2022 OHSAA Tournament: Regional Preview - Division I


Dylan Hefflinger and Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Editor in Chief/NW Scout and Senior Writer

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2022 OHSAA Tournament: Regional Preview - Division I

***** Email has been sent out to every head coach, that we have contact information for, who has made regionals and once we get all the information in, we will get out HUGE 64-team Regional Preview online. If you don't see your info, please send to [email protected]

**** We will add information for the teams that have not sent information into us on Wednesday, by doing research via internet/newspaper articles.

*** We are holding a fan vote via twitter that will end Wednesday night and we will add those results below after the vote is completed.

Division I - Louisville Regional

  • No. 23 North Canton Hoover vs. No. 3 Walsh Jesuit
  • No. 16 North Royalton vs Kenston

Region Overview: Only an 11 seed, North Canton Hoover shut out Dover and Boardman in the districts after a 12-1 victory over Stow-Munroe Falls in the sectional final. .. After defeating Mayfield in the regional finals a year ago, Walsh Jesuit eliminated the Wildcats in the district finals this season 10-1 after Ryan Piech took a no-hitter into the seventh in a 17-strikeout performance in the district semifinals. John Simecek hit a three-run homer in the first inning against Mayfield for the Warriors, who have outscored the opposition 30-1 in tournament play. … North Royalton rallied on seventh-inning doubles from Nate Tornowski and Cody Miller to tie the district finals with Avon, took a 4-2 lead in the top of the ninth only to see Avon tie the game in the bottom of the frame, then won its second consecutive district title with an unearned run in the 11th for a 5-4 win. Brady Sasse allowed one earned run in six innings of relief for the victory. … Kenston, a 17-seed entering the tournament, defeated Willoughby South 4-1 in the rubber match of three meetings between the Western Reserve Conference foes on a three-run walk-off homer by Drew McKenna to cap a four-run seventh. Parker Munday threw a three-hitter in giving Kenston its first district title since 2004. Kenston scored three runs in the seventh inning to defeat Jackson 7-5 in the district semis.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • Walsh Jesuit over North Canton Hoover
  • North Royalton over Kenston
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Walsh Jesuit

Fan Vote:

  • Walsh Jesuit over North Canton Hoover
  • North Royalton over Kenston
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Walsh Jesuit

#23 North Canton Hoover

Record: 18-7
Head Coach: Bryan Ashby
Final Ranking:
No. 23
Preseason Ranking: 34
Postseason History:

  • Eight District Titles In School History, First Since 2013

Top Players:

  • Nick Vardavas
  • Tanner Ware
  • Mason Ashby
  • Mason Bille
  • Luke Roach
  • Drew Stangelo
  • Carson Dyrlund

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: After starting off slow during a lousy weather spring we have gotten back into our routine and consistency of how we practice outdoors the past month. With reps and routine comes confidence and trust. And that is exactly what I like about our team right now. They are playing with confidence and have trust in each other. Our guys are having fun and it's really great to see it all happen, it's what this game is all about.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Sense of accomplishment for sure, especially from where we started,  but these guys, this team, want more and they are focused and working hard to ride this wave a while longer....to see how this team has come together having each others back, with a different guy each game stepping up in the moment....incredible feeling for a coach.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Huge challenge ahead absolutely. Walsh Jesuit has had a great program for years and this year's team is like so many before them. Strong in all phases of the game and they impose their will on you. We look forward to competing and playing our best, it's the Regionals, were 1 of 16 DI teams left and anything can happen. Great time to be a Viking!

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: It's a strong 4 that all are playing really well right now. Certainly looking forward to seeing how it all turns out. This is fun, we appreciate where we are right now!

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: Our entire program has worked hard to get to this point in the season and I know our players appreciate each every person that has had a hand in helping with our success. We have a great school system and a great community with an incredible alumni following, just looking forward to making them all proud.

#3 Walsh Jesuit

Record: 25-5
Head Coach: Chris Kaczmar
Final Ranking:
No. 3
Preseason Ranking: No. 1
Postseason History:

  • 20 District Titles In School History
  • 4-Time State Champion
  • 8-Time Regional Champion

Top Players:

  • Joey Canzoni, INF, 2023
  • Henry Kaczmar, SS, 2022
  • Mason Eckelman, C, 2023
  • John Simecek, INF, 2023
  • Will Harding, OF, 2022
  • Kasey Kish, OF/DH, 2022
  • Topher Salek, 1B, 2023
  • Alex Covas, OF, 2023
  • Andrew Gormley, OF/RHP, 2022
  • Ryan Piech, RHP, 2023
  • Drew Erdmann, RHP, 2023
  • Jackson Phelps, RHP, 2022

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: The thing I like the most about our team is our chemistry, one of the best we have ever had simply in terms of how much they care for one another.  

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: We were extremely happy to defeat an always-tough Mayfield team in District final.  

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Regional baseball is always such a great opportunity for us to extend our season, it is the icing on the cake of a great year.  

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: We are in the midst of a very tough regional with some outstanding teams and pitching depth.

#16 North Royalton

Record: 18-8
Head Coach: Matt Strickler
Final Ranking: No. 16
Preseason Ranking: No. 7
Postseason History:

  • Second Time In School History With Back-To-Back District Titles

Top Players:

  • Gavin Jones, RHP, 2022
  • Cody Miller, OF, 2024
  • Vince Koprowski, SS, 2022
  • Andrew Kortan, INF, 2022
  • Chris Domke, 3B/P, 2023
  • Frank Audino, C, 2022
  • Joey Escano, 1B, 2023
  • Zach Bitterman, OF, 2023
  • Nate Tarnowski, OF, 2022
  • Mike Piazza, DH, 2022
  • Jake Michalak, RHP, 2023
  • Brady Sasse, RHP 2024

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I just love how this team has no quit in them.  They are able to stay even keeled throughout the entire ballgame and not let situations get too much for them. They can focus on the moment and not worry about the past or look ahead to the future.  They truly have become a family that has each other's backs and plays selfless baseball.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: After winning districts, our team was just elated.  We played an incredible 11 inning game against a great Avon opponent that we were able to grind out and win.  I was so proud how the kids came back to tie the game, and then get through Avon tying the game in the 9th.  Everyone was physically and emotionally drained, but they found a way to get it done in the 11th inning.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Being one of sixteen teams left in the state playing baseball in Division I is awesome.  I cannot tell you how excited the boys are for the opportunity to play in Louisville again and compete for a Regional Crown and an opportunity to advance to States.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: At this point, it does not matter what teams are in your region.  Everyone at this stage is a great ball club, and we look forward to competing against some of the best.

Kenston

Record: 16-7
Head Coach: Joseph Hritz
Final Ranking: No. 27
Preseason Ranking: NR
Postseason History:

  • First District Title In 18 Seasons

Top Players:

  • Jake Vasil
  • Drew McKenna
  • Parker Munday
  • Carter Flynn
  • Nikko Georgiou
  • Logan Koller
  • Shane Rothlisberger
  • LA Mighton
  • Nate Schlessel

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Our pitchers are doing a great job locating and throwing strikes. We are also finding ways to manufacture and score runs with good plate approaches.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Exhilarating. This program has some very talented players and it was a great feeling to finally have that talent being showcased with a run in the playoffs. Winning against a conference opponent on a walk-off home run on a day when we weren't hitting particularly well was a special memory that this program will not soon forget.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: This is an exciting opportunity for our student athletes that they have earned.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: It is a very well-coached and talented region that is jam packed with deserving teams that could all make a run at the state title.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: Thank you to all of our team parents, administrators, and coaches for making sure the little things get taken care of on a daily basis to help our program continue to grow and thrive. Our players have fed off of this energy and are poised and ready for the upcoming opportunities.

Division I - Dublin Regional

  • No. 35 Hilliard Darby vs No. 10 Grove City
  • No. 8 New Albany vs No. 19 Westerville North

Region Overview: Hilliard Darby knocked off Olentangy 4-1 and Olentangy Liberty 6-1 in the districts. Kyle Kessel allowed one unearned run in five innings while pitching both days of a two-day final with Liberty due to rain. ... Grove City beat Lancaster 2-0 in eight innings in the district finals on Saturday after the teams played 6.1 innings of scoreless ball on Thursday before rains postponed the finish. It was the first district title for Grove City since 2014. … Defending state champion New Albany kept its title hopes alive to repeat when Ben Clark singled home pinch runner Brandon Ecleberry in the bottom of the seventh for a 2-1 win over Canal Winchester in the district finals, the fourth straight district title for New Albany.  … In its first district appearance since 2002, 15th-seeded Westerville North scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth for a 3-2 win over Central Crossing, earning the Warriors their first district title since 1988. Brock Wright went the distance for the win.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • Grove City over Hilliard Darby
  • New Albany over Westerville North
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - New Albany

Fan Vote:

  • Grove City over Hilliard Darby
  • New Albany over Westerville North
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - New Albany

#35 Hilliard Darby

Record: 17-12
Head Coach:
Mike Weer
Final Ranking:
No. 35
Preseason Ranking:
No. 9
Postseason History:
  • Six District Titles In School History

Top Players:

  • Brody Van Dyke, LF, Junior
  • Travis Yankovich, SS/P, Junior
  • Casey Maruniak, CF, Senior
  • Jameson O’Flynn, 2B, Senior
  • Ryan Hance, C, Senior
  • Matt Spencer, 1B/LHP, Senior
  • Nate Burdick, RF, Senior
  • Luke Manche, 3B/DH, Senior
  • Cooper Gilkerson, 3B/P, Freshman
  • Cam Gilkerson, RHP, Freshman
  • Kyle Kesel, RHP, Junior
  • Max Mullen, RHP, Junior

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: 1st team all-district player Cam Gilkerson (Wright St. commit), one our top hitters and #1 arm was lost to injury about a week before tournament, since then the team has rallied around each other and we’ve played our best baseball of season during tournament.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Extremely proud of our players. I just Love how much they just play for each other.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: So happy that our players get to experience playing into the third week of the tournament. 

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: Whichever team makes it out of the regional will be well deserving and great representative for the central district in the Final Four.

#10 Grove City

Record: 23-7
Head Coach: Ryan Alexander
Final Ranking: No. 10
Preseason Ranking: No. 10
Postseason History:

  • Four District Titles Since 2010

Top Players:

  • Keegan Holmstrom, P/1B, Soph, .429 AVG, 7-0 on the mound (Committed to Ohio State)
  • Jackson Ware, P / 1B/ OF  Sr. .330 AVG, 2 HR's, 30 RBIs,  31 ACT,  4-1 on the mound
  • Dennis Ritlinger-Nirider, CF, Sr. .380 AVG (committed to Baldwin Wallace)
  • Zak Sigman, P/3B, Jr.  .350 AVG, 24 runs scored, 22 RBIs,  6-2 on the mound
  • Braxton Bryant, LF/RF, Jr, .442 AVG
  • Ty Clifton, DH/1B, Sr.  .293 AVG (committed to Capital)
  • Grady Speegle, C/3B, Jr., .321 AVG, 20 RBI
  • Spencer Stoll, SS, Jr, .292 AVG, 18 runs
  • Trent Ruffing, 2B, Sr. .200 AVG, .431 OBP, .964 Fielding Percentage
  • Conor Hix, C, Jr. .233 AVG
  • Gabe Duncan (3-1) 2 saves

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: 9 wins in a row, competing at the dish the last month, OCC Champs, District Champs

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Proud of this group, 8 inning battle with Lancaster over a 3-day period,  Lost to Lancaster in district final last year in 2-1 game over 11 innings.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Told the guys the other day-- all kids should get the opportunity to play in a game of this caliber-- last chance to play for YOUR CITY!!

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: We have played New Albany 3 x this year in our conference-- Great team,  Played Darby on a Saturday in a PBR HS Classic, have not played Westerville North but love what Coach Ring is all about.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: We are playing for our school, this great city and look forward to representing both to the fullest.

#8 New Albany

Record: 23-6
Head Coach: Dave Starling
Final Ranking: No. 19
Preseason Ranking: No. 5
Postseason History:

  • Six District Titles In School History (2004, 2010, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022)
  • State Champions in 2004 and 2021

Top Players:

  • Andrew Ecleberry, CF, Senior (Captain)
  • Eli Henderson, DH, Junior
  • Ben Clark, C, Junior
  • Oliver Cush, LF, Senior (Captain)
  • Garret Given, 1B, Sophomore
  • Mitchell Brockmeyer, 3B, Senior
  • Cameron Behaein, RF, Senior
  • Oliver Shroyer, SS, Junior
  • Owen Johnson, 2B, Junior
  • Caden Robinson, RHP, Senior (Captain)
  • Elijah Griffith, RHP, Junior
  • Aaron Pirkle, LHP, Senior
  • Andrew Trybus, LHP, Senior (Captain)
  • Tom Bohman, RHP, Junior
  • Zach Casey, RHP, Sophomore
  • Cooper Sullivan, RHP, Junior
  • AJ Scott, RHP, Senior

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We have a strong team unity, attitude and desire to succeed.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It was quite a feeling to win 4 districts in a row. The weight that these young men have shouldered as defending state champions they have handled the pressure extremely well.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: This is a great opportunity and a tremendous challenge against a very worthy opponent.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: You don’t get to this point in tournament play without playing the game extremely well and having exceptional talent.

#19 Westerville North

Record: 19-8
Head Coach: Sean Ring
Final Ranking: No. 19
Preseason Ranking: NR
Postseason History:

  • Six District Titles In School History, 1st since 1988

Top Players:

  • James McCreery - CF, 2022
  • Aiden Dickinson - INF/P, 2023 - 5-0, 1.27 ERA
  • Trevor Newtz - SS/P, 2022 - 6-3, .880 ERA
  • Donovan Varney - OF/C, 2022
  • Rocco Thomas - OF/DH, 2022
  • Lance Preston - OF, 2023
  • Connor Warthman - C, 2022
  • Nick Peters- 3B, 2023
  • Zac "Taz' Taylor - 1B, 2022
  • Braden Lewis - INF/P, 2023
  • Brock Wright, RHP, Junior - 3-0, 2 saves, 1.35 ERA

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: The thing I like most about this team is their ownership. We have a mature group of players who have bought into a system and philosophy of how to play the game. They trust one another and the coaching staff which allows them to play fast and carefree.  The leadership has been second to none. The players hold each other accountable to a high standard of achievement and discipline. This team is tough because they play hard, they execute, they trust one another, and they play as a team.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: The feeling was euphoric. Beyond happy for the players, the school, and the community. They have been a joy to coach and watch them chase their goals.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We are both humbled and hungry. This team feels like they have defied the odds and revel in the fact that they are continuing to chase their goals. They are prepared and excited for the opportunity.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: While rain has postponed the final two District Championship games whoever wins those brackets will have truly earned it. All four teams still awaiting the finish of their championships are talented and well-coached. New Albany is talented and experienced as defending state champions. While we have not been in this situation in 34 years, the majority of their team has experienced this as recently as last season. All four teams will be a terrific representation of the depth and quality of Central Ohio baseball.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: I am incredibly proud of my players, coaches, and the community for their effort and support of this team. It's been wonderful to see how these boys have impacted Westerville North baseball by connecting its past and future through their success and hard work.

Division I - North Ridgeville Regional

  • No. 24 Northview vs Anthony Wayne
  • No. 6 Saint Ignatius vs Strongsville

Region Overview: Northview avenged two regular-season losses to Perrysburg with a 3-2 win in the district finals and with it the first trip to regionals in school history. Alex Dupree had an RBI double in the top of the seventh for the Wildcats, which scored two in the bottom of the eighth to rally past Clay 2-1 in the district semis. … Anthony Wayne is hot at the right time and the 10th-seeded Generals are regional-bound with a 14-11 record after beating Bowling Green 7-5 in the district semis and Findlay 8-2 in the finals. Regional semifinal opponent Northview beat AW 13-0 on May 4 and 11-5 on May 23. … Saint Ignatius has a shot at winning its second state title in the past three seasons played after beating Medina 9-4 in the district finals. Liam Baker struck out 12 in six innings of a 5-1 district semifinal victory over Shaker Heights. … A 14 seed is in the regionals after Strongsville rolled to four tournament wins, the most recent a 7-1 victory over Wadsworth in the district finals to improve to 16-13 on the year. Justin Malloy fired a three-hitter to follow up a two-hit shutout by Maddux Beard in a 6-0 semifinal win over Normandy.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • Northview over Anthony Wayne
  • Saint Ignatius over Strongsville
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Saint Ignatius

Fan Vote:

  • Anthony Wayne over Northview
  • Saint Ignatius over Strongsville
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Saint Ignatius

#24 Northview

Record: 22-8
Head Coach: Greg Szparka
Final Ranking: No. 24
Preseason Ranking: NR
Postseason History:

  • One District Title In School History

Top Players:

  • Benny Seals, 2B, Junior
  • Riley Ames, RF, Junior
  • Brodey Acres, SS, Senior
  • Blake Bradford, 3B/P, Senior
  • Alex Dupree, 1B, Junior
  • Benny Crooks, DH, Senior
  • Alex Prymas, LF/P, Senior
  • Garrett Draper, C, Senior
  • Braden Tackett, CF, Senior
  • Garrett Zimmermann, RHP, Junior
  • Austin Patnode, RHP, Junior
  • Ryan McKarus

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: The fact that we play as a team. Everyone is trying to do thier part to make the team successful.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: I couldn’t be more proud of this team. They have put the work in and won the schools first ever district title.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It’s a great opportunity for the kids. We have told them to just enjoy the moment and play the game.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: I’m sure they are all very talented and well coached teams. If we want to continue we will have to play some really good baseball.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: This group of 7 seniors really left their mark on a program. Taking the leadership and the can’t lose mentality coming into the playoffs are why we are in this position. They set the tone in the off-season, the preseason, the season and the post season. We hope to build in this with our classes following.

Anthony Wayne

Record: 14-11
Head Coach: Ryan Donley
Final Ranking: NR
Preseason Ranking: No. 16
Postseason History:

  • Nine District Titles In School History

Top Players:

  • Bryce Anderson
  • Noah Sample
  • Chase Saneholtz
  • Jack Behnfeldt
  • Marco Morrison
  • Mitch Harder
  • Tyler Mull
  • Hadryn Nowicki
  • Tommy Ling
  • Zack Carpenter
  • Cody Keller
  • Brayden Weis
  • Dom Carlson
  • Rory Smith
  • Jackson Tober
  • Michael Kuhar
  • Grant Clay
  • Braden Curry

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We are starting to play good baseball. We had a rough start to the year and our inconsistencies led to several losses on the record. I'm proud of the staff and the kids for buying in to make the mental adjustment to how we approach each day. They've responded well and it's showing on the field. We are learning to play the game the right way and compete in all phases.  

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Just really proud. Like I said above, this year hasn't been easy. It was great to watch our kids experience the joy of success given the amount of adversity they've faced this season.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We're excited for the challenge! Northview is an outstanding ball club and we will need to bring our "A game" in order to come out on top. They'll be ready, we'll be ready, and I anticipate a great HS baseball game.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: We're familiar with Northview having played them already this year. However, we're not as familiar with St. Ignatius or Strongsville other that what we can find online or read about.  There's no question that all of the teams at the regional level are solid ball clubs. 

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: We're extremely thankful for the support that we've received this season. We went through some serious rough patches but our parents, students, administrators, and community have shown unwavering support and we couldn't be more thankful. We can't wait to hear and feel the energy that General Nation will bring on Thursday! It should be a great HS baseball atmosphere!

#4 Saint Ignatius

Record: 21-6-1
Head Coach: Brad Ganor
Final Ranking: No. 4
Preseason Ranking: No. 4
Postseason History:

  • 17 District Titles In School History

Top Players:

  • Anthony Paskell CF
  • Billy Adams SS
  • Gabe Nard P/SS (5-0)
  • Sawyer Solitaria 1B/P (4-2)
  • Max Palinski LF
  • Andrew Apanasewicz C
  • Nick Frontino 2B
  • Carson Heramn 3B
  • Pauly Mancino RF/P
  • Liam Baker, P

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Our guys are battle tested. We played one of the toughest national schedules we could possibly play. They have risen to the occasion when it has mattered most.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: We felt great winning the Districts, we returned a number of guys from 2021, a team that lost the district final, so they were hungry to not let that happen again.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Playing in a regional is like the icing on the cake. Everyone is good at that this point, so you see traditional “upsets” like you might see in District play.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: We are very familiar with Strongsville having already played them this year. Both Toledo region teams are playing really good baseball right now and I am sure will be a formidable opponent.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: I am proud of our team. We have played the season in 3 parts (early/Florida, mid-season grind, and postseason. I feel like we are playing our best baseball and that’s all you can ask for at this point in the season.

Strongsville

Record: 16-13
Head Coach: Doug Cicerchi
Final Ranking: NR
Preseason Ranking: No. 36
Postseason History:

  • Eight District Titles Since 2001
  • State Champion in 2006

Top Players:

  • Brandon Lucek, CF/RHP, Junior .370/.495/.457, 21 RBI, 37 R, 29-32 SB | (0-1, 1 save)
  • Ethan Stross, 2B, Senior .349/.404/.384, 10 RBI, 24 R, 10-14 SB
  • Mitchel Szymczak, C, Senior .425/.581/.740, 7 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 31 RBI, 23 R, 28 BB, 17-19 SB 
  • Gus Gregory, SS, Senior .459/.548/.753, 5 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 24 R, 16 BB, 25-26 SB
  • Connor Zitnar, DH, Senior .367/.457/.433, 9 RBI, 6 R
  • Zak Kakos, 1B, Senior .254/.407/.373, 13 RBI, 14 R, 18 BB
  • Ryan Gordon, 3B, Junior .318/.377/.386, 11 RBI, 12 R
  • Nathan Kowalski, RF, Senior .242/.381/.379, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 16 R, 12 BB
  • Aidan Cunningham, LF/RHP, Senior 7.1 IP, 11 H, 4 BB, 9 K, 0.96 ERA
  • Maddux Beard, RHP, Senior (4-2, 1 save) 9 G, 8 Starts, 39.2 IP, 32 H, 9 BB, 41 K, 1.77 ERA
  • Justin Malloy, RHP, Senior (4-3) 8 G, 6 Starts, 31 IP, 32 H, 14 BB, 28 K, 2.48 ERA
  • Liam Shea, LHP, Senior (1-0, 1 save) 10 G, 0 Starts, 19.2 IP, 17 H, 3 BB, 8 K, 1.07 ERA
  • Brandon Lucek, RHP, Junior (0-1, 1 save) 4 G, 0 Starts, 6 IP, 3 H, 7 BB, 7 K, 3.50 ERA

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Our grit, toughness, competitiveness, and togetherness. Everyone is pulling in the same direction, regardless of their role. We have 19 seniors and when we were sitting at 8-10 several weeks ago, our season could have gone either way. Those seniors could have looked forward to prom, graduation, their summer, and college. Instead, they dug in and kept fighting. Combined with our two healthy juniors who regularly start, we turned our season around. We played a very difficult schedule so that 8-10 record was a bit misleading. We weren't playing great but we were playing much better than a typical under .500 team. When the weather warmed up, our bats warmed up as well, and we got on a roll that continued through districts.  We're just trying to win one more game. If we can do that, we'll try to win one more again.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Winning a district is always an incredible accomplishment because there are so many quality Division I teams in Northeast Ohio. You could see the joy in the guys' dogpile that all of their sacrifices were worth it. It's especially unique this year though because if you asked our guys at the beginning of the year if we should win a district, they probably would have said yes. If you asked them a month ago and they answered honestly, they'd have probably said no. I know those would have been my two answers. Again, no one gave up though -- each player and coach kept working. We got it turned around slowly and the payoff was that this talented, veteran group realized a realistic but difficult goal we set three months ago.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It's an awesome experience and this group deserves it. Saint Ignatius is a very good ballclub and we saw that firsthand a few weeks ago. We lost that game but competed for 7 innings and had our opportunities. We didn't take advantage of them that day. Hopefully we do on Thursday.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: We play Saint Ignatius every year and have tremendous respect for them. They're one of the best programs in the state year-in and year-out. However, because we play against them every year, and because so many of our guys play with and against them as individuals on the summer circuit, there is no fear of them. Will we win? I have no idea. Do we believe we can win? Absolutely -- and we'll take our chances with the guys in our dugout. I honestly do not know much about Northview and Anthony Wayne this year, though I do find it interesting that Anthony Wayne has a record similar to ours and when I looked at their schedule they also seem willing to play anyone, any time, anywhere. We have the same philosophy. We've each won regional finals against the other over the years. Without knowing much about their season, I'd have to imagine that playing quality competition all year long helped prepare them for what they'd see in their district tournament. I know that we were ready because of the tough teams we played all year long.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: We're excited to be able to play together one more time. This is a tight knit group, especially our senior class. A big part of our motivation is being able to be around each other a few more days. Hopefully we can extend that a few more. We're just trying to win one more game, as many times as we can.

Division I - Batavia Regional

  • No. 1 Moeller vs No. 46 Fairfield
  • No. 2 Mason vs No. 33 Lebanon

Region Overview: The top two rated teams in the state headline the field with No. 1 Moeller and No. 2 Mason on a potential collision course to meet in the regional finals. Moeller has surrendered just one run in tournament play, including 9-0 and 10-0 wins over Princeton and Springboro at districts. … Mason yet to allow a run in the tournament, highlighted by a 6-0 triumph over Miamisburg in the district title game. Brenden Garula threw a perfect game with 17 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over Western Brown in the sectional finals.… Fairfield is the regional semifinal opponent for Moeller, with the 46th-rated D-I team in Ohio permitting just two runs in four tournament games to date. … Lebanon comes into regionals with arguably the top one-two pitching duo in the state in senior Parker Dillhoff (Wichita State) and junior Colton Hartman (Louisville). The 33rd-ranked team in the state has shut out all four tourney opponents so far, including 1-0 over Elder, last season’s D-I state runners-up, in the district semis with Hartman tossing a no-hitter. Dillhoff then threw a one-hitter with 14 Ks in a 130-pitch performance to beat Vandalia-Butler 3-0 in the finals for the first district title in Lebanon history.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • Moeller over Fairfield
  • Mason over Lebanon
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Moeller

Fan Vote:

  • Moeller over Fairfield
  • Mason over Lebanon
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Moeller

#1 Moeller

Record: 28-2
Head Coach: Tim Held
Final Ranking:
No. 1
Preseason Ranking: No. 3
Postseason History:

  • 20 District Championships
  • 12 Regional Championships
  • 8 State Championships

Top Players: (Click For Stats)

  • Max Tramontana, RHP, Senior--starter
  • Carson Marsh, RHP, junior--bullpen
  • Ryan Benne, RHP, senior--bullpen
  • CJ Richard, CF, junior
  • Toby Hueber, 2B/1B/RHP, junior
  • Nate Earley, 1B, senior
  • Blane Schmitt, 3B, senior
  • Charlie Niehaus, SS, junior
  • Nate Manley, C, junior
  • Griff Cady, LF, senior
  • Connor Christenson, DH/2B, junior
  • Keelan Daniel, RF, senior

Coach's Thoughts: 

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I like our starting pitching right now. Max and Toby are giving us great innings and have been able to keep our opponent’s offenses off balance. Our offense has really been able to generate runs from any part of the lineup.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Everyone was very happy to clinch the school’s 20th district title. The players have been working hard to create their own legacy inside our storied tradition so this title is one more piece that they have added this season.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: I’m proud of this team for getting to the regional. I keep reminding the guys that 2 weeks ago there were 192 teams in division 1 playing baseball and now we are down to 16. These next two games are going to be really tough and we are hoping to be the team that comes out of it and get to represent SW Ohio in Akron.  

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: The pitching that is going to be on display in our regional is going to be fantastic! It’s going to be exciting to watch. All four teams are really good and are here for a reason. Whoever can be the hottest team over the two games will advance.

#46 Fairfield

Record: 18-11
Head Coach: Tommy Begley
Final Ranking: No. 46
Preseason Ranking: NR
Postseason History:

  • Waiting to get information back from coach.

Top Players: (Click For Stats)

  • Waiting to get information back from coach.

Coach's Thoughts:

  • Waiting to get information back from coach.

#2 Mason

Record: 25-4
Head Coach: Curt Bly
Final Ranking: No. 2
Preseason Ranking: No. 2
Postseason History:

  • 13 District Titles In School History

Top Players: (Click For Stats)

  • Brenden Garula, LHP, Senior (8-0)
  • Noah Samol, LHP, Senior (6-1)
  • Michael Murphy, RHP/INF, Junior, (4-1)
  • Quinten Kaylor, RHP, Junior, Relief
  • Jake Hanley, 1B/P, Sophomore

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Obviously our pitching has led us all season and they've continued to do so in the postseason. Offensively we are getting contributions from several different guys and we are finding different ways to score.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: I was very proud of our guys. It's not easy winning a District Championship in Southwest Ohio. No matter how many times we do it, it's always special to us.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It's just a great accomplishment for our guys.  Being one of the last 4 in Southwest Ohio isn't easy and having the opportunity to continue to play together is really all we talk about. It's going to be a great challenge and we couldn't be more excited to continue to compete as a group.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: Tremendously talented, well coached teams. The pitching really stands out on all 4 squads. I honestly believe any of the 4 have what it takes to advance. It's going to be a lot of fun to be a part of.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: I would just say again how proud I am of this group and what they've done. Being able to coach these guys has been a blessing. Their representation of our program, school, and community has been a great chapter in our program's history.

#33 Lebanon

Record: 20-11
Head Coach: Larry Price
Final Ranking: No. 33
Preseason Ranking: No. 22
Postseason History:

  • First District Title In School History

Top Players: (Click For Stats)

  • OF - Kyle Koch - Soph
  • OF - Jordan Cain - Sr
  • SS/P - Jack Cecil - Jr
  • DH - Ty Beck - Sr
  • C - Evan Willnau - Jr
  • OF/P - Parker Dillhoff - Sr
  • P/OF  - Colton Hartman - Jr
  • INF/P - Logan Franz - Sr
  • INF - Andrew Cleaver - Sr
  • INF - Brock Hodges - Sr
  • P - Jesse Dunlap - Jr

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Team is very hard working - very spirited.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Wonderful feeling - especially being a .500 team in mid-season.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: An honor to be in this position - happy for our players.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team’s as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: Very difficult regional - Fairfield, Moeller, & Mason are blue ribbon teams. It is going to be a challenge to compete with these elite teams, but our players will battle.

2022 Spring High School Season Content

To view the Heat Sheet, which provides the top velocity we have seen this spring, please click here.

To view out Spring Scout Blog with videos and reports from the spring, please click here.

To view the Team Rankings, click below:

To view the Teams of the Week, click below:

To view the Preseason All-State Teams, click below:

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