By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The high school baseball preview for the Mogadore Wildcats’ 2023 season:
Head Coach: Matt Dillon, 2nd year, 14-5 career record.
Coaching Staff: Austin Williams, Chris Williams.
2022 Record: 14-5 overall record, 8-2 Portage Trail Conference.
Returning Lettermen (9): Mason Williams, sr.; Bo Lanham, jr.; Austin Constantine, jr.; Javon Spicer, jr.; Chad Westfall, jr.; Ronnie Skye, jr.; Devin Graham, jr.; Will Baskey, soph.; Cole Reese, soph.
Lettermen Lost (3): Garret Penix, John Dasco, Gavin Schrock.
Team Captains: Mason Williams.
Underclassmen to Watch: Cole Reese, soph.; Will Baskey, soph.; Ryan Woitas, soph.; Aaron Rumschlag, soph.; Tyler Youngblood, soph.; Demitri Blagojevic, soph.
Average: Mason Williams, .422; Bo Lanham, .412; Devin Graham, .400; Austin Constantine, .370.
Hits: Mason Williams, 19; Austin Constantine, 17; Devin Graham, 16.
RBI: Bo Lanham, 20.
Runs: Mason Williams, 16; Bo Lanham, 14.
Stolen Bases: Mason Williams, 10.
Wins: Ronnie Skye, 7.
Strikeouts: Ronnie Skye, 32.
ERA: Ronnie Skye, 1.40.
Innings Pitched: Ronnie Skye, 50.0.
Second-year head coach Matt Dillon, along with assistants Chris Williams and Austin Williams are anxious for the start of the 2023 season.
Though, the staff knows it has some holes to fill.
“We are replacing several important seniors from last year’s team, which is going to be very difficult,” Dillon said. “Those players were tremendous leaders and played valuable roles on the field.
“The coaching staff is hopeful that some younger players can develop as the season progresses,” Dillon added.
A couple of those are sophomores Cole Reese and Will Baskey.
While specific spots have not been sorted out yet, Dillon lists a bevy of players that are all pushing for playing time across the infield, including Mason Williams, Bo Lanahm, Tanner Buso, Austin Constantine, Ronnie Skye, Travis Hummel, Ryan Woitas, Tyler Youngblood, Will Basket, Cole Reese and Demitri Blagojevic.
Furthermore, Dillon said there are “several freshmen that are also competing for spots.”
The outfield will be a combination of Javon Spicer, Chad Westfall, Devin Graham, Tanner Buso, Aaron Rumschlag, along with another core group of freshmen.
The Wildcats have the luxury of having depth at the backstop.
Dillon indicated that depending on who is pitching, will determine who is catching.
Williams, Reese, Constantine, Hummel and Tyler Pendergast all will see time.
The rotation will be filled out by Lanham, Williams, Skye, Constantine, Youngblood, Reese, Basket and Blagojevic.
Some freshmen arms may be thrown into the mix as well, according to Dillon.
“We have a lot of players that play with enthusiasm,” Dillon said. “They do what the coaching staff asks and they have a desire to improve.”
“Whenever you lose important seniors, you are concerned until the next group of players prove they can produce,” Dillon said. “The coaching staff is hoping that we see that production on the field.”
March 28: at Streetsboro
March 30: at Jackson-Milton
April 1: at Crestwood
April 3: vs. Garfield
April 6: at CVCA
April 10: vs. Warren JFK
April 11: vs. Warren JFK
April 14: at Field
April 17: at Southeast
April 18: vs. Southeast
April 20: vs. Manchester
April 22: vs. Dalton at Kent State University
April 24: vs. Rootstown
April 25: at Roostown
April 27: vs. Springfield
May 1: vs. St. Thomas Aquinas
May 2: at St. Thomas Aquinas
May 4: at Coventry
May 8: vs. Lake Center Christian
May 9: at Lake Center Christian
May 11: at Ravenna