Prep Baseball Report

PBR Spotlight Game: No. 1 Defiance vs. No. 20 Napoleon vs. Eastwood Tri-Match

By Dylan Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer/Northwest Scout

Layne Schnitz-Paxton vs Defiance

NAPOLEON, OH - The defending state champions in division II, Defiance Bulldogs had to wait until April 5th to play their first game in 2014. That first game turned into a 9-1 win against Eastwood, but game two was not as planned for the Bulldogs as No. 20 Napoleon and talented sophomore pitcher Layne Schnitz-Paxton (ranked number 6 in the 2014 class) turned in a dazzling performance to stymie the bats of the top ranked Bulldogs. Napoleon (2-1) topped Defiance (1-1) by a final score of 2-1.

Napoleon jumped out on top of the Bulldogs in the first inning 1-0 on an unearned run off of Olney College commit and Defiance ace Austin Hancock (ranked number 27 in Ohio and 203 overall in 2014 class) and held on to that lead until the 5th inning.

Schnitz-Paxton (pictured right) was electrifying as he no-hit Defiance through the first four innings, until unsigned senior Jacob Green (ranked number 92 in 2014 class) had an infield single, later scoring on an RBI single by junior Boo Sierra. Defiance could have scored more if not for an outstanding diving catch in right field by unsigned senior Zach Fielder (ranked number 170 in 2014 class, pictured below) off the bat of unsigned senior Dom Gentile (ranked number 153 in 2014 class) that saved two runs. 
Zach Fielder diving catch against Defiance

Deadlocked at 1-1, a pair of two-out walks and a hit-by-pitch by Bluffton commit Jacob Lerch filled the bases for Napoleon against Defiance talented sophomore relief pitcher Shay Smiddy (ranked number 28 in 2016 class) and Michael Gilliland (ranked number 194 in 2014 class) followed with a walk to give the Wildcats the victory. 

Schnitz-Paxton ended up going five innings allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out six.

Schnitz-Paxton on pitching against the reigning state champions: "I was a little nervous going out there pitching against the defending state champions but I shook it off. I came in thinking I could pitch with anyone in the state and I made it happen. My curveball and slider were really working today."

Wildcat ace and Kent State University commit Zach Willeman (ranked number 7 in Ohio and 64 overall in 2014 class) came in Austin Hancock vs Napoleonfor the final two frames to pick up the win, allowing just one baserunner while striking out one. The righty sat 86-88 on the mound with a filthy curve.

Willeman on the big win: "It feels great to beat the defending state champ!" stated an elated Willeman. "Beating Defiance is one of may goals this season and could could be a spark plug type of win that could propel us to better things down the road. I feel like this team can do something special if we continue to play stellar defense like we did today and continue to have the solid pitching."

Hancock (pictured left) for Defiance went five innings allowing one unearned run on four hits while striking out six. Smiddy, who picked up the loss, struck out three batters in his one-plus innings of work. 

Top performers in the other games include:Michael Hendricks vs Eastwood

  • Derek Turner, (ranked number 65 in 2014 class) picked up the win in Defiance's first game going four innings allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out five. The Sinclair CC commit also roped two doubles and had three RBIs. Tuner sat low-to-mid 80s, with a filthy curve as he is coming back from shoulder surgery.
  • Michael Hendricks, (ranked number 28 in Ohio and 201 overall in 2015 class, pictured right), came in relief for Turner going three innings allowing one hit and two walks while striking out six.
  • Wes Rickenberg, (BGSU commit, ranked number 96 in 2014 class) went six innings allowing one run on three hits, four walks and one HBP while striking out nine. Rickenberg sat low-to-mid 80s with good offspeed.
  • Tyler Torrez, unsigned senior, had two singles and a double.

To view scouting notes from games across Ohio, please visit the Ohio High School Scouting Blog. The blog gets updated throughout the week.

To discuss this game, please visit our partner JJHuddle.


Defiance  000 010 0 - 1 2 4

Napoleon 100 000 1 - 2 4 0

Records: Napoleon 2-1, Defiance 1-1.

Winning pitcher: Zach Willeman (2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 strikeout, 1 walk). Other: Layne Schnitz-Paxton (5 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 6 strikeouts, 3 walks).

Losing pitcher: Shay Smiddy (1.2 innings, 1 run, 0 hits, 3 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 HBP). Other: Austin Hancock (5 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 6 strikeouts, 0 walks).

Leading hitters: (Defiance, 2 hits). Napoleon (4 hits).

  522 000 0 - 9 11 2

Eastwood 010 000 0 - 1 3 3

Records: Defiance 1-0, Eastwood 0-3.

Winning pitcher: Derek Turner (4 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 HBP). Other: Michael Hendricks (3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks).

Losing pitcher: Eli Brown (3 innings, 9 runs, 9 hits, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks, 2 HBP). Other: Zach Lenhart (4 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 strikeouts, 3 walks).

Leading hitters: (Defiance) – Boo Sierra 2 singles; Dom Gentile 2 singles; Derek Turner 2 doubles, 3 RBIs; Torrence Hicks 2 singles.

000 001 -  1 3 1

Napoleon 120 134 - 11 8 2

Records: Napoleon 1-1, Eastwood 0-2.

Winning pitcher: Wes Rickenberg (6 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 9 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 HBP).

Losing pitcher: Grant Peters. Others: Steele, Lenhart.

Leading hitters: (Napoleon) – Tyler Torrez 2 singles, double; Zach Willeman single, double, 3 runs.