Prep Baseball Report

Division IV Team Of The Week: Week 6 - Wayne Trace

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 6 - Wayne Trace

HAVILAND - It has been a great two-week run for Wayne Trace, capped off by a 9-1 win over Delphos St. John’s a week after beating county rivals Paulding and Antwerp along with an eight-inning victory over Crestview.

A 17-1 record entering this week has Wayne Trace being recognized as the Prep Baseball Report Division IV Team of the Week.

“What has stood out is the resiliency of this group,” noted WT head coach Ryne Jerome. “Any time they get down or we make some mistakes these guys have responded well and have done what they needed to do. Everyone is willing to do whatever is necessary for the team’s success.”

The mentor of the third-rated D-IV team in the state points to the past as playing a big part in the present success.

“I think the success of last year’s team, both spring and Acme during the summer, really provided us with a lot of momentum heading into this past offseason and ultimately this season,” Jerome explained. “We had a large group of contributors back from last year, and this is a group of kids specifically that loves to play baseball and is excited about the game and the challenges they had ahead of them this season.

“With experience coming back also came a tremendous amount of leadership and guys who have played a lot of varsity baseball. This summer competing with some of the best programs around really gave our kids the confidence they needed to know that we could compete with anyone and that this could potentially be a really fun season.

“We’re still working through some things and we’re close to being back to full strength, in particular on the mound, but during that time we’ve had some other guys step up and fill their roles nicely.”

With staff ace Cooper Wenzlick, the ninth-rated 2024 right-handed pitcher in Ohio, seeing little time on the mound to date, Allen Minck and Tyler Davis have been strong at the top of the rotation 

“Allen Minck and Tyler Davis have really stepped up for us on the mound this season as a solid 1-2 punch, and Breven Anderson has also emerged as a name that people need to keep their eye on,” Jerome noted. “All three do a nice job of locating multiple pitches in the zone and using their defense to get outs.”

Minck is 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA while Davis stands 2-1 with a 3.45 ERA, fanning 27 in 22.3 innings. Anderson has a 6-0 record with a 1.03 ERA while Kyle Forrer aids the staff in relief with five saves and a 0.58 ERA.

Forrer is also one of the top hitters for the Raiders at .390 to go along with a .640 slugging percentage, two home runs and 18 RBIs. Wenzlick is the leading batter at .459 with a .689 slugging percentage, two homers and 26 RBIs. Kyle Slade is averaging .322 with a home run while driving in 14.

“We’ve had a number of guys 1-9 step up and get big hits for us at times this season,” pointed out Jerome.

The Wayne Trace head coach is pleased with how his team has played with a Green Meadows Conference title on the line this week.

“What I like most about our team are two things, leadership and their competitiveness,” Jerome said. “I believe this team is player-led, which I believe are ultimately the most successful teams,. This team not only wants to win but expects to win every time they take the field.

“The key now is to continue to improve and cut down on our mistakes. A lot of times when we’ve gotten behind it’s been of our own doing, making the game more difficult than it needs to be at times. If we can limit the mistakes, I believe we’ll be tough to beat going forward.

“I’m just proud of our kids and the time and effort they’ve put into this season,” added Jerome. “We’ve reached our goals up to this point, but they are completely aware that the job is not yet finished.”

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