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2024 High School Baseball Season Previews

2024 High School Baseball Season Previews


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor

Portage County high school baseball team previews for the 2024 season.


Head Coach: Trent Dalton, 3rd season, 31-16 career record.

Coaching Staff: Jake Knapp, John Scott, Alan Krontz, Collin Witherspoon, Scott Williams.

2023 Record: 17-9 overall, 11-3 Suburban League American Conference.

Returning Lettermen (12): Dominic Trivisonno, sr.; Nate Albanese, sr.; Nate Fletcher, sr.; Zach Williams, sr.; Jayce Unverferth, sr.; Jameson Embrescia, sr.; Dean Larrance, sr.; Will Pfiffner, sr.; Ryan Tierney, sr.; Brady Carlson, jr.; Carson Smith, jr.; Tommy Hach, jr.

Lettermen Lost (12): Ben Schechterman, Sam Retton, Nolan Just, Alex Harrell, Andrew Eichenauer, Nathan Balkissoon, Sam Bianco, Kyle Hanna, Tyler Tartabini, Connor Tonsing, Jacob Truck, Dylan Vonderhaar.


“We play a difficult schedule, starting with six games in Orlando,” Dalton said.

That trip south will put the Greenmen up against teams from Florida, Illinois, among other states.

Overall, Aurora’s depth is a strength.

“No matter who is in the lineup, we are confident in those guys being able to get the job done. From first-year varsity guys to four-year varsity guys, we expect to be able to compete each game.”

Dalton also feels that the team’s challenging schedule, both in and out of league play, will prepare his squad for the postseason.

“We are excited to see how we compete against teams like Ignatius, Walsh, Hoban and every team in the conference.”


A pair of college commits highlight the infield, with senior Jameson Embrescia (Marietta) and senior Dean Larrance. (John Carroll).

Others expected to make an impact include senior Jayce Unverferth, along with juniors Alex Brooker, Aydan Carlson and Tommy Hach.


A group of experienced players will patrol the outfield, including seniors Ryan Tierney, Will Pfiffner and Colin Hensley, with juniors Ben Lukasik, Brady Carlson, Tommy Tartabini, Carson Smith and Will Bodine also in the mix.


Three-year starter Dominic Trivisonno, a senior, will be a key leader for the Greenmen.

Backing him up is junior Jack Lang.


Senior Nate Fletcher, who is entering his fourth year as a varsity starter and has already signed with Rhode Island, is the ace of the staff.

Three-year starter Zach Williams, another senior, is also a key arm for the Greenmen.

Also expected to play major roles on the mound are senior Nate Albanese, senior Rory Kilway, senior AJ Cifani, junior Alex Kaczmarek, junior Paul Dave, junior Maddox Booth and junior Jack Bonnet.

Dominic Trivisonno, Zach Williams, Nate Fletcher.


Head Coach: Chris Stanley, 3rd year, 11-27 career record.

Coaching Staff: DJ Jones, Scott Craig, John Baldwin, Jeff Fejes.

2023 Record: 4-16 overall, 2-10 Chagrin Valley Conference.

Returning Lettermen (10): Landon Kuenzer, Steven Lincoln, Charlie Sommer, Bobby Bradley, Nolan Huntington, Wyatt Januska, Cameron Gross, Cooper Pausch, Sam Wright.

Lettermen Lost (3): JP Wrobel, Jonas Honeycutt, Isaac Yanovich.


The Red Devils are “young, but tested,” according to Stanley. The team does not have a senior on its entire roster.

The key to the team’s success will be with the defense and pitching.

“We have enough talent to compete for a conference championship if those things hold,” Stanley said.


Players will shift around the infield based on who receives the pitching assignment for each game, but that versatility will be important.

“They get work at all spots and can step in at any time.”

The group includes Landon Kuenzer, Wyatt Januska, Steven Lincoln, Michael Berquist and Kyle Shelhamer platooning between both shortstop and third base.

At second base, Lincoln, Shelhamer, Januska and Cameron Gross will get work.

First base will be manned by Kuenzer, Lincoln and Charlie Sommer.


The group of Sam Wright, Bobby Bradley, Nolan Huntington, Ryan Strainer and Berquist will all get time in the outfield.

“Four of them can pitch and two play catcher, too,” Stanley said.


The Devils’ projected starter, Cooper Rausch, is out for the season because of an injury.

Stepping in to fill the role will be Bradley, Lincoln and Huntington.

“All three pitch as well, so there will be a lot of movement.”


Crestwood’s primary starters leading the staff are Sommer and Januska. They bring experience to the rotation, especially considering they are still just a junior and sophomore, respectively.

Stanley said the rest of the roster will all make up the bullpen, “pretty much by committee for any non-conference starts.”


Charlie Sommer, Nolan Huntington, Wyatt Januska, Michael Berquist, Kyle Shelhamer.


“We are young. That is a double-edged sword. The future looks promising, but only if we have growth every contest, win or lose. If they stay coachable and competitive, then we will have success. Not having any seniors will force someone to take the reins and be a team leader. The coaches cannot will someone to step up, but we have a few juniors and sophomores who lead by example, so hopefully that situation will flesh itself out soon. This group is small, so any injuries could really hinder our chances. We have to stay healthy and hungry to get better everyday.”


Head Coach: Joe Peterson, 12th year, 195-92 career record.

Coaching Staff: Keith Bowers, Dru Pifel, Brian  Clark, Darren Shackleford, Evan Tutak, Austin Williams, Levi Lowden.

2023 Record: 23-8 overall (lost to Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin in Division II regional semifinal), 12-2 in Metro Athletic Conference.

Returning Lettermen (8): Kayden Smith, sr.; Keegan Yutzy, sr.; Carter Little, sr.; Gavin Clapp, sr.; Grady Eader, jr.; Drexel McAmis, jr.; Landon Homan, jr.; Caden Koleras, soph.

Lettermen Lost (6): Garit Greene, Gavin Greene, Braxton Baumberger, Caleb Gartner, Bradley McBrook, Logan Lonzrick.


The Falcons come back after celebrating a tremendous 2023 that included 23 wins and a district championship.

The return, though, does bring with it a roster that has a little bit of a different look.

“Graduation hit us pretty hard,” Peterson said. “We lost several outstanding players. There are some big shoes to fill this season. Our guys understand that, and they are excited for the challenge.”


Junior Grady Eader anchors the infield from his shortstop position. He is coming off a Second Team All-Metro Athletic Conference season that included a .929 fielding percentage, with only eight errors in 131 total chances. At the plate, he hit .318, with 28 hits, nine doubles, 20 RBI, 21 runs and nine stolen bases.

“He was flat out sensational for us last season. He is super smooth in the field, with a ton of pop at the plate.”

Senior Gavin Clapp will play second base, but can also provide depth at third base and shortstop.

“Gavin is a tremendous defensive infielder.”

Drexel McAmis (22 hits, 16 RBI, 20 runs) and Kayden Smith will play first base.

“Drexel is a big young man at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds. He is definitely a traditional power guy from the left side of the plate.”

Sophomore Sam Confer will play third base.

“Sam is a big, talented young player for us. He swings a good bat and is a solid infielder. We are excited about his future.”

Senior Carter Little is a versatile addition to the infield and will play a lot of positions at times for the Falcons.


A pair of three-year starters have graduated in twins Garit and Gavin Greene, however, Peterson considers returning sophomore Caden Kolesar in left field is a “huge boost.”

“Caden will more than likely make the move over to centerfield for us. He had a very solid year last season and has all of the tools to be a great one for us.”

Kolesar will hit leadoff for the Falcons. He hit .329 last year and totaled 23 hits and 17 RBI.

Kayden Smith, who is a commit to Bluffton University and was First Team All-MAC last year and Second Team All-District, has a strong arm and will hit in the middle of the team’s lineup.

Smith hit .381 last year and had 37 hits, 10 doubles, 35 RBI and scored 26 runs.

Juniors Landon Homan, Caleb Brastine, along with Little, will see time in the outfield as well.


Seniors Ethan Rinehart and Little, along with sophomore Kole Siedler, will be behind the plate.

“Carter has the most experience coming back, but he may need to play in other positions due to pitching. Kole is a good young prospect that hits from both sides and has a strong arm.”


Two tremendous arms graduated — Braxton Baumberger (All-District) and Caleb Gartner (All-Ohio) — so the Falcons’ staff have a big challenge in front of them.

Smith returns after a nice 2023 on the mound of his own. He was 5-1 overall, pitching 30 innings, striking out 39 and posting a 2.10 earned-run average. He also had five saves.

“He was our No. 3 and our first reliever last year. He pitched a lot in relief and had some big saves for us. He is a lefty with some nice movement on his pitches. He is a fierce competitor out there, and we are excited to see that this spring.”

Peterson considers Homan an “exciting arm.”

“Last year, Landon pitched well in some varsity innings against some quality teams. We are hoping he can jump into the top three for us this year.”

Homan was 2-0 last year and had 17 strikeouts in 13 innings, with a 1.61 ERA.

Kolesar, a lefty, is another promising arm, as is McAmis.

Depth in the staff is created by junior Logan Roberts, junior Alec Grimm, Confer, Little and Yutzy.

“For us and our staff, we put a big premium on throwing strikes and letting our gloves work behind us. We are hoping to execute that philosophy this spring.”


Kayden Smith, Carter Little.


Kole Siedler, soph.; Sam Confer, soph.; Joey Conroy, soph.; Nick Cultrona, soph.; Cohen Allen, soph.; Joe Dilworth, soph.


“We return some good ones and will be adding some good young guys to pair with them. We have several players that are ready to compete for the open slots left by graduation. We hope we are going to get better each week and are playing our best ball come tournament time.”


“We lost a lot of offensive production, as well as over 100 innings on the mound. In addition, our conference is solid. We believe there is a lot of parity from top to bottom with teams that return a lot of key guys.”


Head Coach: Mike Paes, 9th year, 106-92 career record.

Coaching Staff: Kyle Workman, Scott Eberly.

2023 Record: 21-7 overall; 10-4 Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.

Returning Lettermen (7): Eric Geddes, Aidan Hill, Alex Carter, Tyler Lutz, Brock Pesicek, Brandyn Bogucki, Leo Grandizio.

Lettermen Lost (4): Ian Hunt, Jackson Sommer, Carter Bates, Vinnie Grandizio.


“We bring back a good core, with a lot of experience, but there’s still about four spots that people have to step up and be successful for us as a team and to be successful,” Paes said.


Geddes, a senior, is the MVAC’s returning Player of the Year after a spectacular 2023. He batted .456, with 25 runs scored and 34 RBI.

Hill is another solid returner after contributing on the mound and at the plate (.365 average).

Bogucki broke the school’s single-season batting average last year (.531) and had 35 stolen bases.

Also offering depth in the infield will be Alex Carter and Tyler Lutz.


Grandizio is a returning starter in centerfield, with the other two spots looking to be filled by Garet Warnick, Jack Neikirk, Holden Kissell, Carson Norton and Nate Bacskowski.


Brock Pesicek is behind the plate for the G-Men.


The arms of Geddes, Hill, Grandizio, Bogucki and Carter are the leaders for the team.

Geddes had the most wins in Portage County last year with nine, and he also led the county with his 96 strikeouts and 65 innings pitched. He had a 1.51 earned-run average.


Eric Geddes.


Brandyn Bogucki, Brock Pesicek.


“We have a great group of kids that love being around each other and playing baseball.”


“Our inexperience at the plate.”


Head Coach: Mike Haney, 22nd year, 284-233 career record.

Coaching Staff: Ron Spears, Jesse Michel, Todd Schromm, Jason Preising, Zach Lewis, Zach Rogers.

2023 Record: 19-8 overall, 11-3 Suburban League American Conference.

Returning Lettermen (10): Scottie Spears, sr.; Ryan Schromm, sr.; Anthony Baggetta, sr.; Samuel Lanier, sr.; Matthew McCann, sr.; Brayden Darkow, jr.; Trystan Page, jr.; Ryan Sanders, soph.; Teddy Maccarone, soph.; John Estep, soph.

Lettermen Lost (8): Donovan Daetwyler, Michael Haney III, Logan Poole, Peyton Singer, Jon Jon Smith, Cole Wood, Jason Spurlock, Tyler Poluga.


Spears returns as an anchor to the team. He hit .284 last year and had 23 hits, 19 RBI, while being flawless defensively with a 1.000 fielding percentage.

After playing exclusively at first base last year, Spears will also spend some time at third base this season.

At shortstop, Maccarone will shift over from playing second base last year. He was an All-Suburban League performer last year as a freshman in a season when he hit .299, with 23 hits, 18 RBI and 21 runs scored.

Darkow is the front-runner to start at second base, with sophomore Jack Flynn and freshman Rocco Baggetta adding depth when Darkow is on the mound.

Page has had “a great camp,” according to Haney and will start at third base. When Page pitches, is when Spears will slide over to play third base. Additionally, juniors Gavin Corbett and Dominic France provide depth.

Sophomore John Estep can play either corner positions, while freshman Aiken Benshoff can help through pitching matchups at shortstop or third.


Haney considers his team’s defense to be a strength and it is led by Schromm behind the plate. Schromm had a 1.000 fielding percentage last year, while also providing some action at the plate with 15 hits, nine RBI and 14 runs scored.

Depth behind him will be provided by junior Brian Dugan II and sophomore Rocco Abercrombie.


Four seniors graduated off last year’s team so the 2024 outfield will have a facelift.

Senior Tony Baggetta will start in left field and will be backed up by junior Alex Geist.

Strong-armed senior Sam Lanier (19 hits, 13 RBI, 13 runs last year) will move from right field to centerfield.

Right field will be platooned by sophomore Nick Roberts, senior Jack Smith, junior Deonne Dickerson and McCann.


Four return to anchor the staff, including Page (3-0 record, 21.3 innings, 18 strikeouts), Darkow (1-0 record), Sanders (12 strikeouts in 11 innings) and Macron (17 strikeouts, 2.52 ERA).

“All four contributed to a staff that accumulated 19 wins last season.”

Roles can be earned by Corbett, Geist, Roberts, Estep, Abercrombie and Benshoff.


“We return 10 lettermen from our 19-win team.”

Haney also believes in his team’s defensive abilities, while also looking at the roster flexibility and depth, player coach ability, overall team speed and chemistry as other positives.


Head Coach: Chris Williams, 1st year, 0-0 career record.

Coaching Staff: Mike Gasaway, Aaron Pendergast, John Dasco.

2023 Record: 9-10 overall, 6-4 Portage Trail Conference.

Returning Lettermen (9): Austin Constantine, Chad Westfall, Cole Reese, Devin Graham, Javon Spicer, Ronnie Skye, Ryan Waits, Tanner Buso, Tyler Pendergast.

Lettermen Lost (1): Mason Williams.


“We have a lot of experienced players returning to this year’s team led by seven seniors,” Chris Williams said. “All nine returning lettermen have a significant amount of varsity action under their belts. We are excited to get back to where the team was two years ago, throwing a lot of strikes, playing solid defense and having quality at-bats each team we get to the plate.”


Constantine, Youngblood and Reese will all split time at third base, while the trio all rotate to the mound.

“All three have strong arms to make the long throw across the diamond and bring varsity experience, too.”

At shortstop, Skye and Jude Thiry will see action.

“Ronnie returns after missing most of last year due to injury, and he has looked as sharp as he did as a sophomore. Jude has great hands and quick feet to cover some ground.”

Second base will see Waits as the starter, but will get some help at the position by Constantine and Thiry.

Buso will play at first base for the second season.

“He is a little bit taller and stronger, and he has the ability to be an all-league performer.”

Spot relief at first base can be provided by solid glove-handlers Dylan Benedum and Costantine.


Graham, Westfall and Spicer all return after successful junior seasons.

“Devin led the way last year with an all-league season, consistently getting great reads on the ball off the bat and covering a lot of ground with his speed. Chad and Javon both, equally, saw frequent opportunities, and we expect them to come back faster and smarter to help solidify the outfield.”

Corey Lehner returns to the diamond after not playing the last couple of years to run track.

“His speed and glove will give us a bunch of options in the outfield.”


Pendergast, a sophomore, is the Cats’ starter behind the plate.

“Last year, he impressed by handling the entire staff, along with performing at the plate. He is another year older and stronger, which can only help his game.”

Reese will provide depth at the position.


Skye’s return from injury will be an immediate boost to the staff as the team’s No. 1.

“His consistency and ability to spot pitches earned him all-league honors as a sophomore.”

Reese is the team’s second starter.

“He is a hard thrower, with a good mix of off-speed.”

Constantine, Youngblood, Thiry and Benedum all round out the rotation, with each having distinct strengths.


Ronnie Skye, Austin Constantine.


Jake Hopkins, fresh.; Maddox Smith, fresh.; Blake Waterhouse, fresh.; Dylan Hartung, soph.; Lucas Umbright, soph.


“We return experience at almost every position and with the numbers being up, have depth to help with some of our pitching rotations. All of it will leave us with solid options throughout the infield and outfield. Our hitting workouts and approaches so far this spring have been exciting to watch.”


“The biggest right now would be continuously seeing live arms from the batter’s box. We need to keep our approach simple and get great at-bats every time. Making the most of at-bats with runners on base, which seemed to be our Achilles heel last season.”


Head Coach: Lee Lovejoy, 6th year, 20-75 career record.

Coaching Staff: Matt Byers, Garrett Hickle, Earl Lovejoy, Carter Bregant, Jim Lovejoy, Nick Donovan.

2023 Record: 5-22 overall, 1-13 Metro Athletic Conference.

Returning Lettermen (8): Nic Brazelton, jr.; James Evans, jr.; Logan Hysell, soph.; Connor Welling, soph.; Sean Jordan, soph.; Matthew Fuller, soph.; Rylan Eldredge, soph.; Jeriah Miller, soph.

Lettermen Lost (6): Emmanuel Miller, Marcus Gibson, Ben Hatcher, Nate Joslyn, Jeremiah Rogers, Landon Skilton.


“We look to be competitive and progress with our returning ‘young’ experienced guys. We have built a schedule that will be challenging and allows us to grow as a program. The conference will be a fun year again, with some good baseball as always.”


There are many new faces that were forced out of positions last year because of the Ravens’ 2023 senior class.

Welling will float between a variety of infield positions after spending most of last year in left field. Other utility players will be Evans and Hysell, when they are not pitching.

Hysell earned Second Team All-MAC honors last year.

Jordan will play both shortstop and second base, depending on pitching rotations.

Brazelton will also spend time at second base.

Newcomer Alex Hall, a freshman, will fit in on both corner positions.


Emmanuel Miller was one of the best defensive players in the MAC, but has graduated, leaving a void to fill for the Ravens.

Peter Jennings, along with Evans and Eldredge, will command the outfield.

“All three have strong arms and will save us bases when the scenario arises.”

Freshman Andrew Malden will also get some time in the outfield.


Fuller is the starter and has “progressed nicely,” according to Lovejoy.

“He caught a good amount of innings for us last year as a freshman.”


The top of the rotation is filled out by Welling, Evans and Hysell.

Eldredge, Miller, Hall and Brazelton all will offer innings, as well.


Connor Welling, Logan Hysell, James Evans.


“We have a hungry group of young guys that are eager to improve on last year’s win total. We believe our guys have progressed in ways that will allow us to compete for more meaningful games this season.”


“All around, we are a young team with no seniors on the roster, but we do have some varsity experience. Still, we will run into some challenges that hopefully they have learned from a year ago.”


Head Coach: Keith Waesch, 12th year, 175-85 career record.

Coaching Staff: Matt Collins, Matt Just, Jim Gerren, John Gerren.

2023 Record: 7-14 overall, 2-8 Portage Trail Conference.

Returning Lettermen (14): Austin Biggin, sr.; Tony Karp, sr.; Lukas Skala, sr.; Alex Sturgill, sr.; Joe Weaver, sr.; Sean Boveington, jr.; Brady Kreitzburg, jr.; Blake Postlethwait, jr.; Logan Uphold, jr.; Alex Ely, soph.; Bryce Harless, soph.; Landon Rodstrom, soph.; R.J. Soika, soph.; Ethan White, soph.

Lettermen Lost (1): Carson Flowers.


“We are excited to see how we have progressed from being a very young and inexperienced team a year ago to a more seasoned team this spring. We definitely need kids to step up and solidify positions both offensively and defensively. It’s tough to win games and be successful in the sport of baseball with only three, four or five kids playing well.”


Alec Sturgill and Logan Uphold will compete for the starting job at first base.

Ethan White, who played the majority of last season in the outfield, has the lead to take over at second base.

Sean Boveington (14 RBI) returns at shortstop and Tony Karp (.508 avg., 31 RBI) will once again play third base after earning First Team All-PTC honors last season.

Camden Leigh has also been impressive during the first month of practice and can also play second base.


Depending on who is pitching, the outfield will be comprised of Austin Biggin (.426 avg., 18 walks, 13 RBI), Joe Weaver, Lukas Skala, Brady Kreitzburg and Alex Ely.

“This group has better than average speed and should be a strength for us defensively.”


Blake Postlethwait returns after earning the job last spring.

“Blake improved tremendously over the course of last season. He ended up as our third-leading hitter (.310 avg.) and had an outstanding second half of the season.”


All of the Rovers’ pitchers from a year ago return in 2024.

Austin Biggin, Brady Kreitzburg, Bryce Harless and R.J. Soika have the tools to be successful. 

“A school our size doesn’t often have four pitchers with the potential we have as a staff. We are hoping that the experience they received last spring pays off this spring.”


Bryce Harless, R.J. Soika, Alex Ely, Ethan White.


“Our pitching staff returns intact. We have kids who are more than capable of being very effective high school pitchers. However, we have to become more consistent on the mound in terms of limiting walks and working deeper into the contest.”


“Offensively, we are solid in the middle of the order. One of the many keys to our season will be our ability to hit throughout the lineup. We also have to help our pitchers by playing good defense.”


Head Coach: John Kinsey, 6th year overall (1st at Southeast), 43-57 career record.

Coaching Staff: John Kinsey Sr., Dan Miller, Tom Sharish.

2023 Record: 5-16 overall, 4-5 Portage Trail Conference.

Returning Lettermen (7): Nate Muncy, Logan Lavigna, Logan West, Caleb Miller, Zach Keto, Joe Sharish, Maverick Wood.

Lettermen Lost (2): Evan Riffle, Ian Carter.


“For the most part, we will be young in a lot of positions. We still need to manufacture runs creatively until we settle in and find rhythm throughout our lineup,” first-year Pirates coach John Kinsey said. “We will lean on our seniors for leadership as we navigate an early stretch of difficult league games and challenging non-league matchups. We want to be a tough out on any team’s schedule and compete every time we step on the field.”


The group of Muncy, Miller, Sharish, Keto, West, along with freshman Cohen Richardson and junior James Pritts, will anchor the Pirates’ infield.


Lavigna, Wood, junior Carter Oyster and senior Zack Balk will all see time in the outfield


A committee will handle the duties behind the plate, with Wet, Miller, Wood and Martin all working to navigate pitching and fit.


A full group of arms will work for the Pirates, including Muncy, Lavigna, West, Miller, Sharish, Wood, Richardson and Bayus.


Nate Muncy, Logan West, Logan Lavigna, Zack Balk.


Joe Sharish, soph.; Mav Wood, soph.; Dean Bayus, fresh.; Cohen Richardson, fresh.


“We have a really good young core that comes to practice every day with a purpose and willingness to improve. Our upperclassmen, who stretch out our lineup, will lead the way offensively. We have created some pitching depth and feel comfortable with various players toeing the rubber. We have great kids, who want to change the narrative and have been working tirelessly to do so.”


“We will be extremely young and inexperienced at several positions in any given game. Offensively, we will need one or two young players to breakthrough in the preseason to demonstrate some level of consistency. Navigating a third head coach in as many years is never easy for any team, and we are no exception as we become familiar with new expectations and a new coaching style.”


Head Coach: Chris Scisciani, 19th year, 185-215-1 career record.

Coaching Staff: Ira Campbell, Kevin Kukla, Tracy Lewis, Jared Tuma, Gabe Boyer.

2023 Record: 11-10 overall, 7-7 Metro Athletic Conference.

Returning Lettermen (7): Jack Pincoe, sr.; Hunter Pollock, sr.; Jack Batten, jr.; Braden Craft, jr.; Matt Klimak, jr.; Jayden Coffie, soph.; Scott Wilson, soph.

Lettermen Lost (6): Colby Benjamin, Kaleb Fisher, Luke Jacobs, Kyle Liddle, Noah Newman, Nick Setters.


“We are very excited about our team this year, and we are hoping that we can compete to be at the top of the league.”


A pair of All-MAC performers from last year anchor the infield for the Rockets.

Jack Pincoe, who was First Team All-MAC, will play mostly second base, but will also see time at shortstop.

Jack Batten, who was Second Team a year ago, will mostly play shortstop. He is in his fourth season starting at the position.

A newcomer to varsity this season, Josh Boldin will play multiple positions, including both corner spots. Showing his versatility, Boldin could also play some outfield this season depending on pitching matchups.

Pollock will likely be a pitcher only throughout the season, but could be counted on to play either third or first base.

Another new varsity face is Jack Wood, who will be used as a utility player.

Coffie was Honorable Mention All-MAC last year as a freshman and will play both third base and first base this year.

Two other new faces are Brett Epple and Brady Long. Both are utility players.


Klimak and Wilson are returning starters and will solidify the outfield.

The third spot will be filled by Jasper Atkin, Nate Ring, Boldin, Wood and Epple.


Craft, who was also Second Team All-MAC last year, and was the team’s leading hitter with a .338 average and 25 hits, will mostly play catcher this season.

Depending on situations, he also has the ability to play shortstop and second base.

“He is one of the best defensive players that we have ever had in our program, and he has a very strong arm.”

Backing Craft up are Epple and Wood.


Pincoe is the team’s ace. He had a 0.72 ERA last year, including 49 strikeouts against only 16 walks.

“We are hoping for a big year from him again.”

Another strong arm is Batten, who Scisciani said he believes will be “a big part of our rotation this season.”

Atkins, Pollock and Ring will all be middle-relievers.

Craft is the team’s closer, while Coffie, Epple, Wilson and Brady Long will all also see time on the mound.


Jayden Coffie, Scott Wilson, Brett Epple, Brady Long.


“We have a lot of guys that can play multiple positions, and we also have more arms then we have ever had that we feel comfortable with throwing at any time.”


“Some of the guys in our lineup this year lack varsity experience. We need to be able to throw strikes and make routine plays.”


Head Coach: Jeremy Randles, 2nd year, 8-14 career record.

Coaching Staff: Dennis Gump, Anthony Podojil.

2023 Record: 8-14 overall, 5-8 Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.

Returning Lettermen (9): Drew Flarida, sr.; Kyle Werbeck, sr.; Mason Sweitzer, sr.; Aric May, jr.; Trevor Simons, jr.; Landon McClain, jr.; Vincent Mori, jr.; Austin Hurst, jr.; Sam Russell, soph.

Lettermen Lost (2): Anthony Podojil, Noah Hughes.


“We have a strong group of upperclassmen that have multiple years in their positions. We will count on this group to lead our few young guys to a successful season.”


At 6-foot-4, Flarida is the team’s first baseman and quiet leader. He is strong and athletic and was named Honorable Mention All-MVAC last year.

May is the team’s athletic shortstop. He was First Team All-MVAC a year ago. He hit .480 and had 42 stole bases.

“He has a ton of range at shortstop.”

Mori is the team’s second baseman, who will step into an expanded role this season.

At third base is Sweitzer, who only started playing the position last year.

“He learned a lot and is working hard.”

Hurst is a utility player for the Vikings, who is strong and athletic.


Werbeck is the starter in left field, McClain in center and Simons in right field.

“Kyle mostly played infield lat year, but is a true corner outfield. He has speed and athleticisim and got a lot stronger in the off-season.”

He hit .328 last year, with 22 stolen bases.

“Landon (.279 average, 20 stolen bases) is strong, athletic and very fast. He takes command of the outfield.

“Trevor covers a lot of ground and reads the ball off the bat as good as anyone.”

Simons hit .330 last year.

Daniel Cunningham is a player that adds depth in his first season at the varsity level.


Russell is described by Randles as “super athletic.” As a freshman, he played several varsity games last year.

Jacob Fortney has improved his strength during the off-season and will also see time behind the plate.


Simons is a strong option, with great off-speed pitches.

“He commands the strike zone very well.”

Werbeck and Sweitzer will also be starters.

“We look for Kyle to build off a strong season last year. Mason has a side-arm slot that will keep hitters guessing.”

May had arm issues most of last year, but is now healthy and will add depth on the mound.

Russell is the team’s catcher first, but could also find time as a pitcher with his plus-velocity and pitch selection.

Another arm, Matthew Ralston, will also be in the mix when he is with the team — as track and field is his primary sport. He is the only lefty in the rotation.


Drew Flarida, Kyle Werbeck, Mason Sweitzer.


Sam Russell, Jacob Fortney, Mason Biltz.


“We have veteran guys now that know what it takes to win. Most have multiple years on varsity and if we can produce runs, we can compete. We are athletic and have a lot of speed on the bases.”


“We lost our No. 1 pitcher and our starter catcher to graduation. We don’t have a set pitching rotation, but the ‘next man up’ mentality on the mound.”


Head Coach: Jake Eye, 3rd year, 18-16 career record.

Coaching Staff: Eliot Pennel, Eliot Thompson.

2023 Record: 8-9 overall, 7-7 Northeastern Athletic Conference.

Returning Lettermen (7): Anthony Paolella, sr.; Jack Eye, jr.; Dylan McCune, jr.; Brian King, jr.; Austin Cales, jr.; Jordan Ridenbaugh, soph.; Gavin Kiser, soph.

Lettermen Lost (3): Chase Eye, Lucas Churchill, Wyatt Hanshaw.


“As always, we strive to get better each day and compete to the fullest in each and every game. We doubled our schedule from a year ago, with 26 games planned. We feel there is a lot of parity in our league. St. John, Mathews and Bristol will be solid as always. We need to focus on making routine plays and putting the ball in play; do the little things to be successful.”


Eye has been the team’s anchor for the last two years. He will pitch, while also playing shortstop and first base.

“He has matured both physically and mentally, and he has the ability to change a game at any given time. We look to him to lead our team again this year. He has plenty of experience, with good power at the plate and a strong arm.”

Eye hit .524 last year and drove in 21 runs.

Paolella will make the transition from the outfield to third base. He is one of the team’s two seniors and has good experience and hit .342 last year.

“He has consistently progressed throughout his career.”

Kiser will step into an expanded role this season at second base.

“Don’t let his size fool you. He is a fiery individual and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goals. He has good hands, with an accurate arm and should do well.”

Ridenbaugh will be at shortstop, when he is not pitching. He is a sophomore that Eye describes as “talented beyond his years.”

“He possesses good footwork and arm strength. We are excited to see his progression this season.”

King will be the team’s first baseman. He is tall and has worked hard to master the position.

“He has a strong passion for the game and is extremely coachable. He is always willing to do whatever is needed for the team.”


Nick Hopper will be in centerfield, while also being an option on the mound.

He returns to the sport for the first time in several years, but “has plenty of athletic ability to run the gaps and make plays for us,” according to Eye.

Cales will play in right field, but will also be a backup at catcher.

“He has the speed and ability to track fly balls.”

Jacob Cody will be in left field.

“He has worked hard on becoming a more consistent player for us, especially at the plate. He has spent a lot of time on the hitting tees and in the cage. He has not seen a ton of varsity experience and will have a more significant role this season.”

Aidan McMillin, Dejaun Ramsey, Jack Horne, Daherin Silver and Kaishawn Scales will also help in the outfield this season, as well.


McCune is the team’s starter.

“He has good knowledge for the game and is very solid defensively, with a strong arm. He has become a more consistent hitter and has the ability to play several positions for us.”

When McCune, who hit .458 last year, is not catching, he will also pitch and play middle infield.


Eye is the team’s ace and brings the most experience, along with King.

“Jack will anchor us in big games and Brian will see a ton of innings in big moments, as well. We are working with a myriad of players to help eat up some innings.”

Hopper, along with McCune and Ridenbaugh are leading the charge for depth.


Jack Eye, Anthony Paolella, Dylan McCune.


Gavin Kiser, Jordan Ridenbaugh, Dejaun Ramsey, Daherin Silver.


“One advantage to having such a small team is the ability to work more individually with everyone, see more reps and become more consistent. I really like our team and their competitive nature. I believe we can surprise some teams this season.”


“Pitching depth. We roster 14 players, so we will need some guys to step up and take on a large role for son the mound to avoid arm trouble. Numbers will always be an issue for us, but with that said, we always find ways to make it work and that’s a testament to the guys that are there putting the effort and time in.”

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