PREP BASEBALL

Andrean's Donovan Chandler has speed that kills

2014-06-05T18:30:00Z 2014-06-05T23:33:12Z Andrean's Donovan Chandler has speed that killsHillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | Donovan Chandler already has two state titles this year.

The senior was a wide receiver on Andrean's championship football team, and he ran a leg of the indoor 800-meter relay team that captured first at the Hoosier State Relays.

Both make him the ideal candidate to lead off the Niners baseball lineup. Andrean's season extended with its sectional win, and it will play Northwestern in Saturday's Griffith Regional.

"If you look at some of our, in our history, our good leadoff men, Bobby Finn comes to mind, Mike Arvin goes down as the best leadoff man we’ve had here, Dave Kosinski, Kyle Kovach, they were almost all football players and they were almost all specialty players," Andrean coach Dave Pishkur said. "It’s nice to have a table setter and (Chandler) leads off one time automatically and every other time it could be third in the order or fourth."

Chandler feeds off of that leadoff position pressure. He likes to be the first player in the order tasked with finding a way – any way – on base.

He's set a goal of 10 bunts for hits this season to add to his batting average and become an any-hit kind of player.

"I like being the first guy up there and you get to start the momentum with a big hit, anything to get on base," Chandler said. "It’s just getting that momentum going."

He's played at six positions this season thanks to his athletic background: second base, third base, shortstop, right field, left field and center field.

With all of his talents, he's picked to focus his college choice on baseball. He said he's narrowed his options down to a few that still have money available for scholarships. More money could open at other schools after this weekend's Major League Baseball Entry Draft.

"Athletic wise, his athleticism plays at that next level," Pishkur said. "His speed and he’s so versatile, I can see him as a second baseman as a college player or as a center fielder."

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