story by Tristan Jackson
video by Bella Bungcayao, Tristan Jackson and Kyle Tincher
Four brothers. One bond.
For many boys growing up in Southern Indiana, one sport has become a way for them to connect and make friends. As spring hits they flock to the field to play their favorite sport: baseball
From the Little League fields of Jeff/GRC to Jeff High’s own Don Poole Field, seniors Gabe Bierman, Bailey Falkenstein, Hunter Schmitz, and Trey Bottorff have played together since they were seven years old.
“All sports give you a special connection with, and baseball has really brought us closer together,” Schmitz said.
The bond between the four players can be seen as they take the field together, and in the dugout as they get the team hyped for the game ahead of them.
“Team chemistry is one of the most important things in all sports, and it’s going to help us win,” Bottorff said. “I know what brings Gabe, Bailey, and Hunter down and I know how to bring them up.”
Hit after hit, play after play, each guy does his part to make the teammates around them better. And this is very noticeable between these four.
“We play baseball and then we go hang out together. I mean we’re always around each other,” Falkenstein said.
For the past 11 years, these guys have been nearly inseparable. Even though this will mark their last year of competitive baseball together, the quartet will be friends for life.
“We’ve been playing for so long together, it’s a lifelong connection,” Bierman said. “I’ll be with these guys for the rest of my life.”
Gabe, Hunter, and Trey all plan on attending Indiana University next fall, with Gabe being the lone Red Devil taking his play to the next level and playing for the Hoosiers.
Trey and Hunter with both be going to further their education, going to study pre-law and sports management, respectively, while still cheering on their brother, who has MLB aspirations.
“It’s a dream still, and in order to make that happen, hard work must be put in,” Bierman said on his hopes to play professionally in an interview with The Hyphen earlier in the year.
Bailey will go a different route, and attend Olney Central Junior College in Illinois, where he continue both his baseball and basketball careers.
While this year will likely mark their last year of baseball together, the bond they made will last forever.
“We are not just teammates, we are brothers,” Bottorff said.
In this, their last go-round, they will look to compete for a state championship as a part of the No. 7 ranked Red Devils, who have gotten out to a 17-4 record start this season, and have already clinched the Hoosier Hills Conference.
Four brothers. One bond. And it all comes down to this season: the final chapter.