some games it’s like I really gotta soak this in because literally every other senior is playing in college. So, it can be weird.

“They’re obviously trying really hard too, but I’m trying to appreciate it a little bit extra. It helps when it’s this good of a team, so it’s a good way to go out when it comes to baseball.”

Lake Central's Garrett Weber is hitting .438 with a .538 on-base percentage for Class 4A No. 3 Lake Central (18-3). He is second on the team in hits with 20, is tied for the team lead in RBI with 31 and his three home runs lead the team.

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