Swank on Sports

 

 
 

News Line

 
     
  Joining us this morning on “Sports Saturday” are HS baseball coaches Joe Staab of Clear Fork, Jeff Fisher of Ontario, Jordan Oliver of Wynford and Ryan Hathaway of Fredericktown. New Western Reserve football coach Ty Stevenson. Former high school baseball coach Rob Lavengood on the Indians. Lexington tennis coach Ron Schaub. Plus, Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports on the Browns and Indians. The program runs from 10 AM to 1 PM on www.swankonsports.com

 

 
   

Clear Fork Uses Big Inning to Get Past Bellevue

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Joe Staab

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Andy Dennings

Clear Fork has won 13 of its last 15 tournament games over the last three springs and the formula has been the same great pitching, outstanding defense and aggressive baserunning and it was no different on Thursday.

The Colts (21-7) scored all of their runs in the fourth inning and they kept Bellevue at bay with tremendous defense and they upended the Redmen (4-1) in the division two district semis at Heidelberg College.

Bellevue scored first when Bryce Ray tripled over the rightfielder’s head and scored on a ground ball in the bottom of the first.

Clear Fork tallied four times in the fourth to grab the lead. Jared Lind opened the inning with a single, Hunter Auck was hit by a pitch, and A.J. Blubaugh singled to load the bases. Dylan Jewell got the Colts the lead with a two run single. Big Paul Francisco laid down a bunt, which the Redmen then threw down the right field line allowing Blubaugh to score. After a Gavin Bailey hit, Mason Cox executed a suicide squeeze to plate the final run. They call it small ball.

“We were able to get some bunts down and get some runners moving around putting the ball in play and playing the game at our pace and when we are able to do that good things can happen,” said Clear Fork coach Joe Staab.

With the way they play, Staab says they can get some big innings. “When we are able to capitalize with the next batter up and kind of just keep the momentum going and keep things going in our favor and that is when the momentum swings and we are able to hopefully have a big inning,” he said.

Bellevue coach Andy Dennings complemented Clear Fork on its execution and said they couldn’t come up with the big hit. “They were kind of able to play their style of game there. It was just kind of was what is was they won it in one inning. We had a chance to threaten there a couple of times,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “They got out of a jam there in the fifth with the bases loaded and one out. We competed really well it was just one of those days. That’s baseball.”

A lot of Bellevue’s ineffectiveness in clutch situations can be attributed to the Clear Fork defense. Second basemen Lind made a leaping grab of a line drive in the second, Auck made a couple nice picks, and then there was centerfielder Thomas Staab,

He made two fine running catches to allow the Colts to escape a bases loaded jam in the fifth, one to left center of the bat of Dalton Hay and the next to right center of the bat of pitcher Mitchell Wells. “He struggled at the plate. He wasn’t there for us at the plate, but defensively he picked us up and did a great job in centerfield,” said his older brother.

Then in the sixth he robbed Kayden Vogel of extra bases when sprinted into left center and dove, extending his body fully, and swiping the ball just before it hit the ground. Coach Joe Staab says Thomas gives all he has. “He is aggressive and he laid it out there and whatever he had to do for the team to win and came up with the big catch,” he said.

You may watch high school baseball for another hundred years and you will not see three plays made by an outfielder any better like Thomas Staab made on Thursday and they were all made at key times.

Jalen Sherriff went the distance for the Colts. He allowed four hits, walked only one and struck out three. Staab says he knows what his job is. “Jalen did a great job of pitching to contact and allowing our defense to stay on their toes and making plays for him,” said Staab.

“MOAC” rivals Clear Fork and Ontario meet for the district title on Saturday afternoon at Heidelberg. The Warriors beat Tiffin Columbian (7-0) in their semifinal.

Ontario beat Clear Fork in both of their games in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference (6-3) at Clear Fork and (6-2) at Ontario. Staab says they have to play better, it’s that simple. “You play your best baseball you have a chance to win, if you don’t you don’t have a chance to win,” he said.

Published 5/18/18

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Ontario Advances with Win over Columbian

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Jeff Fisher

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Curt Mellott

Ontario broke a scoreless tie with a two out, five run, rally in the fifth inning and went on to beat Tiffin Columbian (7-0) in the division two district semis on Thursday afternoon at Heidelberg College in Tiffin.

They will play “MOAC” rival Clear Fork for the district title on Saturday afternoon at Heidelberg.

With two outs in the fifth, Griffin Shaver got the Warriors started with a single up the middle and starting pitcher Andrew Cacchio followed with a single to left. Then perhaps the biggest hit of the day was delivered by Jake Gleason, who doubled into the leftfield corner, scoring two. Next, Avery Fisher came up with an RBI hit.

“Their starter came in and he started throwing strikes with a good two pitch mix. It just kind of took us a while to get going a little bit, but we have been scoring with two outs all season long. It has been kind of unique in a way. I don’t have the exact number of runs scored with two, but it is who we are, we don’t quit,” said Ontario baseball coach Jeff Fisher.

Tiffin Columbian stranded five runners over the first four innings and coach Curt Mellott says they just let things snowball on them in the fifth. “It was definitely the classic situation where you let a two out hit lead to many more things. Give them all the credit they are a very good baseball team. You don’t win 22 now 23 in a row without some of those things happening,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “I am just proud of our kids and how they battled. We gave great effort throughout and the chips didn’t fall how we wanted them to, but a good effort out of our guys.”

Fisher says once they got a couple of big hits they were able to capture some momentum. “It is just like passing the baton. Every batter we feel can get on base. We are not going to hit it over the fence, but we will try and hit it to it and just kind of move a lot of unique ways. The one thing that has necessarily come out is our guys are athletic. They can run and they put a lot of pressure on guys. They were catching the ball early and then kind of got leaky to our advantage,” said Fisher.

Ontario (24-3), #1 in the final Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, pushed across a couple of more runs in the seventh on an error and a ground ball.

Shaver got on base three times and Fisher says he has been a big plus to them this spring. “Griffin Shaver is a heck of a person. He is a superstar in the making here. Most people know him for his point guard exploits on Balogh court, but here on our court he has absolutely solidified a defense that struggled last year. It’s tough to score runs when the ball is not in play,” he said.

Cacchio went six innings for the Warriors allowing no runs on five hits. Fisher says it was a tremendous performance. “Andrew Cacchio didn’t know he would be starting (Thursday) until (Thursday) morning. We feel like we have a staff of pitchers that are on call at any moment and they believe they can help us win. If you asked me if Andrew Cacchio was our ace I would say no, but I would say he is among our guys that can help is win on the mound,” said Fisher.

Shortstop Avery Fisher had an outstanding day with the glove as he gobbled up everything hit his way, including going into the hole to field a ball hit by Donavan McGill in the first inning and throw Riley Sendelbach out at third and starting two double plays. “I think our guys have confidence in “Fish.” Keep the ball down and put it on the ground more often than not he is going to catch it. I think the biggest play in that sense was keeping them from scoring first. He made that play in the whole behind third and we cut down that run. Scoring first in high school baseball is huge and we did that,” said coach Fisher.

Published 5/18/18

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Madison Advances to Regional With Win Over Bellevue

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Tim Niswander

Madison handled Bellevue, the Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division champion, (8-4) in the softball division two district final on Thursday evening at Edison High School.

They beat Tiffin Columbian (5-2) in semifinal play on Wednesday and were a little disappointed. Coach Tim Niswander says they kicked it up a notch on Thursday. “We were much better. We made a couple of plays in the field. Our second baseman Paige Eldridge, just a freshman, made a diving catch on a looping liner behind first. It was just phenomenal. Jenna Wigton, who is our leftfielder, in the first inning diving catch that was sinking fast and headed to the gap and I just think from there our kids just got juiced and really played well defensively. We didn’t make a single error. Our pitcher Sloan Kiser was on. (Wednesday) night was a little bit different. She was hammering it up there,” said Niswander.

Offense was a big part of the story on Thursday too. Niswander says they gave themselves a lot of chances to score runs. “We scored five runs in the fourth inning. Before that we had runners on second and third and didn’t get a hit. After that we loaded the bases twice and still didn’t score. When you are up 5-0 and load the bases twice you aren’t thinking so much about winning the game as you are about putting it away and getting out of there early. We didn’t get the key hit, but man we did hit the ball all through the order. We had 13 hits and a couple of walks and our kids were ready to go (Thursday.) They were as disappointed as we as coaches were the night before. I think they were extremely disappointed because they know they are a better team than they showed. They wanted to go out and prove it to everybody (Thursday) and boy they sure did they played a great ballgame,” said Niswander.

Niswander says hitting 1-9 has been a big plus for the Lady Rams (23-4) all season long. “At one point this season, and I haven’t looked at the numbers the last couple of days, two thirds of the way through the season we had four kids hitting over .500. There was one point when all nine batters in the lineup were hitting over .430. That is not quite where we are at now, but we still don’t have anybody hitting under .350. When your eight hitter is hitting .350 and your nine hitter is hitting .400 you are doing some things. You are giving yourselves a shot to score a lot of runs,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “When the bottom of the order gets on like that. You start to relax a little bit when eight and nine come up, but when those kids get on and top up with nobody out and your leadoff hitter is a slapper and you have some big guns behind her you can really put together some runs in a hurry and we’ve done that. We have had numerous big innings. A seven run, eight run, we have a 11 run inning. We have pounded the ball out a little bit. We do go to sleep because we get comfortable. I think the kids are starting to understand at this point of the season, and this level we are playing we can’t afford to go to sleep. They did a really good job (Thursday) of hitting throughout the night and throughout the order the whole way through.”

Published 5/18/18

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Edison Blanks Oak Harbor in Districts

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Sean Hoover

Bryce Roberts shutout Oak Harbor (5-0) in a division three district semifinal on Thursday evening at Shelby High School and his Edison Chargers advance on to district title game on Saturday against Wynford.

The Royals edged Galion (6-5) in the first game played at Shelby on Thursday.

Coach Sean Hoover says Roberts did everything he asked. “Bryce threw a heck of a game. He threw a 74 pitch complete game in the district. You really can’t ask for anything more,” he said.

Hoover says Roberts is always around the plate and that keeps his defense alert. “He only had one walk and he had 10 strikeouts. Bryce is a high volume strike thrower and he has done it for years. He is always a low pitch count guy and he keeps the game moving,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “I really think it helps the defense behind him too because they know that every pitch is going to be around the plate and there is a pretty good chance there is going to be some action coming their way.”

Edison, who finished second behind Vermilion in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference this year, has had quality pitching all year. Hoover says that is the key to their success. “Our pitching staff has done a really good job this season. We have three or four guys that just come in and throw strikes. They will put a little wrinkle on a pitch every once in a while to change speeds just to keep the other teams off balance. Our pitching staff has really been throwing well this year,” said Hoover.

Wynford (11-13) was the seventh seed in the district, but Hoover says the Royals are peaking at the right time. “We watched that game with Galion (Thursday) and they hit the ball really well, they were fundamentally sound, they play good defense. They pitch the ball well. They will definitely be a tough opponent on Saturday,” he said.

Published 5/18/18

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Freddies Through to the Regional

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Nick Cunningham fired a two hitter and Fredericktown beat West Jefferson, the top seed in the district, (8-1) in the division three district final Thursday evening at Ohio Wesleyan University.

They will face West Lafayette Ridgewood in the regional semifinals next Thursday at Mt. Vernon Nazarene College. They beat Berlin Hiland (4-2) on Wednesday.

Coach Ryan Hathaway was everybody contributed to the win over West Jeff. “I can basically go down the list of every guy who did something good (Thursday) night. It really, truly, was a great team win. It was a good to get it done against those guys,” he said.

Hathaway adds that is the way the Freddies (17-6) have played all year. He says they have had great chemistry. “I think we return eight guys from last year’s team that saw pretty significant time,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “We lost two seniors that were good arms and a shortstop for us, but these guys have done a good job of filling in and it’s been next guy up. They have really put in a lot of work. I think what is fun with them is they all enjoy being around each other. They are just a fun group.”

Cunningham has been the Fredericktown ace this season and Hathaway says he was on par Thursday night, that’s for sure. “Our pitching was great again (Thursday.) Nick Cunningham, he is our guy. He went out and threw a two hitter. There really wasn’t a time when we didn’t think Nick was in control of the game. He was throwing his fastball and curveball for a strike. He really was sharp and he has been sharp all year. That is the kind of player that Nick is,” said Hathaway.

Published 5/18/18

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Plymouth Blanks Seneca East in District Semifinal

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Jake Strayer

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Rick Bowerman

Treven Lane tossed a five hit shutout and Plymouth beat Seneca East (5-0) on Wednesday afternoon in a division four district semifinal in Galion.

They play South Central on Friday for a district title. The Trojans beat Mohawk (6-1) in the other semifinal.

Lane did not allow a runner past second base and four of the five hits came over the last two innings. “He threw 73 pitches in seven innings, 10 and change an inning. I was incredible. That might have been the best high school pitched game I have every seen. I know through six innings he had only thrown 10 balls. He was on (Wednesday,)” said first year Plymouth baseball coach Jake Strayer.

Lane did not have a three ball count to any hitter all day. Strayer says he was in total command. “That is what we have been preaching all year long. Strike one, get ahead. Strike one, get away. Battle from in front, don’t battle from behind,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “He did that (Wednesday.) He came in with a laser focus. I was at school (Wednesday) and came in and was focused.”

Seneca East coach Rick Bowerman says Lane kept them guessing at the plate. “Their pitcher did a good job of keeping us off balance. He got ahead in the count early on. He never threw the ball down the middle of the plate. He was throwing an off speed pitch. He would be down 2-0 and needing a strike and he was throwing it on the outside corner at the knees. He did a great job pitching. There at the end we get a little too big of a lead and they do a nice job throwing behind the runner,” said Bowerman.

Plymouth tallied three runs in the top of the first off Seneca East starter Jake Hall. Walker Elliot singled to open the game, Marcus Adams walked, Seth Bailey was hit by a pitch and then Lane helped himself with a two run single. Another run scored on a groundout.

Bowerman says it was a tough way to start the game. “Our pitcher Jake Hall has been fabulous all year. (Wednesday) he just wasn’t sharp. He had a bad first inning, a base hit, walk a batter, hit a batter. Other than that the double he gave up to Bailey. He hung a curveball right in the middle of the plate, but besides that he battled. That’s baseball our offense just wasn’t there,” he said.

Plymouth added two more on RBI double by Bailey in fifth. He later scored on a wild pitch.

Strayer says they have been talking to the kids about getting off to a good start. “That is another thing we have worked on all year long is coming out strong. Starting strong and jumping on the pedal early and not letting up. We have gotten better with that as the year has gone on. (Wednesday) is the best game we have played all year. Hopefully, we keep rolling into Friday playing like that,” he said.

Published 5/17/18

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South Central Beats Mohawk in Districts

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Ty Dendinger

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Eric Hoover

Isiah Seidel went the distance allowing three hits and striking out 11 and Ben Lamoreaux had four hits as South Central downed Mohawk (6-1) in a division four district semifinal in Galion on Wednesday.

The Trojans return Friday to face fellow Firelands Conference member Plymouth for the district title. The Big Red shutout Seneca East (5-0) in Wednesday’s first game.

Seidel struck out the side in the top of the first, but he needed 26 pitches to do it. “He is just such a competitor. I think he was at a point where he had too much energy and he wasn’t executing his mechanics very well and overthrowing a little bit. We got him settled down and we were able to hold him down there. He was able to come out and throw a great game for us,” said South Central coach Ty Dendinger.

Mohawk struck first blood by scoring their only run in the top of the fourth on a double by Bryce Kirian and an RBI single by Tyler Hayman. “You always feel good scoring first it gives you a confidence boost. I was hoping we could relax a little bit defensively and feel more confident making plays with the lead, but they came right back and found some ways to score themselves and put the pressure right back on us. We lost a little bit of control on the mound and they had a couple timely hits and that’s baseball,” said Mohawk coach Eric Hoover.

South Central got in the board with three in their half of the fourth. Lamoreaux got on with an infield hit and stole a base and Tyson Cooper walked. Curtis Fredericks followed with an RBI single. After Josh Mayer walked, Grant Seidel followed with a two run single to make it (3-1) Trojans.

Dendinger says were starting take advantage of the right pitches. “Give their pitcher credit he had us off balance and he was doing anything he wanted to do the first few innings. We stayed the course and we kept preaching to be aggressive on fastballs and we got a few guys to really step up and get the big hit for us,” he said.

South Central would score another in the fifth on an RBI single by Cooper and two in the sixth on an infield single by Lamoreaux and RBI groundout by Isiah Seidel.

Dendinger felt they were more aggressive at the plate as the game wore on. “We were taking a lot of good pitches, especially called third strikes early. I talked to the guys you have to be ready. We want to hit here in these big situations and some guys came through in the clutch for us,” he said.

Plymouth beat South Central twice in conference games, including (9-3) last Saturday. Dendinger says its is time from some revenge. “They have got us twice, we owe them, but they are a great team. The guy they are going to roll out there on the mound is going to be tough to hit. We are going to roll Ben Lamoreaux out on the mound and we will see how it goes,” he said.

Published 5/17/18

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Madison Must be Better

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Tim Niswander

Madison was good enough to win Wednesday, but they are going to have to better if they are to do it again Thursday.

The Lady Rams (22-4), #2 in the final Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in the large school division, beat Tiffin Columbian (5-2) on Wednesday in the division two district semifinals at Edison High School. They play Bellevue (20-3), #4 in our poll, in the district final, again at Edison, on Thursday. The Lady Red downed Ontario (5-1) on Wednesday.

Madison softball coach Tim Niswander says really they were not at their best on Wednesday. “We played okay. We made some mistakes both in the field and on the bases that probably cost us some runs. Sloan Kiser was our pitcher (Wednesday) night and she did not have her best location. Her stuff was moving, but her control was a little bit off and we felt like we were behind in the count a lot. She battled and at the end of the night we looked up and she had only given up three hits. She did a nice job getting through that. We made enough plays and did just enough to win,” he said.

Niswander says they have to play better and he is confident that they will. “We have been in that situation before were we didn’t feel like we played at our best level and still got enough breaks and made enough plays to get bye and get a win. We told the kids we didn’t play our best softball. We will fix that (Thursday) and we will play our best softball (Thursday.) We are thankful that we made enough plays (Wednesday) night to win,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “Tiffin has gotten a lot better. We played them a couple of years ago and they have improved. They have had a really nice season. They just beat Bellevue. We are not going to hang our hat on that, but it does give our kids that little bit of confidence that the team we just beat, beat the team we are playing next. Hopefully, we will relax a little bit more (Thursday) and take a better approach.”

Bellevue won a seventh straight league title this year. This time in the Lake Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference. Niswander says this is typical Bellevue and they have a great leadoff hitter. “They look like Bellevue. They have got a couple of good pitchers. Their leadoff hitter Morgan Pressler is crazy fast and she can hit the ball with power, slash, bunt, and she just goes. She is extremely aggressive on the bases. We have got to control that kid. If we can keep her off the bases and minimize the damage the middle of their order does, which Ontario did (Wednesday.) Their three, four, five kids didn’t have a single hit against Ontario, but Pressler really put some pressure on them. She scored a couple of runs and made some things happen. We really have to be aware of what she can do and try and minimize the damage with her. I think if we do that we will be okay,” said Niswander.

Published 5/17/18

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Hillsdale Beats Chippewa in Extra Innings

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Michael Wolf

Hillsdale showed its metal on Wednesday.

They battled back twice an upended rival Chippewa (4-3) in 10 innings in a division three district semifinal Wednesday afternoon at Norwayne High School.

They now face Waynedale, a (4-0) winner over Loudonville Wednesday, for the district title at Norwayne on Thursday. The two teams split their games in the Wayne County Athletic League and shared the league title.

“Our kids (Wednesday) battled back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to send the game into extra innings. We won it on a walk off wide pitch. So, it was crazy,” said Hillsdale baseball coach Michael Wolf.

Chippewa built a (2-0) on a botched double played attempt by Hillsdale in the top of the sixth inning. The Falcons (20-4), #3 in the final Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the small school division, scored a run in their half of the sixth on a Chippewa error. Trey Williams doubled in the bottom of the seventh for Hillsdale and scored on an RBI single by Briar Funk to tie it.

Kevin Weaver gave the Chipps a (3-2) lead in the ninth on a RBI single by Kevin Weaver in the ninth, but Hillsdale would respond again when Garrett Goodwin doubled and scored on a single by Jay Luikart.

The deciding run in the bottom of the tenth came home when Alex Becker got to third base and scored on a wild pitch.

Wolf says his team played with heart and determination. “This group of kids it so much more mentally mature then they were last year. Basically, it is the same team that we had last year minus two seniors. Last year we wouldn’t have won this game,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “Our kids just kept battling through so adversity and things that happened over the course of the game. Some of the kids that had some bad things happen to them early came back and were really were a crucial part in getting us back in the game and eventually winning it.”

Wolf says this baseball team believes it will be successful and that belief is going to be challenged on Thursday. “Our kids definitely believe in their ability to take on any opponent and be able to compete with them. Obviously, (Thursday) is going to be another challenge with team that we split with during the regular season and then shared a Wayne County Athletic League title with in Waynedale,” said Wolf.

Hilldale beat Wyanedale (8-5) and lost to the Golden Bears (14-4) on back to back days on April 10 and 11. Wolf says the rubber match is Thursday. “We are looking forward to it. I know coach McDowell and his Golden Bears are looking forward to it. Both teams will go out there and we will find our who is better,” he said.

Published 5/17/18

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Lucas Gets Past Seneca East

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Jim Rader

Lucas has advanced to its third straight birth in the division four district softball final.

They beat Seneca East (4-1) in Tuesday evening’s district semifinal at Shelby High School. They will return Friday to Shelby to play Mohawk, who beat Monroeville (10-3) on Tuesday, in the district championship.

Erica Westfield was tremendous on the mound for the Lady Cubs. Veteran coach Jim Rader says she is a cool customer in pressure situations like Tuesday. “We got excellent pitching (Tuesday) night. She was surrounded by a very good supporting cast of defense. Erica has just been throwing very well for us this year. When she gets in the pitcher’s circle I think she feels very comfortable, in the zone. She has a tendency to get stronger as she goes and she pitched very well (Tuesday) night,” said Rader.

Lucas scored twice in the fifth inning and added two more in the sixth on a two run homer by Morgan Spitler. Rader says they just had to be patient. “I kept telling the girls nobody was striking out and they kept hitting the ball. I kept telling them that we are hitting the ball, we are hitting the ball. Be patient and keep doing what you are doing and they are going to start dropping and they did,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “We were able to put a couple of key hits together and take advantage of a couple of miscues on their part. Then a two run homer by Morgan Spitler and that sort of set the table for us and we were able to hold on an win a good ballgame.”

This will be the third straight year Lucas and Mohawk have played each other in the district tournament at Shelby. Lucas has won the previous two, (13-6) in a semifinal in 2016 and (7-1) in the district final last spring.

Rader knows they are in for a battle come Friday. “The last two years we have faced Mohawk. Two years ago we faced them in the district semifinals and last year we played them in the district finals. So, obviously they are a very good team because they continue to repeat as we have. We are going to have our work cut out for us. We have to prepare and keep doing what we are doing and hopefully put ourselves in position again at the end to win a ballgame,” said Rader.

Published 5/16/18

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Freddies Edges Pleasant in District Semis

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Ryan Hathaway

Fredericktown pushed across a run in the bottom of the fourth inning and Anthony Caputo made it stand up as the Freddies edged Marion Pleasant (1-0) in the division three district semifinals Tuesday evening at Mt. Vernon Nazarene College.

They will play either West Jefferson or Marion Elgin. Their game Tuesday was suspended in the second inning due to rain. The district final is scheduled for Thursday at a site to be named later.

Caputo got a complete game shutout for Fredericktown (16-6), #2 in the final Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the small school division. Coach Ryan Hathaway says his location was outstanding. “We got seven innings our of basically our number two guy. It was fun to see him pitch. It was nice to see him come out and throw a curve ball for a strike anytime we wanted. He has been a captain on our team and a leader. It was good to see him have his night (Tuesday) night,” said Hathaway.

Hathaway says Caputo has been a leader for them all season and he says it really puts a smile on his face when kids like him our successful. “Those are the guys that you lean on at this time. We always say that our best players make the big plays when we need them in the big games. That was the case (Tuesday) night. We need a great performance from a guy that works hard and does all of the right stuff. It is just good to see those guys get rewarded with the payoff in a big game,” he said.

Fredericktown has been one of the best offensive teams in North Central Ohio this season, but on Tuesday Hathaway says they have to scratch for everything they got, which was a single run in the fourth inning. “We scored the only guy we got on third base all night. That was the one chance in the fourth inning to get a run. Other than that was never had a guy get to third base,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “When you look at the amount of runs we have scored throughout the season. We are used to scoring at least five or six a game, so only getting one (Tuesday) night it was a little interesting in the dugout. We needed one and we got it when it counted.”

Published 5/16/18

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Seneca East Gets Piece of “N10” Title

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Rick Bowerman

Bo Smith lead Seneca East past Upper Sandusky (4-1) on Monday evening and the Tigers earn a share of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title with Carey in the process.

Coach Rick Bowerman says they had to work hard to get it. “Starting last Monday with the Carey game we knew we had a tough road ahead of us. Carey is an awesome team and we played very well to beat them 3-0. Then we had a sectional final game in there, then two with Ridgedale, which is a very good team, their coach is doing good things there and they gave us all we could handle,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday after the win, “Then (Monday) night Upper is always a strong team. We just came out and did what we had to do. Our motto all year has been pitching and good defense. We don’t score a lot of runs. We score enough to win games and that is what we did (Monday) night.”

Bowerman says they gave the ball to senior Bo Smith and he tuned in a tremendous performance. “Our pitcher Bo Smith earned his tenth win of the season (Monday) night. He is a senior and that is who we want on the mound in a game like that, a conference championship and he as up to the task. Our defense came through and we did enough offensively to get the win,” he said.

Seneca East only had five hits, but they also made use of four Upper Sandusky errors. Scoring once in the first and three more on the third.

In a 27 game regular season, and most teams are going to play that many this season due to the weather, it is hard to get 10 wins, but Bowerman says Smith has been very focused and ready each time out, no matter the situation. “Very seldom do you get 10 wins. He has done an outstanding job. His only defeat was to an undefeated Carey team. He gave up zero earned runs. We had a couple of boo boos and lost 3-2 in eight innings. He has a great attitude, so when things are going bad or things are not going quite our way he doesn’t pout. He is a great senior leader and I just couldn’t be more happy for that kid,” said Bowerman.

Seneca East (20-3), #4 in the final Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the small school division, plays Plymouth in the division four district semifinals on Wednesday at Galion High School. Bowerman says they played the Big Red a couple of weeks ago and they know what they are up against. “We played Plymouth early in a non-league game and beat them 5-1, but both teams weren’t playing their number one players. It was a non-league game, so we were playing some subs. They are a very good team. They hit the ball and we are going to get good pitching. It is going to be a battle, that’s for sure,” he said.

Published 5/15/18

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Colts Ready for Tournament

Clear Fork beat Marion Harding (6-2) Monday evening in a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference game in their final tune up for the division three district baseball tournament that starts on Thursday at Heidelberg College in Tiffin.

The Colts (20-7), #4 in the final Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, will play Bellevue in the second semifinal. It will follow a matchup between Tiffin Columbian and Ontario.

Clear Fork coach Joe Staab says hopefully this week works out according to plan. “We wanted to play (Monday) and that gives us Tuesday and Wednesday to practice. With this weather, hopefully, we will be able to stay away from rain and get outside,” he said.

They will finish in second place in this their first year in the “MOAC” and Staab says he liked the competition. “It is a very competitive league. It’s a lot of fun. The teams are quality teams. They play good baseball. They are going to do things like bunt and run. It is a lot fun playing in the league and competing. It has been a good experience,” said Staab.

Bellevue (19-3), #2 in our poll, beat Clear Fork (6-3) in a regular season game and Staab says they are in for a big challenge. “Bellevue is a great program, a great team. Coach Dennings does an incredible job up there,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday night, “They are very talented up there. They are very athletic and physical. It is going to be a fun atmosphere. I think Bellevue is going to bring it. You are going to have to play your best baseball.”

Bellevue beat Shelby (2-1) on Friday in their sectional final on Bryce Ray’s solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning. Staab says they are fully aware of Ray’s capabilities. “You don’t want him to beat you, but he is a great player. Baseball is not the only sport that he does and incredible job in. He is an athlete, a competitor. He is going to do whatever it takes for his team to win,” he said.

Published 5/15/18

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Hillsdale Advances in Tournament

Hillsdale destroyed Norwayne (16-1) in five innings to claim a division three sectional title on Thursday evening and Friday they have the chance to earn another title.

The Falcons (19-5,10-3), #4 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the small school division, play at home against Chippewa on Friday and a win will give them a share of the Wayne County Athletic League title with Waynedale.

Coach Michael Wolf they were at the top of their game on Thursday. “Our focus and intensity was at a season high (Thursday) night. Every kid throughout our lineup was just grinding away each at bat. Obviously, Jake Luikart game out and pitched a very strong game for us on the mound,” said Wolf.

Luikart has six strikeouts to get the win.

The offensive onslaught was paced by Briar Funk, who had a homer and two RBI. Garret Goodwin went three for three with two doubles and two runs scored for the Falcons. Goodwin is expected to start the game on Friday against Chippewa.

With two wins this year over Norwayne already having been collected and the game with Chippewa ahead it might have been easy to look to Friday and beyond, but Wolf says their heads were where they were supposed to be. “They were focused on the task at hand and were not looking ahead. Obviously, winning the sectional title on your home field is a thing of pride for them, so my hat is off to my kids and I am really proud of them,” he said.

Hillsdale also plays Chippewa in the district semifinals next Wednesday at Norwayne. The Chips beat Northwestern (5-4) in their sectional final on Thursday.

Wolf says Chippewa has a history of success. “Chippewa is a three time defending league champ. They won’t be defending that league title this year, but they are still a pretty good baseball team,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “They had beaten us at their place earlier in the year 5-3. We know how good they have been and how good they are. We have to come out and play up to our potential.”

Published 5/11/18

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Trojans Get Past Cubs

Isiah Seidel led South Central past Lucas (5-4) in the division four sectional final in Greenwich on Thursday evening.

Seidel broke a (4-4) tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with an RBI single to give the Trojans the lead. “Isiah Seidel came through with a big hit and helped out his own cause after Simon Blair got on and stole second. Isiah was able to put it in play and got us a run,” said coach Ty Dendinger.

Seidel also went all seven innings on the mound striking out 11 and allowing only four hits.

Lucas scored three times in the top of the first inning, but after that Dendinger says Seidel was able to bear down n allowed only one more run, which came in the top of the fifth when Lucas tied the game. “Give them credit they were able to hit the ball early on in the game. We had an error on the first batter of the game and a couple of misreads in the outfield,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “They took advantage and did a nice job of driving in three runs, but fortunately we didn’t let it bother us too much and we were able to match them with three in the bottom half of the first inning.”

Jeb Grover started for Lucas and he struck out 12 over six innings, but the Trojans were able to collect 11 hits. Dendinger felt it was important for them to bounce back in that first inning. “As a freshman he was able to beat us in the tournament, so we knew he was a really good pitcher and we were able to get those right back. I was really happy because I knew runs were going to be at a premium with him on the mound,” he said.

Seidel, Blair and Ben Lamoreaux all had two hits for South Central, who will play Mohawk in the division four district semifinals next Wednesday at Galion High School. Mohawk beat Crestline (10-4) on Thursday.

However, before then they have three games to finish up in the Firelands Conference, beginning with Monroeville on Friday. Dendinger says they certainly have some things to work on. “We have Monroeville (Friday) and I’m happy to get Ben (Lamoreaux) back on the mound and give him some innings. Hopefully we can get some guys that have been struggling at the plat and get them going again. Just kind of stay tuned up and ready to go next Wednesday with Mohawk,” said Dendinger.

Published 5/11/18

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Clear Fork Shuts Out Vermilion in Tournament Opener

Clear Fork has advanced to the state final four in division three the last two years, but this year they are in division two and their road to Columbus would seem to be more difficult.

However, they got started on the right foot on Wednesday with a (2-0) win over a very good Vermilion team in the sectional semi.

It was a long trip, something Clear Fork is used to, and coach Joe Staab says they were excited to get on the bus. “It was a long bus ride up there, but the kids got out of school early, so they were pretty happy about that,” he said.

Jalen Sherriff was outstanding on the mound on Wednesday for Clear Fork, who has showed some depth in their rotation this season despite the loss of Mitch Dulin, who started that state semifinal last spring, for the season to an arm injury. Staab says Sherriff did what is he was supposed to do against the Sailors. “He pitched really, really well pitching to contact. He got in a little bit of trouble with walks and free bases. He did a great job and our defense played really well behind him,” he said.

Clear Fork kicked the ball all around in a (6-2) loss to Ontario in a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference on Monday. Staab says they were able to clean that up on Wednesday. “Monday we were pretty poor defensively and good baseball teams are going to take advantage of that. Luckily (Wednesday) night we were able to field and throw the baseball a little bit better,” he said.

Clear Fork (18-6) scored twice in the first inning and Sherriff made it stand up, but Staab would like to get some more clutch hits beginning on Friday. “We scored two in the first inning and then weren’t able to score again the rest of the game,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night after the win, “We had a lot of opportunities with the bases loaded and runners on second and third about every single inning we are just that big hit away from breaking it open and putting some extra runs and some insurance on the board. Our defense and our pitching took care of it. Hopefully, our bats can heat up for the next game.”

Clear Fork visits Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division co-champion Clyde on Friday. The Fliers (17-4), #3 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, scored seven runs in the sixth inning to beat Port Clinton (7-6) on Wednesday.

Published 5/10/18

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Clyde with Huge Rally to Upend Port Clinton

There was almost a tremendous upset in the division two baseball tournament on Wednesday, but then Clyde got hot.

They scored seven times in the bottom of the sixth inning and the third seeded Fliers rallied to beat Port Clinton (7-6) and advance to Friday’s sectional final against Clear Fork.

Coach George Parks says they just told the kids they had time. “We talked to the kids and told them this wasn’t a football or basketball game where they could run the clock our on us. We were still in it and we were fortunate enough the score seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and come back and get the win,” he said.

Parks says Grant Reese was not in the starting lineup, but he had a big impact on the game and that sixth inning. “We didn’t start Grant Reese (Wednesday) because we were going to use him in the bullpen. He came in in the middle of the game and he led off the bottom of the sixth and absolute bomb over the outfield fence to get us going and we really built off of that,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night after the win, “They walked a couple of guys and one thing led to another and the next thing you know we had our big inning.”

Clyde (17-4), #3 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, shared the Bay Division title in the Sandusky Bay Conference with Bellevue.

Parks says they have played a solid schedule. “We have talked about having a tough league getting us ready for tournament play. Our non-conference schedule really helped out. We played two with Ashland, we played two with Toledo St. John’s. We had a couple scheduled with Lexington and Clear Fork that got washed out to help us get ready for this moment,” said Parks.

Clyde plays Clear Fork (18-6) in the second final at home on Friday. The Colts beat Vermilion (2-0) on Wednesday. Parks says they Clear Fork will try and put pressure on them. “They are a well coached team. Had the privilege of coaching against them a couple of years ago in the tournament. I don’t know too much about them as far as players. We know they are disciplined and they like to do a lot of little things with the bunt and move runners,” said Parks.

Published 5/10/18

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Shelby Ready for Bellevue

Shelby dominated Mansfield Senior (16-0) in its first tournament game on Wednesday and now they play at arch rival Bellevue in the division two sectional final on Friday.

The Tygers had only won one game this year, but Shelby coach Jon Amicone says they didn’t take them lightly. “I loved the way our kids competed (Wednesday) night. Definitely there was more focus. It is a new season, obviously, everybody starts with an 0-0 record and I really apricate what our kids did with focus and winning the baseball game and I thought they played very well,” he said.

Bellevue (18-3), # 4 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, shared the Bay Division title in the Sandusky Bay Conference title with Clyde this year. They beat Shelby in a pair of one run games this year, 3-2 and 4-3, both decided in the seventh inning.

Amicone says the schools have an outstanding rivalry. “We have a really nice rivalry. It’s a friendly rivalry between two schools. In both games we lost by one run late in the game and our kids really competed really well against Bellevue. I think when you play a rivalry game like that it really brings out the best in our players. I hope we do the same for them. It’s a really good baseball game each time the teams compete,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “It is always very competitive, it is always very tense. I think that is what makes the game fun. That is what high school sports is about, playing at a very high level. That is what you get when you get Shelby and Bellevue playing baseball against each other.”

Amicone says mistakes, or the lack of them, are going to be big in this game. He says they can’t get behind early. “There is very little margin for error, specifically in our district. If you are fortunate to move on in this district the margin for error gets less and less. At tournament time it is just very hard to play catch up with good teams you are playing against and the good pitching you are seeing. If you make those little mistakes, especially early in the game it is almost impossible to play catch up sand try and win consistently that way. The margin of error is very small and our kids know that. It is all about that focus from the first pitch to the last,” said Amicone.

Published 5/10/18

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Norwalk Hammers Perkins

Norwalk avenged a loss in the first round of the tournament last year to Perkins and beat the Pirates (12-2) in a sectional semifinal at Norwalk on Wednesday evening.

Perkins had also beaten the Truckers (4-2) on Monday in a Lake Division game in the Sandusky Bay Conference.

However, coach Wes Douglas says Wednesday was a different day. “That is probably the biggest thing in high school baseball the pitcher on the mound, maybe at any level. Austin Christman got us off to a good start (Wednesday) night,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “Our offense scored three runs in the first inning and chased their starter fairly early. Things snowballed for us in the right direction.”

Douglas says they were able to score early and that allowed them to not be so tight at the plate and get some big hits. “It just relaxes the guys at the plate, which has been our nemesias this year. We got a little confidence. I think we had 16 hits, we played 18 players. Got some bunts down early, ran the bases and we built some momentum,” he said.

They play Ontario (20-3), #2 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, and Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference champions on Friday in the sectional finals in division two. The Warriors have won 20 in a row and beat Sandusky (15-1) on Wednesday in their tournament opener.

Douglas says they know what they are up against. “We are at Ontario on Friday against a very hot team, a very solid team, well coached. Anything can happen in baseball, so we will go down there and give it our best shot. I’m sure the Vegas odds are against us. We have a good feeling right now,” he said.

Published 5/10/18

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Ontario “MOAC” Champs

In its first year in a new league, the Ontario Warriors are Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference baseball champions.

They scored five times in the second inning and beat second place Clear Fork (6-2) on Monday evening.

Coach Jeff Fisher says it is gratifying to reach a goal you have set. “It feels great to see our kids achieve a goal that they set out in preseason to do and it was just one of those things that week by week you could kind of sense they were on the road for this championship season. To do it against a program that is elite in our area is an added bonus there. It really means something,” said Fisher.

After two walks by Clear Fork starter Gavin Bailey to start the bottom half of the first inning, Ontario’s (19-3,12-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll, Luke Smith delivered an RBI hit give the Warriors a (1-0) lead. Then the second inning the Colts had four errors and Smith punctuated that inning with another RBI hit and suddenly it was (6-0) Warriors.

Fisher says they have taken advantage of opportunities all year. “It has been our M.O. all year. I don’t think we have a home run all season, but we have a bunch of guys up and down the lineup that know how to battle and get on base and then create pressure. Hopefully that kind of philosophy continues throughout this week with bigger goals ahead,” he said.

Clear Fork had six errors on the day and Colts coach Joe Staab says you just can’t have mistakes like that against very good teams. “We had an inning there where we put some guys on for free, had some errors, threw the ball around a little bit and Ontario was able to capitalize on it,” said Staab.

The win went to starter Andrew Cacchio, making just his second start of the spring. Fisher feels he was tremendous, striking out four and walking two over four plus innings. “Specifically, our starter Andrew Cacchio had his first start of the year last Monday. He had three innings under his belt all together. When you look at the depth of our classes here collectively Andrew Cacchio has always been a pitcher. He had a preseason injury related to his lower back. It was tentative whether he was even going to play this year coming out of soccer. He worked like crazy to just be able to play baseball for us,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “To see him on the mound and be able to put that kind of pressure on his lower back is just absolutely fantastic. He is a warrior. In his second start of the year to do it in championship fashion. He gave us length and then we passed the ball to Will (Watkins), who has been doing what he does all season long and not just being a gap guy, but (Monday) night he closed.”

Clear Fork (12-6,9-3) had their chances to get back in the game. The loaded the bases in both the fifth and sixth innings, but Watkins got out of the jams both times. Staab says they couldn’t get the big hit. “Had the bases loaded back to back innings, the first time with nobody out and we weren’t able to execute. We had a ground ball to the pitcher, then we had a strikeout and then a popup. When you are not able to execute and take advantage of those situations then the momentum swings right back in Ontario’s favor,” he said.

Both teams play tournament games on Wednesday in division two, Ontario hosts Sandusky, while Clear Fork travels to Vermilion.

Published 5/08/18

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Seneca East Back in First Place

After a tough, eight inning loss to Carey (3-2) on Friday, the Seneca East Tigers bounced back and downed the Blue Devils (3-0) on Monday to move back into a first place tie with Carey.

Carey (20-1,16-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the small school division, is finished with conference play, but the Tigers (16-3,12-1), #4 in our poll, still must play Upper Sandusky and Ridgedale twice in “N10” games.

On Monday, the Tigers really played well, beginning with starter Jake Hall, who allowed only two hits, while striking out nine and walking just two in going the distance for Seneca East, according to coach Rick Bowerman. “Everybody played well (Monday) night. Jake Hall, our pitcher, threw a gem of a game. He gave up two hits and no runs. We had no errors on defense,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “We pushed three across in the second inning. I think it was huge scoring early like that. I think Carey knew they were in for a dogfight. When you get three runs early on I think the other team kind of presses a little bit and it really played to our advantage.”

Rickie Lacy’s two run single highlighted a three run Seneca East second inning and that was all of the scoring there would be in this one.

A key start for Bowerman was the fact that his team had no errors on Monday. Plus, he says Hall’s location was outstanding. “We executed and we played great defense. Jake Hall executed some fantastic pitches. It was one of those nights whenever we called a pitch, the location, that’s where he threw it. He did a great job,” said Bowerman.

They had allowed three unearned runs due to four errors in the loss to Carey last Friday.

The Seneca East coach says May is when you want to be at your best. “This is the time. Everybody wants their team to peak at the right time. Hopefully we are staring peak right now,” he said.

Published 5/08/18

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South Central Closes to One

South Central beat Firelands Conference leader Norwalk St. Paul (7-1) in a big conference game on Monday and reduced their deficit to just one game in the baseball standings.

Crestview is also a game back after beating New London (2-1) on Monday.

Ben Lamoreaux went the distance for the Trojans striking out 10, allowing just four hits and no earned runs. “It was about the second full game we have played. We hit really well, we fielded it well and a really good pitching performance out of Ben Lamoreaux (Monday) night,” said coach Ty Dendinger.

Sophomore Isaiah Seidel has been the staff ace all year, but he pitched Saturday against Mapleton, an (11-7) win, and is expected to start the Trojans (12-5) tournament game this week. So, Dendinger handed the ball to Lamoreaux. “I pitched Isiah (Seidel) on Saturday to try and get another win in the conference and give us an opportunity to still compete with St. Paul for the title. I knew Ben was going to have to step up (Monday) night. Our offense got us a couple of runs early and allowed him to settle down and he threw his best game of the season by far,” said Dendinger.

South Central put up single tallies in the first and second innings and added four in the third.

Seidel was a standout on offense on Monday against St. Paul. He had four hits and Dendinger says he has started to swing a pretty hot bat. “Isiah Seidel led us on the offensive side (Monday.) He went four for four with two doubles and two RBI. So, he is really coming on at the plate,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win against St. Paul, “That is really big we need him hitting here at the end of the year. We have a few guys that are struggling a little bit that we have been relying on all year. It is nice to have Isiah picking us up on the offensive side.”

To move into a share of first place, the Trojans are going to have to beat the Flyers again on Tuesday. Dendinger says they are going need an even better performance. “We have had some trouble with our league back to backs. We just don’t seem to have the energy the second day that we have the first day. Going up to St. Paul they are a really, really quality team and we are going to have to bring an even better game (Tuesday) at their place. They are going to be ready for us. I feel like I am confident in my team, but we are definitely going to have to bring our “A” game again (Tuesday,” said Dendinger.

Published 5/08/18

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Highland Earns Share of “KMAC” Title

Highland secured a share of the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference baseball title with a (12-1) win over Mt. Gilead on Monday evening,

They share the title with Fredericktown. The two teams split their two regular season meetings this year.

Coach Donnie Kline says winning a title is always special. “We try to stress that to the boys to kind of soak it in for a night. Of course, the sectional tournament starts (Tuesday,) so we will have that as the next goal. All of the winter workouts, all of the weightlifting, all of the running, all of the cage work. That is always the first goal, so to check off that first box is really sweet and again I hope the boys can really let it soak in and they can enjoy it for a night or two,” Kline.

Mack Anglin has four RBI on Monday. Lane Ballard had three hits and Anglin, Sam Lopiccolo and Tate Tobin all has two. Kline says they have a lot of depth. “We have been a little more blessed with a deeper roster. We tell the guys it is almost like having a collegiate approach. We have 12, 13 guys that are probably starters on most teams. It is kind of a hot hand approach. We have been able to maximize that so far and hope to keep doing that,” he said.

Kyle Munday got the win for Scots, his third of the season.

Highland (14-8) plays host to Columbus Beechcroft in a first round tournament game in division two on Tuesday. Kline says they need the same approach they have had all season. “It is a lot of fun. We tell the boys all of the time it is just a tournament, that’s all it is. We have the brackets up and so we cab see where we are headed here. We host Beechcroft (Tuesday.) If we are successful in that game we will go to Licking Valley, a really tough “LCL” opponent,” he told Swankonspirts.com on Monday night, “It is one game at a time. If your pitchers are on and you have strong defense up the middle and you are able to play a little small ball offensively and defensively and hopefully the bats get hot and we get the right bounce and we are able to play for a little bit.”

Published 5/08/18

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Clear Fork Has to be at the Top of its Game

Clear Fork needs to string some wins together and consistency has been an issue for the Lady Colts this year.

They hammered a good Highland team (9-2) Thursday after losing to Marion Pleasant (10-6) in a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference game on Wednesday. They play rival Ontario in a league game on Friday.

Coach Jeff Gottfried says they came out ready to play against Highland and where able to put some things together. “(Thursday) night was one of those games talking to the Highland coach that they would have rather practiced. They had a very, very tough loss in eight innings to Cardington (Wednesday) night, so they felt like they had lost a conference title there, or their chance at it, and now they need some help. So, they were kind of down in the dumps. It was one of those nights when they didn’t really feel up to playing. I know the taste we had in our mouth from (Wednesday) night. We got beat in a similar way, we had a lead, and our kids weren’t happy about it and they were anxious to get back on the field. So, there were different mindsets going into that game,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win on Thursday night, “Our kids responded and when the bell rang they were ready to go. We played very, very well top to bottom, defense was solid, timely hitting. It was our Jekyll team that showed up (Thursday) night. Hyde was the one that was there (Wednesday.) We have been dealing with some inconsistencies. I think when you have that with some youth in some key spots. That is not putting any blame on anybody, never is, but when you don’t have seniors in those main areas you are going to have some kids make some mistakes and also play well some other nights.”

Carson Crowner had three hits and two runs scored and Haylie Miller has three hits and four RBI for Clear Fork.

The Lady Colts scored five runs in the second inning and Gottfried says it allowed them to relax and feel more comfortable. “It allowed our kids to relax. It allowed our pitcher to relax. We have been scoring, but we haven’t had those crooked numbers. It has been one here, one there and so on. When you get one and you give up twos and threes, guess what you are behind. We had that big lead 6-1. The key was we got a zero in the bottom half of that same inning and then we came back the following inning and scored another run. It was nice to see us add on more because sometimes I think when you do get a lead you relax more. We tell the girls our mojo is to keep the foot on the accelerator. Let’s just keep playing because you never know and that’s is what our girls did they played very well,” said Gottfried.

Clear Fork (15-6,4-6), #4 in the Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in the small school divison, plays at Ontario (6-6,6-3) on Friday and Gottfried says this is an important game for them in a number of ways. “It is one of those games that is good competition going into tournament play. I think both of us are actually out of the league race. If you want to call Lexington a rival when we were in the “OCC” Ontario very easily could be the rival in the “MOAC.” All of our kids know each other. It’s about pride. It is about putting the shoes on the right way and just getting after it. I know our girls haven’t forgot what they did to us about two weeks ago when the score was 9-1 and basically wiped us all over the field. I think our girls will have the right attitude going up there to their place. The bottom line it is about getting better. We have a tournament game here in another week. We want to make sure we are playing our best ball when it comes to that time,” said Gottfried.

Published 5/04/18

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Ontario to Face a Challenge

Ontario leads the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference baseball standings by two games over Clear Fork and they have won their last 17 games in a row.

However, they likely face their toughest stretch since they were in South Carolina with Lexington on Friday and Shelby on Saturday in non-league games and a chance to win the “MOAC” with a win over Clear Fork on Monday.

Ontario (17-3,11-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, beat North Union (18-12) on Monday and Galion (9-2) on Tuesday and (10-7) on Wednesday.

Coach Jeff Fisher says they doing what’s needed. “We are finding ways to win. All of those games were hard fought. Parts of those games we faced adversity and overcame it. We are happy to come out with the three wins that’s for sure considering our standing in the league,” he said.

Fisher says they know what is in hand against Clear Fork (13-5,8-2) on Monday. Clear Fork has to make up a game rained out Thursday against Buckeye Valley and when that game will be played is unclear. Fisher says they have to have some focus. “Well, the magic number is one,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “We have three league games left, including Clear Fork and we have Pleasant two games here coming up next weekend. Looking at the schedule for (Friday) it seems like we are facing the gauntlet here to kind of get us ready for this stretch drive. You know how sports are if you start to look ahead you can get tripped up. We are trying to stay the course and ignore all of the talk on the periphery and stay focused on playing the game the right way.”

If all these games are played, plus a tournament game against Sandusky on Wednesday at home, Fisher says there is going to be a need for pitching depth due to the pitch count rule. “I think the weather this year has helped everybody. I think we really haven’t had the compaction with everybody’s schedule and the way things lined up that we thought we would have. Coming into tournament week that is where everything comes into play and we are knocking on the door for that. So, coaches going into the non-conference games that we are playing this weekend we are going to have to work on development and see whether or not they can find some young kids that can throw strikes and play at the varsity level and outscore people. That whole pitch count piece is important from the early standpoint here and going forward. I don’t think we have been negatively impacted by it yet, but we are going to face here a number of games over a number of days if the weather cooperates if it doesn’t we will continue to space them out. There hasn’t been as big an impact over the first two years as there could have been,” said Fisher.

Published 5/04/18

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Lexington Gets that Share

Lexington will be no less than a co-champion in the Ohio Cardinal Conference this season after a (5-3) triumph over Ashland in league play on Wednesday.

They can win it outright if they win at least one of the two games against Mansfield Senior set for next Tuesday and Wednesday. The Tygers have not won a league game this year. The Minutemen (13-2,9-1), #1 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, lead Mt. Vernon by two games. The Yellow Jackets beat Wooster (7-2) on Wednesday.

Coach Kevin Morrow says getting a piece of that title is very gratifying. “It is one of your goals to win the “OCC,” so going into this final week knowing you are guaranteed a share takes a lot of pressure off. We have to make sure they are not celebrating too early. We have a lot of important baseball to play. It is pretty great to say that you are an “OCC” champ,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “This league is always going to be just tough. Even when it is slightly down it is pesky tough and you have to go through a bunch of D-one schools. So, I am really proud of the kids this season.”

Ben Vore earned the win over the Arrows and the Minutemen scored all five of their runs in the fourth inning.

Lexington beat Ashland (13-3) on Tuesday, but Morrow knew they would offer a better challenge on Wednesday. “They are well coached and I knew they were going to show some pride. Right off the get go they where putting the ball in play. A kid hit a double over our head in left. Their pitcher did a really nice job for about three innings. He shut us down and then he kind of flirted with danger there and got out of it, but in the fourth we scored five runs and got Ben (Vore) the lead. Ben settled in after those first one or two innings and cruised through about five innings and Depperschmidt got the save. It was good to win it in front of your home fans and close out a guaranteed “OCC” title,” said Morrow.

Vore was a star last season for the Minutemen in the post season and has continued those performances this year. Morrow says he is just a special kind of athlete. “He is just a multi sport athlete that just kind of does it effortlessly. He kind of glides through stuff. He is just a gifted athlete to play multiple sports at an elite level. I think baseball is his thing, his ticket. He is kind of a five tool kid. He can hit for average, hit for power, he runs, he steals bases, he can play defense, he can pitch. He is a lot fun to have on your side for sure. He is hitting right about .500, which is just a crazy number. We were just happy to get him a win. In his last outing things just kind of derailed quickly, but we were able to come back (Wednesday) night and get him a win,” said Morrow.

Published 5/03/18

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Clyde Ties it Up

Clyde has made it very interesting in the Lake Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference.

Jared Colvin homered twice and the Fliers beat Bellevue (6-2) on Wednesday. The two rivals now share first place. Clyde (15-4,9-1), #4 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, hosts Tiffin Columbian on Friday and plays at Tiffin on Tuesday. Bellevue had to go extra innings to beat the Tornadoes (3-2) on Monday. Bellevue (17-2,10-1), #2 in our poll, finishes league play with Norwalk on Tuesday. They beat the Truckers (9-2) on April 19.

Clyde coach George Parks says Wednesday’s game was all it was wrapped up to be. “It was an outstanding game. They got us the first time over at their place. Both teams played a clean game defensively and it was just an outstanding baseball game,” said Parks.

It was a game with very few mistakes and Parks says keeps everybody, including fans, on their toes. “It helps out with the pitching and it gets the pace of the game going and everybody stay involved. It is more enjoyable to watch,” he said,

Mikey Haynes got the win for the Fliers and Cayden Rollins finished up by pitching the seventh.

Parks says they are excited to be in this kind of race. “We have been in both situations where we have been out of the league race early and the last few years we have been in the league race the last few games,” said Parks.

Clyde is not a late avail, they have been good all year. Parks says their hitting has been a big part of their success. “We have a lot of experience back. We have seven quality seniors and two or three really good underclassmen,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday night, “We have been absolutely crushing the ball offensively. I have two great assistant coaches that really work with our hitters and I can’t say enough about those two guys.”

Published 5/03/18

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Highland Back into a Tie for First Place

Highland pounded Cardington (10-2) on Wednesday and put itself in good position in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference standings.

They share first place with East Knox and Fredericktown. The Bulldogs beat the Freddies (6-3) on Wednesday and those two teams play again on Friday at East Knox. Highland still must play Mt. Gilead.

Highland (12-6,11-2) has won all it games this week and coach Donnie Kline says they are starting to play pretty well. “It is nice to have good weather and get the boys into a rhythm. It seems that we play every night, which isn’t a bad thing. The weather has allowed us to get a lot of games in, a lot of action in. It has been an exciting two weeks that’s for sure,” he said.

Highland had 11 hits on Wednesday. Tate Tobin had three of them and Mack Anglin had three RBI.

Kline believes they have a deep lineup. “We have a lot of guys put the time and the work in. As the temperatures go up so does the hitting. I am real proud of the boy’s approach right now, they are really dialed in,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “We have a pretty deep roster, which is kind of rare. We have a lot of guys that are sort of comping at the bit. They are getting some plate appearances and it is a lot fun.”

You rarely find three teams tied for the lead with one game to play in any league, but that is the case with the “KMAC” this year. Kline says this is what sports in about. “It has been an exciting race this year. It has been a very competitive league. It has been a lot of fun. East Knox and Fredericktown will play on Friday and we have one game to finish up with Mt. Gilead. It is near the end here, but it is neck, neck, neck and it is going all of the way to the end,” he said.

Published 5/03/18

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Dentingers Lead Buckeye Past Crawford

Senior Josh Dentinger threw his second one hitter of the season and sophomore Justin Dentinger provided the lone RBI of the game as Buckeye Central beat rival Colonel Crawford (1-0) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference baseball game on Wednesday.

Coach Chad Jensen says Josh was tremendous and he got a helping hand from his younger brother. “Our pitching has kept us in games all year long and (Wednesday) night was no exception. Josh Dentinger threw his second one-hitter of the year. In his last performance he threw a no-hitter and he comes back with a one-hitter (Wednesday) night and 12 strikeouts and no walks. He was dynamite, but we played good defense behind him. His sophomore brother had a suicide squeeze in the second. It was kind of a neat night for the Dentingers. It was a great league win for us against a county rival,” said Jensen.

Jensen says Josh is not an overpowering pitcher, but he is just that, a pitcher and that is what makes him good. “There is no question it is his command. I mean there is absolutely no question about it. He can put it where he wants to put it every time. He has only walked 13 in 57 innings and two of those were intentional late in a ball game for strategy, so he has really only walked 11. He is able to get ahead of hitters and put it where he wants it. He can throw three pitches for strikes, which is very helpful. He is not going to light up the radar gun or throw in the mid 80’s or anything, but he can put it where he wants it most of the time and that is the biggest difference,” he said.

Buckeye Central (8-14,5-9) play at home against Wynford (5-11,4-7) on Friday in a league game and then Plymouth (10-9) next week in the first round of the division four tournament.

Jensen says they are trying to develop some consistency. “It is nice to get out and play everyday. There was a stretch there were the kids were just tied of being inside and tired of being in the gym. As coaches you just have to try and keep things fresh. It is really nice to play everyday. We have had two wins this week and a close one (Tuesday) against Ridgedale. I think the more we play the better off it is,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “We have to keep improving for tournament next week. The kids are looking forward to it. We know we are going to have our hands full with a very good Plymouth team, but our kids are excited for the opportunity, so we will see what happens.”

Published 5/03/18

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Lexington Can Share Title

Lexington trashed Ashland (13-3) on Tuesday in an Ohio Cardinal Conference game played at Ashland University and can clinch a share of the “OCC” baseball title with a win at home on Wednesday over the Arrows.

The Minutemen (12-2,8-1), #1 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, got a great combination of pitching and hitting on Tuesday.

Coach Kevin Morrow says again starter Jared Strickler was on his game. “Jared did a nice job pitching, as he has done all year. He just had one inning when Ashland started to make things happen. I think outside of that he cruised along with 93 pitches for the win. He had six, seven strike outs,” he said.

However, Morrow says it was what they did in the batter’s box that was the difference. “It was the bats (Tuesday) night that really got healthy. We hit the ball well last Saturday. I did some lineup changes. I inserted a couple kids, I moved a couple kids around. I don’t know if that was it or not or if it was just a simple fact that it is May and we played on a great field with a great backdrop. I think we had 15 hits. So, it was good to see the kids really hit it hard. There wasn’t a lot of cheep hits. They were hitting it to the fence and hitting doubles. It was a good night for Lexington’s offense,” said Morrow.

When it becomes May and you are in a league race it can be nervous, but Morrow says his players were swinging pretty free. “Sometimes when you are coaching young guys you never know where their mental process is at or what they are really feeling. Saturday was kind of a feel good game. We got the bats going and it seemed to continue (Tuesday) night. The kids were pretty excited to get to play at Ashland University. I let them know that Ashland is dangerous,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “They are well coached and they have wins against Clyde, Mt. Vernon and Wooster. I said these guys will come after you. We answered the call and right from the get go it seemed like we were going to hit the ball hard. It kind of spread and was a contagious thing there. It felt good to see them it that way.”

Lexington hosts Ashland on Wednesday and Morrow says it can be a pretty special day. “If we can win in front of our home fans. We can tell the kids that mathematically it is a guaranteed share that is one of your big goals when you start the season. To be at the top of the “OCC” when it is all said and done. These kids are putting themselves there and it is really neat to see,” he said.

Published 5/02/18

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Seneca East with Dramatic Rally to beat Mohawk

Seneca East scored three times in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Mohawk (6-5) and remain in a share of first place with Carey in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference.

It was (4-3) Mohawk going to the seventh inning and that is when things got interesting.

Coach Rick Bowerman says some mistakes led to a Mohawk run and a two run lead for the Warriors. “It was kind of wild. In the top of the seventh Mohawk scores an unearned run. We get two outs and get a strike three called in the dirt and our catcher lobs the ball to first base over the first baseman’s head and allows a run to score. So, that give Mohawk a 5-3 lead,” he said.

But, in the bottom of the seventh the Tigers (14-2,11-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the small school division, got busy.

It began with a solo home run by Kainon Ruffing to make it (5-4) Mohawk. Catcher Rickie Lacy tied it with an RBI single and Brandon Best won it with a game winning single.

Bowerman fills in the details. “After an out in the bottom of the seventh my leadoff hitter hits a home run. Then we get a walk and a stolen base from my number two hitter. Then my catcher is up that has three errors on the day, so he is struggling, and he gets a base hit the score the runner from second to tie the game, which was huge,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “Then we get runners on second and third and there is an intentional walk to load the bases. We are going to squeeze and they do a nice job of throwing a pitch high and away and our guy doesn’t get the bunt down and we are out at the plate. So, in the middle of the at bat I switch hitters. I put my normal hitter in for him with a 1-1 count. The senior Brandon Best the first pitch he sees he laces a line drive to right field to score the winning run.”

Bowerman says their defense was really shaky, but they were able to come through. “Our defense was a little lax (Tuesday) night. I think we had six errors. We weren’t sharp on defense, but just the way we battled through adversity and didn’t hang our heads. Had that never give up attitude and came back and got the win. So, I am very proud of our boys,” he said.

It just might come down to a two game series between the Tigers and Carey (18-0,13-0), #1 in our poll for the conference title. Bowerman says there is a lot of baseball to play. “We still have a big week coming up with Upper on Thursday and Carey on Friday and the following Monday. We are right were we want to be. We are in position to win the title. The cards are in our hands. If we play our cards right we will be in good shape,” said Bowerman.

Published 5/02/18

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Yellow Jackets Belt Wooster

Mt. Vernon kept itself alive in the Ohio Cardinal Conference baseball race with a five inning win (11-1) over Wooster on Tuesday evening at Mt. Vernon.

Both the Yellow Jackets and the Generals trail league leading Lexington by two games.

Coach Rob Gross says it was a great effort by his kids. “I said coming into the year I knew Lexington was probably going to be one of the top teams and I also said Wooster. I just heard (Monday) night at they only had two league losses. So, this series is big for us. As I look at it every game in the conference now is big for us. We were able to get a lead early and then our pitching was able to shut them down. I was surprised by the score I never expected to run rule them in five innings. It was a great win for us,” said Gross.

Mt. Vernon (12-5,5-2), #5 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, has won its last five games. Gross says they finally got some clutch hits on Tuesday night. “We just keep talking about, hey, we are playing better ball and let’s keep this rolling, especially going into tournament time. Things that we were struggling with even a week and half, two weeks ago as far as getting clutch hits kind of came the other way around (Tuesday.) Our first five runs were all with two outs, so great clutch hitting,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday after the win, “Some things I have been looking forward to for a while now with guys and it is finally starting to click. It is nice to score some runs, but for our pitcher to shut down a pretty good Wooster team. I was very pleased.”

Gross says to have any chance of catching Lexington they have to run the table. “We have five games left. Part of the reason is we had to push West Holmes from the beginning of the year because of our Florida trip to the end. It makes it a little more difficult for us, especially when you get into tournament play still having those league games left. I think it could be a good thing for us because we have to treat every conference game just like a tournament game. If we want any kind of opportunity we have to win out. If you lose one you are out just like in tournament play,” said Gross.

Published 5/02/18

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Crestview Keeps it Going

Crestview took out Monroeville (13-0) in five innings on Tuesday evening to remain two games behind front running Norwalk St. Paul in the Firelands Conference race.

St. Paul hammered Mapleton (20-6) on Tuesday.

The Cougars had also beaten Monroeville by the same score (13-0) on Monday.

Crestview coach Don Keener says they had good focus this week and they needed it. “The kids were ready to go. We talk about you have to win every inning. They went out and battled and we played hard,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday night, “We hit the ball real well and our pitching has been solid both games. They didn’t take anything off they were ready to go. We have been playing well the last week or so.”

Crestview has been one of the more consistent hitting teams in the area this spring. Keener says they have done a good job throughout the lineup. “I think everybody at the beginning of the year, that first week, you kind of get a feeling of things. I would say recently, the last two, three weeks, the whole lineup 1-9 have contributed at different times throughout the game. They are doing what they have to do,” he said.

Regarding the conference, Keener says all they can do is keep winning. “We have to take care of ourselves, that’s what we tell the kids. You can’t control what happens anywhere else. We just have to work off of what we do. Go about it one game at a time and anything can happen. There are still a few games left here or there,” he said.

Crestview will host Willard of the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference in a first round tournament game in division three on May 9. Keener says the tournament is a different story. “I think our district is really solid. We open up with a home game, which is nice to have. Willard plays in a tough league. I know their record may not show it, but that doesn’t mean anything for the tournament because it starts all over fresh. Hopefully, we will be ready to go,” said Keener.

Published 5/02/18

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Clear Fork Wallops Pleasant

Clear Fork kept its hopes alive in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference race as they climbed all over Marion Pleasant (17-3) in a baseball game played at Pleasant on Monday evening.

They trail Ontario by two games with five conference games yet to be played.

Coach Joe Staab says they came to the plate Monday with the right game plan. “Our kids were locked in and focused at the plate and were able to barrel up the baseball and put the ball in play and make some good things happen,” he said.

Monday was as a good a weather day for baseball as there has been all season and Staab says the kids, not to mention the coach, liked it very much, “Our kids were definitely ready to play (Monday) and we came out and we competed well. Hopefully, this warm weather sticks around because I am tired of wearing too many layers out there. Hopefully, the sun stays out. I know it is calling for some rain, but I would rather see that than snow,” he said.

Clear Fork (12-5,7-2) will host Pleasant (8-8,3-4) on Wednesday and Buckeye Valley (13-7,6-4) on Friday in “MOAC” games. They are scheduled to play at Ontario on May 7 in the rematch. Ontario beat the Colts (6-3) last week. Ontario (14-3,9-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, plays Galion (12-5,3-5) Tuesday and Wednesday.

Staab says they can’t concern themselves with what Ontario is doing until next Monday. “Ontario is a great team and coach Fisher does a great job over there and they have a really, really good team and they are playing the game really well. The thing is we can’t control what Ontario does,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday night, “We play them one more time. All we can do is come out and compete and play the way we are capable of day in and day out and at the end of the day we will see where we are at. We can’t be focused on what other people have to do. We have to kind of control our own fate.”

Clear Fork will play at Vermilion is the first round of the division two tournament on May 9. Staab says this district is really good. “The division two district this year is loaded with a lot of really good baseball teams. We are just hoping to be playing our best game during the tournament and hopefully we will be able to see what happens. It is going to be a grind day in and day out in every single game,” he said.

Published 5/01/18

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Bellevue on the Verge

After a (3-2) win in eight innings over Tiffin Columbian on Monday, the Bellevue Redmen are in position to win the Bay Division title in the Sandusky Bay Conference.

They have to beat rival Clyde, who trails the Redmen by just a game, on Wednesday at Clyde.

It looked like they might fall into a tie with Clyde (14-4,8-2) after letting a two-run lead get away Monday against Columbian, but coach Andy Dennings says they came up with the plays they needed. “We played pretty well the entire game. We up 2-0 going to the seventh. They strung a couple of hit together there and we had a little blunder,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “We were able to respond and had a chance to win it there in the seventh, but we couldn’t get the big hit. We got a big hit in the eighth and found a way to get it done. It is what we have been doing all year to be honest.”

Trey Ruhlman was the hero on Monday with a game winning hit in the eighth for the Redmen. Dennings says he turned personal disappointment into big success. “The funny thing is Trey Ruhlman had the winning RBI. He is a kid that struck out looking twice earlier in the game. I told him you have to lose those at bats, they don’t matter. You have an opportunity to have a big at bat in this game and sure enough he gets a game winning RBI up the middle there in the eighth,” said Dennings.

Bellevue (17-1,9-1), #2 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, beat Clyde (7-3) by scoring four runs in the seventh inning of their first game last month. Dennings says Wednesday is a big opportunity for them. “It is a rivalry for us. They have a great team over there and we were fortunate enough to get them that first game. We are going to give it our best shot in the second game and see if we can get an outright title here on Wednesday,” he said.

Published 5/01/18

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Norwalk Gets Back on the Field; Beats Shelby

Norwalk got tow huge defensive plays in the bottom of the seventh inning and they beat Shelby (8-7) on Monday evening in a Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division game.

Coach Wes Douglas says it was good to get back on the field and pick up a solid win. “We have been streaky up and down most of the year. We hadn’t played in a week, since last Monday, due to the weather and just schedule matchups didn’t work for makeups. So, after a week off it was a good hard fought win (Monday) night at a tough place to win in Shelby and came out of there with a good 8-7 win,” he said.

Norwalk took an 8-6 lead after six innings Monday and Douglas says they made some real web gems to earn the victory over the Whippets. “Actually, three of our outfielders may highlight catches throughout the game. In the seventh they hit one to the fence I thought was gone and that would have been a walk off win. A sophomore in his first start in the outfield this season Justin Sommers stuck his mitt up and the ball found it,” said Douglas after the win, “Earlier in the inning there was a little bloop behind second and our second baseman lost it, but our rightfielder stuck his mitt out about ankle high and the ball found his mitt. We had a little bit of the baseball gods smiling on us with two outstanding plays there and our centerfielder had made an outstanding play earlier, Grant Fulger. So, defense was pretty sound (Monday) night. Our pitchers were a little rusty and I think we had one hit in the top four spots in the order, so our middle and bottom of the order was very productive, which has kind of been a weak spot for us all year.”

Douglas says hopefully they can continue to get on the field and be sharp for the division two tournament, which starts next week. “The weather looks good (Tuesday) and we have Sandusky at home. We actually go to Perkins Thursday, who is actually our tournament draw. Perkins comes to our place next Wednesday. We have Crestline on the schedule this weekend. We have Bellevue the early part of next week. We are hoping to pick up another game in there somewhere. It would be nice to get some rhythm and get our arms back and see some sunshine,” he said.

Published 5/01/18

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Shelby Starting to Believe

Shelby pounded Norwalk (15-5) in five innings in a Sandusky Bay Conference Lake Division game on Monday evening and the Lady Whippets are starting to believe in themselves.

Coach Natalie Huggins says they have done a lot of good things the past couple of weeks. “We have played some really good ballgames recently. Even though they haven’t shown up in the win total we are competing night in and night out. It is always good to be playing your best ball in May when it is time for championships,” she said.

Shelby (5-13) had limited to experience at the beginning of the season, but Huggins says they have gained that as the season has gone on and they have made some important changes. “It has been quite a few things and maturity is definitely one of them. We are not necessarily a young team, but at the beginning of the season we were very inexperienced in that we had one kid that was playing the same position as she did on varsity last year. If I had any letter winners or returning starters they were playing in new positions. So, that is part of it,” she told Swankonsports.com on Monday night, “We made some hard decisions to change our lineup a little bit. We have a couple of younger kids that joined us from JV a couple of weeks ago and have done an awesome job anchoring down our outfield, which them freed up our centerfielder, who in my eyes is an All-Ohioan at catcher, Brileigh Gates. We needed her in the outfield for the first half of the season and that freed her up to come behind the plate and she has absolutely owned it since she got there.”

Any coach will tell you that believing is a big part of success and Huggins says they are starting to feel that. “We are just jelling right now at the right time. Also, I think it is just believing we can do it. We were taking some lumps early in the season and it wasn’t fun to be getting beat horribly and now that we are starting to compete and be in games toward the end of games we are starting to believe we can do it too,” said Huggins.

Published 5/01/18

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Hillsdale Stays in Share

Hillsdale, Chippewa and Waynedale remain in a share of first place in the Wayne County Athletic League baseball standings.

The Falcons beat Northwestern (6-0) on Monday evening and now face back to back games with Smithville in league play on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Coach Michael Wolf says all of their goals are still in front of them. “We are fortunate enough that we still control our one destiny in the league. That is kind of the approach that we are taking with our kids is as long as you keep winning that everything in the end will work itself out,” said Wolf.

Garrett Goodwin, who had been the Falcons number three pitcher, came up with a tremendous outing against the Huskies on Monday, according to Wolf. “Garrett Goodwin, who had been our closer, got a start (Monday) night since we had had three league games in a row,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday night, “We come back home and away with Smithville on Tuesday and Wednesday. So, Garrett got on the mound (Monday) and he pitched a really good game for us.”

With all of the postponements combined with inning restrictions, Wolf says the league race is going to come down to pitching depth and he likes theirs. “We kind of thought at the beginning of the season one of the strengths of our team was our pitching depth. We thought we had four quality kids that could go out there and start and keep us competitive. We hope down the stretch here that is going to prove to be the case,” he said.

Published 5/01/18

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Baseball Teams Ready For Tournament Play

A series of brief caucuses among baseball coaches were held across the state on Sunday to establish brackets for the state baseball tournament, which begins in May.

In division one, of the teams covered by Swankonsports.com, in the Northwest District, Madison plays Toledo Central Catholic and Ashland meets Holland Springfield, both on May 9 on the road.

“It went like we expected it to. We have to play a very good TCC team at their place. We are going to have to play our best baseball to win,” said Madison coach Doug Rickert.

“We are the sixth seed and we are playing Holland Springfield, the fourth seed. We had the option of playing the number two seed Toledo CC or Springfield. We chose Springfield because we have had success against them in the past,” said Ashland coach Rick Gough.

Mt. Vernon, who is the Central District, plays Reynoldsburg at home on May 7. “I thought it went about as well as it could. We received the 18 seed out of 46 teams,” said Mt. Vernon coach Rob Gross.
It is another deep district in division two this spring. It’s sounds like it is a broken record, but its true. Lexington, the Ohio Cardinal Conference leader, is top seed. Bellevue, in first place in the Lake Division of the “SBC” is second. Clyde, second in the Lake Division, earned the three seed. Ontario, the leader of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, is fourth.

In the upper bracket, Tiffin Columbian will host Kenton on Wednesday, May 9. With the winner playing at Lexington on May 11.

“It’s always good to have the one seed and a bye. It surprised me how many good teams went into Bellevue’s bracket,” said Lexington coach Kevin Morrow.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to play at home against a tough Kenton program,” said Tiffin Columbian coach Curt Mellott.

Sandusky plays at Ontario and Norwalk hosts Sandusky Perkins, both on May 9, with the winners play at the higher seeded team on May 11.

“All things considered regarding our district and its coaches our kids should feel fortunate receiving the number four seed. I am hopeful our tough schedule has prepared us,” said Ontario coach Jeff Fisher.

“We like the fact that we get to host,” said Norwalk coach Wes Douglas, “It is a rematch of last year’s first round. Perkins won 8-0. We won 3-2 earlier this year and play Perkins again this Thursday. Two pretty even teams.”

Meanwhile, in the lower bracket, Mansfield Senior visits Shelby on May 9 with the winner playing at Bellevue on the May 11.

“Obviously, Senior High’s record is not the best, but coach Beasley is a good coach and he will have their guys ready. I liked the way our kids have competed against Bellevue in the two games we have played them. We lost both games with an error in the seventh. There has been an intensity and a focus that our kids have when we play Bellevue. Bellevue brings out the best in our players and that’s what makes our rivalry special,” said Shelby coach Jon Amicone.

Clyde hosts Port Clinton and Vermilion is at home for Clear Fork in games on May 9. As in the upper bracket, the winners will meet at the school with the higher seed on May 11.

“Our district has a lot of good baseball teams. It is going to be a grind every game through the tournament,” said Clear Fork coach Joe Staab.

Division three there are 13 teams in the district this season.

Margaretta faces Bucyrus in an upper bracket semifinal on May 9 with the winner playing at Galion on May 11.

“We were fortunate enough to get the top seed in our district, so we chose the bye. We lost to Bucyrus earlier this year and to Margaretta in last year’s district semifinals. We look forward to the payback,” said Galion coach Phil Jackson.

In a pair of upper bracket semis on May 9, Western Reserve is at Gibsonburg and Wynford visits Woodmore with the winners playing May 11 on the field of the higher seeded team.

“I was happy about a couple aspects of our tournament draw despite us being a lower seeded team. First, I am pleased we don’t have to play one of the top four seeded teams in the first round. Second, if we are fortunate enough to make it through the first round, our second round opponent will not have had a bye in the first round and therefore we hopefully won’t see their number one pitcher,” said Wynford coach Jordan Oliver.

New London of the Firelands Conference faces Huron in the lower bracket on May 9 with the winner advancing to play Edison two days later. Also, Crestview plays Willard on May 9 and the winner of that game gets Oak Harbor, out of Bay Division of the “SBC.”

“We play Huron who is 3-11. If we win we play Edison. I think that was a good place for us. We have to play well no matter where you are seeded or who we play. We will see if we can play two good games in a row,” said New London coach Tony Hamilton.

In a Central District game in division three, Northmor play at Marion Elgin on May 10. “I think the draw went pretty much like we expected. We were able to jump right in a sectional title game with a familiar foe. We split with Elgin last year, so we know a little about what they can do. They’re playing really well this year, so we’ll have to be on to compete with them,” said Northmor coach Buck Workman.

Other games in the Central district have Mt. Gilead and Bishop Ready on May 8. Johnstown-Monroe at East Knox, the number two seed, Newark Catholic at North Union, Marion Pleasant and Grandview Heights and Fredericktown hosting either Mt. Gilead or Ready, all on May 10.

Meanwhile, in the Northeast District, Hillsdale out of the Wayne County Athletic League, got the top seed and will host the winner of a game between Norwayne and Orrville on May 10 at their place. “We are excited about receiving the number one seed and appreciate the other coaches recognizing the importance of strength of schedule when making their picks,” said Hillsdale coach Michael Wolf.

In one of the division four districts with district play at Galion, Seneca East, the “N10” co-leader was the top seed followed by South Central at number two.

In the upper bracket there is just one semifinal. Ridgeway Ridgemont plays host to Mansfield Christian on May 8 and the winner gets the top seed Seneca East at their place on May 10.

“I feel pretty good about the draw,” said Seneca East coach Rick Bowerman, “We play the winner of Mansfield Christian and Ridgemont, teams I know nothing about, so I’ll need to do my homework. If we were to win, we’ll play the winner of Buckeye Central and Plymouth, teams with average records, but both are very dangerous in a one game win or go home format.”

The other game in the upper bracket has Buckeye Central playing at Plymouth on May 10.

“We play a very good Plymouth team in the sectional finals. We know Plymouth is a quality opponent, but we felt it was in our best interests to go straight to the sectional final as opposed to playing in a play in game. We are excited for the opportunity,” said Buckeye Central coach Chad Jensen.

In the lower bracket semis on May 8, Lucas plays Mansfield St. Peter’s, two schools from the Mid-Buckeye Conference, with the winner playing South Central on May 10, and Colonel Crawford hosts Crestline, with the winner traveling to Mohawk on May 10.

“Our draw went very well,” said South Central coach Ty Dendinger, “I look forward watching my team grow and compete in the tournament this year.”

“It went as well as we hoped for,” said Colonel Crawford coach Joe Swartzmiller.

In a division four district where the district will be played a Clyde the semis are May 8 and the finals on May 10.

In the upper bracket the semis Old Fort hosts Danbury Lakeside with the winner playing Ottawa Hills and Toledo Christian hosts Emmanuel Christian with winner playing Hopewell-Loudon.

In the lower bracket in one semi Monroeville meets Maumee Valley with winner getting Norwalk St. Paul. The other semi has Fremont St. Joe against Tiffin Calvert with the winner playing Sandusky St. Mary’s.

Published 4/29/18

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Tournament Matchups Established in Softball

Softball teams have had trouble getting all of their games in due to the weather, but the tournament is right around the company anyway.

Matchups were set up during seed meetings held on Sunday across the area.

In division one, Ashland plays at Toledo Whitmer on the afternoon of May 9.

There are a lot of schools locked up in division two matchups.

First, in the upper bracket, Mansfield Senior is at Shelby on May 8. The winner plays at Mansfield Madison, the top seed in the district, on May 11. In another game on May 11 Willard is Tiffin Columbian.

“We are very happy to have gotten the number one seed, but we have some very good teams in our district and we will have to be prepared for everyone’s best shot. Our half of the bracket includes a very dangerous Shelby team and two solid teams in Tiffin Columbian and Willard. We will definitely have to be playing our best softball,” said Madison coach Tim Niswander.

“We feel fortunate to get a pretty good draw from our perspective. Obviously, no disrespect to Madison because they are a very good ball team and have absolutely earned their number one seed, but we had a very good ball game with them just (Saturday) and chose to go on their side of the bracket with not many lines being left open when it was our turn to choose,” said Shelby coach Natalie Huggins.

In the lower bracket, Lexington is at Vermilion on May 8 with the winner playing second seeded Bellevue on May 11. Norwalk visits Upper Sandusky on May 8 the victor advances to play Ontario on May 11.

“I think the draw went as expected. As the number three seed we feel we can compete with anyone in our district bracket. We will need to play error free ball or any team can sneak up on you and knock you out as we have done to others in the past,” said Ontario coach Chris Musille.

In division three, the upper bracket matchups look this way. Plymouth plays at Edison on May 8. The winner will play at Clear Fork on May 11.

“There were no surprises on the outcome and the positioning in the bracket,” said Clear Fork coach Jeff Gottfried, “It should be a very competitive sectional and district.”

Fostoria is at New London on May 8. The winner of that game plays Galion on May 11.

The lower bracket on the other hand, has Western Reserve was at Bucyrus on May 8. The winner advances to meet Crestview on May 11 in the sectional final. Also, May 8, Huron is at Margaretta, with the winner getting Colonel Crawford on May 11.

“Our division three sectional/district tournament at Lexington this year is absolutely loaded for bear,” said Colonel Crawford coach Chuck Huggins, “There are at least six to eight to even ten teams that truly have a legitimate shot. We are going to need to be at the absolute top of our game to give ourselves a chance to be successful.”

In the small school division, division four, Monroeville is the top seed.

In the upper bracket, Mansfield St. Peter’s is at South Central on May 7. The winner gets a chance at Monroeville on May 10.

Also, on May 10, Mansfield Christian is at Mohawk.

In the lower bracket, Buckeye Central plays Norwalk St. Paul on May 7. The winner gets the second seed, the Lucas Lady Cubs on May 10. In the other semi on May 7 it is Crestline at Wynford. The school that wins that one will play the number three seed Seneca East in Attica on May 10.

Published 4/29/18

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All-Star Football Games Saturday

The North-South All-Star football games will be played on Saturday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon.

It is the showcase of the best Ohio has to offer in terms of senior high school football talent. And, yes, Ohio is as rich when it comes to talent as any state in the nation. Look at the names of Ohio kids in any top program in the county at any level.

The division 4-7 game with kickoff at noon Saturday. The division 1-3 will follow at four.

There are not any area kids listed on the rosters in division 1-3, but there are many set to participate in the small school game.

On the north squad are three kids from Clear Fork in Blake Dinsmore (RB), Paul Francisco (OL) and Jacob Bailey (LB). Plus, three athletes from Shelby in Carter Brooks (WR), Utayden Vent (OL) and Brady Hill (DB). Dakota McPeak of Bellevue will also play.

Skyler Durbin of Danville will play for the South team.

 

Published 4/27/18

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Lexington Downs Wooster

Lexington took a two game lead in the Ohio Cardinal Conference baseball standings with a key (4-2) win over Wooster on Thursday evening.

Again, pitching and defense was pretty solid for the Minutemen and coach Kevin Morrow says that proved to be the difference. “We try and hang our hat on pitching and defense. We had a little of a hiccup inning (Thursday) night, but for the most part our pitchers Jared Strickler and Depperschmidt did a nice job. Our bats weren’t doing too hot (Thursday) night,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “The Wooster kids pitched us really well, but we got enough. We got enough to win. As long as we keep playing good defense and our pitchers are throwing strikes and limiting big innings we can compete in most games just like anybody else. It is going well, but we have to go back over there (Friday) and try and win another one.”

Around 80 percent of the runs on average in a high school baseball game are scored in one inning. Morrow says they have done a pretty good job of avoiding that big inning this year. “You have these innings every know and then. You may cruise along with good defense, like (Thursday) night and good pitching and all of the sudden the wheels come off really fast. I think the sign of a good team is to be able to limit that and not let it happen too much. You can’t let kids get down and self-inflict errors and whatever and stuff like that. You have to limit the big innings and if you do it make sure it is just one. One bad inning and then try and play good defense from there on out. So far this year, for the most part, we have been able to do that,” he said.

Lexington (10-1,7-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, plays at Wooster (10-6,6-2) on Friday.

The tournament draw is Sunday and one would think Lexington would have a pretty good shot at landing the top seed in division two, but Morrow says it is a very tough district again this spring. “We are hoping for a high seed, but this district is just ridiculous. The first six, seven teams and their records and who they have played and who they have beaten in just awesome. Every year we say that, but here we are again. I mean Shelby is good, Clear Fork is really good, Ontario is on fire, you go Bellevue, Clyde and throw our name in the hat. We are hoping with the one loss that pulls some weight. We did win one against Bellevue, but it comes down to what the coaches vote on. We are hoping for the top of the pile there. It would be great to get one or two seed, but three or four is pretty good too. We will find out Sunday,” said Morrow

Published 4/27/18

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Lady Colts Battle Back with Win over Fredericktown

Clear Fork fell out of the race for the title in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference with a loss to Ontario on Wednesday, but they battled back with a win non-conference win over Fredericktown (11-1) in five innings on Thursday.

They scored seven runs in the fourth inning to put it away.

Coach Jeff Gottfried says it felt good to get back on the field and be able to execute better. “It was definitely a good bounce back night for us. Sometimes you learn a whole lot more from losses than you do victories. When you have a bad taste in you mouth like we did (Wednesday) night there is nothing better than to get a chance to go right back on the that field. Our kids were excited,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “They were ready to get back out there and wash their hands of the game they played the night before that didn’t go well for us. We tip our cap to Ontario they played very, very well against us and sometimes that happens, but it was nice to see that the enthusiasm was there for the kids. We are starting to see a little more buy into what has to happen for our team.”

Macy Wade, Courtney Palmer, Maddy Wine, Reagan Marshall and Whitney Snavely all had two RBI for the Lady Colts. Wine allowed four hits and struck out one in the game.

Clear Fork has a lot of youth on its team this year and Gottfried says it kind of showed in a (9-1) loss to Ontario on Wednesday. “I made the comment after the game (Wednesday) night to our assistant coaches. I said answer this question for me, which team had a senior out on the mound? It wasn’t a slam on our kid in any way, shape or from, but which team had a senior out on the mound. It was very obvious that Ontario did and that girl was hungry. Musille that is the first game that she has beaten us in her career and you could tell she knew it was one of the last times she would have a chance to play against us. They are a rival of ours and I expected her to throw well and she was all over it,” he said.

Gottfried added that he believes they are getting better as team as this season goes on as they get more experience. “Our youth is learning and they are growing. Sometimes you take two steps forward and one step back and two steps forward again. It is just all a process. The best thing about a freshman is when they become a sophomore and a sophomore become a junior and so on. We will get better, they are growing throughout the season, but still they only have 16 games under their belt. It is not like they have played 80 like some of those seniors have,” said Gottfried.

Clear Fork (13-4), #3 in the Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in the small school division, is in division three this year and the draw is on Sunday. Gottfried says for this team to be successful they have to become more consistent in all areas. “I think it is like anything else you have to be consistent. So much of tournament play since it is a one and done situation it is not always the best team that wins. It is team that plays the best that given night. The thing that I know as far as our past experience goes is the team than makes the most mistakes is the one that ends up on the loss column not the win,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “So, we have to take care of ourselves defensively. We have to pitch in key situations to get ourselves out of jams. On the offensive side of things we have to get some timely hits. (Thursday) night we got some good two out hits and those are daggers to the opposing team. When the other team gets a two out hit against you they are certainly killers. I think that will help us going down that tournament trail.”

Published 4/27/18

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Bellevue is Steaming

If Bellevue isn’t the best baseball team in the area they are the one of the top three.

They proved that again on Thursday by beating Clear Fork of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference (6-3) in a non conference game.

Coach Andy Dennings says it was a quality win and they had to be able to do some different things to win the game. “Clear Fork was a great opponent. We really enjoyed playing them. They play a little different style of ball with a little more small ball elements than we see all of the time. Every win is a good win right now. With our schedule there is really no weak spots and that is the way we like it. We want to go and compete against the best out there to prepare ourselves for the league and the tournament run,” said Dennings.

Bellevue (13-1,8-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, is at home for Shelby (9-4,4-4) for a Lake Division game in the Sandusky Bay Conference on Friday. Bellevue leads Clyde by a game in the division standings. The Fliers broke Shelby’s five game winning streak with a (5-3) win on Thursday.

Bellevue beat Shelby (3-2) on April 9 and Dennings knows the Whippets and going to be a challenge. “They have a really nice ballclub. They have a lot of guys that had success last year and some young guys stepping in now. Jon (Amicone) does a nice job with them there. We are excited by the opportunity to play them (Friday) here in Bellevue,” he said.

The tournament draw is Sunday and Dennings says they believe they deserve one of the top seeds in division two, but whatever the case they will have to play well. “It’s kind of hard to tell really. We have had a nice season along with a lot of other teams right now. It is a really competitive district. It will be interesting the see how the cards fall there. We hope to at the top there. We feel that we have played that quality of baseball,” he told Swankosnports.com on Thursday. “We will see where new fall and no matter what you are going to have to go through people and it is going to be quite the grind to get out. We are excited. We have played some good baseball here. We want to keep plugging away and improving on our things. We are looking forward to the tournament.”

Published 4/27/18

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Wynford Blanks Bucyrus

Behind the pitching of Wyatt Smith the Wynford Royals shutout rival Bucyrus (3-0) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference baseball game on Thursday evening.

Coach Jordan Oliver says they feel anytime they give the ball to Smith they are going to have a chance to win the game. “I think our guys feel whenever Wyatt is on the mound, and when he has got his stuff, we always have a chance to win, and that was the case (Thursday.) He threw really well. We were really pleased with the defense we played behind him. We only made one error, so that was good to see,” he said.

Defense has kind been a barometer for the Royals and when they play well on defense they are normally successful. Oliver says they are not asking for special plays. “In high school baseball it is just about making the routine plays. As simple as it sounds, just being able to play pitch and catch in high school is so important. It is just great when you have a guy up on the mound like Wyatt that is throwing strikes and he keeps the defense in the game,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “Wyatt can strike out a lot of batters. We have a lot of other pitchers that we just encourage them to try and keep the ball down at the knees and throw strikes and let our defense work behind you.”

Wynford (5-7,4-3) plays at league co-leader Seneca East (11-2,8-0), #5 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the small school division, on Friday and then hosts them on Saturday.

Oliver says they are going to have to be at the top of their game. “Our record shows that we have been inconsistent this year. I feel like two weeks ago we were playing really good baseball. The Carey Blue Devils, who are unbeaten right now, we played them tough two games in a row. We came out on the wrong side, but we were playing good baseball. Then last week our defense fell apart and we weren’t playing as well. So, it is really important against a quality team and quality program like Seneca East that we bring our “A” game and we play quality defense and we throw strikes and we manufacture runs anyway we can get them,” said Oliver.

Published 4/27/18

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Ontario With Huge Win Over Clear Fork

Ontario grabbed a two game lead in the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference with a (6-3) win at Clear Fork on Wednesday evening.

Clear Fork scored three times in the first inning to take a (3-1) lead, but they never crossed the plate again.

Ontario scored single tallies in the second and third and Noah Creed gave the Warriors a lead they would never relinquish with an RBI single in the fourth.

“All things considered Clear Fork is a storied program led by the Staab family. These kids have a lot experience tournament wise, state experience. When you go to their place you expect a tough deal. We expected to play at home when we woke up and it just and it just didn’t dry off. We hopped on a bus and headed down to the valley. All of the variables can work against you. I think we demonstrated (Wednesday) night strategies that have worked all year,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “We haven’t had a starter go all seven and have a complete game. It has taken a collective effort. In a lot of these wins we have been beneficiaries of a comeback and (Wednesday) was similar. I am really proud of our guys. This is certainly a game that shows we feel like we are for real. Going into two weeks it seems like we are going to be playing everyday. With the tournament draw Sunday this was a big one for us,” said Ontario coach Jeff Fisher.

Ontario (12-3,7-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, has won 12 straight games and leads Clear Fork (9-4,5-2), #5 in our poll, by two games. Clear Fork coach Joe Staab was right two the point. “Ontario played very well (Wednesday) night and coach Fisher did a great job,” he said.

Will Watkins entered the game for Ontario in the second inning with his team down (3-2) and Fisher thought he effort on the mound we really key for the Warriors. “I think Will Watkins is the unsung hero for us in this winning streak here. He has been our gap guy. He has been our band aid. He is a strike thrower and he is going to keep hitters off balance. He trusts his defense behind him and he just finds a way to get outs. That was on display (Wednesday) night,” he said.

Jake Gleason had an RBI hit in the first and a two run single in the sixth for Ontario. Fisher says they got a lot of clutch hits. “We scored with two outs quite a bit and the one that comes to mind was Noah Creed there at the backend of that ballgame, but this team typically puts pressure on teams by putting the ball in play. Our strikeouts are down. We have some athleticism so we will try and to extend teams by bunting and running a little bit. When it comes to execution when we are in the box we are much more confident then we were a year ago, so that has been our formula,” said Fisher.

The rematch is May 7 at Ontario, but the Colts are going to need some help from someone if they are to get a share of the “MOAC” title.

Published 4/26/18

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Madison Wallops West Holmes

Madison scored nine times in the first two innings and went on to pound West Holmes (14-4) in an Ohio Cardinal Conference softball game on Wednesday evening.

Coach Tim Niswander says they got off to a good start and took West Holmes out of its game. “West Holmes is pretty good. I think they came into the game 11-3. They are beating some people and they scored a tone of runs too. Our kids came out and jumped on them early the first four batters of the game scored and then scored five again in the second. We did jump on them pretty early. Sloan Kiser was our pitcher (Wednesday) night and she went in order the first two innings. When you haven’t got a baserunner yet and you are down 9-0 things are tough for you and it is a tough hole to dig out of. The flip side for us our kids were able to relax and just go play some softball and play pretty much pressure free because of the start that they had. We have been preaching and preaching and preaching our approach at the plate and how we need to attack things. We have to know how pitchers are going to work us in certain counts and we did a really, really nice job of that (Wednesday) night. We tried to emphasize that defensively we had to play better. Up until the very end of the game we were pretty good. We were very happy with the way we played all around,” said Niswander.

Niswander says they were able to keep a super hitting West Holmes team off balance and played some tremendous defense too. “West Holmes every single year hits the ball well. I am not sure what Jamie does down there, but their kids can really swing it. We did a nice job of keeping them off balance. Sloan moved the ball all around and changed speeds on them. Our rightfielder Kaya Lunsford there were a couple of balls to right field that were just bombs and she ran them down at the fence an made nice plays on them. I think all of our kids got excited when they saw that. One of them was the first batter of the game. They kind of feed on that sort of thing. She made two great plays. Sloan did a really nice job keeping them off balance, so they didn’t hit a lot of balls hard. Those two things worked really well together and I was really happy with how we played,” he said.

Madison (11-2,4-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in large school division, played in the Wendy’s Spring Classic in Ashland last weekend. Niswander says they leaded a lot. “That was a great experience for our kids. Friday night, we played Walsh Jesuit and we did not play well defensively at all and they hit the ball well. Obviously, they are a really good team and they are in the final four more often that not. They are a great program. It was a chance for our kids to get out and play in an atmosphere where there are a lot of people there against a great team. They were disappointed as were we as coaches that we didn’t play better on Friday night. They rebounded and played a team out of Syracuse, New York, that is pretty good and went to their regional finals last year and we beat them 7-2 Friday,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “Then turned around Saturday and played Akron Hoban, who was the defending division two state runner up and we lost 1-0. We had opportunities to win that game. I think the biggest thing was the kids realized with Walsh that at times we told them that we out hit our mistakes and you can’t do that against good teams. I think Walsh opened their eyes to that. They really got refocused and set down and played good defense the rest of the weekend. We had good at bats. We just didn’t cash in on the opportunities against Hoban. Losing 1-0 against Hoban is nothing to hang your head about, but at the same time we should have won that game and we are every bit as good as that team. If we play like that the rest of the year it could be a really exciting year.”

Published 4/26/18

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South Central Downs Crestview

South Central kept itself in the Firelands Conference race with a (5-2) win at Crestview on Wednesday night.

South Central (6-3,4-2) is a game behind conference leader Norwalk St. Paul and coach Ty Dendinger says the win over the Cougars was huge for them. “Every game in the conference is very critical. We dropped one last Friday against Plymouth that was a game that I felt like we needed to win to stay on pace with some of the leaders in the conference, but we bounced back (Wednesday) and got a win against a pretty good Crestview team,” he said.

Crestview had been putting some good pitching performances together and Dendinger says it took them a while to get locked in. “The Reick kid threw a real nice game. He is not overpowering, but he does a real good job keeping teams off balance and kind of keeping them on their front foot,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “It took us about four innings to really get on him and keep our weight back. We ended up scoring three runs in the fifth inning. That was a big turning point in the game for us.”

Dendinger says they were likely too aggressive early in the game. “We were hitting his pitches and not waiting on our pitch. We started doing that a little bit better towards the end of the game and came through with some clutch hits and that was kind of the difference,” he said.

South Central ace Isiah Seidel went six innings striking out nine and giving up three hits. Plus, Dendinger says he got some outstanding defense behind him, in particular from shortstop Simon Blair. “Simon Blair made two amazing plays in a critical inning in the middle of the game when we were still down 2-1. I told the kids that Simon just made two plays that would be in the top 10 on ESPN web gems. Isiah (Seidel) really relied on his defense. We played really well and he still came up with nine strikeouts for us,” said Dendinger.

Published 4/26/18

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Mt. Vernon Pounds Tygers

Mt. Vernon picked up a much needed win on Wednesday night as they crushed Mansfield Senior (10-0) in an Ohio Cardinal Conference game.

The win keeps them three games behind Lexington in the “OCC” race.

Coach Rob Gross says it was a win they pretty much had to have. “That helped the pain from Monday a little bit. I gave Ashland credit, and their pitcher, for keeping us off balance. It was a disappointing loss for us Monday, especially after coming of a big win over Olentangy Orange on Saturday. Obviously, with Lexington having such a good club this year our backs are pretty much against the wall, so we definitely needed this one (Wednesday) night. I felt like we regrouped (Tuesday) and did a lot of good things (Wednesday) night,” said Gross.

Ashland beat Mt. Vernon (5-3) on Monday.

Gross says they know they can’t lose anymore conference games to have a chance to defend their title. “A lot of times as coach you are not trying to put pressure on your kids, but I said especially after the other night we have to kind of start over again and look at how many conference games we have left. I said you can’t take anyone lightly no matter what they have done or what you have heard about. For us to have any kind of chance to be close to Lexington we pretty much have to run the table,” he said.

Mt. Vernon (7-5,2-3) still has “OCC” two-game series with Mansfield Madison, Wooster and West Holmes and another game with Mansfield Senior to play.

They also play Olentangy in a non-conference game on Thursday and in a four team mini tournament at Newark on Saturday,

Gross says those non-conference games are important too. “Playing the Olentangys, we played Olentangy Liberty early in the year and Watkins Memorial, those are important for two reasons,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “It is competition for us to get better, especially at tournament time, which is hard to believe that it is right around the corner, but we also have to get our name out there a little bit in the Central District for voting purposes this Sunday as well as getting some of my kids recognized too.”

Published 4/26/18

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Northmor Has to Get Back on Track

Northmor will play rival Mt. Gilead in two Knox Morrow Athletic Conference games on Thursday and Friday and they need to find their stride again.

The Golden Knights (6-7,3-5) were playing some pretty good baseball until they ran into Fredericktown last Friday, which started a four game losing streak.

Coach Buck Workman says they faced some outstanding pitching. “We were hitting well going into Friday, but we ran into Fredericktown and we faced Hillsdale and Waterford and came back with Centerburg, four pretty good teams with some pretty good pitching. We just have to figure out how to get things done. We get down early and it takes away our small ball ability and that kind of hurts us a little bit. I think we will be alright,” he said.

Workman says they have to have more patience at the plate. He says they have been chasing too many pitches. “We had that kind of chat after our game with Waterford on Saturday where we stranded 11 runners and we were putting ourselves in holes early in the count. It is one of those deals that when you are seeing the ball good you are hitting strikes,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday night, “Now, you start getting into a little bit of a slump and you start pressing, you are swinging at everything and getting down in the count. It just puts you behind the eight ball. We have to get out of the that kind of mindset and get back to where we are hitting our pitches.”

Mt. Gilead (0-8,0-7) has struggled at times, but Workman says they are a lot better than that record might indicate. “Each night out is an opportunity to do something. Mt. Gilead always plays us tough. They had us down last year and they didn’t have a very good season last year. They played some teams tough. They have been in it with Fredericktown twice and they have hung with East Knox once. They are not as bad as their record might indicate I don’t think. We have got to hit the ball a lot better and throw more strikes than we have in the last four games or we are libel to get beat by anybody,” said Workman.

Published 4/25/18

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Buckeye Central is Closer

Buckeye Central is battling with the big boys in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference, but they just can’t get over the top… not yet.

Monday, they lost to co-leader Carey (7-2,) but coach Chad Jensen says they really had a chance to win the game. “Here is what we took away from Monday’s game. It was 1-1 in the seventh. Here we are toe to toe with the league leader in the “N10” just like we did the week prior with Seneca East, it is 1-0 in the seventh. Here we are toe to toe with these top two teams in our league and we just can’t quite get it done. Monday, it’s 1-1 and they put the ball in play, didn’t hit it hard at all, but they hit a few bloops and hit some spots. They did what good teams do and find green and that’s what they did against us on Monday. The bottom line is we are right there. Our pitching has kept us in games all year long. We have to hit better and we talked to the kids about that (Tuesday) and we have to keep grinding and that’s what we talked about after our game on Monday. Again, we are right there and we have to keep getting better and improving everyday,” said Jensen.

In order to continue to more forward, Jensen says they have to win one of these games against a good team. “We just said we are going to get there and when we get there and get over that hump and start getting more consistent it is going to get easier and that is exactly what we talked about on Monday after losing to Carey basically in the seventh inning once we get there and get over the hump things are going to get easier for us, but we just have to keep grinding and keep getting better and keep realizing that there is light at the end of the tunnel and keep working. Our kids see that, but it is hard when you are putting in all of the hard work and you are not quite there yet. The kids are still working hard and believe they can get there,” he said.

The tournament brackets will be drawn on Sunday, and Jensen says they have the potential to make some noise if they continue to get better. “I really think in our district it is really wide open. I think record wise from my observation Seneca East is probably the top based on what I have seen so far, but after that there are a lot of teams in the middle. There are a lot of teams fighting and battling for byes and battling for spots,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We are trying to get to playing our best baseball at the end of the year, I don’t think there is any doubt about that. That is what we keep talking with our kids about. Keep getting better and understand that we are in a district that is really wide open. We have that opportunity to really surprise some people. Not necessarily surprise ourselves because I think our kids believe we can play with anybody, we have done that all year. We have to get over that hump, we haven’t done anything yet, so until we do that we are still going uphill. Once we get over the top of that hill I think we could do some things in the tournament, but we have to continue to get better and see where that takes us.”

Published 4/25/18

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Mansfield Senior Building from the Bottom Up

Mansfield Senior is trying to find ways to become a more consistent baseball program and really it starts with younger kids, even junior high.

The Tygers got their first varsity win of the season last Friday in beating cross town rival Mansfield St. Peter’s (7-5) in a non-conference game.

Coach John Beasley says it certainly put a smile on everybody’s face. “The kids were super excited to get that first “W.” When it was over I told the kids that they say the first one is the hardest one to get and let’s try and build on it. We played a complete game for the first game all season. We keep preaching to the kids you have to pitch the ball, field the ball and hit the ball. Last Friday against St. Pete’s we were finally able to do that,” he said.

To be able to become competitive in the Ohio Cardinal Conference, Beasley says they have to become more consistent in all areas of the game. “Our league is a meatgrinder and number one you have to throw strikes. We have a couple of guys that have been doing a great job for us. Jakobe Reese has been doing excellent. He hasn’t been able to get a victory yet for us, but his ERA is around 4.50 and he is pitching the ball well. Then Breyon Mills came over to us from the basketball team and he is still trying to get in a grove. Then Noah Henley has come out of the bullpen and has thrown a lot of strikes for us,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We are just waiting for our bats to catch up. We’ll have games when we will hit the ball, put the pitching is lacking. We’ll have games where we are throwing strikes, but the fielding is lacking behind them. So, we are just looking for that consistency. We have quiet a few seniors, but they don’t have varsity experience. We are just trying to build that comradery and play as much as we can and build some consistency heading into the second half of the “OCC” season and then into the tournament.”

Just playing baseball is a big key for them as a program, according to Beasley. “I am trying to transform the mindset of our program. Kids just come out and play high school baseball at Mansfield Senior. I am trying to get them to play some travel ball, some summer ball because to compete in our league and with a lot of the high schools around here we are going to have to get kids to play more than 25 games a year. They have to get out and play 50 to 75 games with the spring and summer, so we can compete at a high level. We are starting the get that with some of our younger kids with the building of the middle school program and having JV’s since I have been back coaching. It has taken a little longer than I had hoped, but we have a great group of kids and I am excited to see where it goes over the next couple of years,” said Beasley.

Published 4/25/18

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Highland Creates Logjam at the Top of “KMAC”

Highland handed East Knox its first loss of the season Monday (6-4) and created a three way tie for first place in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference with the Bulldogs and Fredericktown.

The Freddies, who spilt with the Scots two weeks ago, hammered Cardington (14-1) on Monday.

East Knox (15-1,7-1), #1 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll n the small school division, was unbeaten going into Monday. Highland coach Donnie Kline says it was a tremendous win for them. “To go into East Knox and knock off an undefeated team is always tough. They are a well coached team. They have a lot of great athletes and they play the game the right way. It was a tough game, it really was. I was proud our guys were able to hang in there and we were able to pull out the win,” he said.

Trailing 2-1 going to the top of the fifth, the Scots put five runs on the board and Kline says that was key. He says it changed the momentum of the game. “One of our team goals is to try and win that big inning each game. It started off with a sophomore Liam Garrett getting a base hit up the middle, a double by Sam Lopiccolo, a senior, a triple by Tate Tobin. It really kind of exploded like that,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “I think what it does is it puts a lot of pressure on the other side. We were down 2-1 and then we are up 6-2. The pitcher was throwing pretty good and the defense was playing pretty well. It just kind of changed the momentum.”

Mack Anglin went six innings to get the win on Monday for the Scots. He allowed five hits and stuck out 14. Kyle Munday got the save by pitching the seventh.

Highland (7-4,6-1) plays at home against East Knox on Tuesday, weather permitting. Kline says they will have to do it all over again. “It is a unique challenge. I know a lot of conferences have done this is the past. It is a lot of fun, it really is. It is kind of like at the collegiate or professional level where you are trying to win a series. From a scouting standpoint, from the data we used for the games the boys get to use the same scouting reports, the same players, for back to back nights,” said Kline.

Published 4/24/18

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Crestview in a Share of First Place

Crestview scored seven runs in the sixth inning on Monday and they rallied to beat Mapleton (9-8) in a Firelands Conference game.

That keeps them in a share of first place with Norwalk St. Paul in the Firelands Conference.

Coach Don Keener says every conference game they play just seems to be bigger. “They sure do. Each one is very important. Like I told the guys the other day we have to take one at a time. Every game is really important. Every game counts and you have to be ready to go,” he said.

The Cougars scored a couple runs in the first inning, but they couldn’t get anything going in the middle innings. Kenner says they were able to stay patient and come up big in the sixth. “We scored early in first inning and we kind of went silent for a while and the guys kind busted it open in the sixth and that was huge,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “They were patient at the plate and got some clutch hits for us and put up in the sixth and gave us a little bit of a cushion. It was kind of nice to have a little bit there.”

Crestview (9-4,6-1) plays South Central in back to back Firelands Conference games on Tuesday and Wednesday, weather permitting. St. Paul is due to play Western Reserve in their conference games this week.

Keener knows there is still a lot of baseball to play. “There are a lot of games coming up. That is the key right now staying at it and staying after it and being ready to go every night out,” he said.

Published 4/24/18

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Smith Strikes Out 16 in Seneca East Win

Seneca East maintained a share of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference lead with a (2-0) win at Mohawk in league play on Monday evening.

Carey downed Buckeye Central (7-2) to keep its share of first place.

Bo Smith had the Warriors headed back to the dugout with their heads down a lot on Monday.

Coach Rick Bowerman says he had good stuff. “Our pitcher Bo Smith came up clutch. He threw a complete game, no runs, he struck out 16 and walked one batter. They had seven hits, four of those were infield hits,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “Anytime he got guys on base he bore down and got out of it. I could not be more happy with him than I am right now.”

Smith gave up some hits, but Bowerman says he made some big pitchers too. “That is what Bo did (Monday) night. When he got runners on base he bore down. He made some big time pitches (Monday) night and that is what you want your senior varsity pitcher to do. He really stepped up,” he said.

Seneca East (11-2,8-0), #5 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the small school division, plays at home against Upper Sandusky (8-7,5-4) on Tuesday. They meet Wynford (4-7,3-3) on Wednesday and Friday.

Bowerman says they have to show some depth and play consistent baseball to stay on top. “It’s a sprint and with the way the weather has been this spring. It seems like everything has been thrown on us. We have four league games this week against quality opponents. Mohawk (Monday) night and Upper (Tuesday) and then Wynford toward the end of the week. It is a tough week for us,” said Bowerman.

Published 4/24/18

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Ashland Beats Mt. Vernon in “OCC” Play

Ashland got past Mt. Vernon 5-3 in Ohio Cardinal Conference action on Monday afternoon.

That avenges a 5-2 loss to Yellow Jackets, the defending “OCC” champions, last Wednesday.

First year Ashland varsity coach Rick Gough knows any win against Mt. Vernon in a quality win. “Coach Gross does a great job down at Mt. Vernon and it is a quality program and anytime you can get a win over a quality program you are happy,” he said.

Brycen Light went to distance for the Arrows on Monday night and Gough says did a solid job of keeping Mt. Vernon off the bases. “Hats off to Brycen Light. He threw a complete game. Six strikeouts, no walks,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “I am not sure how many hits he gave up. He pitched his way out of jams and did an excellent job.”

Light was efficient on Monday and Gough says he kept the Yellow Jackets from getting a big inning. “I think a key (Monday) night was in six of the seven innings we kept the leadoff batter off the bases and that helped tremendously with our pitch count and we were able to play defense. We did make a couple of mistakes, but we were able to overcome those,” said Gough.

Ashland has a busy schedule the rest of this week. They play Medina, Mansfield Senior, Massillon and a doubleheader against Clyde on Saturday. Gough hopes they can get some consistency going. “Right now, we are playing Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and two on Saturday. I hope we get those games in,” he said.

Published 4/24/18

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Shelby Wins Fifth in a Row

Shelby has started to play some pretty good baseball as the Whippets won for the fifth straight time in an (8-1) win over Sandusky in Lake Division play in the Sandusky Bay Conference on Monday.

The Whippets (9-3,4-3) scored four times in the first inning against the Blue Streaks and coach Jon Amicone says that set the tone for the day. “We were fortunate enough to get off to a good start in the first inning. We put up four runs in the first and I thought the lefthander kind of settled in. He was able to pitch with the lead and he was throwing a couple of pitches for strikes. A nice three pitch mix for us and really kept their hitters off balance. Even with the weather I think he was able to battle through it and put up some good innings for us.” Said Amicone.

It started out as a nearly 70 degree afternoon on Monday and Amicone says that lets the pitchers have a little better command than what they have had on these bitterly cold days we have been having. “I think mentally you are just a lot more comfortable on the mound and you can get a lot more feel for the ball. We always teach our pitchers to dominate the top half of the baseball with their fingers. When the weather is nice it is easier to do that and you a little better command on all of your pitches,” he said.

Shelby pitchers have only surrendered two runs over the last five games, all wins for Shelby.

Although they remain three games behind Bellevue in the Lake Division race, the Redmen beat Perkins (4-1) on Monday, Amicone says all of these wins are big. “Baseball is different than any other sport. It is a game against yourself. If you go out there and make errors and walk people or you don’t get that big hit. You are going to lose those types of games,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday night, “Winning is just too hard in baseball not to enjoy it or not to appreciate it when you do get a win. They are hard to come by at times. I thought our kids did a nice job of staying focused and played the game the right way.”

Published 4/24/18

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Bellevue Maintains Lake Division Lead

A (9-2) win over Norwalk on Thursday evening allowed the Bellevue Redmen to keep a one game lead over Clyde in the Lake Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference.

Tied (1-1) heading to the bottom of the fifth inning, Bellevue exploded for eight runs.

Coach Andy Dennings says it all started with a homer by Mitchell Wells. “Mitchell Wells had a big at bat. I’m not sure, but I think Dalton Hay was on in front of him, he drew a walk. Mitchell Wells came up and was able to hit a two run home run and that kind of got us rolling there in the fifth. It was a really good ballgame back and forth with both teams kind of getting out of jams. We had a couple of opportunities early in the game where we just didn’t get that big hit,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “We had first and second and hit a hard shot and a kid made a big play at second base to double us up at second on a really close play and really kind of took us out of the inning. We got it going in fifth and were able to put a bunch on and that held for the rest of the game.”

Senior Bryce Ray hit a three run shot later in that fifth inning.

Dennings says they were able to time some things up when they got in the batter’s box. “It was the second, third time around that we had seen their starter and we were starting to get some better wood on him. They made a pitching change there and we were able to capitalize off of that. With their kid they were able to make some pitches and get out of jams early in the game. It was similar to what we did against Sandusky, we left 12 on against Sandusky. We had left maybe 10 on going into that fifth against Norwalk and finally we got that big hit to get us going and we took off from there,” he said.

Bellevue (10-1,7-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, is made up of a lot of more inexperienced players and Dennings says they have done a fantastic job. “I am proud of these guys. We didn’t return a whole lot of varsity experience, being 11 games in an being 10-1 I am pretty pleased. The credit goes to the kids they handle the ebbs and flows of the game very well. We don’t get too high, we don’t get too low. They keep grinding and sometimes we are not the prettiest at what we do, but they do it very well. They are a group that doesn’t quit. It has been a fun group to coach so far. There is a lot of the season left to play and we have a lot to work on. They believe in each other and believe in what we do and it is really paying off so far,” said Dennings.

Published 4/20/18

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Lexington and Madison Meet For Doubleheader

Lexington, the Ohio Cardinal Conference leader, travels to Mansfield Madison for a doubleheader of league games on Friday afternoon.

Lexington coach Kevin Morrow says the Rams are likely their biggest baseball rival and playing them is fun. “It is always special to go over there and play them. I have always kind of revered Madison as a baseball school. Doug Rickert has had an outstanding career over there and he is one of the best coaches around. When I got to Lexington I quickly learned that, I am not a Lexington guy or a Madison guy, when I got hired teach I kind of picked up on that right away. When I got hired Madison had just some unreal teams over there and so did we. As a baseball coach I always point that out that that is a game that you have to win. That is a measuring stick,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “It is always fun and it is always competitive. Last year, we spilt and it was just a dogfight and close battles over there. You know you are in for a fight when you play Madison because they are well coached. Even when maybe they don’t have their big guns they are going scrap and play and bunt and run, run a bunt play or a pick off play, and they are going to compete, so we are looking forward to it.”

Madison (3-5,0-2) is not having its best season, but Morrow says the Rams are going to come out and be ready to play and give it all they have against them. “Rivalries are fun. I always tell our kids that rivalries make games special, it makes the season special, especially when you play at the rival’s place. I always tell the kids rivalries are fun, but you have to keep it as classy as you can without letting it get sloppy or anything like that. I have always had a really good relationship with and a lot of respect for Doug and his program over there. Madison kids are going to want to play hard and we expect that,” he said.

Lexington (6-1,4-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, could complete half of their conference games unbeaten with a sweep, but Morrow knows that won’t be easy. “If you can win them both. We need to get these games in and the tournament draw is right around the corner. We are probably four or five games behind where we normally are on an average year. So, getting these games in is good. If we could win these two it would be huge in the league, but we know we have a fight on our hands against the Madison Rams,” he said.

Published 4/20/18

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Colonel Crawford With Some Revenge

Colonel Crawford softball players were not happy with the results on Wednesday and they got things turned around Thursday.

They lost at home to rival Bucyrus (1-0) on Wednesday, but 24 hours later they beat Bucyrus (12-2) in five innings.

Coach Chuck Huggins says he could see it in his players eyes. “I’m going to be honest it was a long 24 hours from Wednesday to Thursday. I’ll be honest I was like a bear with a sore butt. I guess it is telling me I am still doing the right thing since I don’t like to lose. I knew I had kids that felt the same way. I knew they were disappointed when they walked away from our field Wednesday night. I told them the nice thing about it with this game in spring and fast pitch softball is sometimes you don’t have to wait too long to get your opportunity at revenge. The weather cooperated for us and we got to go to Bucyrus (Thursday) night. You could just tell we were a team on a mission,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “I could just sense the moment I saw them after school I just knew that they felt the same way I did. Luckily, we jumped on them early and then made things happen and got good, good production throughout our lineup. That is a compliment to the kids and a compliment to their competitiveness. I am just proud of the way they responded and we were able to get a little revenge.”

Crawford took a (4-0) lead on a grand slam home run by Caitlin Koschnick in the first inning. Huggins says that was big for them and her. “It was such a crucial situation there, it was the top of the first inning, bases loaded, two outs, and two strikes on the batter. You couldn’t ask for a better scenario. Here was Caitlin Koschnick, who tore her “ACL” on the fall in volleyball and worked her tail off so she could have a senior season in softball. She is our number five hitter and I’ll be doggoned if she didn’t get into one and you could just tell it was gone from the time it left the bat. She hit it right straight into the teeth of the wind. The success story there is just unbelievable because she has just worked so hard for that opportunity and to see her be successful like that and put us out in the lead. That was huge and just really, really happy for her,” said Huggins.

It has been kind of a rough start for Colonel Crawford (9-4,5-4) for them, but Huggins feels with warmer weather they will be better too. “I was talking to my longtime assistant coach (Thursday) night Carl Diebler and he said I know we can’t control the weather and we can’t control it. I just feel like when the weather changes I just feel that will be to our benefit. First of all, it is going to help us get into a better rhythm that we know exactly what to expect. Second of all it is going to give us some opportunity to get some practice time in. Don’t get me wrong we get some things done in the gym, but with that said it is still tough. You can develop players in the gym, but teams are really developed outside. You just need that outside time on the field together to make sure we get everything done and make sure we improve as a team. It sounds good for next week and I am looking forward to some good weather days and some good opportunities to play some softball,” said Huggins.

Published 4/20/18

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Colts Blank Galion

Clear Fork is hitting it stride and they are becoming a dangerous baseball team.

Behind ace Gavin Bailey they shutout Galion (10-0) in six innings on Wednesday and remained a game behind Ontario in the race in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference.

Bailey’s ERA is 0.00 for the season. Coach Joe Staab says he got away with some things against the Tigers, but he has been very consistent this year. “Gavin pitched well as he is at his best when he pitches to contact. He gave some free passes (Wednesday) night. He made some mistakes, but he has been really consistent and we have played good defense behind him,” said Staab.

Clear Fork has been in double digits on the scoreboard in four its last five outings, the only time they weren’t was a (9-1) win over previously unbeaten Lexington on Saturday. Staab says they are going to bat with a plan. “The offense has been doing pretty well of trying to keep within themselves and going up there looking to be aggressive and taking advantage,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “They haven’t been sitting back. Hitting can be contagious and when everybody is hitting well everybody is having fun.”

If Mother Nature agrees and maybe she will and maybe she won’t, the Colts (6-2,4-1) play at Galion (7-2,2-1) on Thursday afternoon. Staab says they have to wipe the slate clean. “We are looking to get back out on the field and play again. Hopefully, we can just mentally prepare ourselves. It’s another game and whatever you did the game before doesn’t matter,” he said.

In a competitive league road wins against good teams are like gold and Staab knows the Tigers are going to be ready for the rematch. “It was nice having the first game at home with Gavin on the mound. We are going to go to Galion and with coach Jackson the guys and going to be ready. (Thursday) should be a good game and hopefully we are able to get back outside,” he said.

Published 4/19/18

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Ontario Blasts River Valley

Ontario Hammered River Valley (11-1) in action in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference on Wednesday evening.

The Warriors (8-3,5-0) have won six in a row and combined with a Clear Fork (10-0) win over Galion they are now all alone in first place in the conference. Clear Fork, Galion and Marion Pleasant are all a game back.

Coach Jeff Fisher says they are playing winning baseball and doing a lot of good things. “We are doing the things that winning teams do. You look at last year when we were up and down and .500 for the most part, since then we are throwing a lot more strikes and offensively we are not striking out as much. You put those two factors together with a defense that has been pretty solid you are going to grind out wins,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “So, we are in a point right here where we have put ourselves in good position to get into the meat of our schedule once the weather breaks here and stand for something.”

Fisher says they have started to get in the box and have some really good at bats. “It seemed like early in the year when we were down in Myrtle we were hitting backwards. It wasn’t that we were striking out, but we were taking that first good fastball and swinging at the pitcher’s pitch late in the count and get ourselves in a bind. So, we have seemed to have reversed that a little bit where we are little bit more confident and our feet are grounded and we are putting together better at bats,” he said.

Ontario hosts River Valley (0-9,0-6) on Saturday in another league game. They play rival Clear Fork twice next week in “MOAC” games.

Fisher says he likes what they have done on the mound, but they are going to be tested next week. “We have two senior leaders in Jake Gleason and Nolan Hatfield that have been through the wars as sophomores, juniors, and now seniors and behind them we have developed a little bit of depth where we can extend games or maybe close it out. It is really too early to say this is an established staff, but we like where we are headed. We like the fact that we are throwing more strikes and getting more strikeouts. We will find out here soon just how far we are,” said Fisher.

Published 4/19/18

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Crestview Moves into a Share of First Place

Crestview handed Norwalk St. Paul its first Firelands Conference loss of the season on Wednesday night as they beat the Flyers (9-5) and moved into a share of first place in the conference.

Coach Don Keener says their bats came alive for one of the first times this spring and it paid off. “We haven’t been putting up many runs in games. We have been getting three, four runs a game. Our bats came alive (Wednesday) night and we got some good clutch hitting,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “They did make some mistakes in the field to kind of help us out at times. Our guys 1-9 all hit the ball well and we did good things and moved guys over.”

What was the difference at the plate Wednesday night? Keener says the Cougars were able to wait on their pitch and drive it. “I think they were being patient and were really waiting on that one pitch they could drive. When they got it they cashed in on it. We got some clutch hits when we had runners on. We got some big hit finally,” he said.

Crestview (6-4,4-1) is tied for the lead in the conference, but they still have nine league games remaining. Keener knows it is going to be a battle. “It is fun, it really is. I mean every night you have to be ready to go. There are no nights off that’s for sure. Every team is good this year. They have good pitching and good hitting. You have to be ready to go every night,” he said.

Published 4/19/18

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Seneca East Remains Unbeaten in “N10”

Seneca East remained in a share of first place with Carey in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference with a (2-1) over Upper Sandusky on the road on Wednesday evening.

Rickie Lacy has a huge RBI single in the bottom of the sixth for the Tigers (9-2,6-0) to give them the lead.

Coach Rick Bowerman says they got outstanding pitching, as did Upper. “It was a nice win. Upper has a very nice team. We had a pitcher’s battle (Wednesday) night. I think each team had four hits,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “Upper’s pitcher Eric Snyder threw very well as did ours. Jacob Hall went five innings and Bo Smith came in with two innings in relief. It was a fun game.”

He says it was kind of a battle of which team could overcome their own mistakes. He says his team had four errors and failed to execute bunts on at least three occasions and had numerous baserunning mistakes. Upper Sandusky (6-6,3-4) had three errors.

Bowerman says it has been tough to stay focused with all of the problems caused by the weather. “Unfortunately, I think both team’s defense let us down a little bit and gave us some unearned runs. We feel like with the spring that we have had and not playing for a while and dealing with the elements it is hard to stay sharp. I think that affected both teams,” said Bowerman.

This might be the only game the Tigers get to play this week and Bowerman says they are always trying to keep the players positive. “I think it starts with our preparation and our pregame. When we get rained out or snowed out in practice we try to put them in situations that forces them to focus and keep mentally tough and always try to be positive with them,” he said.

Published 4/19/18

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Columbian Downs Norwalk Again

It seems that Tiffin Columbian has Norwalk’s number this season. The Tornadoes have been the Truckers in both of their meetings in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference this year.

They beat them (3-2) on Wednesday evening in Norwalk and they did it with three two out hits.

Coach Curt Mellott says they were really clutch at the plate. “We had some seniors really step up (Wednesday) night and have a really good game. Tony Szablewski got us on the board first with an RBI single for us in the fourth inning and also got an RBI single for us in the sixth. Then senior Tyson Price with a big blow in the top of the sixth inning with the winning hit, chasing in another run for us to make it 3-2,” said Mellott.

Plus, a good outing on the mound by two guys too that was able to hold down a pretty potent Norwalk lineup. Mellott says they were able to mix their pitches well. “Braden Brown was the pitcher in our first contest with them and we started him again (Wednesday) night and he went five strong innings. Donavan Magill came in to get the win in relief,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “All in all we were able to throw multiple pitches for strikes in different parts of the zone and really good defense, so really proud of their effort.”

Columbian is involved in a very interesting Lake Division race. Mellott says you always have to be at your best to win and that isn’t easy considering the weather we have been having. “I would love to not where long underwear for games. I really feel to win in this league you have to bring your “A” game each time with anybody. I mean anybody can win on any given night because it is such an even keel league. Just really proud of our efforts here lately,” he said.

Published 4/19/18

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Shelby Still Looking

Shelby has played only seven baseball games and they have won just over half of them. The lack of time of the field concerns coach Jon Amicone.

He says it has been hard to stay focused, but he thinks they have done a pretty good job of that considering what they have faced. “We have played seven games so far and in a typical season we use the first seven games to iron our lineups and let competition settle on the field. Now, after our first seven games we are talking about getting ready for tournament time, which is right around the corner. It is really difficult to try and assess and try to determine how good your team is playing because once you kind of get into a grove Mother Nature kind of takes over and you are setting another five games,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “I think our kids have done a relatively good job of staying focused with the inability to get outside on a regular basis. We have been in, we have been out. You are talking about teenage kids and trying to keep their focus that can be a challenge. I think our leaders have really stepped up and tried to keep guys focused and continue the process of being a good baseball team.”

Shelby is scheduled to play Mansfield Senior in a non-conference game on Wednesday. The weather is supposed to improve.

This spring the Whippets are pretty inexperienced and Amicone says the weather has made it difficult to determine who should be playing. “We have some young guys at key positions and we are trying to compete and I think competition breeds success in your program and our guys really haven’t had a chance to compete and show what they can do on the field on a regular basis. You want to give kids chances to compete and play at a high level and Mother Nature has kind of taken care of that. We use practice as an assessment tool. There is nothing like real life games. There are no questions on the field. When you play a game you can see everything. You can see who is going to rise to the occasion and who is going to fold under pressure. We can try play as many games as possible and try to get back in the league race and get ready for the tournament,” said Amicone.

Shelby (4-3,2-3) lost to Bellevue (3-2) and Norwalk (6-2) and beat Tiffin Columbian (8-0) in conference games last week. They play Sandusky Perkins on Thursday.

Amicone says they might have to run the table if they are going to win a third straight league title. “It is a very competitive division, no doubt about it. We lost a couple of tough games. We lost in the seventh to Bellevue and a tough game to a Norwalk team that is playing really well right now. I thought both games could have gone either way. Both of those teams played better than us for seven innings and that’s why they were able to win. We have to continue to work. We will play those teams again. Obviously, we want to play at a high level game in and game out to put ourselves in a good position. The cards have been dealt and we didn’t get it done first time through. It might be out of our hands for now. It’s all about continuing to get better and continuing to improve and try and make a nice tournament run,” said Amicone.

Published 4/18/18

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Mt. Vernon Resetting… Again

Mother Nature was the easy winner on Monday and Tuesday and hopefully high school baseball and softball teams can return to action on Wednesday.

Mt. Vernon baseball has Ohio Cardinal Conference games with Ashland on Wednesday and Thursday.

Coach Rob Gross says this has been a special kind of spring and not in a good way. “I have doing it a long time and I have never gone through a spring like this. You really have to have a lot of mental toughness. You are trying to preach that to the kids all of the time because last week everybody finally got a lot of games in and you think, okay, here we go and then bam it’s the fourth time where you are almost starting back square one. You say let’s go back to our fundamentals, everybody gets their work in, and just get prepared for the next time you can play. It is difficult. I feel bad for the kids. You get a kid that is on a hot streak and by the time you play again he might be cold again. It’s not physical, it is mentally and emotionally draining,” said Gross.

Gross says you just can not prepare your team when you are inside all of the time. He says it just isn’t the same. “You can’t even throw the same distances as far as even the catcher throwing down to second or to simulate an infield fielding a ball, throwing a ball. To be honest if we are in the gym we typically are just hitting unless we find a place that we find a place that has turf. We have done that a couple of times,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “At the least there that is somewhat similar to grass where you can kind of simulate that. When you don’t have a complex like that to do it everyday it just makes it difficult. I have noticed that not only with our team, but other teams that we have played. You have defensive miscues because you don’t have those consistent reps.”

Mt. Vernon (4-5,0-2) plays Ashland (2-3,2-1) in “OCC” games this week. Gross says after losses to Lexington (8-1) and (9-4) last week these games are very important to them. “We talked about with the guys. I knew Lexington would be a good team. I was hoping we would at least get a spilt. We had that lead in the second game with them, but now that those are over even though Ashland hasn’t played many games they surprised me because it sounded like they easily could have swept Wooster. I know they are a young team, but these are important games because I feel like now, with Clear Fork out of our conference, we have less conference games. I think Lexington right now is sitting in the driver’s seat, so we can’t afford anymore slip ups. That’s why I think it would be kind of nice if we could get on a roll and try to be a more consistent baseball team,” said Gross.

Published 4/18/18

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Madison Continues to Work

Madison has a lot of young, inexperienced baseball players filling significant roles, but they have gotten better and their coach expects that will continue to be the case.

They beat a very good Hillsdale team (7-6) in their last game on Friday, but coach Doug Rickert says they need to develop more consistency in their performance. “I told the kids after the game (Friday) that we have to get some consistency. We have gotten to the point where you can’t play real well one night and real bad another and have a real good inning and a real bad inning. I told the kids that we are getting to the point where we aren’t going to use that word young as an excuse. It is tough. There are times when we have four or five freshmen out there at some pretty big positions on the field for us. They are going to make mistakes. Probably every one of them should be on a JV baseball team. That is nothing against them because they are good players and they work hard, but they are kids that wouldn’t be playing varsity baseball for Madison. So, it is a struggle, it is tough, but we are getting through it,” said Rickert.

Rickert says they do not have a lot of kids who are athletes that are juniors and that has hurt them a little bit, plus they just need more practice time outside. “We have some good seniors, but we don’t have any senior pitchers. We graduated six pitchers last year that threw every inning for us. We graduated 12 seniors and that’s a big class. Our junior class at Madison just has not had a lot of athletes in it, it just has not, and that’s all sports. So, we have one junior on our team right now. There are few sophomores and some freshmen that have to be thrown in this early. I really like our kids. They work extremely hard. It has taken some time to build some chemistry too because there are these seniors and then these young kids,” he told Swankonsports.com, “It is fortunate that we have really good kids in our senior class and they have helped our kids and they try and help them all of the time. There hasn’t been a whole lot of time to practice outside. Things you can do in a gym or a football turf is just not the same. I think some of the mistakes that we make when we get a little more time to practice will improve. We can use some practice time. Last week, we had a good two and half hour practice. We were able to do a lot of individual attention, but it is not showing yet on the field and we have to continue as coaches to do a better job and get these kids prepared.”

Cal Rickert is playing for his dad now for the fourth year and Doug says it has been a great experience. “I have been blessed. First of all, I have a great kid. He is an exceptional student. He doesn’t go out and party and go to places like that. The other thing I have been fortunate with is he is an extremely hard worker. He has been by my side in baseball and basketball since he was in diapers. He knew what I expected out of him. The only thing I ever told him was no matter what all you have to do is work hard and no one will ever say you are playing because you are my kid. One thing he has done a great job of is working. He has to, he is a 5’10” kid, he is not real big, and he wasn’t blessed with a big arm. Kids see him work. He is very good at helping the other kids out. He was fortunate that when he came up as a freshman we had a nice team and went to the regionals. I just try and treat him like everybody else. I yell at my son when he makes mistakes. I don’t treat him any different. I have a lot people tell me they can’t believe how I handle him, but he has made it really easy on me,” said Rickert.

Published 4/17/18

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Galion Ready for Clear Fork

The Galion Tigers, even though they are young, are off to a very good start to their season. They play Clear Fork on Tuesday and Wednesday, if Mother Nature says yes, in back to back games in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference.

Galion (7-1,2-0) shares the lead in the conference with Ontario. Coach Phil Jackson says his young kids have done the job. “You hope for that kind of start, especially with the number of freshmen we have to rely on I am pleased with the start that we have had. It could have gone either way, so I am happy with the start we have had,” he said.

Early in the season, even though it has been cold, the Tigers have hit the ball really well. Jackson says that has been the key to their success. “Flat out hitting has been our strength. We can score runs in bunches. It is one of the better hitting teams all around that I have ever coached top to bottom,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “That includes the young kids. The seniors are great leaders. We have great approaches at the plate and get some nice swings. When we get to hitting it is tough to stop us.”

Ryan Utz, Aaron Barnhart and Ethan Ping are the top three hitters in the league, all over .450 on the season.

Jackson admits that Galion and Clear Fork (5-3,3-1) have built a pretty good rivalry on the baseball diamond that should only be enhanced with Clear Fork entering the league. “It is good hearted between the coaches. We have played each other in sectionals and districts for a number of years in the past and now being league rivals it has an element of rivalry. We know each other really well. They have a great team and we just hope to go up there and compete,” he said.

In order to have success against the Colts, Jackson says you have to keep senior Thomas Staab off the bases. “He is fast and he has great baseball instincts. He is a great baseball player and a great baseball mind. You try and take away the other team’s biggest weapon and if we can do anything to affect him, so he doesn’t hurt us or kill us is what we are shooting for, but they have a lot of other nice players. Hunter Auck is a good player as well, the Bailey kid pitching. They just have a lot them, but we will do our best,” said Jackson.

Published 4/17/18

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Buckeye Better and Still Working

Buckeye Central is just under the .500 mark at this point of the season and they are clearly better than they were a year ago.

Coach Chad Jensen says they still have to be more consistent, but he has seen a change in attitude. “We are definitely better than we were a year ago. We get better each game. Our kids expect to win a little bit more than in the past. I think last year we were happy to be competitive and now we are not happy to just be competitive. We want to compete and we want to win, so I think that is the biggest difference between last year and this year. Our kids are hungry and they are doing what we ask them to do. We just have t continue to take that next step and not be satisfied. We have won two games in a row here. We talked about it (Monday) in practice, we have 11 league games to go. We have a long way to go and we have to keep getting better every day,” said Jensen.

Buckeye Central beat Upper Sandusky (10-0) and Plymouth (6-3) in their last two games and Jensen says they need to build on that. “We talked about that (Monday) in practice, how good do you want to be? We could be as good as anybody. We just have to do the little things right. We have to put the ball in play more. We have done that, but we have to do that. We have to play better defense. Some days we play pretty good and some days we don’t. I told them listen if we pick and choose when we are going to play defense we are going to lose on those days. We have to make it a priority. Our pitchers have done well. They have kept us in games. Ultimately, we are going to have to put those three facets together, consistently, if we want to win more games,” he said.

If the weather permits, Buckeye Central (5-6,2-3) will host Seneca East (8-2,5-0,) he co-leader in the conference on Tuesday. Jensen says they have to believe they can win and then do the things that are required. “The last time we played, we lost 4-2 and we were up early in that ballgame and it was 3-2 in the sixth. It was over there at Seneca East and it was 3-2 in the sixth and we were down. They got and insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. We competed with them, but again that wasn’t good enough,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We know we can compete with them. The bottom line is what do we have to do to beat them? They are an excellent team, excellent program that we have a lot of respect for. Our pitchers have to go out and throw strikes again. That is the number one thing we have to do is get ahead in the count. We have to put the ball in play more. We sometimes strike out too much. We have to make plays on defense, we have to help our pitchers out. Our pitchers aren’t going to strike out 12 or 13 guys a night, so have to play better defense.”

Published 4/17/18

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Locals do Well at Mehocks

It was a rainy day in Mansfield, but not as bad as forecasted and the Mehock Relays went on without delay.

East Kentwood (Michigan) won the boys’ team title and Gahanna Lincoln won the girls. Each finished second behind the other as well, but the local schools from North Central Ohio did quite well thank you. Shelby was fourth, River Valley fifth, Sandusky sixth, Crestview seventh, Willard ninth and Ontario tenth in the boys’ standings. Madison fourth, Ashland fifth, Galion sixth, Mt. Gilead seventh, Shelby ninth and Ontario tenth for the girls.

Samuel Logan of Shelby kicked past teammate Blake Lucius to win the 800 meter run. “You have to train how you race. If you are going to kick at the end, you have to train to kick at the end. We can both go under two and I was trying to get him to go under two,” said Logan.

Logan finished in 2:00.16 and Lucius was second in 2:00.83.

Lucius says he wasn’t surprised by the results. “I’m used to it. He is always like this. We could be doing a nine mile run and three miles in he is already passing us and its like come on man slow down,” he said.

Shelby’s Caleb Brown kicked past Daniel Arimit of Ashland in the final 100 meters to win the boys’ 3200 meter run. “He had me I thought, but I knew if I could just dig a little deeper I could get him. That was something else, I didn’t think I had him. Me and him are really good friends. He is a really good runner. We have faced each other before in the 800 or the 4x800, but never the 3200,” said Brown after the win.

Brown was clocked in 9:40.41 and Arimit in 9:40 .94.

Shelby’s Cameron Stine won the boys’ high jump, Josh Holida of Willard the discus, Hudson McDaniel of Ashland the 300 hurdles and Ashland also won the 4x800 meter relay.

For the girls’, Kari Eckenwiler of Madison won the long jump, Kayla Hokes of Ashland the pole vault and Marisa Gwinner of Galion took the top spot in the high jump.

Published 4/14/18

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Mehock Relays Set for Saturday

Before than Mansfield Mehock Relays they were still making silent movies, brokers thought the stock market was always going to rise and biggest sports star in the country was a guy named Babe Ruth.

It was 1927.

Jesse Owens won here in 1933.

The relays come to Mehock Field in Mansfield again on Saturday.

Director Sharon Wiegand says the weather, there are thunderstorms predicted, could be a factor for sure. “It will definitely have an effect. If we do have thunderstorms we will be dealing with delays. The forecast didn’t show a lot of wind for Saturday, but that could be a factor in the pole vault. Rain, of course, causes slippery conditions in the long jump and the high jump. So, we will just have to play it by ear,” said Wiegand.

It terms of teams and athletes, Wiegand says it will be about the same as it was in 2017. “We have about 31 boys teams and 32 girls teams, pretty comparable to last year, slightly less athletes, but still over 600 and I am happy with that,” she said.

The number of athletes will never again be at the level it was in the 1970’s or 80’s there are just too many other meets, but Wiegand says there will be kids from out of state. “We still have a few teams from Michigan coming down. We did not get a Canadian team this year, which was surprising,” she told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “Both boys and girls team from East Kentwood, which is a Michigan team were runners up last year and they are going to be back again. Our defending champions Gahanna Lincoln, the were champion is both boys and girls. They will be back also.”

Mansfield St. Peter’s Alysee Wade won three division three titles at the state meet last June. Winning the 100 and 200 meter dashes and the 100 meter hurdles. Wiegand says she will be in the Mehock field. “We have a local athlete in Alysee Wade from St. Peter’s and she was a three time state champion last year. She will be entered in all three of her specialty events. A number of other state placers will be competing on Saturday as well,” said Wiegand.

Wade will be running next year for Eastern Michigan of the Mid American Conference.

Wiegand adds there will be a number of other local athletes competing on Saturday. “Besides Mansfield Senior, we have kids from Madison, Ashland, Clear Fork, Ontario, Crestview, Mansfield Christian, Shelby, Galion as well as St. Pete’s,” she said.

Published 4/13/18

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Lexington Wins Battle un Unbeatens

Lexington, the Ohio Cardinal Conference leader, and Bellevue, the “SBC” Lake Division co-leader, locked horns in a non-conference baseball game on Thursday and the Minutemen came out on top (5-4) to remain unbeaten.

Coach Kevin Morrow says it was a really good win for them. “Anytime you can be undefeated at this point it is always good. To have a week where you are playing a big time program like Mt. Vernon and an undefeated and always state ranked Bellevue team on the road that is a heck of an accomplishment and to do it with your number five pitcher’s debut on the season and to go up against a juggernaut team like Bellevue is a special win,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “There are a lot of good things that come about when you can pull that off. In our district Bellevue pulls a lot of weight and has a lot of respect with their program up there. If we can beat them that definitely helps at the end of the year when it comes to voting and seeding and those type things. Right now, it is a big shot in the arm that we can add to the momentum of getting some wins against Mt. Vernon and how getting one against Bellevue.”

The Minutemen had beaten Mt. Vernon, the defending “OCC” champ, (8-1) and (9-4) on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Lexington scored five times in the first inning and Morrow says the were able to make that stand up. “We came out just guns blazing and just kind of poured it on there. Their pitcher Burris made some great adjustments and we did not. We started swinging at his pitches. He did a great job after that first inning of shutting us down. We played just enough defense and pitched just good enough to squeak it out. Sometimes you have to learn how to win like that when the bats go cold. We were able to pull it off,” he said.

Lexington got the win Thursday behind the pitching of Josh Aiello and Austin Basham. Morrow says they were outstanding. “I was really proud of Josh and Austin. They are both basketball players they were on that big run to Columbus, so we really haven’t gotten those guys a ton of bullpen time or practice so there have had to play catch up in a hurry. Josh has thrown a couple of short bullpens and practice and I said, hey, you have got Bellevue Thursday. He said give me the ball and I give the kid credit for not having a warm up phase or a relief appearance to get his feet wet. He went right in against an undefeated powerhouse team and did great. I think he only gave up two earned runs on the day and threw about 75, 80 pitches. Basham, another basketball player, comes in and throws two to hang on at the end and close it out. It was pretty cool,” said Morrow.

Published 4/13/18

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Colonel Crawford Working on Getting Better

Colonel Crawford has won seven of the nine softball games they have played so far, but they know they can still get a lot better.

Coach Chuck Huggins says they really have left too many plays out on the field. “I know there would a whole lot of coaches in the area that would be awful happy to be sitting at 7-2, but doggone I think about the two 99% of the time when I am thinking about softball and 1% on the seven W’s. When we learn, we learn from our losses, yes, and I think that is important and that is what we are doing and I know that is why I think about things like that. 7-2 and I made a comment to the kids that that is good, but it’s not great and that is how I describe it to them and I think they really believe that,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “They are a little disappointed too. We talked about those losses and we left a couple of plays out there on the field or didn’t hit the ball like we were capable. They understand that. Had we been able to do the things we are capable to doing better results would have happened.”

Even in games they have won, Huggins says too many runners have been on base and too many runs have scored. “That is a major concern just because of the way they happened. Just a lot more baserunners are appearing on bases when we are in defense than should whether it be through walks, a few untimely errors, we have had a few hit by pitches, just a little bit of this and a little bit of that that is very uncharacteristic. Those things very definitely have my attention because for us to get to where we want to be that all has to be cleaned up and we have to make sure that we are able to correct those things before we get too late into the season,” he said.

Colonel Crawford (7-2,4-2) sits in fourth place in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference heading into a game at Seneca East (3-3,1-3) on Friday. They are two games behind Carey.

Huggins, the head coach for more than 30 years, says he knows how important getting a practice in outside. “I know a lot people think it is all about games, but I couldn’t wait until (Thursday) night. Don’t get me wrong our game nights are not just game night we truly us those as practice situations as far a things we need to work on. When we get out there we are already starting to talk about things from the night before that we need to correct, like baserunning or anything at all that stuck out in our mind that needs corrected or needs addressed. We do that right away and then we move onto game night. So, we are still practicing on game night, but that said I was ecstatic about (Thursday) night being a practice night and trust me we got after it just working on softball I.Q., working on the mentality of learning the game, trying to put the kids through every possible scenario possible so there is nothing that we leave unturned. In that case I love, love practices,” said Huggins.

Published 4/13/18

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Clear Fork Edges River Valley

Clear Fork kept itself in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference softball race with a key (3-2) win over River Valley on Wednesday.

That was after losing to the Lady Vikings (10-9) on Tuesday. Clear Fork is two games behind unbeaten North Union and Ontario.

Clear Fork coach Jeff Gottfried says it was a different kind of game on Wednesday. “The first night it was a little chilly and the wind was blowing out at their place. Not that it really affected anything. I just think the pitchers had a little trouble hanging onto the ball and missed their locations at times. Between the two teams I think there were 26 hits and 19 runs scored. (Wednesday) night at our place the wind was kind of blowing in a little, but kind of crossways. It was probably 10 degrees warmer and sunny and it was amazing how much better feel the pitchers had with the ball. Both pitchers, pitched very, very well. It was a good ballgame and we were fortunate to come out on top by a run,” said Gottfried.

Haylie Miller hit a two run homer for Clear Fork in the first inning and Courtney Palmer put the Lady Colts up (3-1) with a solo home run in the fourth inning.

Clear Fork has shown a lot of power this year and Gottfried says it has been throughout the lineup. “It has kind of been spread throughout our lineup. I think we have seven kids that have hit home runs and you would be hard pressed to find a high school softball team with seven different kids with home runs. I don’t know if it is the field. I don’t know if it is wind aided. I don’t have any idea, but you have to hit the ball hard and we have some good kids that are seeing the ball really well right now,” he said.

Freshman Maddie Wine is in the circle for Clear Fork this season and Gottfried says he was impressed with her comeback effort on Wednesday. “I was really curious as to how Maddie Wine would bounce back (Wednesday) night. She got hit pretty hard (Tuesday) night and they scored a bunch of runs on her and we lost the game in the bottom of the seventh. Sometimes that can be very mentally challenging, but she came back. In fact, they loaded the bases in the first inning on her with no outs,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “I’m think to myself, okay, how is she going to handle this? Our defense made some good plays and helped her out and got out of that inning. That was huge to not give up and runs there because if they get on the board early like that did (Tuesday) night we could have had some trouble, but we responded in the bottom of the first and put a two spot on the board and I think that helped her relax a little bit. As the game progressed she certainly settled down pretty well.”

It has been very cold this spring, but Gottfried says his girls are tough and he has given them a little tip. “I try to brainwash the girls, they don’t believe it, but they know I am going to say it that it is sunny and 70 every single day, which we know it is not. It is physically tough and it is mentally tough to get yourself to hang in there. You take one in on the hands and your hands are stinging and you can’t feel you hands for three innings. You can make fun of us, but we encourage our girls to put a batting glove on their throwing hand on defense. You don’t see a lot of kids do that, but that is something I did as a player and I wasn’t afraid to do it and our girls have found out that it certainly doesn’t hurt you. You can still grip the ball and make a throw and they have kind of embraced that concept. Our kids are pretty resilient and pretty tough no matter what the temperature is they just like to play,” said Gottfried.

Published 4/12/18

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Ashland Hammers Wooster

Ashland battled back from a loss Tuesday night to Wooster to blast the Generals (20-3) in an Ohio Cardinal Conference baseball game on Wednesday evening.

Coach Rick Gough says they didn’t play very well in an (8-5) loss on Tuesday and he was very pleased they were able to turn it around. “It was a great bounce back game for us. I didn’t feel we played our best ball on Tuesday and I was really happy that we bounced back (Wednesday) night and got the win,” he said.

Obviously, the Arrows (2-1,2-1) swung the bats very well on Wednesday at home. Gough says thy made some changes and that seemed to work pretty well. “I tweaked the lineup a little bit and the kids responded. I have one stat that says we had 16 hits and one stat that says we had 18 hits and you are not going to do that on a nightly basis, but it worked out well (Wednesday) night,” he said.

Ashland is scheduled to play Norwalk in a doubleheader on Saturday if the thunderstorms stay away and then Mansfield Senior on Monday and Mt. Vernon on Tuesday and Wednesday in “OCC” games.

Gough says he hopes they can take the confidence from Wednesday into this next stretch of games. “I think the fact that we have only played three games. We played our first game against Madison and did well. Then we had a week layoff where we were basically in the gym,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “We played on Tuesday and were kind of feeling are way around I believe. So, I think we made a pretty significant improvement (Wednesday) night. Now, will we do that going forward? That is hard to say, but (Wednesday) night we will enjoy it.”

Published 4/12/18

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Galion Wins in the Bottom of the Seventh

Galion scored on a suicide squeeze play in the bottom of the seventh inning and they beat Marion Harding (14-13) in Mid Ohio Athletic Conference action on Wednesday.

Coach Phil Jackson says they made the plays when they had to in order to get the win. “We didn’t play very well early. We got into the last inning and got the leadoff runners on and were down two and we manufactured runs. We ran a safety squeeze, a suicide squeeze and a hit and run. Our kids got the job done when it counted,” he said.

Jackson says the Tigers (6-1,2-0) made a lot of mistakes in the game, but when it was time to win it they rose to the occasion. “Those fundamentals are what left us early and I think kept Marion in the game. We ended up making six errors and uncounted other errors like baserunning errors and bad at bats with the bases loaded with pop ups to the infield and things like that,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “What I told our kids was the character of a team really shows itself when you are behind, especially late in the game and I am very happy with the character that our kids showed.”

With a lot of inexperience this season the Tigers have made some mistakes in games, but Jackson says they have a heart like lions. “We are super young so we have games that we are making mistakes and things like that, but the fight in our kids, and you see the confidence grow, and it is amazing. It was a great game to be part of. At least from my side. I imagine Marion Harding wouldn’t say the same. It was fun to play that badly and still find a way to win is important for a young team,” he said.

Published 4/12/18

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Norwalk Earns Big Win Over Shelby

Nate Adelman had four RBI and Austin Christman got his third win of the season as Norwalk beat Shelby (6-2) on Wednesday in play in the Lake Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference.

Coach Wes Douglas says they did a lot of things well against the Whippets at their place. “Shelby is two time league defending champs. They have a lot of nice baseball players and are well coached. I knew it was going to be a tough game. It might be the most complete game we have had in a long time here at Norwalk. We pitched well, we defended well, ran the bases well, and we swung it well. We got up early. Austin Christman, who is 3-0 on the mound, made hold up. I couldn’t be happier with the way we preformed (Wednesday) night,” said Douglas.

Norwalk (5-3,2-1) has not hit the ball all that well until Wednesday night and Douglas says they really battled and especially Adelman got some big hits for the Truckers. “We faced their number two pitcher I think with a pretty solid arm. We only struck out twice. We had two out hits for RBIs, we had two strike, two out hits that brought runs in. Guys battled well at the plate,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “Freshman Nate Adelman continues to lead our team in hitting had a two-run single in the first and a two-run triple later in the game. He missed a grand slam foul by about two feet in that first inning. He has really done a nice job as a freshman. The whole team 1-9 was really good at the plate.”

Douglas has been around the game for a long time and he says those clutch plays do a lot for your confidence. “It is defeating to the other dugout I think and lifts your dugout to get that run with two outs and maybe two strikes. We had a lot of the that (Wednesday) night and we hadn’t had many. When they did get a few baserunners we turned a double play, made a great play at third base. Our defense kind of shut their innings down,” he said.

Published 4/12/18

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Edison Shuts Out Port Clinton

Edison kept itself in the Bay Division race in the Sandusky Bay Conference with a (4-0) win over Port Clinton on Wednesday evening.

Veteran coach Sean Hoover says they have gotten good pitching and they have been pretty good in the field and that has led to some success. “We have pitched really well and played some pretty good defense here lately. Anytime you can put those two things together you are going to have a chance to win,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “We have come up with a few timely hits. We aren’t tearing the cover off the ball by any stretch of the imagination, but our defense and our pitchers have kept us in innings. We have been able to get some guys on and push some runs across when we have needed to.”

They also beat Huron (10-0) on Monday night in division play.

Hoover says they don’t need to be spectacular on defense, but they have been doing what is required. “With defense the main things we always talk about is making the plays that you are capable of making. We aren’t looking for the great plays, but when the ball is hit to you, the double plays you should turn. Things like that that you can take care of defensively. If you can make those plays then you should be in games,” he said.

The Chargers (4-3,3-1) play Willard on Friday and Oak Harbor on Monday in “SBC” play.

Hoover says the Bay Division is going to be a battle this year his opinion. “Oak Harbor has been playing well. Vermilion got us the other day for our one loss. There is a lot of back and forth here, anybody and beat anybody on any given night. So, every team has got to make sure they show up and be ready to go,” he said.

Published 4/12/18

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Lexington Produces Big Win over Mt. Vernon

Lexington belted defending Ohio Cardinal Conference champion Mt. Vernon (8-1) in an “OCC” baseball game on Tuesday evening.

Coach Kevin Morrow was very excited by his kid’s performance against a team of the caliper of Mt. Vernon. “We told them before the game, number one in the “OCC” any team can beat you on any night, but Mt. Vernon, and coach (Rob) Gross, have a tremendous program down there. The “OCC” kind of goes through them. They are the defending champs and I think a lot of people thought they were going to be at the top of the heap this year too. This was kind of, I guess, a statement game, but we have to go back down there (Wednesday) and they are definitely going to be back after it and ready to defend their home territory,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “They can hit the ball when they get it going, but we are really happy to at least have a guaranteed split against Mt. Vernon. That is a rare thing. In 14 years of coaching baseball at Lexington at different levels I think this is the fifth win I have ever had against a Mt. Vernon program. That kind of shows you who they are and what they do down there. So, real excited to have a win and we have to go back after it (Wednesday.)

Jared Strickler tuned a tremendous performance on the mound for the Minutemen. Plus, Morrow says they were very good fielding the ball in support of him. “Jared with dialed in again. He didn’t let their big guns string together hits. I think he only gave up four hits in six innings. Our defense was there. Our outfield had several putouts. (Jake) Deppershmidt did a great job at shortstop. (Austin) Basham did nice job as he has moved into the catcher’s role. He did a great job (Tuesday) night of calling the game and doing his frame work and not allowing any passed balls. The defense was there and we finally kind of busted it open in the fourth inning and things started to go our way,” said Morrow.

Lexington (5-0,3-0) snapped a scoreless game with a five spot in the fourth inning off the Yellow Jackets (3-3,0-1) and that was kind of unexpected, according to Morrow. “It took us to the fourth, it was 0-0, and it was a Mt. Vernon-Lexington dogfight there and I thought this was going to be a 1-0, 2-1, type win. If we can get somebody on third maybe we can squeeze. It just got into that fourth inning and we kind of kept going an we had a couple of things bounce our way. We strung together several hits and gave Jared some breathing room. We tacked on a few insurance runs there in the end. It felt good to see the scoreboard having that many runs against a good Mt. Vernon team,” said Morrow.

Published 4/11/18

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Clear Fork Pounds River Valley

Clear Fork has scored double figure runs in each of its last two games and they are starting to find some things.

They beat River Valley (14-6) in a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference game on Tuesday evening.

With the exception of last year’s ace Mitch Dulin, the Colts are pretty much back to full strength after having some players out to start the campaign, and coach Joe Staab says that it is a plus and they have been able to develop some depth too. “It is nice having everybody back besides Mitch, it would be nice to have Mitch, but with the circumstances that we have it was nice to have some other players get the opportunity to step up and fill some roles in case we have other situations that happen during the season,” he said.

In terms of their offense, Staab says they have been going to the plate with a better approach. “It was nice to get that going. Just try and go up there and barrel the baseball and put it hard in play. When it is that cold. With the weather conditions the way they are sometimes the defense struggles and starts throwing it around a little bit. We were able to put the ball in play and get things going,” said Staab.

Clear Fork (3-3,2-1) has been pretty much like that record would indicate, up and down, but Staab is hoping for a little more consistent play as it starts to warm up a little bit. “We have seen Jekyll and we have seen Hyde. It is controlled by ourselves,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday night, “I am pleased that we are able to play at a level that we are expected to play at, but it is also a displeasure when sometimes we are not able to preform. We just have to go out and compete for seven innings every night and I think the rest can take care of itself.”

Clear Fork is at home for River Valley (0-5,0-2) on Wednesday. Staab says he likes that back to back format that the “MOAC” has adopted this year. “It is nice both ways. If you come out and get a win it is nice to have the next day to kind of keep the momentum going and if come out and get a loss on a Tuesday it is nice to have another game the next day. So, I do enjoy playing the back to back games. The more you are able to string it together, the more you are able to play, the better it is,” said Staab.

Published 4/11/18

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Ontario Edges Buckeye Valley

Ontario continues to share the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference lead after holding on to beat Buckeye Valley (5-4) on the road in conference play on Tuesday evening.

Coach Jeff Fisher says it was an outstanding game and they are very happy to get the win. “Going down to Buckeye Valley for the first time we had our eyes wide open not knowing what to expect. We knew they were going to be well coached. We know they have a college guy that doubles up as their ace pitcher. In the summer time he is primarily a catcher. It was an old fashion pitcher’s duel between Jake Gleason and their guy. If you witnessed that ballgame you saw a really good baseball game,” said Fisher.

The Warriors broke a (1-1) tie with a four spot in the fifth inning and Fisher says they were able to get some clutch hits. “It is important to score first, but if you don’t you play for the big inning. Hopefully, when you go through the lineup one time you can make some adjustments and we did. We opened that inning with three base hits and it kind of opened up the door for us to come back,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “We got two, two out base hits, which gave us some insurance. When you can do that, especially with guys that had been struggling to that point, and they find a way to put the ball in play and RBI hits that really helped our cause.”

Ontario (5-3,2-0) plays at home against Buckeye Valley (3-3,0-1) on Wednesday afternoon.

They beat North Union (8-7) last Thursday and Fisher says they have been able to get on a little streak here. “This is two one run ballgames in a row that we were fortunate to win. It is five in a row at this point. We won our last two in Myrtle. We have to continue that streak (Wednesday.) I told our kids it is just one ballgame, just like it is just one pitch and one inning. You have to take games as they come and create your opportunities. We are really happy with where we are at right now,” he said.

Published 4/11/18

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Crestview With a Little Seventh Inning Magic

Crestview scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning Monday evening to edge rival Plymouth (2-1) in a Firelands Conference baseball game.

Runs were at a premium on the cold evening in northern Richland County, but Crestview’s Garrett Chandler came up with a huge hit when it mattered the most. “It was kind of a pitcher’s duel between Plymouth’s Treven Lane and our guy Shad Rick. Luckily there in the seventh inning we were able to pull it off with two outs. Garrett Chandler hit a nice blooper to right field and it just got in for us,” said Crestview coach Don Keener.

He adds the hit wasn’t exactly a laser, but it was good enough to get the job done. “He was able to get the bat on the ball and that took care of it from there,” he said.

Pitching has been solid for the Cougars early in the season and Keener says Rick was tremendous on Tuesday evening. “Our starting pitchers I think have done pretty well for us. This is the second strong game in a row for Shad Rick, he is a junior. We count on him a lot and he has done a nice job for us,” he said.

Norwalk St. Paul is likely the favorite in the Firelands Conference, but Keener says there are number of good teams and on any night, there could be some surprises. “I think this is the most balance in the league since I have been here. This is my fifth year as the head coach,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday night, “I think with these teams anybody can beat anybody on any night. I think everybody is pretty solid. I think we all have solid pitching. It just comes down to making plays in the game.”

Published 4/11/18

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Crawford Gets Offense Going

Offense has been lacking for the Colonel Crawford Eagles so far this spring, well until Tuesday night.

They rocked Mohawk (10-4) in action in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference.

Coach Joe Swartzmiller says it was great to see. “It’s a longtime coming that’s for sure. The last two games it has been cold and we only got one hit each game and been shut out so it has been nice to actually hit the ball and get 10 runs, that’s great,” he said.

The Eagles (1-5,1-4) have a roster of seven freshmen and sophomores. Swartzmiller says he gave them a pep talk about over thinking the game. “I talked to the kids before we even got on the bus. We are very, very young, so they have a million things going on in their minds when they are stepping in the batter’s box,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday night, “I said don’t think about anything, just see the ball and hit the ball and go have fun. You could see the kids pressing. In baseball the harder you try they worse it gets. We just have to get the relaxed and go play ball.”

Swartzmiller says baseball is a game where you can’t just try and execute with just flying to the ball, there has to be a plan in mind. “Our defense is coming, but there are still situations where I know the kids wants to do well, he is trying really, really hard to do well, but he also has that self doubt that I don’t want to mess up. More times that not when you see that happening they are going to mess up. So, you just have to be positive and let things happen,” he said.

Published 4/11/18

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Madison Sweeps Ashland

Madison softball just hasn’t been able to get on the field, but when they have they have been outstanding.

They have yet to allow a run.

The Lady Rams (3-0,3-0) beat Ashland (13-0) and (15-0) in a doubleheader in the Ohio Cardinal Conference played on Monday evening at Brookside Park in Ashland.

Coach Tim Niswander says it was just nice to get out in the fresh air. “We are two and half weeks into the season and we just played games two and three on Monday night. It was nice to get out and play on the dirt a little bit. Even though it snowed the first two innings of the first game, but after that it stopped and we got to play under the lights a little bit. We got to play at Brookside Park. It was nice to get out and play and not have to practice or play against each other and get to see some other faces and do some things that we have been working on all winter and put them into play and see how things go. The kids were really excited, they didn’t much care that it was only 32 degrees. At that point I didn’t much are either because we were just trying to get out and play some games and if was nice to just be able to do that,” said Niswander.

It is easy to figure out when you don’t give up any runs it is hard to lose. Niswander says both of his pitchers were tremendous on Monday night. “My job so far has been painfully easy. We have only given up five hits in three games. Mackenzie Mullins threw a two hitter (Monday) night. Sloan Kiser threw a one-hitter and she also threw a two-hitter against Wooster on Thursday. The biggest thing I think Monday night against Ashland was as cold as it was it was nice to see the kids behind both of those kids were really focused,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “The strikeouts they were throwing up there and the nights they were having in the circle it would have been really easy for the kids behind them to fall asleep, but they didn’t do that they played really well defensively. We did get a bunch of strikeouts, but defensively we also played well. It has been pretty easy for us as coaches to be able to set back and just enjoy what they do because they have done it really, really well so far.”

On Monday night, Niswander says they were able to use their speed and bat control to put some runs on the board. “I think that is one of the things we had to our advantage is that our kids throw hard and nobody wants to see that sort of things when it is 30 degrees out. The flip side of that is I think we have a lot of versatility in our lineup. We hit a home run the other night against Wooster and had a couple of balls off the fence for doubles. On a night like this when it is 30 degrees you are not going to get that. We have some kids that are really, really fast and do a great job of bat control. It was easy for them to enjoy the night and just get it on the ground and get down the line and steal base and steal another base, get the run home and things just kind of snowballed from there. We did put some balls in play pretty hard. We did hit the ball solidly a couple of times, but we played a lot of little ball and that got us going,” said Niswander.

Published 4/10/18

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Northmor Rallies to Beat Cardington

Northmor scored five runs to the seventh inning Monday and rallied to beat Cardington (6-5) in a Knox Morrow Athletic Conference game.

Coach Buck Workman says they got things started with the bottom of the batting order. “We didn’t do a whole lot the whole game and had seven, eight and nine coming up in the seventh. Had a sophomore leading off with a base hit to right, got a freshman to get a base hit to right and the I pinch hit and drew a walk and the next thing you know we rolled to the top and things got going,” said Workman.

Workman says they had hit some balls hard in the first six innings, but they had been finding gloves until that last inning. “It was one of those deals when we had a lot of at ‘em balls. We didn’t strike out a lot, we were putting the ball in play, we were just getting under everything. They brought in one of their better pitchers to close it out. Once we got into the seventh I don’t know the kids just got it going,” he said.

This has been a special sports season at Northmor with the football team making the playoffs, the basketball team winning the league, and their normal success in wresting. Now, the baseball team is on a four game winning streak after a season opening loss to Fredericktown. Workman says they play with the right attitude. “Since that game we have kind of got it going. It is just one of those deals where we are finding a way to win. I think it is tribute to what we have been able to do this year at Northmor with the football program, the basketball, the wresting,” he told Swankonsports.com Monday night, “All of these guys have had a lot of success. Learning how to win is half of the battle. These guys just know how to win and they never quit.”

Northmor (4-1,2-1) plays Buckeye Central in a non-league game on Tuesday and then conference co-leader East Knox (6-0,2-0) on Thursday and Friday. Workman says the Bulldogs are going to be a challenge. “East Knox won the league last year and they’ve got a good portion of their team back. I mean most of the them were young. That sophomore class they have is very talented. We have our work cut out when we get to them. We just hope to be competitive and be in it,” said Workman.

Published 4/10/18

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South Central Downs Rival New London

Isiah Seidel fired a one hitter and Ben Lamoreaux had three hits and three runs batted in as South Central went to New London and knocked off the perennial Firelands Conference power Wildcats (4-2) on Monday.

Seidel, a sophomore, had 10 strikeouts on the night and coach Ty Dendinger says he has worked hard to get where he is on the mound. “Isiah has been working for a really long time getting himself ready to play and he really pitched well for us (Monday) night,” he said.

Dendinger says he knows whenever he gives the ball to Seidel the Trojans are going to have a chance to win. “I have as much confidence in him as I can have. I know that he will go out there even if he doesn’t have his best stuff and he will just battle and do everything he can do to help the team win,” said Dendinger.

South Central scored twice in the first and twice in the top of the seventh to get the win. Dendinger says New London’s Peyton Wilson was on the top of his game too, but had some good situational hitting. “Peyton Wilson pitched a really nice game and I think he had 12 strikeouts. I was really pleased with my team to go out and scratch out two runs in the first inning and two more in the seventh,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “Ben Lamoreaux had a really nice game at the plate he was 3-3 with three RBI.
South Central (4-1,2-0) plays host to New London (2-2,1-1) on Tuesday, weather permitting. Dendinger says this one might be even more important for the Trojans. “I was talking to my assistant coach and we were excited (Monday) night. We have that nervous energy for (Tuesday) hoping we do the same. I have a lot of confidence my pitcher that we can get a similar performance on the mound (Tuesday,) said Dendinger.

Published 4/10/18

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Seneca East Stays in First Place

Seneca East remains in a share of first place in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference baseball standings after a (6-1) win over Bucyrus on a cold Monday evening.

Starting pitcher Bo Smith allowed only two hits and no earned runs in going the distance to get the win. He struck our seven and walked four on the night. He also contributed two hits and two RBI to the offensive attack.

Coach Rich Bowerman says Smith was very good. “Our pitcher Bo Smith was pretty dominate. He gave up two hits. Both them early in the game. After that he kept them off the base paths. He threw very well,” he said.

Seneca East (5-2,3-0) scored twice in the first and fourth innings and tallied single runs in the second and fifth innings.

The had seven hits on the day and Bowerman says they had a couple of chances to break it open and didn’t, but the they did enough to get the win. “We took advantage when we had guys on base and a couple of mistakes that Bucyrus made that we capitalized on,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday evening, “Had a couple of chances for big innings. A couple of times we had the bases loaded and couldn’t come up with the big hit that we wanted, but we did enough to get the win.”

Carey beat Mohawk (7-4) and Wynford shutout Colonel Crawford (6-0) on Monday night to also remain unbeaten in the league. Bowerman says the wins over Bucyrus, they won (5-0) on Friday night, have been big for them. “It was a big win. I think this season is going to be very competitive and it wouldn’t surprise me if the winner of the league has three or four losses,” he said.

Published 4/10/18

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Clear Fork Belts Danville

Freshman infielder Courtney Palmer hammed three home runs, the team hit five, and Clear Fork downed Danville (10-4) in a non-conference girls’ softball game on Thursday.

Brooke Robinson and Maddie Wine also went deep for the Lady Colts.

Coach Jeff Gottfried says they made some good swings and were able to drive the ball. “Before the game started I was talking to coach Lyons from Danville. She was kind of talking about us having some power and things like that and I jokingly said you won’t have to worry about that the win is blowing in from left. It was and it was blowing pretty hard, but we were still able to get a good part of the bat on the ball in a couple of swings. We were able to hit the ball really well,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “Courtney Palmer, a freshman hit three of them, and Brooke Robinson got another one, I think that was her third on the year and Maddie Wine got her first one. It was two freshmen and a sophomore that did the damage with the long ball. When they are that young you are not sure what you are going to get out of them. You see the potential is there. Until they are actually put in those situations and you see them come through you are not really sure what is going to happen. The pitcher missed some locations at times and good hitters are going to take advantage of that and I think that is what we did.”

Clear Fork has a mix of youth and experience. Gottfried says he just wants those young kids to continue to play and have fun. “I talk with those younger kids and we don’t want to wake them up. We want them to sort of sleepwalk through the game and go play and have fun and not realize the magnitude of the moment or the pressure that is on them. We try and tell them to go out and be yourself, do what you have always done, and don’t try and play for two people, play for yourself. You are going to make some mistakes. Our second basemen hit three home runs, but she also made two errors in the field. I talked to her about her fielding and what needs to be better there. I told her if you hit three home runs every game I will take two errors. It is a lot of fun when you see them put a smile on their face when they have some success at the varsity level,” said Gottfried.

Clear Fork (5-1) plays at Mansfield Madison (1-0) in a non-conference game between solid teams on Friday. Gottfried says that they have developed a rivalry with Madison and they want to keep playing them. “When we put the schedule together for this year and try and do our non conference games obviously we want to keep the local teams on the schedule. When I talked to coach Niswander we immediately said we are non conference, but we are still playing each other twice. It is going to do both of us a whole lot of good and see where we measure up. We have another one in May as well. They hadn’t gotten any games in. I talked to him (Thursday) and (Thursday) was going to be their first regular season game, so we have a little advantage there because we have played six ourselves. When we play those guys it doesn’t matter league or non league the kids all know each other and it is a good fun battle every time,” said Gottfried.

Published 4/06/18

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Mt. Vernon Beats Clear Fork; Readies for “OCC”

Mt. Vernon beat Clear Fork (4-2) in a battle of good baseball teams on Thursday evening.

The Yellow Jackets play their first Ohio Cardinal Conference games of the season next week against Lexington.

It was their first game in a week and coach Rob Gross says it was good to get out on the field. “As guys we were talking (Thursday) night it is hard to believe that it has been a week already since we have played and in Florida on top of that. The next thing you know you come back and get rained out Tuesday and cold and snowed out (Wednesday). So, it was great to get back on the field doing something,” said Gross.

Clear Fork (1-3) is now part of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference after almost 15 years in the “OCC.” Gross wanted to keep the Colts on the schedule because he knew they would be a good test for them. “This is actually the week in our old conference schedule that we would have played them, so I was glad to actually have them on our schedule. They were very talented last year and went to the state tournament. I knew this would be a good test for us, especially getting ready for conference play next week,” he said.

A piece of trivia for you, Mt. Vernon was one of only two schools to beat Clear Fork when they won the state title in 2010.

Mt. Vernon (3-2,0-0) plays Lexington (3-0,1-0) in back to back Ohio Cardinal Conference games next week. The Minutemen beat West Holmes (6-3) in a conference game on Thursday.

Gross knows these are going to be very important games for them next week. “I think it is going to be real important. I know there is a long season ahead. This is one of the first conference games you are going to play with the weather. Lexington has a great team. It is an important one I think,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “You can’t look too far ahead knowing you have them right off the bat, at least for us coming back from Florida. I am hoping we can at least get a split, especially this early in the conference season.”

Published 4/06/18

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Luikart Dominates Norwayne

Jay Luikart was at the top of his game again Thursday as he no hit Norwayne and the Hillsdale Falcons beat the Bobcats (3-0) in a Wayne County Athletic League game.

That keeps the Falcons in first place.

Coach Michael Wolf says Luikart was nearly perfect on Thursday. “Our senior lefty Wright State commit pitched a 79 pitch no hitter. He faced one over the minimum. He was pretty strong on the mound for us,” said Wolf.

Wolf was Luikart had command of all of his pitches. “He has a great fastball, but (Thursday) night he has his sinker-curve and mixed in a little bit of a change up. He was felling it,” he said.

It was not that Hillsdale has a great night at the plate, but Wolf says this did enough. “We only had six total hits in the game. May hats off to them, Norwayne played pretty well really,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “Their pitcher kept us off balance. We had a couple of opportunities and didn’t capitalize. It is something to work on.”

Hillsdale (5-0,2-0) plays at Norwayne in the rematch on Friday. Wolf says they are going to have to do it all over again. He says like the back to back format. “That is kind of a true test of what kind of a team you have versus maybe one individual. So, we will go back at them with our other big lefty Trey Williams, Ashland University commit and see what happens,” he said.

Published 4/06/18

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Christman No-Hits Plymouth

Norwalk got back on the winning track as Austin Christman tossed a five inning no hitter and the Truckers beat Plymouth (11-0) in a non-conference game on Thursday evening.

Veteran coach Wes Douglas says Christman has been outstanding this year and he has come a long way as a pitcher for the Truckers. “Our senior Austin Christman had a one hit, seven inning performance his first time out this year and then a no-hitter over five (Thursday) night against a pretty solid Plymouth club. Austin has worked extremely hard. Our pitching coach Wes Miller has brought him a long way. We are very happy for his success because he is a deserving kid,” said Douglas.

The Norwalk coach adds it was a win they really needed after a slow start to the year. “We were 1-3 and it felt like we about 1-8. We took a tough loss at Tiffin on Monday. We knew we had our hands full with a veteran Plymouth team. It felt a lot better leaving the ballpark (Thursday) than it did Monday,” he said.

Norwalk (2-3,0-1) lost to Tiffin Columbian (5-0) in a Lake Division game in the Sandusky Bay Conference on Monday. They host Perkins in a division game on Friday. Clyde beat Perkins (7-3) on Monday. Douglas says they need to get this one too. “I don’t think there are any days off in our league. Perkins gave us a tough out in the sectionals last year. They beat us 8-0, and it wasn’t that close, after a pretty solid year, it was a tough way to end the year. So, we still have that taste in our mouth,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “They are well coached, it is a solid program year in and year out. We have them at home (Friday) and we have the top end of our rotation set up, so we are hoping for another good performance top to bottom.”

Published 4/06/18

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Lexington Ready to Play Some Baseball

Lexington is one of the favorites for the Ohio Cardinal Conference baseball title this season, but they still have a lot of questions to answer.

They have only played twice with a pair of wins over Lima Bath last Saturday.

One positive is it did allow their basketball players, who played in a state semifinal on March 23, to get some time in playing baseball. Coach Kevin Morrow says a lot of that has been indoors. “We also had that first week open because that would have been Clear Fork week in the “OCC” but Clear Fork is not in. We left that week open in hopes of going south somewhere, but that didn’t work out. A combination of an off week at the beginning of the season and some weather that has allowed some of those basketball kids a little more time to kind of get into things,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “In actuality, Saturday in those Lima Bath games some of those basketball players probably it was their first time being on a competitive baseball field. They had taken a few ground balls and things like that. It was kind of being thrown right into the fire even though it was cold as all get out. It has given us some more time to work on stuff, work on plays and things like that, so hopefully we can get some games in here before the bad weather kicks up again.”

With baseball Morrow says it is difficult to create game like conditions and that can lead to some concerns. “A lot of other sports that have either an indoor facility or they can play outside and have inter squad like stuff where they can actually compete in the real deal. You can avoid staleness when you can go at each other. It is a little harder with baseball when the weather is bad. We still use our fieldhouse. We get in there and get out and work on some things. It is more like a walk through practice and maintain our strength. It can get stale if you have too many days in a row playing inside,” he said.

Lexington is scheduled to play back to back “OCC” games against West Holmes on Thursday and Friday.

Morrow says they have some high expectations because they have some really good pitchers returning. “We lost six or seven seniors. Six of them were starting last year, three of them started for three years. So, we have a lot of work to do to fill holes. The good thing is we return the three pitchers we used in our tournament run, they are all back. If you have got pretty good pitching of that caliper it is going to keep you in a lot of games until you find the right defenders and the right hitters to be in line for the postseason. We have some good expectations, high expectations, but we still have a lot of question marks. So, hopefully we can get some games played where we start finding out who actually is going to be that final lineup where we are going to carry the season,” said Morrow.

Published 4/05/18

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Shelby Hopes to Play Sandusky on Thursday

Shelby has only played once over the last week and that is going to lead to some things down the road.

The Whippets beat Marion Harding (6-1) on Saturday. Since then there has been a lot of rain and snow and wind and everything you can think of weather wise.

Coach Jon Amicone says it has really prevented them from making some decisions they need to make. “It is tough on our guys, tough on the coaches. You can’t even practice outside, you are indoors, you are in the cage. You do the things you can do inside, the detail oriented things. There is nothing like real game like reps. It is tough on everyone. We still have to stretch out some other pitchers. We still have competition for some important positions. Our guys are just kind of waiting their turn. Guys that are competing for the same position are just going to have to wait until we get to later on in the season and we can play more games and really identify not only lineups, but positions,” said Amicone.

Pitching depth might be more important this year than ever. Amicone says they are trying to develop some of that. “One of the things about the new pitch rules it is just going to be tough. A lot of teams, including ours, we just have to develop that pitching depth. Two weeks from now you will be playing your sixth game in five days. That is just the reality of the situation with doubleheaders on Saturdays. It’s a shame because the quality of baseball is just going to drop,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “You are probably going to have kids that aren’t ready to pitch at the varsity level yet. That is kind of the cards all teams are dealt, not just us, it’s all teams. As coaches in North Central Ohio we do a nice job of trying to develop players and pitchers to compete at a high level. Because games are getting pushed back you have to get depth and kids have to grow up quickly.”

Shelby is scheduled to play at Sandusky in a Lake Division game in the Sandusky Bay Conference on Thursday. It would be the Whippets first league game.

Amicone says they have to be ready to play some small ball against the Blue Streaks. “Sandusky has some athletes. You are always concerned when you play Sandusky it doesn’t matter what their record is. They always come to the ballpark ready to play. They are going to put the pressure on you, they don’t strike out much. They are going to put the ball in play and when they are on the bases they are built around speed. They are going to go first to third. They are going to steal bases. They are very productive on the base paths. That is something that we really focused on in practice on (Wednesday.) Making sure we keep guys on bases, making sure we know bunt coverage and our steal coverages and try to be prepared the best we can for Sandusky,” said Amicone.

Published 4/05/18

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Colonel Crawford Counting on Experience

Colonel Crawford knows how to win and that is harder than you might think and it takes more than just talent.

They rallied to beat Mohawk (7-5) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Monday.

Coach Chuck Huggins says they did it by scoring late. “Mohawk is going to win a good share of ballgames. They came down to North Robinson and gave us everything we wanted. Mohawk was ahead 5-2 going to the bottom of the fifth and to our kids credit they really, really competed. We scored a single run in the bottom of the fifth and then put up four in the bottom of the sixth and held them in the seventh,” he said.

Colonel Crawford had won it’s first three games by a combined score of 43-5 and Huggins says they needed to win a game like Monday. “What a good, good fastpitch softball game. We needed that. We had kind of had it our way in the first three games we played and we just needed a good solid ballgame from somebody. We got into a good one that day and we were able to execute some things,” he told Swankonsports.com, “It wasn’t easy defensively either because in the first half of the game their top four hitters put up all five runs for them and that was who was coming up for them in the top of the sixth. We had to execute some things and had to tighten some things up defensively and pitching wise and I am really proud of the kids and they way they preformed in the last half of the ballgame.”

If the weather cooperates the Lady Eagles (4-0,1-0) are supposed to play at Carey in an “N10” game on Thursday.

Huggins says their experience was a big factor in their win over Mohawk. “After the game we always talk and that is exactly what came out the mouth of one of my seniors. They said, coach, this just seemed like so natural of a game. She said the things we needed to do out there to win are the things we practice all of the time and the things we have had happen over our careers. I was proud that she said that instead of me saying it as coach it was one of their teammates saying it. It meant a lot to the whole team to hear that. I said, you know what? You are exactly right. Those are exactly the things we have been through before and that is the nice thing about having a good, solid senior group that has been through the battles and they are battle tested and they understand what it takes to win tight ballgames like that,” said Huggins.

Published 4/05/18

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Ontario Finding Some Things

Ontario is supposed to play North Union in Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference baseball games in Wednesday and Thursday, but we will have to see what the weather man has to say about that.

A game against the Wildcats set for Tuesday was washed away by hard rain and thunderstorms. There is a little snow predicted for Wednesday morning in North Central Ohio.

Ontario (3-3) beat Mansfield Senior (11-1) on Monday. Coach Jeff Fisher feels it was important for them to get the game in. “I think Mother Nature is winning here. We are fighting hard to establish some sort of routine that keeps our kids on the safe side and sharp. Playing (Monday) was huge. Everybody woke up to two to four inches of snow, but by the time five o’clock hit it was a normal spring day in Ohio. It melted and the field was in decent shape. We were fortunate to get that game in,” said Fisher.

Ontario spent last week in South Carolina playing five games. Fisher feels their hitting is starting to come around. “I think early on in our spring trip we struck out too much. More recently here we are putting up better at bats although not necessarily perfect, but we seem to be playing to our strengths. As long as we put the ball in play we give ourselves a chance. We scored in every inning (Monday) and that was good to see to establish some consistency,” he said.

Can Ontario be in the conference race? Well, Fisher would like to actually play a conference game before he sizes up the rest of the conference. “It is so early to tell. We haven’t even laid eyes on anybody. Until we actually play against a league opponent and things start to evolve that way then you can make some generalizations,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “At this point I think coaches are kind of worrying about their own teams and trying to make sure they are ready to go. It still feels like the off season until we can get any kind of good weather and play games instead of practicing in the gym.”

Published 4/04/18

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Mohawk Tops Colonel Crawford

Mohawk got a key early season win on Monday when they beat Colonel Crawford (2-0) in North Robinson on Monday evening.

They had lost to Buckeye Central (2-1) last week.

Coach Eric Hoover says it was a big win for the team. “We needed to get on the board in our conference. It’s early, but you have to win some games on the road and you have to win some close ones. So, it was definitely a big one for us,” he said.

Rico Lopez wasn’t at the top of his game against the Eagles. However, Hooper says he made a lot of good pitches in clutch situations. “He didn’t pitch perfectly by any means. He had a little trouble commanding the ball early and the first couple of innings he walked a lot of guys. He went deep in a lot of counts just getting behind it seemed like every batter,” he told Swankonsports.com, “But, I don’t know if they ever got anybody past second base. They left runners on, first and second a couple of times. He did get a lot of ground balls and we did a good job of making plays and getting out of some jams.”

Mohawk is one of the better teams in the league, but not the only one. Hoover believes there are going to be a lot of surprising results in the conference this spring. “I think it is going to be very balanced, even more so than in the past. It looks like everybody is going to have one or two good pitchers. I think there is a lot of young teams out there too. There is going to be a lot of inconsistency, so there are going to be a lot of teams that might be in the top half at the beginning of the season could get knocked off by some in the bottom. It is certainly going to be interesting. It is out there for anybody to win,” said Hoover,

Mohawk is supposed to host Colonel Crawford Wednesday if Mother Nature allows, but it appears she is in a bad mood.

Published 4/04/18

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Bellevue Pounds Sandusky

Bellevue only has one regular back from last year, but you would hardly know it by the way they are playing.

They hammered Sandusky (10-0) in their opener in play in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference on Monday.

Coach Andy Dennings says that is the way you want to start things in league play. “Starting off with a win and kind of putting yourself in the right state of mind in league play is always important. So, it was nice to get that first league win,” he said.

Mitchell Wells put together his second strong outing of the young season Monday and Dennings says they were able to throw a lot of strikes. “Mitchell Wells earned his second win (Monday) night. He threw the ball extremely well. We got in a couple jams. We lost the leadoff hitter three innings in a row. We made some plays and he threw some real good pitches to get out of innings and keep that shutout. Daniel Burris came in a threw an innings in relief. We threw the ball well. We were down in the zone. The off speed was over. We were throwing all three pitches for strikes. Really pleased with how we threw it,” said Dennings.

It certainly wasn’t a perfect game at the plate, but Dennings the Redmen (3-0,1-0) did some good things with the bats. “We really swung the bats well against Plymouth over the weekend. Sandusky had a couple of errors there to give us life. We were able to jump on them and get five in the first. We were driving the ball to the opposite field. We were hitting balls where were supposed to be hitting balls. We did some nice things at the plate, but we definitely have some things to improve on,” he told Swankonsports.com Monday after the win, “We had a couple of bad at bats with some people (Monday.) The wind really wasn’t moving much and when it was it was blowing in. It was a tough day to hit a little bit with the ball not carrying. We had some good looks and I am happy. Early in the season you are usually a little bit behind hitting wise. We have been pretty competitive at the plate 1-9, so I have been pretty excited about that.”

Published 4/03/18

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OHSBCA

DISTRICT 6 TEAMS 2017-2018

DIVISION I BOYS

1ST TEAM

KYLE JACKSON MADISON 12

MASON CAMPBELL MADISON 12

GARRETT DENBOW ASHLAND 11

MANNY LANGSTON ASHLAND 12

BRYCE ROOT FREMONT ROSS 11

JABRYIS HEIDELBURG FREMONT ROSS 11

2ND TEAM

CAL RICKERT MADISON 12

SHAMIR BROWN MADISON 12

MITCH HEILMAN ASHLAND 10

KAMERIN KNOWLTON-GOINGS ASHLAND 12

MALIEK JOHNSON FREMONT ROSS 12

KEYON SEWELL FREMONT ROSS 12

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

KYLE JACKSON –MADISON

COACH OF THE YEAR

TIM MERGEL-MADISON

 

DIVISION II BOYS

FIRST TEAM

CADE STOVER LEXINGTON 11

KEITH WILLIAMS SANDUSKY 12

BRANDON HARAWAY NORWALK 11

JOBY PFEIL VERMILION 12

CHANCE BARNETT CLEAR FORK 12

TREY RUHLMAN BELLEVUE 11

DERICK HARRAH CLYDE 11

SECOND TEAM

URIAH SCHWEMLEY SHELBY 11

BJ PATRICK MANSFIELD SR 12

MASON MONTGOMERY VERMILION 11

HELMUT WHEELER PERKINS 12

TAHJ STAVESKIE SANDUSKY 10

LOGAN JONES ONTARIO 12

SETH HOHMAN CLYDE 12

HONORABLE MENTION

ISAIAH ALSIP GALION 10

QUAN HILORY MANSFIELD SR 11

MAX RUMBARGER PORT CLINTON 12

HUNTER HOFFMAN SHELBY 11

BRENNAN SOUTH CLEAR FORK 10

BEN VORE LEXINGTON 11

GARRETT CHAPIN NORWALK 9

DYLON JONES SANDUSKY 10

CONNER LONG CLYDE 12

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

CADE STOVER – LEXINGTON

COACH OF THE YEAR

RYAN FRETZ – CLYDE

 

DIVISION III BOYS

FIRST TEAM

JEVON DIBLE UPPER SANDUSKY 12

JAMES HILL EDISON 12

JAC ALEXANDER OAK HARBOR 10

BRAYDEN HOOD WESTERN RESERVE 11

MICHEAL HURST HURON 12

BAILEY KIMBERLIN MARGARETTA 12

KARSON HOWELL NEW LONDON 11

 

SECOND TEAM

BRYCE ROBERTS EDISON 12

JOSH CRALL WYNFORD 10

CODY LUZADER CAREY 12

MASON VENT UPPER SANDUSKY 10

HAYDEN STONE CAREY 10

TATE SMITH OAK HARBOR 12

DALE SMITH WESTERN RESERVE 12

 

HONORABLE MENTION

NICK LEIBACHER MARGARETTA 11

EVAN YOUNG UPPER SANDUSKY 10

TREY BAME CAREY 12

AIDEN MARKLEY WESTERN RESERVE 11

RYAN EVANS BUCYRUS 12

CAMDEN ROMAN CRESTVIEW 12

JUSTIN MARSHALL NEW LONDON 12

DYLAN MORRIS MARGARETTA 11

BREVIN KING CRESTVIEW 11

ALEX GEZO OAK HARBOR 12

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

JEVON DIBLE – UPPER SANDUSKY

COACH OF THE YEAR

JEFF WINSLOW – UPPER SANDUSKY

 

DIVISION IV BOYS

FIRST TEAM

JARED JAKUBICK ST. PETER’S 12

CAMERON MCCREARY COLONEL CRAWFORD 10

SIMON BLAIR SOUTH CENTRAL 10

ELIJAH COBB ST. PETER’S 12

MAX LOY BUCKEYE CENTRAL 12

JACOB WEBB OLD FORT 12

KYLE KURTZ MANSFIELD CHRISTIAN 12

ZACH HAYMAN MOHAWK 11

HARLEY SHAUM COLONEL CRAWFORD 12

JACOB ADAMS PLYMOUTH 11

SECOND TEAM

J.J. FISCHER SMCC 12

JARED MCPEEK MANSFIELD CHRISTIAN 12

BEN LAMOREAUX SOUTH CENTRAL 12

BEN DRYFUSE NEW RIEGEL 12

JORDYN JURY HOPEWELL LOUDON 10

BRIAN SAUDER LUCAS 12

SPENCER HARRISON FREMONT ST. JOE 12

CHRIS RUFFING NORWALK ST. PAUL 12

LOGAN NISWANDER LUCAS 10

HONORABLE MENTION

ALEC LOVERIDGE RIVERDALE 11

CHRIS MORRISETTE FREMONT ST. JOE 12

BRODY MARTIN COLONEL CRAWFORD 12

NATHAN ROESCH SMCC 10

ALEX FOREHAND SENECA EAST 12

TY CLARK CRESTLINE 11

TYLER TUREK SENECA EAST 11

JONAY RAMEY ST. PETER’S 10

ISAIAH SEIDEL SOUTH CENTRAL 10

DALTON SHEAFFER BUCKEYE CENTRAL 12

KEITH JENKINS MOHAWK 11

JORDAN FENNER COLONEL CRAWFORD 10

DAVON TRIPLETT CRESTLINE 11

PARK HEMMINGER TIFFIN CALVERT 12

PLAYER OF THE YEAR – JARED JAKUBICK – ST. PETER’S

COACH OF THE YEAR – JOE JAKUBICK

 

 

OHSBCA

DISTRICT 6 TEAM 2017-2018

DIVISION I GIRLS

FIRST TEAM

KYLIE RADEBAUGH ASHLAND 12

JAZMIN BULGER FREMONT ROSS 12

ALYSSA STEURY ASHLAND 11

OLIVIA BAPTISTA FREMONT ROSS 11

BROOKLYN BAPTISTA FREMONT ROSS 9

 

SECOND TEAM

AHLIA SIMMS FREMONT ROSS 12

 

HONORABLE MENTION

SAMANTHA WEBB ASHLAND 12

KATIE MCQUILLEN ASHLAND 10

JASANNA SABIERS FREMONT ROSS 11

CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

KYLIE RADEBAUGH – ASHLAND

JAZMIN BULGER – FREMONT ROSS

DIVISION II GIRLS

FIRST TEAM

CASEY SANTORO BELLEVUE 10

HEIDI MARSHALL CLYDE 12

ABIGAIL FOGLE UPPER SANDUSKY 12

LOGAN HARRIS OAK HARBOR 11

CASSIDY CRAWFORD WILLARD 10

OLIVIA HOWARD PERKINS 10

CORY SANTORO BELLEVUE 9

 

SECOND TEAM

NASHAIL SHELBY ONTARIO 12

KAELYN HARKNESS NORWALK 12

MADDIE BRISNEDINE TIFFIN COLUMBIAN 12

JASMINE THOMAS NORWALK 12

TALAYZHA CATCHINGS MANSFIELD SR. 11

MADIE SECOR WILLARD 12

MEGAN HENSEL UPPER SANDUSKY 12

 

HONORABLE MENTION

BAILEY WALTER SHELBY 11

OLIVIA KEARNS LEXINGTON 12

ABBY DRYFUSE TIFFIN COLUMBIAN 11

MARISSA ESPOSITO SANDUSKY 10

ALEENA WINSTON PERKINS 11

PAYTON VOGEL BELLEVUE 11

EMMA RANDALL SHELBY 10

KAIA WOODS TIFFIN COLUMBIAN 9

BROOKLYN ARNOLD MADISON 11

MADISON COLAHAN VERMILION 11

SOPHIA ELI OAK HARBOR 10

AVERY COLEMAN LEXINGTON 9

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

CASEY SANTORO – BELLEVUE

COACH OF THE YEAR

KORY SANTORO - BELLEVUE

 

DIVISION III GIRLS

FIRST TEAM

ANDREA ROBSON WESTERN RESERVE 12

JAYDEN MOORE MARGARETTA 10

MARINA ADACHI SENECA EAST 11

SHAINA OREWILER BUCYRUS 12

JACQUELINE BAITH ASHLAND CRESTVIEW 12

CORA WYERS WESTERN RESERVE 11

JESSICA BOWERMAN SENECA EAST 9

SECOND TEAM

OLIVIA GROVE WYNFORD 11

GABBY LEDBETTER NEW LONDON 11

TAYLOR MALSON MARGARETTA 10

ALANA FIDLER EDISON 11

GABBY KAPLE GALION 11

KENNEDI HILTON MARGARETTA 11

BROOKE OMMERT WESTERN RESERVE 12

HONORABLE MENTION

ANNA STIMPERT ASHLAND CRESTVIEW 12

BONNIE BIVENS SENECA EAST 12

HANNAH VITAZ EDISON 11

DANIELLE HORSLEY COLONEL CRAWFORD 11

KENEDI GOON ASHLAND CRESTVIEW 9

ISIDORA BURLING BUCYRUS 12

RYLEE ALSPACH WYNFORD 10

KATHLEEN LEEPER ASHLAND CRESTVIEW 10

GRACIE GROVES GALION 11

SAVANNAH TOBIAS WYNFORD 10

ALIYAH CAPORINI EDISON 9

KATIE HIPP WESTERN RESERVE 11

PLAYER OF THE YEAR – ANDREA ROBSON – WESTERN RESERVE

COACH OF THE YEAR – ERIC KOCHENDOERFER - MARGARETTA

 

DIVISION IV GIRLS

FIRST TEAM

BRIANNA GILLIG NEW RIEGEL 12

SYDNEW KIN CAREY 12

MAKAYLA ELMORE HOPEWELL-LOUDON 9

JENNA KARL BUCKEYE CENTRAL 12

COURTNEY PIFHER BUCKEYE CENTRAL 11

ADRIENNE WEHRING FREMONT ST. JOE’S 12

MIRANDA WAMMES FREMONT ST. JOE’S 12

JESSIE GROVER LUCAS 10

LEXIE WRIGHT RIVERDALE 12

SECOND TEAM

DESTINY DEFEO CAREY 12

REYGAN FREY RIVERDALE 12

KENADEE SIEBENALLER HOPEWELL-LOUDON 12

MADDY ALBERT SOUTH CENTRAL 12

AMELIA DALTON MONROEVILLE 12

LAURYN TADDA CRESTLINE 10

MAKENZIE HENDRICKSON ST. PETER’S 12

MEREDITH DILGER NORWALK ST. PAUL 12

BROOKE CASPERSON FREMONT ST. JOE’S 12

HONORABLE MENTION

SHELBY HEMMINGER TIFFIN CALVERT 11

ASHYLN TOMMAS MONROEVILLE 12

TRISTEN WILEY PLYMOUTH 11

EMILY BLANTON PLYMOUTH 11

SYDNEY FERGUSON CAREY 12

SARAH ONEY SOUTH CENTRAL 12

HAILEY COPPUS HOPEWELL-LOUDON 12

MORGAN MILLER OLD FORT 11

FAITH LAMB SMCC 12

LEXI EVAK BUCKEYE CENTRAL 10

KAITLYN KIRIAN NEW RIEGEL 10

MADISYN SPENCER OLD FORT 12

DANIELLE SMITH NORWALK ST. PAUL 9

MORGAN SPITLER LUCAS 10

PLAYER OF THE YEAR – BRIANNA GILLIG – NEW RIEGEL

COACH OF THE YEAR – GREG MOORE – BUCKEYE CENTRAL