JJHuddle/PBR Ohio Division II Baseball Power Rankings: Nos. 6-25

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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 II Preseason Poll

No. 6 Lexington High School

Head coach Kevin Morrow and the Lexington Minutemen fell in heart-breaking fashion 3-2 in nine innings to Wapakoneta in the district finals last season. The Minutemen finished with a 20-4 record, capturing the Ohio Cardinal Conference championship.

Lexington will have to replace three key contributors from the 2013 ball club in All Ohio performers, Zach Sterry, Logan Bastin and Mason Willeke, but will do so with four returning starters and four returning pitchers.

Coach Morrow feels the Minutemen will have an outstanding pitching staff, which will look like this:

  • 1 Brody Basilone Sr 6’2 190 R-R (5 tool player, .375 BA, Conference pitcher of the year, All Ohio last season, Sinclair CC commit, ranked 99 in 2014 class, pictured right)
  • 2 Zach Temple Sr 6″4″ 215 R-R (Runner up pitcher of year in OCC)
  • 3 Evan Lee Jr 6’1″ 185 R-R (.300 BA, power bat and arm)
  • 4 Adam Johnson Sr 6″0 170 L-L
  • 5 Nate Arnholt Sr 5’10 160 R-R

Coach Morrow also feels the Minutemen will wreck havoc on the bases with their team speed. Projected lineup looks like this:

  • 1 Brody Basilone Sr 6’2 190 R-R
  • 2 Nick Adams Jr 6″0 170 L-R (Athletic outfielder)
  • 3 Evan Lee Jr 6’1″ 185 R-R (Kent State commit, ranked 31 in 2014 class, pictured right)
  • 4 Nate Arnholt Sr 5’10 160 R-R
  • 5 Zach Temple Sr 6″4″ 215 R-R (.350 BA)
  • 6 Evan McNeil Sr 5″11 170 R-R
  • 7 Adam Johnson Sr 6″0 170 L-L
  • 8 Ryan Cooper Jr 5’9 200 R-R
  • 9 Brennen Tomelleo Sr 6″0 160 R-R (solid versatile middle infielder)

A few sophomores to keep an eye on include:

  • Matt Frazier, 3b/1B/P, soph, 6’3 175, R/R, Good arm, mechanically sound swing.
  • Cam Trease, OF, soph, 5’10 160, R/R, Power and speed
  • Andrew Iten, OF/P/3b, 6’0 190, R/R Power bat

No. 7 Sandusky Perkins High School  

Sandusky Perkins and head coach Ray Neill had a very impressive 2013 campaign, finishing with a 27-2, 13-1 SBC record as they came across the buzzsaw that was Defiance (state champions) in the district final and lost 6-1.

The Pirates return just four starters and two pitchers, but return athletes that will play at the next level, led by The Ohio State University commit Braun Miller (LHP/OF, Junior 6’3 180 L/L 7-0 record on mound 38 inn. 36 Ks 14 BBs 1.29 ERA, pictured right) and unsigned senior Thane Walton (RHP/DH, unsigned senior, ranked number 70 in 2014 class, 6’2 200 L/R 7-1 record on mound 45 inn. 57 Ks 22 BBs 1.37 ERA, pictured left).

Other top seniors include Devin Dubbert (OF unsigned senior, ranked 249 in 2014 class, 6’0 180 R/R .300 BA 16 RBI 19 Runs 6 2B 2 HR 5 SB), Luke Fraley (3B Senior 6’2 210 R/R .297 BA 16 RBI 23 Runs 8 2B 5 SB), Kyle Lewis (3B/1B Senior 6’3 225 R/R did not play baseball last year he participated in track but lettered in baseball as a freshman and sophomore. These are sophomore stats .322 BA 22 RBI 5 2B 3 3B 4 SB) and Conner Mapus (RHP/DH 6’0 200).

A few underclassmen that the Pirates are looking to contribute in 2014 include juniors Trevion Moore (LHP/OF 5’10 180 L/L) and Austin Hoffman (OF/2B 6’0 175 R/R) as well as freshman Dawson Nason (2B/SS/C 5’9 165 R/R) and Andrew Brewer (2B/SS 5’8 155 R/R)

No. 8 Columbus Bishop Watterson High School

Columbus Bishop Watterson and head coach Scott Manahan finished the 2013 season with a ??? record. The Eagles fell to Jonathan Alder 4-3 in the district semifinals.

Bishop Watterson only loses three players from the 2013 team. Coach Manahan feels the pitching and defense will be a strength for the Eagles.

Here is a look at the projected pitchers for the Eagles:

  • 1 Sam Rice, 2015, 5’10 165 RHP (ranked number 81 in 2015 class, pictured right)
  • 2 Chris Slavik 2015, 5’10 155 RHP (ranked number 85 in 2015 class)
  • 3 Mitch Stotler 2014 5’9 165 RHP
  • 4 Avery Janning 2015 6’4 178 RHP
  • 5 Sean Helenthal 2014 5’7 168 RHP

The Eagles have an athletic lineup, and here is how it is projected to look:

  • 1 Mitch Stotler (Sr, INF, 5’10, L/R, .260 BA)
  • 2 Alex Gabel
  • 3 Sam Severance (Sr, OF, 6’1, R/R .345 BA, 8 2B, 30 RBIs, 17 runs, unsigned senior, ranked 220 in the 2014 class)
  • 4 Jacob Bolton (Jr, INF/P, 6’0″, R/R, .310 BA, 4 2B, 30 RBIs, ranked number 39 in 2015 class)
  • 5 Sam Rice (Jr, P/1B, 5’11”, R/R, .302 BA, 2.34 ERA)
  • 6 Avery Janning (.471 BA, ranked 123 in 2015 class, pictured right)
  • 7 Scott Carter (Adrian College commit)
  • 8 Joey DiOrio
  • 9 Teddy Walter

No. 9 Sparta Highland High School 

Sparta Highland and head coach Travis Church fell to Columbus St. Francis DeSales in the sectional finals last season, but the Scots still finished with a 16-6 record while going 11-1 in the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference. Sparta Highland has won four straight MOAC titles and seven of the last nine league championships and has won 176 games over the last ten seasons.

The Scots lose three key contributors from the 2013 season in Josh Gahm, Alec Harris and Evan Webb, but coach Church feels Highland’s strengths are experience and team chemistry.

Some of the top hitters for the 2014 season are:

  • Dalton Stambaugh, LHP/1B, 2015 (1st team league and honorable mention central district, ranked 37 in the 2015 class)
  • Jett Swetland, SS/3b/RHP, 2015 (.397 BA, 46 total bases, .512 OBP, 1st team league and 2nd team central district, ranked 48 in 2015 class, pictured right)
  • Byron Belcher, 3B/1B/RHP, 2015 (.394 BA, 2nd team league and honorable mention central district)
  • Marcus Chapman, Catcher, 2014 (3-year returning letterman)
  • Shane Carney, LF, 2016 (one to keep eye on)
  • Justin Tuggle, Utlity, 2015
  • Wyatt Gresh, RF, 2016 (one to keep eye on)

The Scots projects rotation looks like:

  • 1 Dalton Stambaugh, LHP, 2015, 6’0″ 185 (1.98 ERA, 46 innings pitched, 45 Ks)
  • 2 Jett Swetland, RHP, 2015, 6’2″ 195
  • 3 Byron Belcher, RHP, 2015, 6’3″ 205
  • 4 Justin Tuggle, RHP, 2015, 5’8″ 180 (19.2 innings pitched, and 1.82 ERA)
  • 5 Will Schindley, RHP, 2014, 5’9″ 185

No. 10 LaGrange Keystone High School

LaGrange Keystone and 2nd year head coach Bert Fitzgerald move up to D-II after being in D-III in the past. The Wildcats finished 2013 with a 23-8 record, falling to Youngstown Ursuline in the regional semifinals.

After a successful 2013 campaign, the Wildcats return eight starters and five pitchers, losing just Camron Schumann to graduation.

The Wildcats projected starting lineup:

  • 1 Pierce Young C Sr 5’10” 185 R/R
  • 2 Collin Fitzgerald OF/P Sr 6’1″ 155 R/R
  • 3 Tyler Gullett 3B/P Sr 6’2″ 200 R/R (University of Toledo commit, pictured right)
  • 4 Marcus Gunter CF/P Sr 6’1″ 185 R/R (unsigned senior, ranked 35 in 2014 class, pictured left)
  • 5 Kendle Stiner SS/P Sr 6′ 210 R/R (unsigned senior, ranked 178 in 2014 class)
  • 6 Korey Horne 1B Sr 5’9″ 230 R/R
  • 7 Denny Szalai LF/P Jr 5’9″ 160 R/R
  • 8 Aaron Brodnik 2B/P Jr 6’1″ 160 R/R
  • 9 Drew Compton 3B/C Fr 5’9″ 155 R/R

The Wildcats projected pitching rotation:

  • 1 Kendle Stiner – RHP
  • 2 Tyler Gullett – RHP
  • 3 Collin Fitzgerald – RHP
  • 4 Aaron Brodnik – RHP
  • 5 Marcus Gunter – RHP

Nos. 1-5 (Click Here)

Nos. 11-15 (Click Here)

Nos. 16-20 (Click Here)

Nos. 21-25 (Click Here)

 

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