LOOGOOTEE — Motivation can come from a number of places, but for Casey Miller it can be traced back to one season long before he was a household name in the historic Loogootee baseball program.
Miller, a 2014 Loogootee graduate can look back fondly now, but as a freshman he barely saw the field. Miller was so convinced that he should have been in the lineup under then-coach Roger Bailey that he set out to prove everyone wrong from the first game of his sophomore year.
In between his freshman and sophomore year, Miller and his father went to a hitting camp in Colorado and he came back with a chip on his shoulder that would take him into the Loogootee record books. Miller quit playing basketball and set his sights on being the best baseball player he could be, and the impact was immediate. In his first varsity game, Miller went 5-for-5 at the plate in a season-opening win over North Daviess, but that was just the beginning.
“From then on I was addicted — I just wanted to be better every day,” Miller said. “I did have a grudge for a while against my coach, because I thought I should have been starting over some kids, but it didn’t go my way and that’s life sometimes. I think that gave me more motivation, because I put more time and effort in just to be good enough to get in there and when I did, it was awesome.”
As a sophomore, Miller recorded 44 hits and 12 doubles in 102 at-bats and as a junior he added 12 more doubles while batting .416 (40-96) at the plate. However, Miller, saved his best for last. As as senior, he racked up his second 44-hit campaign in three years to go along with 12 more doubles and 35 RBIs. Miller finished his career with a .436 batting average, and Loogootee records for hits (129) and doubles (38). He also finished with 91 runs scored, the fourth most in Lions’ history.