2018 OHSAA Tournament Regional Preview: Division III


Dylan Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Editor In Chief/Scout

Follow @PBR Ohio

Ohio Spring baseball always seems to fly by and in 2018 that is most definitely evident with the fact we are in Regionals Week. That means the 16 best teams in each division will battle it out to see who is deserving of a trip to beautiful Huntington Park in Columbus.

Below we have the 16-Team Preview for Division III.

To view the Other Regional Previews, click below:
+ Division I
+ Division II
+ Division III
+ Division IV

To view the Final Team Rankings, click below:
+ Division I
+ Division II
+ Division III
+ Division IV

To view the 2018 Preseason All-State Selections, click below:
+ Division I
+ Division II
+ Division III
+ Division IV

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To view all things related to the 2018 Spring High School Baseball Season, including the Scout Blog, Team Power Rankings, Preseason All-State Teams and more, click here.

2018 OHSAA Tournament Regional Preview: Division III

Team Rankings based on the Final Team Rankings 

Division Overview: Half of the field comes in not among the top 25 teams in the final Power Rankings, including five teams with double-digit losses on the season. In fact, nine of the 16 teams left have never won regionals while four others have done so just one time.

Division III, Region 9 - Massillon

Region Overview: There are no number one seeds in the region, with Waynedale the lone ranked team. The other three teams in the region all scored 10 or more runs in winning district title contests.

For Fun Prediction: Two teams have been here before in Waynedale and Grand Valley while two teams have never been to this point in South Range and Kirtland. I will go with experience and take Waynedale to go against Grand Valley in the regional final. Grand Valley is the pick to get to Columbus in 2018.

Dylan Hefflinger:

  • Waynedale over South Range
  • Grand Valley over Kirtland
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Grand Valley

Fan Vote:

  • Waynedale over South Range
  • Kirtland over Grand Valley
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Kirtland (Coin Flip - both had 36%)

Waynedale

Record: 20-6
Final Ranking: No. 16
Preseason Ranking: Just missed the cut
Highest Ranking: No. 16 - Final
Postseason History: Second district and league title in two years. Before the last two years, had not won a league or district title in 18 years.

Team Stats:

  • .279 AVG, 135 Runs
  • 1.99 ERA, 138 K

Top Players:

  • Ryan Weaver Sr CF - .372 AVG
  • Manny Camacho Sr P - 7-1 0.35 ERA 59.2 IP 43 Ks 7 BB
  • Jaden Varner FR RF - .357 AVG
  • Jarrett Varner JR 3rd - .398 AVG
  • Ty Straits Sr C - .259 AVG
  • Jeremy Keim JR 2nd - 6-1, 1.73 ERA | .216 AVG
  • Travis Wengerd SR LF - .239 AVG
  • Daniel Wolbodt SR 1st
  • Zack Miller SOPH SS

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We are playing team baseball. All of our players are contributing to our success. Our leadership from our seniors has been tremendous. We have had some tough games against really good teams and hung in there and kept our composure. That is a testament to our leadership.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Everyone was happy but our celebration was subdued. Our goal is to get to the last game of the year so we didn’t dogpile or go over the top. We have four more games to win.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It is exciting for our players, parents and community. This is our second trip in three years so a lot of players got to experience it in 2016. We are happy to be back and have some good memories from “the Duck” last time we were there.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: Every team has a chance to win it. There were a lot of upsets in Districts so there are a lot of new names in our region. It should be fun.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: Between our seniors and coaching staff, we have really come together as a team and believe we have a chance to win some more games. It is an exciting time for everyone involved and we are happy and proud we get to represent our school once again in the regionals.

South Range

Record: 14-15
Final Ranking: Unranked
Preseason Ranking: Unranked
Highest Ranking: Never Ranked
Postseason History: First District Title in program history.

Team Stats:

  • .281 AVG, 165 Runs
  • 3.61 ERA, 174 K

Top Players:

  • Jared Bajerski, C Junior - .343 AVG
  • Brandon Youngs, SS, Senior - .341 AVG
  • Brycen James, 3B, Senior - .288 AVG
  • Ben Rivera, LF, Junior - .356 AVG
  • Jake Gehring, P, Freshman - .300 AVG | 6-2, 0.95 ERA, 74 K
  • Josh Stear, CF, Junior - .277 AVG
  • Mike Cunningham, 1B, Senior - .220 AVG
  • Jaxon Anderson, RF, Junior - .250 AVG
  • Kris Scandy, 2B, Sophomore - .238 AVG
  • Sam Brooks, RHP, Junior - 4-2, 1.75 ERA, 32 K

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Pleased with how our guys are coming together and playing well as a team. We are playing solid defense, and have been getting clutch hitting at the plate.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Very proud of my players. Wonderful to see their hard work pay off this season.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Blessed. It’s a tremendous opportunity for the players, my coaches and our program.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: Difficult field. I have a lot of respect for other programs.

Grand Valley

Record: 16-7
Final Ranking: Just missed the cut
Preseason Ranking: Unranked
Highest Ranking: Never Ranked
Postseason History: 1969, 1971, 2012 District Champs, 2012 Regional Champs, 2012 State Semifinalists.

Team Stats:

  • .347 AVG, 180 Runs
  • 2.71 ERA, 156 K

Top Players:

  • Nick Reichek, SS, Junior - .288 AVG
  • Robert Miller, 2B, Senior - .485 AVG
  • Gary Gearhart, C, Senior - .397 AVG
  • Logan Newell, P/CF, Junior - 2.02 ERA, 51 K | .344 AVG
  • Gordon Seger, P/3B, Soph - 2.28 ERA | .349 AVG
  • Edwin Hostetler, DH, Senior  - .299 AVG
  • Ryan Busser, 1B, Junior
  • Derek Jackson, RF/3B, Freshman - .308 AVG
  • Michael McGovern, CF/RF, Senior - .368 AVG
  • David Nye, LF, soph - .326 AVG

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: A couple of things I like about our team right now is that we are playing fundamental basebal, making the plays that we should be making and taking a good approach while at the plate.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: The feeling that our team had when winning districts was excitement. We played a huge game in the semifinals that was emotionally draining but were still able to come out and score 10 runs in the finals.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: My thoughts on playing in the Regionals are the memories the guys are making as they play the greatest game on the planet. I got to experience it in my high school career twice and will always remember that.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: The four-team field at Regionals should be competitive and a fun experience for all teams, I think all teams bring some component of the game that got them this far, so I wish luck to each team.

Kirtland

Record: 14-11
Final Ranking: Just missed the cut
Preseason Ranking: No. 16
Highest Ranking: No. 16 - Preseason
Postseason History: Football state power has never captured baseball regional championship. First District Championship in School History / Luke Smrdel- 100th Career Wins (won #100 vs. Elyria Catholic)

Fun Facts: 

  • 1st District Title in School History / Joey Torok set Career, Single Season, and Single Game SB records, Tyler McCrory became all-time K’s leader as a pitcher.

Team Stats:

  • .335 AVG, 158 Runs
  • 3.64 ERA, 160 K

Top Players:

  • Mike Zeuli, CF, Senior - .519 AVG
  • Ryan Lipps, 3B, Senior - .389 AVG
  • Tyler McCrory, P, Senior - .297 AVG | 3.32 ERA, 59 K
  • Luke Potosky, DH, Senior - .261 AVG
  • Tyler Bratton, RF, Senior - .217 AVG
  • Victor Kissinger, LF, Senior - .375 AVG
  • Joey Torok, SS, Junior - .263 AVG
  • Seann McGill, 1B, Junior - .408 AVG
  • Mike Alfieri, C, Sophomore - .258 AVG
  • Joey Mongelluzzi, 2B, Sophomore
  • Vince Liuzzo, LHP

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We came into the season with a very inexperienced roster and were hoping that as the season progressed we would see significant improvements start happening and they did. Now since the start of May  we are on a six-game win streak and playing our best baseball of the season.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It was a surreal feeling! After trailing 5-0 to Elyria Catholic (top 10 in PBR & OHSBCA Rankings) heading into the 4th inning, we scored 10 runs in the 4th and five runs in the 5th, leading to a 15-7 final score. To win our first District Title in such a dramatic game bolstered the team spirit to levels we’ve never experienced before. The community of Kirtland is buzzing about the program as well.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We are extremely excited to get to play in our first regional. This is something that the boys have been aspiring for for quite some time and we can’t wait to play Thursday.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: Looking at the four-team bracket in our region, it is very difficult to say who is the favorite to come out on top of this bracket. There are four extremely talented teams that will be playing in Massillon, and it’s probably going to come down to who does the little things right in games to determine a champion in this bracket.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: Kirtland is one of the most supportive communities in Ohio, and with all of the support that we receive from the entire city of Kirtland, along with the surrounding cities in Lake County, it will help our boys remain confident heading into the Regional.

Division III, Region 10 - Elida

Region Overview: Archbold is the highest-rated team left in the whole division at number six but  even if the Streaks make it to the regional finals, perennial power Coldwater, which has won its three tournament games by a combined 19 runs, could be the opponent. The Cavs are owners of 19 regional championships. Meanwhile, Columbus Academy and Milan Edison have never made it out of regionals.

For Fun Prediction: As a traditional power, Coldwater is the favorite in the eyes of most. However, I will agree with the fans and take Archbold to claim the regional championship. All four teams certainly have a chance to advance with Columbus Academy playing its best ball of the season and Milan Edison having good arms, Coldwater being here before with talent and Archbold, arguably the most talented of the bunch.

Dylan Hefflinger:

  • Archbold over Columbus Academy
  • Coldwater over Milan Edison
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Archbold

Fan Vote:

  • Archbold over Columbus Academy
  • Coldwater over Milan Edison
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Archbold

Columbus Academy

Record: 18-13
Final Ranking: Unranked
Preseason Ranking: Unranked
Highest Ranking: Never Ranked
Postseason History:

  • Won state title 1982
  • State Runner-up 2003 and 1981

Team Stats:

  • .305 AVG, 202 Runs
  • 3.52 ERA, 169 K

Top Players:

  1. Nick Rothman, SS, Junior - .346 AVG
  2. Ryan Mitchell, 2B, Senior - .322 AVG
  3. Hayden Compton, 1B/RHP, Junior - (5-2) 1 save | .258 AVG
  4. Max Dreisbach, C, Senior - .272 AVG
  5. Evan Scott, CF, Junior - .227 AVG
  6. Davis Friedman, LF/LHP, Senior - (2-2) 1 save | .287 AVG
  7. Max Glass, DH, Junior - .254 AVG
  8. Brady Hess, 3B, Freshman - .293 AVG
  9. Jordan Dearing-Hardiman, RF, Junior - .488 AVG
  10. Matthew Saling, RHPP, Senior - (4-3) 1 save | .267 AVG
  11. Noah Glimcher, RHP - (3-1) | .310 AVG

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Unity and no fear

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Excitement. Enjoyed watching my players celebrate such a great victory. Proud of the accomplishment knowing all the hard work that the players and coaches put in this year.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It’s the next step in the process.  We discuss as a team believing in the process from day 1 of practice.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: Each team in the North East Regional has a long-standing tradition.  They along with us expect to win.

Archbold

Record: 24-5
Final Ranking: No. 6
Preseason Ranking: No. 10
Highest Ranking: No. 3 - Week 4
Postseason History: The only time Streaks won regional was in 2005 when a state title followed a week later. Third straight trip to regionals

Team Stats:

  • .333 AVG, 233 Runs
  • 2.48 ERA, 191 K

Top Players:

  • Brandon Miller, 1B, 2018 - .421 AVG
  • Kade Kern, OF, 2020 - .405 AVG
  • Rigo Ramos, LHP, 2019 - 2.88 ERA, 34 K
  • Bryson Taylor, RHP, 2018 - .3.13 ERA, 37 K
  • TJ Rice, RHP - .388 AVG | 3.23 ERA, 16 K
  • Nic Rodriguez, OF, 2018 - .360 AVG
  • Bryce Williams, 2B, 2018 - .360 AVG
  • Jeron Williams, SS, 2019 - .330 AVG
  • Gabe Petersen, C, 2018 - .328 AVG
  • Mitch Grosjean - .320 AVG
  • Trevor Rupp, 3B/RHP, 2018 - 2.74 ERA, 37 K | .293 AVG
  • Cory Erbskorn, OF, 2018 - .288 AVG

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I really like our defense. If our pitchers throw strikes, we are going to be in the game most of the time.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It's a great feeling to win the district tournament, especially knowing what the caliber of teams were there.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: They call the regional tournament the "Sweet 16" for a reason.  It's a great atmosphere for high school baseball..

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: When you get this far in the tournament, you know that the level of competition will be very high. We need to play the way we are capable of playing, and believe in our selves.

Coldwater

Record: 23-6
Final Ranking: No. 8
Preseason Ranking: No. 5
Highest Ranking: No. 4 - Week 2
Postseason History: Familiar face in the Sweet 16 looking to make it an even 20 regional titles. 6 state titles in school history, last in 2014. Coach Brian Harlamert 436-130 in 21 years.

Team Stats:

  • .290 AVG, 176 Runs
  • 2.21 ERA, 116 K

Top Players:

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Right now our team is playing solid baseball in all 3 phases of the game: pitching, defense and offense.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It was great to win the District Finals after losing the last 3 seasons in that game.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It is great to return to the regionals for the first time since 2014 when we won a State Title.

Milan Edison

Record: 15-9
Final Ranking: On deck
Preseason Ranking: Unranked
Highest Ranking: Never Ranked
Postseason History: Regional championship would be the first in history of baseball program. Third Regional appearance, 10 straight district appearances, Coach Hoover’s record at school 232-210

Team Stats:

  • .271 AVG, 112 Runs
  • 2.11 ERA, 217 K

Top Players:

  • Cooper McIntyre, SS/C, Sophomore
  • Bryce Roberts, P/SS, SR. - .410 AVG | 7-2, 0.99 ERA, 81 K
  • Caleb Bissell, C/2B, Jr. - .315 AVG
  • Cody Scott, LF, Sr - .348 AVG
  • Richard Crooks, 1B, Sr - .250 AVG
  • Thomas Oeder, 3B, Sr
  • Jacobee Kessler, DH, Jr
  • Caden Cooper, CF/P, Jr - .319 AVG | 6-9, 0.78 ERA, 91 K
  • Jadon Hanson, RF, Jr - .259 AVG

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I like our approach at the plate and the way we are coming together as a team.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: The players have worked very hard and it was great to see the joy on their faces when we won.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: This is only our schools third regional appearance ever, so it is exciting to get back there.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: The regional field is very strong.  All the teams have had great years and it will be very difficult for the team who ends up winning it all.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: I just want to add how proud I am at the growth I have seen in this team during the season. The most important growth is how they have come together as teammates. Teamwork is so important to being successful, and sometimes people get too caught up in techniques and fundamentals to really notice what may be the more important aspect of all, players playing hard for each other. All teams who are still playing have great players, but the teams with players who play hard for their teammates will come out on top more often than not.

Division III, Region 11 - COLUMBUS/CHILLICOTHE 

Region Overview: Ridgewood and Fredericktown come in off district wins over highly-ranked Berlin Hiland and West Jefferson, respectively. Meanwhile, Lucasville Valley and Minford each needed extra innings to survive district semifinal games.

For Fun Prediction: Let's go with Minford over Fredericktown, giving Minford its first regional title. Ridgewood and Fredericktown are riding high after taking down highly-ranked teams and Lucasville Valley is looking to get back to how they were in the past years.

Dylan Hefflinger:

  • Fredericktown over Ridgewood
  • Minford over Lucasville Valley
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Minford

Fan Vote:

  • Fredericktown over Ridgewood
  • Minford over Lucasville Valley
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Fredericktown

Ridgewood

Record: 19-10
Final Ranking: Unranked
Preseason Ranking: Unranked
Highest Ranking: Never ranked
Postseason History: There has yet to be a regional baseball title won at the school

LOOKING TO GET MORE INFO ON PLEASE EMAIL hefflinger@prepbaseballreport.com IF YOU CAN HELP US OUT. THANKS!

Fredericktown

Record: 17-7
Final Ranking: No. 21
Preseason Ranking: Next 10
Highest Ranking: No. 22 - Final
Postseason History: 

  • District Championships: 1974,1975, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018  ... First back to back district titles since 1974-1975
  • Regional Championship 2012
  • State Semifinals 2012

Fun Facts: Four Cunningham's ... Cunningham brothers - Leighton, Clem & Lincoln - Nick Cunningham is not family.

Team Stats:

  • .370 AVG, 205 Runs
  • 1.86 ERA, 124 K

Top Players:

  • Leighton Cunningham / 2B / SR
  • Brad Wolfrod / 1B / SR
  • Trace Owens / LF / SR
  • Anthony Caputo / RF/P / SR
  • Nick Cunningham / CF/P / JR
  • Clem Cunningham / SS / JR
  • Brady Williams / C / JR
  • Caleb Sheriff / RF/DH / FR
  • Ty Hatfield / 3B / FR
  • Lincoln Cunningham / CF / FR

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I like how we are playing defensively, adjusting pitching to pitch and knowing what to do with the baseball. Also, I like how we are finding ways to score runs and how our hitters are handling the bat.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: The players were happy to beat a very tough and talented team in the finals.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Very excited for the chance to get back to the regionals. Last year, we did not know what to expect or how to handle being in the regionals. Having that experience will hopefully help relieve the nerves and let us play our best baseball.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: Tough teams. The records reflect challenging schedules. Ridgewood comes out of a very tough district and I expect them to be a very challenging opponent. There is a lot of unknown, though, due to the distance between the teams and this being the only regional that is not on the same day.

Minford

Record: 22-2
Final Ranking: No. 11
Preseason Ranking: Just missed the cut
Highest Ranking: No. 10 - Week 5
Postseason History: Seeking to win a regional title for initial time 

LOOKING TO GET MORE INFO ON PLEASE EMAIL hefflinger@prepbaseballreport.com IF YOU CAN HELP US OUT. THANKS!

Lucasville Valley

Record: 18-11
Final Ranking: Just missed cut
Preseason Ranking: Unranked
Highest Ranking: Never ranked
Postseason History: State power in the '60s and '70s hoping to break 40-year regional championship drought

LOOKING TO GET MORE INFO ON PLEASE EMAIL hefflinger@prepbaseballreport.com IF YOU CAN HELP US OUT. THANKS!

Division III, Region 12 - Xenia

Region Overview: Maderia is the only team in the region to ever make it to the state tournament. Three of the four teams in the region advanced with one-run victories, with Blanchester relying on a strong hitting attack by scoring at least seven runs in each tourney game.

For Fun Prediction: With only one of the four teams ever making it to state, Madeira could be the favorites in 2018. Madison Senior is playing well in all phases and I am going to ride them in this region. Blanchester has plated well all year and the fans are taking them. Admittedly, there is a high chance that the fans will be right, but we will have to see with all picks different in this region.

Dylan Hefflinger:

  • Madison Senior over Madeira
  • Bethel-Tate over Blanchester
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Madison Senior

Fan Vote:

  • Madeira over Madison Senior
  • Blanchester over Bethel-Tate
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Blanchester


Middletown Madison Senior

Record: 23-4
Final Ranking: No. 15
Preseason Ranking: Unranked
Highest Ranking: No. 15 - Final
Postseason History: Regional crown would be first at school

Team Stats:

  • .325 AVG, 209 Runs
  • 2.38 ERA, 190 K

Top Players: (For stats, visit here)

Cincinnati Madeira

Record: 18-6
Final Ranking: No. 19
Preseason Ranking: No. 17
Highest Ranking: No. 17 - Preseason
Postseason History: The last time to win regionals was in 2011

Team Stats: (To view full team stats, click here)

  • .368 AVG, 229 Runs
  • 2.05 ERA, 179 K

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We are junior and senior heavy and most of them are getting the playing time. We made a huge dedication in the off-season. We're very good athletically as a team with five kids running a 7.0 60 or better. Our pitching and hitting has been outstanding and our defense is above average. Our pitching has excelled, with nine throwing over 80 and three at 84-88. Hitting-wise, we have a lot of good gap hitters.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: While we won the game, we let the nerves get the best of us and almost lost. We're excited to get to the next stage.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: I've been the head coach here for five years and this is the farthest we've made it. This is a new chapter for us and we want to continue to see if we can make a deep run and capture our second state title and first since the one we won in 1999.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: Madison has a nice sophomore lefty that we'll face. If we're fortunate enough to get past them, Bethel and Blanchester will be like playing at home, though on a bigger stage. We lost to Bethel last year. I coached their ace in the summer. Blanchester we have not played, but I know they like to run the bases.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: This team is dedicated to baseball and gets great community support. That's what we do in a small-school setting.

Bethel-Tate

Record: 15-6
Final Ranking: Just missed the cut
Preseason Ranking: Unranked
Highest Ranking: Never ranked
Postseason History: A state appearance has never happened in baseball

Team Stats:

  • .308 AVG, 141 Runs
  • 2.55 ERA, 169 K

Top Players:

  • Dylan Whisman - .4778 AVG | 5-1, 1.01 ERA, 98 K
  • Dallas Kaylor - 1.21 ERA, 32 K | .338 AVG
  • Gabe Kilgore - .364 AVG
  • Griffin Rienert - .351 AVG
  • Matt Clement - .321 AVG

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
COACH: The thing I like about our team best is the comradery. Getting back some key players has really helped us out on and off the field.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Bethel-Tate had never won the Districts, so I was very happy to see our boys reach this goal.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It is a true dream for our team to make it this deep in the tournament.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: All the teams left are truly polished teams. That is why they are this far. For us to succeed against these teams, we will need to hit.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add, feel free to send it. Remember, this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: I would like to thank my coaching staff, as it is a lot of time that they put in. I would also like to thank the boys for being so disciplined. They have exceeded every expectation I asked for in making it this far.

Blanchester

Record: 19-10
Final Ranking: No. 23
Preseason Ranking: Unranked
Highest Ranking: No. 23 - Final
Postseason History: First district championship in school history

Team Stats:

  • .275 AVG, 224 Runs
  • 3.97 ERA, 181 K

Top Players:

  • Jack Davidson, CF, Senior - .256 AVG
  • Dustin Howard, 2B, Junior - .425 AVG
  • Brant Bandow, 1B, Senior - .256 AVG
  • Chris Farrow, DH, Senior - .235 AVG
  • Justin Ballard, 3B, Senior - .323 AVG | 3-0, 1 SV
  • Cole Ficke, C, Freshman - .261 AVG
  • Brody Rice, P, Freshman - 6-3, 2 SV | .233 AVG
  • Eric Patton, SS, Senior - .312 AVG | 2-1, 8 APP
  • Preston Griffin, LF, Senior - .303 AVG
  • Jacksson Waialae, RHP, Sophomore - .425 AVG | 2-1, 1 SV
  • Trenton Czakia, RF, Freshman

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Our team has really gelled together the second half of the year. It’s amazing what great team chemistry can accomplish. We play our best baseball with good pitching and defense. That is one big reason we got where we are.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It was an amazing feeling knowing we just won the first district title in school history. We talked about how this would not just be big for the program but also for the town. We want people to know who Blanchester is.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: This is a great opportunity for our players. This is how programs are built. There are a lot of players that only dream about getting to this point. This is a run these players will remember for the rest of their lives.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team field at the regional?
Coach: At this point every team left can play at a high level. We split with Bethel during the year and Madiera and Middletown Madison always have strong programs. I expect to be in a dog fight every game here on out.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add feel free to send it, remember this is for your players, your coaching staff and your community.
Coach: I would like to first thank my coaching staff for all their help over the years. This is not a job I can do by myself and expect these kind of results. We have six coaches in the program and only two are paid. There have been a ton of donated hours from these guys and I owe all my success to them. This group of young men have something very special. They are a very tight group, and most importantly believe they can win. This could not have happened to a better group of guys. Thanks to the Blanchester community, boosters, administration, and parents for their support during this time. We have had Feed the Teams, food donated by our local subway, and a send-off parade through Main Street on our way to districts put on by the local bank. It is a great feeling when you get this kind of support from everyone around you.

A Look Back At The 2017 Season:

To view the 2017 Team Previews, click here.

To view the OHSAA Baseball Tournament Roundup, click below.

To view the 2017 All-State Teams, click below.

To view the 2017 Preseason All-State Teams, click below.