Prep Baseball Report

Division IV Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Hopewell-Loudon

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

Follow on Twitter- @PrepBaseballOH
Follow on Twitter- @PBROhioScout
Follow on Instagram- @pbrohio

Interested in attending a PBR Ohio event? Check out our schedule by clicking here.

To view the Teams of the Week, click below:

To view the Team Rankings, click below:

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

Division IV Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Hopewell-Loudon

BASCOM - Hopewell-Loudon head coach Tony Swanagan knew he would have a good team this season. But undefeated through last weekend?

“We were 22-6 last year and graduated eight, including seven starters,” reflected the head coach of the Prep Baseball Report Division IV Team of the Week. “We faced Norwalk St. Paul early in the year and beat them in five innings. I was shocked. Expectations were high, but certainly not what they are now.”

The Chieftains have been dominating, entering the week at 14-0 after a trio of double-digit wins last week, 20-9 over Riverdale followed by 10-0 and 15-0 shutout victories over Woodmore and Danbury, respectively.

“We had JV guys come up that had waited their turn and worked their tail off in the summer and winter,” Swanagan said. “I’m not surprised, but …”

That’s right coach, 14-0 (before losing on Monday to fall to 14-1).

“Our pitching has been lights out,” noted Swanagan, who lost last year’s top two starting pitchers to graduation. “We have five guys we trust with our number one being a sophomore. Pitching is by far our strength.”

Caine McDonald is the ace of the staff at 5-0 on the season, with the head coach’s son Tyson Swanagan the number two pitcher at 4-0. Ashton Bour, Tyler Fedele and Cohen Sendelbach are other contributors on the mound as well as in the field.

“We’ve got a tough two weeks ahead,” Swanagan assessed when looking at the upcoming schedule. “What can our pitching depth do to get through this?”

Bour and Swanagan, a pair of seniors, have been big at the plate in the impressive start to the season. A first-team All-State selection last year, Bour is batting .500 where he finished last season, while Swanagan is at .450, providing versatility at catcher, second, short and third base in addition to pitching.

Senior Tyler Fedele is “the biggest surprise” according to the H-L coach.

“He played little as a freshman, there was Covid his sophomore year and he was hurt as a junior,” Swanagan said of the 6-4 first baseman/pitcher. “Now he’s hitting .560 this year.”

Senior Devin Falter provides defense in the infield as well as center field while hitting in the nine-hole.

“He’s had two or three walk-off hits this year,” Swanagan related. “He’s really stepped up after only getting a little varsity time last year.”

Sendelbach, a freshman, has solidified the infield at shortstop.

“He’s been a big difference for us,” Swanagan pointed out. “We knew in the summer he was going to be spectacular. He’s only had one error and that was in transferring the ball. He’s been solid for us and a big difference, making all the plays.”

It has been more than just the physical ability of the players that has been vital to a successful season to date.

“Honestly, it’s just the attitude,” Swanagan concluded. “We were down 5-0 the other week against Seneca East and came back to win 7-6. It’s the attitude and work ethic.”


Recent Articles