Four-peat for Indy Thunder Beep Baseball

Posted: Updated:
Indy Thunder Coach Darnell Booker embraces the championship trophy Indy Thunder Coach Darnell Booker embraces the championship trophy

The Indy Thunder has once again brought home the title of champions from the World Series of Beep Baseball.  Comprised of players who are blind and visually impaired, the team earned its fourth-straight national championship during the series played in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“I've never dreamed of four straight [championships]. One yes. Two possible. But I've never in my wildest dreams, think that I would be sitting here with four in a row,” said Darnell Booker, coach of Indy Thunder. “I'm just so blessed and fortunate with the talent that I have.”

Beep baseball is modeled after conventional baseball, but there are differences. The 16-inch ball, for example, makes a distinct sound so players know when and where to swing. Likewise, the bases make a buzzing sound to help guide the runners.

Booker says his expectation was to go into the tournament just wanting a chance to defend the title and let the chips fall where they may. But his team outperformed his own expectations.

“We just took it one game at a time,” said Gerald Dykus, who has played for the Thunder for four years. He says the team played confidently through each round of the tournament, but it was during the semi-final game against a Texas team, they knew they had to step it up.

“Because that's when we had to face San Antonio Jets, which is the team that we played [before] and they gave us a run for our money,” said Dykus.

During the 6th and pivotal game, the Thunder were in a tough battle going into the last inning. “We were down with five. So, we put 10 up on them. Then we go into the bottom of the six, up five,” but Booker knew the other team would fight back. The Thunder held the team to advance to the championship game.

“I was very emotional that the semi-final game because it was just ebbs and flows. And I knew right then in there, that tested our grit, our heart determination that these guys, they don't want to lose,” Booker said at that moment he knew they could retain the title. The Indy Thunder did go on to win the championship.

Back in Indianapolis following the win, Dykus gets a chance to reflect on the sport that he says is not just about a box score.

“Beep ball is really my spot to where I can go with my friends. And that's a blessing right there that everyone's my friend, because they're not always your friends, when you go into a sport. You just got to kind of deal with people. But in this sport, I love everyone. They're all my family.”

  • Perspectives

    • School District Raises Questions About ILEARN

      Like all schools in Indiana, we were disheartened at the ILEARN results for school year 2018. We would like to raise several questions concerning this test as it relates to college and career readiness for our students. The annual Indiana Statewide Assessment (this year’s ILEARN) has been developed to evaluate college and career readiness at all levels tested. We are very troubled by our lack of understanding of what indicators in the test evaluate...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Purdue University ranks #7 for Best Value in a college education in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal

      Two Indiana Schools Break Top 50 List of Best Colleges

      The Wall Street Journal and the Times Higher Education magazine have released their annual list of the top 801 colleges and universities in the country. Two Hoosier universities are included in the top 50.

    • Purdue to Open Chick-Fil-A Amid Protests

      Citing overwhelming demand for Chick-fil-A’s food and services, Purdue University has announced it will allow the restaurant to open on campus. The university has been at the center of a debate over the Georgia-based food chain. 

    • Buttigieg to Lead Task Force on Automation

      South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg will Friday launch a task force aimed at preparing for the effects of automation at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. The mayor's office says “Automation and the Impacts on America’s Cities” will include mayors from throughout the country.

    • Sports betting is now legal in Indiana

      Protecting Data Integrity as Sports Betting Grows in Indiana

      Casinos across the state are opening sports betting parlors this week, legally allowing gamblers in Indiana to place bets on professional and some collegiate sports. Some opponents of the law are concerned the integrity of sports is at risk. Others are worried about the integrity of the data used by odds makers in the now-legal betting houses. “There's a mechanism in place that can stop that from happening, or curtail it from happening in the future,” explains...

    • (photo courtesy Cummins)

      Cummins Completes Deal for Fuel Cells Producer

      Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) has closed on its acquisition of Hydrogenics Corp., a fuel cell systems provider in Canada. Cummins says the $290 million deal helps push the company towards a wider range of power technologies, including fuel cells and hydrogen-fueled sectors.