Prep Baseball Report

Players Show They Are Among Best In The State

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Players Show They Are Among Best In The State

HILLIARD - The first Ohio ProCase as the Buckeye State’s Prep Baseball Director of Scouting made quite an impression on Kyle Weldon.

“Some of Ohio's most talented players showed up and proved why they're the best in the state,” Weldon related. “The metrics all speak for themselves, but what stood out the most was the fluidity and effortlessness that was evident from many of the players. It was naturally talented athletes who have worked extremely hard to refine that talent into genuine skill. Efficiency is the word that comes to mind after watching a group like that. I’m excited to see what their futures hold.”  

Participants had good things to say after competing in a field of 61 players from across Ohio, 53 that have committed, including 32 to in-state schools.

“It was really entertaining to see most of the top players from Ohio come together and show their skills,” noted Sawyer Solitaria, a 6-3 senior at Saint Ignatius committed to Kent State who led the way with the bat recording an exit velocity of 109.3.

Toronto’s Dominic Bouscher had the same feeling.

“This is a highlight of all PBR events,” noted the Central Michigan signee, who ran the fastest 60 time at 6.42 while posting the top outfield velo of 94. “It’s cool to see all the talent from across the state come together and just compete against each other and I was glad to be a part of it.”

Noah LaFine, a senior at Hoban who was back at the event for the third time, had high praise about the ProCase.

“It was a really good event that was put together very nicely,” explained the Vanderbilt commit, who topped out at 93.2 with the fastball, second only to the 95.4 thrown by Moeller’s Zion Theophilus. “It is always nice to be able to see the other top players in the state and be able to compete with them which I think just makes everyone better.”

Braylon Schneider was back for his second appearance at the ProCase and was third in fastball velo at 92.6.

“The event was very well run,” related the Fremont Ross junior, one of four participants committed to Kent State. “They gave us plenty of time to stretch, throw and anything else needed to be ready. They also were great with keeping updates about how long till it was time to go live.”

Others had positive things to say about an event that featured seven players headed to Ohio State as well as two to Louisville and one each to LSU, Alabama, Mississippi, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Maryland, Purdue and Missouri among the 53 commits.

Colton Landtiser: “My general assessment on the ProCase would be that it was very well organized. There was always a PBR worker making sure we knew where to go next, what group was ahead of us, and what the assessment was going to look like. There wasn’t a time where I felt rushed to get ready because I didn’t have enough time to warm up, or that I didn’t get a fair opportunity compared to everyone else.”

Conner Cuozzo: “I thought it was a great event and ran really well. Everyone there was great and it was nice to be around all the guys.”

Noah Goettke: “The ProCase this year was an outstanding event that held the top kids from each age group and I was honored to be invited.”

Ian Cain: “The ProCase was a very fun and competitive environment to be around, especially being around the best all-around players in Ohio.”

Ty O’Brien: “The ProCase for me went really well and I believe that it was run very smoothly.” 

Brody Popay: “Overall I felt like the event was a success. It was a lot of fun to participate in front of many scouts down at the Bo Dome.”

Parker Van Engelenhoven: “I think it’s the best event you can go to in the winter with all the best guys in Ohio coming together.” 

Matt Ponatoski: “It was a well-run event with a very good flow to it, you were not standing around waiting for too long. It was an easy environment to walk into and easy to perform in.  Definitely something I would love to do again.”

Weldon was impressed with what all he saw.

“Obviously there were some exciting numbers we saw, including an exit velocity max of 109 from Sawyer, and a 100 mph max for a freshman, Noah Goettke,” pointed out Weldon. “There were some really cool milestones being checked off for the Ohio guys.”


There were 25 pitchers in the field with nobody standing out more than Theophilus, a junior committed to LSU who in addition to a 95.4 fastball, up from 91.7 at the event a year ago, threw an 85.0 slider and 86.9 changeup.

“Zion set the place on fire with his electric personality and the 95.5 top fastball velocity,” Weldon noted about the top-rated 2025 in Ohio, who is the 32nd-ranked junior right-handed pitcher in the country.

But there were others that made a statement as well, including LaFine who not only had the second-highest fastball clocking but also the second fastest curveball (78.7) and splitter (83.4).

“The highlight for me was getting to pitch in front of all the other players, scouts and staff,” related the 92nd-rated 2024 right-handed pitcher in the nation. “It was cool to pitch in front of scouts because it is making me become more used to that type of stuff.”

Landtiser was particularly pleased with his performance.

“The highlight of my ProCase experience was my PR of 91.7 on the mound,” the Pickerington Central junior noted. “That has to be the absolute highlight of the camp. Jumping six miles an hour from the October State Games to the February ProCase was amazing.”

Papay also established a personal record.

“My biggest highlight coming from this event is throwing 90 miles per hour for the first time,” pointed out the Avon High School junior, one of a dozen left-handers that competed who was thrilled to hit 90.2. “I had been stuck getting there for weeks but finally achieved it.”

Schneider, who a year ago reached 89.9 on the radar, was happy to top out at 92.6 this year but there was more that the eighth-rated 2025 right-handed pitcher in Ohio liked about his outing.

“The highlight for me was being able to locate the majority of my pitches, and not being wild,” Schneider said. “The velo and movement were also additional highlights.”

Seniors hitting 90 or better included Kenston’s Jimmy Cerha (91.5), Sidney’s Mitchell Davis (91.4) and St. Edward’s Henry Slaby (90.8), while sophomore’s Shawn Sullivan of Walsh Jesuit (91.7) and Bryson Wittmer of Milan Edison (91.5) also exceeded 90. Additionally, there were six other pitchers topping 89 on the gun including Chaminade-Julienne’s Jackson Frasure, a senior two-way performer committed to Akron who touched 89.4 with his fastball while hitting 100.2 in exit velocity and running 6.94 in the 60.


There were eight catchers in the field with each recording a best pop time of 1.96 or better.

Ty O’Brien, a senior at Otsego, led the way with a best pop of 1.80. In fact, his worst time of 1.83 was better than all other backstops, with a 1.84 by Kenston’s L.A. Mighton second best in the group of eight catchers.

“The highlight for me was being able to showcase my ability to scouts and see what I have in comparison to other top prospects,” explained O’Brien, a Toledo commit currently ranked sixth among 2024 catchers in Ohio. “It was really cool being able to perform in front of scouts to see what I have to offer and to get my name out there.”

In addition to establishing a PR of 1.80 with pop time, O’Brien also had his top catching velocity of 81, which tied Lexington’s Jaxon Brown, a Bowling Green commit, for best in the field.

“What I can take from this event is just trying to get better everyday and improve my skills,” noted O’Brien, competing in the Ohio ProCase for the second time. “Doing this event two years in a row allowed me to see my growth in skills and allowed me to see what I need to work on.”


O’Brien was one of a host of players back at the prestigious event for the second or even third time, something that proved beneficial in their eyes.

“It helped me know what I needed to do in order to perform my best,” explained LaFine. “It also helped me know what to expect.”

Schneider was thrilled to have a chance to compete in the event again.

“It was great to be back!” related the 27th-ranked junior in the state. “Luckily, due to past events run by PBR, it wasn’t too unusual for me and I was used to it. There’s no better feeling seeing the eyes on you while you’re throwing.

“Attending this event gave me a great idea on how to properly prepare for high-intensity pitching days,” added Schneider. “I’ll be able to take the knowledge that I’ve gained and use it during high school and summer seasons.”

Said Van Engelenhoven: “I was more comfortable and I knew some people. The highlight for me from this year and the past year was being around the guys and competing with each other on the mound and in BP.”

Although now committed, Bouscher understands how helpful the Ohio ProCase can be for those yet to decide on a college.

“This event previously helped me because it got my name out for college coaches to be able to see what kind of numbers I put up,” the fourth-rated senior outfielder in Ohio said.


Whether participating for the second time or just the first, it is always a learning experience being around other great players.

“I can take many things from this event but one specifically is my exit velo,” pointed out Bouscher. “It was only 95.3 mph and I wanted it to be a little higher, so this will make me strive to get stronger and be able to produce a higher number.”

Goettke also sees the event as beneficial down the road.

“To take my performance to the next level I believe I need to focus on the mental part of the game,” the Moeller freshman said. “I’m not as worried about the physical attributes but more on the mental side of the game and learning to deal with adversity more often as the game progresses to get harder.”

It was also helpful according to Ponatoski, who is also a standout on the football field at quarterback.

“I think just being in an environment where there is a little bit of pressure is important, and I can take that into the next time I’m in a pressure situation,” the Moeller sophomore said.

LaFine, the number four senior RHP in Ohio, saw benefits in being back at the ProCase.

“I can look at a video that was taken of me so I can see what I was doing in order to throw the way I did in the ProCase in the future if I need to fix a mechanical issue,” LaFine explained.

Landtiser feels the same.

“From video and data taken of my performance I was able to replicate and maximize my mechanics and their potential,” the Ohio University commit said. “I saw how I moved during my PR and when talking to some coaches learned what I can do to improve my game. Also, by seeing my data provided by the Trackman I was able to break down some key metrics I need to improve.”

Schneider found the event more than helpful.

“I found that less is sometimes more,” the Kent State commit explained. “I stayed calm and collected for this event and it helped a lot with being in the zone. Being too hyped up and jittery leads me to be wild sometimes and I was able to turn that around.”

Said Papay: “Some key takeaways from my performance and many others that can help me in the future is that there are people much better than you. You have to put in a great amount of work to be the best of the best.”

Added Solitaria: “My take away from my performance is to not rely on the numbers and just stick with my good mechanics to perform well in game.”

Cain, like a number of others at the ProCase, a participant for Team Ohio at the Future Games last summer, found rewards in competing in the event.

“I feel like I need to put myself out there and go all out no matter what, because I feel as if when I’m in the moment I try to be super super smooth when in reality I could probably improve a little on the metrics side of things,” explained the slick-fielding Avon High School junior third baseman, who ran a 6.50 60, had an infield velo of 85 and exit velocity of 96.9.


While there were some impressive numbers put up, none was better than the showing by Solitaria, the second-ranked 2024 first baseman in Ohio who averaged 101.4 on exit velocity, 22.6 on hand speed and 77.8 bat speed while running an astounding 6.67 60.

“For me the highlight was getting to meet the new PBR director,” the 6-3 230-pounder said. “Other highlights were setting a personal record in exit velo and the 60-yard dash.”

Bouscher was another who had a strong showing.

“There were a few highlights of the event for me,” the 6-1 170-pounder said. “I ran a 6.42 60 which was the fastest 60 and I threw 94 from the outfield which was also the fastest from the outfield. I also had an 89.7 mph bat speed which was a big accomplishment for me and a big jump since last year.”

Dublin Coffman junior Daniel Briggs was right behind Bouscher in the 60 at 6.43 with Jonathan Alder senior Chase Chopin was at 6.45 and Lake junior Drew Tajblik at 6.50. There were others that stood out hitting.

“The highlight of the day was definitely showing my hit tool,” noted Ponatoski, the number one uncommitted 2025 in Ohio. “I sprayed the ball all over the field with authority.”

The performance at the plate was also a strong accomplishment for Cain, the third-ranked junior third baseman in the state.

“The highlight of the ProCase for me was definitely the hitting aspect,” the Kent State commit explained. “From hitting BP to watching other players hit BP, I was just excited to be a part of it.”

There was more that Cuozzo liked about the event.

“The highlight for me was seeing all the guys I haven’t seen in a long time,” said the Moeller sophomore. “Unfortunately, all I got to do was hit because I was coming off a shoulder surgery from football. I just have to get in the cages and on the field to get better.”

Moeller junior Carter Christenson, an Ohio State commit, had 93 infield velocity and ran a 6.58 60 while Ryan Kirtley, a Troy senior headed to Virginia Tech, ran a 6.83 time in the 60 to go along with 99 exit and 89 infield velo.


Cuozzo, the second-ranked 2026 third baseman in Ohio, was just one of a handful of sophomores that participated, with Hilliard Bradley catcher Keaton Bowers, Olentangy Liberty LHP Drew Hauenstein, Sullivan, Wittmer, Van Engelenhoven and Ponatoski other 10th graders showing off their skills.

Cuozzo had 98.0 exit velocity and the third-best max distance of 379 feet, Bowers recorded 1.95 pop time and Ponatoski 98 exit, 6.90 60, 80 percent Sweet Spot and Hard Hit along with the best infield velocity of 95.0.

On the mound, Wittmer, a southpaw committed to Louisville, had a 91.5 fastball, 84.2 splitter (with 663 spin rate), 82.2 slider and 79.1 change while two-way performer highlights included Sullivan, an Alabama commit, at 91.7 fastball, 80.5 change and 6.63 time in the 60 along with 94.6 exit velocity, and Van Engelenhoven 89.0 fastball, 76.5 slider with 2575 top spring rate to go along with 95.9 exit velocity.

“My takeaway from the event is that there is always something to work on, whether that be velo or working on that pitch you need,” explained Olentangy Liberty’s Van Engelenhoven, a Louisville commit ranked number one in his class in Ohio. “It definitely gets you more amped up.” 

Additionally, there was one freshman competing in Goettke.

“The highlight from the ProCase for me was competing with all of the older kids and getting my name out there for more people to hear,” pointed out the 16th-ranked 2027 in the nation, who recorded an impressive 100.3 exit velocity and 93.0 outfield velo along with running a 6.47 60. “It was a great event and I’m very honored and blessed to have participated in the 2024 ProCase.”


Goettke, Cuozzo and Bowers are among eight participants that are not committed at this time, with many others also making a statement.

Walsh Jesuit junior right-hander Harper Lann not only hit 89.1 on the fastball but was 80.9 with 2530 spin rate on the slider and 72.8 with 2319 spin rate on the curveball while adding an impressive 87.9 mph sinker.

New Albany junior Cam Simmons was at 87 outfield velocity and 99.8 exit velo, Moeller junior Cooper Ridley finished with a time of 6.59 in the 60 and Turpin left-handed hitting senior Matthew Pera recorded 89.0 outfield velo.

Additionally, Papay topped out at 90.2 with the fastball and 78.0 with the changeup.

“Performing in front of the scouts was a blast!” Papay, the third-ranked uncommitted junior in Ohio, said of participating at the ProCase. “I feel like when you are around good competition and getting watched by people, that gives you the thrill and adrenaline to do as best as you can.”


Others also enjoyed their time competing with scouts looking on.

“It was awesome being in front of all the scouts because you don’t get opportunities like that everyday so I try to take advantage of my opportunities,” noted Ponatoski, the 23rd-rated sophomore shortstop in the country.
Solitaria admits to some nerves.

“It was a little heart racing but I just focused on my breathing from before and during the showcase,” Solitaria explained.

Cain calmed down once he got in action.

“At first walking in there I felt a little nervous, but as soon as things started going I settled in and got to work,” the 23rd-ranked junior in Ohio related. “I’ve been around plenty of scouts before and I knew that I could perform in front of them so I just needed to play my game.”

Landtiser was ready from the start.

“I felt no pressure throwing in front of the scouts because I took my mind off of the eyes watching and just focused on showing off what work I had put in,” Landtiser explained. “I knew I had done the work and put in the hours so I just wanted to show it off.”

Goettke summed it up well.

“I think performing in front of all the scouts there was awesome,” Goettke said. “It helps me get my name out there and I have to get used to performing in front of them.”

It was similar for Cuozzo.

“It’s always good to get seen by scouts and an event like the ProCase is a great way for that,” Cuozzo noted. “I feel I've prepared really well to perform in front of scouts from playing at the highest level of baseball as well as football.”

Scouts had to be excited about what they were seeing.

“No scouts talked to me but I heard feedback from someone else saying that the scouts liked the way I pitched and thought I did well,” LaFine said.


All in all it proved to be an enjoyable and worthwhile experience for all the participants.

“Overall it was a great environment just to be competing with yourself and the others around you,” Soliaria concluded.

Said Schneider: “Just want to thank all of PBR Ohio for running such a great showcase!”

Bouscher was also appreciative of being part of the ProCase. 

“This is a really cool event and it’s awesome to be there with all the other great players of Ohio,” Bouscher said.

Added Cain: “I heavily appreciate the PBR Ohio organization for inviting me to this event to showcase my skills and to help me better my future in baseball.”

Lantiser summed it up well.

“I would like to say one last thing and that’s that the ProCase was definitely the most organized and well-run event I have been to by PBR,” Lantiser said. “I knew what to do and when to do it with a lot of time to warm up and take care of what I needed to take care of. It was a super fun and competitive atmosphere with just flat out a ton of dudes.

“Everyone there was a dawg and deserved to be there, so watching everyone allowed me to pick up a few things to improve my game.”

Weldon certainly enjoyed his chance to be part of the event, especially seeing the seniors at the ProCase for the final time.

“It was a great culmination of the Prep Baseball journey these ’24’s have been on and we’re excited to watch their final seasons before the next chapter begins,” Weldon concluded.

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