Division II Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Tallmadge

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

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Division II Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Tallmadge

TALLMADGE - Six consecutive wins, including three shutouts last week, has Tallmadge moving up the ratings while being recognized as the Prep Baseball Report Division II Team of the Week.

“Scott Campbell came aboard five years ago when our assistant left to become a head coach and we’ve made an adjustment learning his approach,” long-time Talmadge mentor Kenny Linn said about the value of his pitching coach. “We’re really working well together. We’re trusting his calls and relying on our defense.”

After 3-1, 4-3 and 6-2 wins a week prior, the Blue Devils received a no-hitter from sophomore Keagan Gilbride last Monday in a 10-0 win over Highland, a nine-hitter from Jackson Schwalbach in a 5-0 blanking of Revere on Tuesday and a four-hitter from Ethan Shahan in knocking off top-ranked and previously unbeaten Defiance 3-0 on Saturday in the PBR Classic at Defiance.

“Pitching and fielding,” Linn said of what’s made the difference for a team that lost to Highland 13-0 earlier in April. “If you give up one run a game you're gonna win ballgames.”

As the most experienced starter, Schwalbach, a Malone commit, came in as the ace and is currently 4-1 while Shahan, who started 0-3 against strong competition that included games in Vero Beach, Fla., has been spectacular of late

“He’s made adjustments and has had two really good outings in a row,” Linn said of the senior committed to John Carroll. “You don’t get a win against a team like Defiance and not be considered to get the ball down the stretch. He showed the ability to pound the zone using all three pitches and keep them off balance for seven innings. That was an impressive outing.”

Junior Brady Parks has been a “pleasant surprise” on the mound in the eyes of Linn and adds depth to the pitching staff, which received another shutout performance on Monday against Cuyahoga Falls from Gilbride and Ty Hurst.

“I said at the beginning of the year in the PBR preview our team's success depends on how our pitching staff with very little varsity innings competes throughout the season,” Linn said. “We’ve got athletes and guys that can run.”

Aiding the recent improvement is a healthy Seth Yacobucci.

“He was sick early in the year but he’s really coming on,” Linn said of his junior catcher. “As he started playing his best baseball it’s amazing how it flows through your team.”

Changes in the batting order have also proven successful, with Niko Roldan batting first, shortstop and Baldwin-Wallace recruit Mason Dexter in the two-hole followed by Yacobucci, Ryan Snyder, junior first baseman Beau Gromley and Schwalbach.

“We’ve settled in and are having a good approach over the last few weeks,” pointed out Linn, whose team is 11-5 heading into games with Kent Roosevelt and St. Ignatius this week. Additionally, the Blue Devils must finish a game from last Thursday against Aurora in which they lead by two heading to the seventh.

“The biggest thing for us is to continue day by day to have a good approach and good team camaraderie,” Linn concluded. “Eight days ago Sheehan said ‘coach, you know what’s in eight days? Blue Devil Month. It’s May.’

“We just need to continue doing what we’ve been doing. We cleaned up things that we did in our five losses and we’ve been on a roll since we settled into our lineup.”

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