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Baseball: 2023 Waterloo Vikings season preview

Baseball: 2023 Waterloo Vikings season preview


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The baseball preview for the Waterloo Vikings’ 2023 season:



Head Coach: Jeremy Randles, 1st year.

Coaching Staff: Dennis Gump, Cody Wittensoldner, Tyler Dudley.

2022 Record: 8-9 overall record; 7-5 Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.

Returning Lettermen (9): Noah Hughes, sr.; Anthony Podojil, sr.; Drew Flarida, jr.; Logan Kisha, jr.; Mason Sweitzer, jr.; Kyle Werbeck, jr.; Aric May, soph.; Landon McClain, soph.; Trevor Simons, soph.

Lettermen Lost (4): Devin Curtiss, Mason Duncan, Mason Hakin, Luke Simons.

Team Captains: Noah Hughes, Anthony Podojil.

Underclassmen to Watch: Aric May, soph.; Trevor Simons, soph.; Sam Russell, fresh.



Noah Hughes: .353 average, 24 hits, 23 RBI, 4 pitching wins, 47 strikeouts, 37.2 innings pitched.

Anthony Podojil: 14 runs, 14 walks.

Aric May: 10 stolen bases.



“We are a young team, but we are athletic and have speed,” first-year head coach Jeremy Randles said. “We should be able to compete well with any team we play.”



The corners will feature Drew Flarida starting at first base and Aric May at third base.

“Drew is a great first baseman. He is a big target and has reach,” Randles said. “Aric started as a freshman and is a true utility player that can play all nine positions well.”

The middle infield will include Vincent More and Kyle Werbeck.

“Vincent is new to varsity this season and Kyle has range and speed, with a good bat also,” Randles said.

Mason Sweitzer will also be able to play either third base or first base.



Senior Anthony Podojil will be the leader behind the plate.

“He is very athletic and also hits the ball well,” Randles said.

Freshman Sam Russell is described by Randles as “super athletic” and will see some innings at catcher this season.



The Vikings have speed and athleticism in the outfield.

Austin Hurst can “cover a lot of ground,” according to Randles, while Trevor Simons can play any of the outfield positions while also being a solid hitter at the plate.

Travis Erb, who is new to the varsity team this year, is working hard to continue to grow.

Landon McClain is a utility player by skill-set, but will play the outfield mostly this season.



Hughes returns as the leader of the staff and has a great off-speed changeup.

Sweitzer will be the Vikings’ No. 2 starter.

May “pounds the zone,” according to Randles, while Simons continues to show progress.

Flarida, Podojil and Mori will all also see time on the mound.

“Drew utilizes his length on the mound and Anthony is a catcher first, but has great velocity and can come in to close games for us,” Randles said.



“We have a core group of returning pitchers that had solid years last year,” Randles said. “If we can put the bat on the ball in key situations, we will compete.”



“We will start several sophomores and a freshman that will see some time, so we are a really young team. We hope our senior captains can help drive our young guys and help keep them at the top of their game.”



March 27: at Sebring McKinley

March 28: vs. Sebring McKinley

March 31: at Cuyahoga Falls

April 3: vs. Mineral Ridge

April 4: at Mineral Ridge

April 5: at Garfield

April 6: at Streetsboro

April 7: vs. Mathews

April 10: at New Middletown Springfield

April 11: vs. New Middletown Springfield

April 12: at Lake Center Christian

April 13: at Ravenna

April 14: vs. Akron Garfield

April 17: at Berlin Center Western Reserve

April 18: vs. Berlin Center Western Reserve

April 20: at Rootstown

April 24: vs. McDonald

April 25: at McDonald

April 27: vs. Lowellville

April 28: at Lowellville

May 1: at Jackson-Milton

May 2: vs. Jackson-Milton

May 4: at Southeast

May 5: vs. Garfield

May 6: at Chippewa (DH)

May 11: vs. Rootstown

May 12: vs. Southeast

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