High School - The Zone

Westfield pitcher turns basement into makeshift training center

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — The last week of May typically marks the first pitch for high school playoff baseball across Indiana.

Not this season.

The coronavirus pandemic wiped out the Indiana High School Athletic Association baseball season, but not all players around the state are taking this spring off.

Gage Stanifer is Westfield High School’s future ace.

Stanifer is 16-years-old, a right-hander on the mound, already firing his fastball in at 88 miles per hour.

His changeup? Stanifer found a way to bring it into his family’s basement once baseball shut down.

“He just said, ‘Hey listen, if I do the work, will you get a dumpster?” Gage’s father Butch Stanifer said. “He did it, all of the weights back here that you see, he moved them on his own. He took them apart, drug them over, I came down here and it is done.”

Stanifer is a sophomore at Westfield and is committed to play college ball at the University of Cincinnati.

That’s a great spot to be in considering how rough this spring turned out for Indiana’s class of 2020 prospects.

“My son is actually a senior, that was the toughest one, we lost a lot of laughs out on the diamond this year that we were looking forward to,” Westfield Head Baseball Coach Ryan Bunnell said. “We really thought we could go down to Victory Field and win it all.”

IHSAA baseball is officially ruled out for this summer, but travel leagues hope to start game action by the second week in June.

Until then, are any teammates trying to rent out the Stanifer’s baseball garage?

“Not yet,” Gage said. “I should probably think about that (laughs).”

Add another pitch to this promising young arsenal.