MERRILLVILLE | Mike Brosseau was a sophomore when he took over one of the toughest spots on the Andrean baseball field.
He was inserted at shortstop, a spot previously held by Adam Norton -- who went on to play at Notre Dame -- and Ryan Dineen -- who went on to Eastern Illinois, after the 2009 championship season.
Though young, Brosseau made the move seamless enough to pick up a Division I scholarship of his own to Oakland University.
With his college choice decided long before the season began, he could spend this year working the kinks out of his hitting.
He opened the year as the lead-off hitter, moved around in the order and returned there in time for a postseason that includes today's Plymouth Regional opener against Griffith.
"He started out the year at leadoff, then we tried several other combinations and I guess the thing is that at the end of the year he started to get hot so we might as well put him on top," Andrean coach Dave Pishkur said. "After a while Mikey started hitting the ball like he's capable of doing, so he makes the most sense. He can handle the bat, he'd a good hit-and-run guy, he doesn't strike out a lot and he's patient."
Brosseau likes the ability to put pressure on the defense early in a game. He wants to get into a pitcher's head.
"I go into every game in that first at bat find some way, any way -- a hit by pitch, a hit, a walk -- just get on base," Brosseau said. "I know it's a lot of pressure, to get on and put pressure on a defense, but I count on my team to get me around."
Brosseau's desire to play in college -- and maybe beyond -- pulled him out of basketball and kept him working toward every goal on Andrean's list.
It also makes him the kind of player to sign up for a speed camp over the summer so that he could be a better base runner.
"Those kids that are going to college or want to go to college have that little extra edge because they want to get better and better," Pishkur said. "While some guys hope their natural ability takes them far, he played summer ball and did all the things to make himself better. The other thing is that when you're around the team and see Adam Norton and Ryan Dineen come back from college and put in the time in the weight room, those are good role models to have to want to get to that next level."