05/25/2023 4:12 PM -
We are five short days away from the start of the Indiana Panthers baseball season.
On May 30, the Panthers begin their quest for the Northern League Playoffs where they will travel to Dowling Park to face the Southland Vikings at 5 p.m. CT. This will be the beginning of their 55-game season.
Last summer, the Panthers finished 17-26, which was fifth best out of the six teams. However, things are looking completely different for the Panthers going into this year. There is a surge of new faces that look to help the Panthers improve from last season. A key story for the Panthers going into the season is the new leadership. Hammond, Ind. native and current Prairie State head coach Deandre Gilmore will go into his first year as a Panthers’ head coach. Another massive change the Panthers will experience in 2023 is a new location to call home. The Panthers will move about 12 miles away from their previous home field Marian Catholic and cross state lines and play their 2023 home games in Highland High School in Highland, Ind. They will play 22 of their 54 games there, while their home opener will be the day following opening day at 5 p.m. when they will play the Oilmen. The Oilmen finished third place last year and start their season May 25 so they will have four games under their belt and all of them will be on the road.
The Panthers will then prepare for a busy and eventful month. They will play two home games, June 2 and 3, but then will not play at Highland High School until June 13. The beginning of their seven consecutive road games will begin against the newly formed Elkhart County Miracle who will play at North Wood Field of Dreams Complex. The Panthers play the Miracle six times alone in the month of June so it should not take too long for the teams to get used to each other. Off-days in June will be June 6, 11, 19, and 26.
The regular season will go until Aug. 3 and the off-days the Panthers will get before the Northern League All-Star Game on July 18 are July 2, 4, 10, and 17.They will then be off the 19 and 24. In July, the Panthers will get plenty more games at their new home field, including seven games at Highland High School from July 21-July 27 (doubleheader with Oilmen).
The Panthers will play in their final home game Tuesday, Aug. 1 against the reigning league champion Lake County Corn Dogs at 5 p.m. CT. The Panthers will play games 53 and 54 August 2 and 3 against the Miracle and Generals and hope to compete in the playoffs for the first time since (2021).