Prep Baseball Report

Division IV Team Of The Week: Week 4 - Lincolnview

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

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Division IV Team Of The Week: Week 4 - Lincolnview

VAN WERT - Three straight losses to start the season is now in the past for last season’s state runners-up. Nine wins later, Lincolnview is the Prep Baseball Report Division IV Team of the Week.

“We had a lot of expectations and hype at the beginning of the season,” admitted Lincolnview head coach Eric Fishpaw. “But we had two sophomores and a junior getting acclimated to varsity and we were kicking it around. We’re more comfortable now. Our seniors have done a good job leading and those three are more confident.”

It was an impressive week in moving to 9-3 on the season for the second-rated D-IV team in the state, with a 3-1 win over Spencerville followed by victories over Miller City 13-6, Columbus Grove 6-1, New Bremen 6-0 and Fort Recovery 4-0.

Landon Price, a senior left-hander committed to Ohio State, headlines a staff with junior Dane Ebel the number two. Price threw a three-hitter with 15 Ks while not allowing an earned run against Grove while Ebel struck out 16 in a two-hit effort versus Spencerville, also not permitting an earned run.

“We’ve done a really great job of pounding the strike zone,” noted Fishpaw, whose team has a 0.78 ERA. “We have two very good arms in Price and Ebel who have combined for over 100 Ks with 17 walks. We have 128 strikeouts to 38 walks as a staff. We pound the strike zone, challenge hitters and let our defense make plays.”

Keegan Farris and Jack Dunlap also had strong pitching performances this past week. Farris tossed five two-hit shutout innings against Fort Recovery before Ebel closed out the win with five strikeouts in two innings while Dunlap threw a two-hitter a night earlier versus New Bremen.

“The biggest surprise I think is our 3-4 pitchers got New Bremen and Fort Recovery,” Fishpaw said. “They’re not overpowering but they’re confident, throw strikes and trust the defense.” 

Helping the cause has been the return of Cole Binkley to the lineup after missing the first seven games with an injury.
“He’s our two-hole hitter with very, very good speed,” Fishpaw said of the team’s right fielder. “He’s versatile with power and speed.”

The  leading hitter so far is catcher Carson Fox, who is averaging .452 helped out by a four-hit game against Miller City. Dunlap, a first baseman/DH/OF, is batting.500 with Price, who plays first when not on the hill, at .432 and Binkley .400. Ebel, the shortstop when not pitching, is averaging.353.

“We’ve got a good mix of power, knowledge and experience at the top of the order,” Fishpaw noted. “The bottom (Austin Bockrath, Evan Miller, Jared Kesler and Brandon Renner) is trying to have good at-bats and get it turned over to the top.”

Fishpaw is hoping it proves to be enough to make another strong tournament run.

“We’re in a tough district and LCC has been added to it,” noted Fishpaw, whose team plays Lima Central Catholic this week along with Delphos St. John’s, Allen East and Fort Loramie. “We just have to have that one-game-at-a-time mentality.

“I told the kids at the beginning of the season that last year was great, but this is your chapter. We have to be playing our best baseball at the right time and be selfless working toward our team goals.”

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