The Ohio High School Baseball Season officially starts this weekend (Saturday, March 29). Here’s who we see opening as the state’s top teams in each division.
Division III Preseason Poll
No. 6 Milan Edison High School
Milan Edison and head coach Sean Hoover are coming off a 17-13 campaign in 2013. The Chargers fell to Bucyrus Wynford in the district semifinals 11-8, but bring back seven starters.
The Chargers have a talented trio of leftys on the hill in Adam Wolf (6-5, LHP, ranked 7 in the 2015 class, pictured right), Austin Utter (6-3, LHP, 1st team All-State, school records with 52 hits and 33 singles in a season, pictured left) and Adam Wroblewski (6-2, LHP, HM All-State in 2012, ranked 119).
Along with that trio, Edison has a group of seniors to provide leadership in Chris Smith (SS/RHP), Tristen Ball (C), Luke Hagelberger (2B) and Chris Ketchum (3B/P) along with junior Tyler Damante (OF) and Owen Moyer (OF), the Chargers are looking to make their mark in the 2014 season.
No. 7 Canton Central Catholic High School
Despite a 20-7 record in 2012 and 20-6 record in 2013, traditional power Canton Central Catholic didn’t make it to the districts two years in a row, being upset in the sectional finals to Loudonville 2-1. CCC has advanced past districts every year since 1994. Head coach Doug Miller and the Crusaders have had plenty of success in the 2000s though, reaching state five times and winning two state championships (2011, 2008).
Senior Shawn Jones (6-2, 185-pound, OF) is a talented athlete, while junior Patrick Murphy (LHP/OF, ranked 58th in 2015 class, pictured left) and sophomore Jacob Vance (6-2, 170-pound, RHP/3B) are both two of the more gifted players in Ohio.
No. 8 Orrville High School
Orrville is coming off of a 2013 campaign where they finished with a 16-14 record. The Red Riders did make a nice tournament run, falling to Youngstown Ursuline in the regional finals 4-1.
The Red Riders are a senior laden team led by Stuart Schley (West Point commit, 1B/P, pictured left), JT Perez (University of Cincinnati commit, 1B/P, pictured right), Kyle Ritchie (OF), Chad Harrison (2B), Layne Scheufler (C), Wes Stauffer (P/OF), Mason Birkbeck (P) and Chandler Smith (OF), who bring plenty of experience and talent to this year’s edition of the Red Riders.
No. 9 St. Henry High School
Head coach John Dorner and the St. Henry Redskins finished with an impressive 24-6, 7-2 MAC record in 2013. The Redskins, who move up to D-III from D-IV, fell to Convoy Crestview in the district finals.
St. Henry returns seven starters and five pitchers from last season and are poised to show division III what the Redskins are all about.
The Redskins have a talented sophomore in Mitchel Stammens (6-0, 170-pound, SS/RHP, 2.02 ERA, ranked 13th in the 2016 class, pictured right) who will look to be the ace on the mound as well as the leadoff hitter. Seniors on the club that look to contribute in a big way are Garrett Stout (OF, .337 BA), Jeff Paul (Ohio Dominican commit, OF/RHP, .398 BA, 7-0, 1.58 ERA), Briar Holloman (C, .324 BA), Jason Jacobs (1B/RHP, .283 BA) and Brian Kremer (2B/RHP, 1.77 ERA). Juniors Andrew Lundvall (6-2, 200-pound, OF, three-hole hitter, .304 BA) and Ryan Mikesell (3B/RHP, 5-0, 1.25 ERA, 42 K, 28 innings) look to provide athleticism to an already athletic ball club.
No. 10 Johnstown Northridge High School
Johnstown Northridge and head coach Jeff Wilson finished the 2013 campaign with a 21-8 record, falling to Hamilton Badin in the regional finals 9-6 in extra innings.
Northridge is coming off of a very successful 2013 campaign which saw a MBC league championship and a deep post season run. With seven returning everyday starters and five pitchers back, Northridge is poised for another playoff run. Junior RHP Brad Wilson (6-0, 230-pound, pictured right) is being recruited by Division I college programs and fellow junior OF Greg Wilson (6-1, 180-pound, pictured left) has game changing speed and athleticism. This year, Northridge has just joined the LCL conference, which will be one of the most competitive in the state. Look for Northridge to make some noise both in the league and in the playoffs.
Other top players for the Vikings include Morgan Wright (6-2, 240-pound, RHP), Jakob Cramer (Sr 6-0, 180-pound MIF), Nik Walker (6-1, 230-pound RHP) and Matt Simmons (Jr 6-0, 180-pound, catcher)