2021 OHSAA Tournament: Regional Preview - Division I


Dylan Hefflinger and Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Editor in Chief/NW Scout and Senior Writer

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2021 OHSAA Tournament: Regional Preview - Division I

***** Email has been sent out to every head coach, that we have contact information for, who has made regionals and once we get all the information in, we will get out HUGE 64-team Regional Preview online. If you don't see your info, please send to hefflinger@prepbaseballreport.com

**** We will add information for the teams that have not sent information into us on Wednesday, by doing research via internet/newspaper articles.

*** We are holding a fan vote via twitter that will end Wednesday night and we will add those results below after the vote is completed.

Division I - Louisville Regional

  • No. 9 Mayfield vs. No. 27 North Royalton
  • No. 2 Walsh Jesuit vs No. 25 Mentor

Region Overview: Raymond Kristosik threw a three-hit shutout to defeat Massillon Washington 3-0 in the district championship game to improve to a school-record 10-0 for a Mayfield team that is 129-141 stealing bases led by Billy Guzza with 30. Ninth-seeded North Royalton. which endured a four-game losing streak and entered May with an 11-7 record, scored one run in the sixth and two in the seventh to rally past Brecksville-Broadview Heights 5-3 in the district finals. The Bears have 42 hits in three tournament victories. Preseason top-ranked Walsh Jesuit, which has outscored the opposition 26-1 in tournament play, faces Mentor which shut out Green and Solon in the districts. Mentor beat Walsh Jesuit 7-5 in the 2019 regional finals.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • Mayfield over North Royalton
  • Walsh Jesuit over Mentor
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Walsh Jesuit

Fan Vote:

  • North Royalton over Mayfield
  • Walsh Jesuit over Mentor
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Walsh Jesuit

Mayfield

Record: 27-3
Final Ranking: No. 9
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: No. 7 - Week 3
Postseason History:

  • 26 wins, most wins in school history.
  • Won the 1934 State Championship.

Top Players:

  • Billy Guzzo, CF, Senior
  • Austin Ziance, SS, Sophomore
  • Riley Canitia, LF, Senior
  • Corey Razum, 3B, Senior
  • Dominic Piunno, DH, Senior
  • Robbie Pattie, RF, Senior
  • Josh Cope, C, Senior
  • Sammy Rapposelli, 2B, Junior
  • Devin Sperling, 1B, Junior
  • Raymond Kristosik, Senior, 10-0
  • Patrick Dinnen, Junior, 5-1
  • Sonny Fontana, Senior, 4-1
  • Devin Sperling, Junior, 1-0

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We are playing together, we understand our roles, and we do the little things right in the big moments.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It felt great to win two in Canton. We have played at Thurman Munson several times since 2008 and have had some great memories there. We have come up short since 2017. Finally securing the District Championship will allow us to move forward with confidence. It is anyone's tournament at this point.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We have not been to the regionals since 2016. Prior to that we we were in the regionals in 2008, 2010, and 2012. This 2021 team has worked so hard to elevate each other's games by building strong relationships and believing in one another. It is always extremely special to make it this far.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: North Royalton: We played them week 1 and won 10-0. They did not throw their #1 pitcher. They have a true number one and will look like a different team with him on the mound. Mentor: We know them all too well. We lost the district final to them three years in a row. They always turn it on during the playoffs. Walsh Jesuit: We faced them twice this season. We saw them in a scrimmage and that is when we realized they are one of the best teams in Ohio. We also faced them during the season and won 9-4 with our ace on the mound. They are a strong team and will be ready for anyone.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: We want to thank our community and our high school students for supporting us in big numbers all season long. We are better because of you! The Wildcats are going to lay everything on the line to keep this journey going! #USYOUME

North Royalton

Record: 21-8
Final Ranking: No. 9
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: No. 9 - Final
Postseason History:

  • State runners-up in 2014, only state appearance.

Top Players:

  • Bryce Goloja, LF, Sr.
  • Nate Sprecher, CF, Sr.
  • Killian O'Callahan, CF, Sr.
  • Cole Huzl, RF, Sr.
  • Tyler Jenkins, RHP, Sr
  • Vincent Koprowski, SS, Jr.
  • Gavin Jones, P/DH, Jr.
  • Frank Audino, C, Jr.
  • Andrew Kortan, 2B, Jr.
  • Chris Domke, 3B, So.
  • Jake Michalak, RHP, So.
  • Brady Sasse, RHP, Fr.

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I really like how my team is selfless. They truly do not care who gets the recognition as long as they are getting the win. I like that different people step up each and every game. We really believe in being even-keeled, selfless, never satisfied, and always grind it out no matter the circumstance.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Winning districts was an unbelievable feeling that my coaching staff and players will never forget. They were able to beat their rivals in order to go to regionals. There was a lot of emotion just because of all the hard work that we put in this year. We had a delayed start this year with Covid and our first practice was a scrimmage. We have come a long way and the boys were just excited to know that they are headed to the Sweet 16. It was also fun having all of our fans there to support us.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Playing in the Sweet 16 is something that is hard to do, but the boys set their goals early in the year and lived up to it. It is fun to compete against some of the best teams in the state, and it feels good to be recognized as one of those teams as well.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: Our region is full of talent. I know I might be biased, but I feel that our region is one of the toughest in the state. Mentor, Walsh Jesuit, and Mentor are all great schools that have a strong history of baseball. There is a lot of college talent in this region, and it will be fun to see it on display in our region and all the regions.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: I just want to add that after having a year cancelled, it is remarkable what these young men have done. They are hard workers and represent the best of North Royalton. The coaching staff, faculty, and community is extremely excited for these boys and the opportunity earned by winning districts.

Walsh Jesuit

Record: 26-3
Final Ranking: No. 2
Preseason Ranking: No. 1
Highest Ranking: No. 1 - Preseason
Postseason History:

  • Seven state appearances, four state titles (1999, 2004, 2006, 2008) and two runners-up (2009, 2010).

Top Players:

  • Jake Armsey, SS/RHP, 2021 - Ranked 51st, USC-State commit
  • Erik Stern, LHP/OF, 2021 - Ranked 59th
  • Bobby Perebzak, LHP, 2021 - Ranked 44th, Ohio U commit
  • Henry Kaczmar, SS, 2022 - Ranked 14th, Michigan commit
  • Tyler Barni, RHP, 2022 - Ranked 47th
  • Andrew Gormley, RHP, 2022 - Ranked 60th
  • Will Harding, OF, 2022 - Ranked 55th
  • Logan Oakes, LHP, 2022 - Ranked 143rd
  • Kasey Kish, C/OF, 2022 - Ranked 150th
  • Mark Serdinak, 3B, 2022 - Ranked 233rd
  • Jackson Phelps, RHP, 2022 - Ranked 250th
  • Mason Eckelman, C, 2023 - Ranked 4th, Michigan commit
  • Drew Erdmann, RHP, 2023 - Ranked 11th, Cincinnati commit
  • Ryan Piech, RHP, 2023 - Ranked 15th, Xavier commit
  • Joey Canzoni, INF, 2023 - Ranked 33rd
  • Alejandro Covas, OF, 2023 - Ranked 67th
  • Justin Bremner, OF/SS, 2023
  • Zach Halligan, RHP, 2023
  • John Simecek, RHP, 2023
  • Sam Pece, OF/LHP, 2024 - Ranked 16th

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We seem to be hitting our stride at the right time, this is a young group that is hungry and excited about the opportunity to play in the regional tournament.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Winning our district is the goal we set out to achieve at the beginning of each year, there is a lot of work that goes into getting to that point and even playing in that game. Being able to celebrate a little is fun, but we also know that challenges still lie ahead.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Playing in the regional tournament is special, anytime we get the chance to advance through the district we are excited about the opportunity. Tournament baseball just has a little different feel to it, so each round you advance through heightens that a little bit more.  

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: We are in a talented region full of teams that have had really good seasons. We have a lot of respect for all of these teams and are excited about the opportunity to compete.

Mentor

Record: 20-8
Final Ranking: No. 9
Preseason Ranking: No. 10
Highest Ranking: No. 10 - Preseason
Postseason History:

  • Six trips to state, the last in 2019. Two second-place finishes (2007 and 2004).

Top Players:

  • Ryland Talley, 3B, Senior
  • Noah Gladish, CF, Senior
  • Eric Coode, C, Senior
  • Logan Yeary, LF, Senior
  • Hal Walker, 1B, Senior
  • Aiden Limtury, LHP, Senior
  • Cael Gray, SS, Senior
  • Kadyn Burkholder, RF, Soph
  • Brandon Panhorst, 2B, Junior
  • Cole Hemminger, RHP, Soph
  • Jacob Snow, RHP, Soph
  • Stevie Nedlik, LHP, Junior

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I like the way we are swinging the bats and playing with confidence.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It was a great feeling after a little bit of a rough start. About half way through the season the team started coming together, and we began seeing the team we thought we had.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: It is always tough in region 1. There are 4 very good teams that are all capable of making it out.

 

Division I - Dublin Regional

  • No. 11 New Albany vs No. 19 Lancaster
  • No. 1 Olentangy Orange vs No. 5 Westerville South

Region Overview:  New Albany scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth and four in the seventh to shock Watkins Memorial 7-6 in the district semifinals before overcoming a 2-0 deficit to beat 2018 state champ Olentangy Liberty 5-2 for a third consecutive regional berth. Lancaster escaped a Grove City bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the 10th, then scored on a Keegan Montgomery squeeze bunt in the top of the 11th to advance to regionals with a 2-1 victory. Top-ranked Olentangy Orange, which has allowed just one run in the tournament, takes on red-hot Westerville South, winners of 17 straight. South won its first Ohio Capital Conference baseball title since 1983.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • New Albany over Lancaster
  • Olentangy Orange over Westerville South
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Olentangy Orange

Fan Vote:

  • Lancaster over New Albany
  • Olentangy Orange over Westerville South
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Olentangy Orange

New Albany

Record: 25-5
Final Ranking:
No. 11
Preseason Ranking:
No. 13
Highest Ranking:
No. 8 - Week 1
Postseason History:
  • Three District Titles in the last three years.

Top Players:

  • C-Brock Tibbitts
  • 1st-Caden Robinson
  • 2nd-Mattox Mead
  • SS- Oliver Schroyer
  • 3rd- AC Clouse
  • LF- Oliver Cush
  • CF- Andrew Ecleberry
  • RF- Eli Henderson
  • DH- Ben Clark
  • P- Ian Hoff
  • P- Elijah Griffith
  • P- Brady Conley
  • P- Andrew Trybus
  • P- Tom Bohman
  • P- Aaron Pirkle
  • P- AJ Scott

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I like their relentless desire to succeed and how humble and respectful they have been all season.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: The feeling after the District win was total elation...especially after realizing that it was three in a row.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It is an honor to represent the Central District in Regional play.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: The team we are playing Thursday is talent rich and very well coached. You certainly can not take any plays off against such an outstanding baseball team.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: Our roster is full of amazing young men that love to play the game. I am blessed to have a staff that has a wealth of knowledge for the game and who have a tremendous amount of respect for our players. The community has been behind these young men since day one with a positive display of support that has been an incredible motivator for our team.

Lancaster

Record: 25-5
Final Ranking: No. 19
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: No. 19 - Final
Postseason History:

  • Last regional title was 1985.

Top Players:

  • Dom Bornino, 3B/P, Junior
  • Trevor Roby, CF/P, Senior
  • Ajay Locke, C, Junior
  • Riley Poston, LF, Junior
  • Mason Henson, UTIL, Junior
  • Keaton Jacobs, 1B, Senior
  • Isaac Cooperrider, LHP, Sophomore
  • Tony Falvo, SS, Junior
  • Noah Blecha, RF, Senior
  • Kyle Garber, 2B, Junior
  • Zach Gallimore, 1B, Senior
  • Layton O'Rourke, RHP, Junior
  • Jackson Burke, RHP- Freshmen

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I love the intensity and passion that we play with. We are a team that plays for each other. A selfless group of fighters.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Incredible feeling to win districts after not being able to play in 2020. This group has done an outstanding job of coming together as a team and fighting the stigma that "we can't win" this year.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Absolutely honored to get back here again with our guys.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: New Albany is a very talented team. They have a Hall of Fame coach in Coach Starling who has had an outstanding career. Their lineup is extremely talented. On the other side, Coach Bates and Westerville South are loaded with top talent. They are tough and play well together.  Olentangy Orange and Coach Marker will be a tough out. Elite talent and elite coaching will make them the favorite.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: It is great to have the support of Coach Dick England as well as the entire 1985 team.  We want to play well to honor them, our 2020 Seniors, and the entire city of Lancaster.

Olentangy Orange

Record: 26-3
Final Ranking: No. 1
Preseason Ranking: No. 3
Highest Ranking: No. 1 - Week 1
Postseason History:

  • Regional championship in 2017.

Top Players:

  • Caden Konczak, CF, Senior, 1st Team All-District, 0.411, 37 runs, 27 RBI
  • Matt Wolfe, SS, JR, 1st Team All-District, 0.405, 28 runs, 23 RBI
  • Josh Laisure, 3B, SR, 0.411, 26 runs, 23 RBI
  • Cole Cahill, P, Soph, 0.416, 17 runs, 26 RBI
  • Logan Shearer, 1B, Senior, 0.329, 18 runs, 24 RBI
  • Austin Knupp, LF, Senior, 0.354, 22 runs, 13 RBI
  • Connor Till, C, Senior, 0.333, 13 runs, 11 RBI
  • Charlie Scholvin, 2B, Soph, 0.222, 9 runs, 8 RBI
  • Sam Sells, RF, Senior, 0.429, 29 runs, 20 RBI
  • Jacob Tabor, LHP, Soph (4-0)

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We have several diverse personalities, but we are a very connected group. We can be very transparent in our baseball classroom and address things that we think can be done better. While our players maintain their innocence and curiosity, they still have a very mature approach to the game and seek improvement daily. 

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: I was very happy for all 22 guys, our coaching staff, and our 8-to-18 program. Our goal, from day one, was to play a challenging schedule that would give us the best opportunity to compete for a district title. But like any experience, you want to get back to "the middle" as quickly as possible. It's never good to proceed at either end of the emotional spectrum (devastation or celebration). We gave our guys Friday to enjoy the moment because they earned that, but we were back to work Saturday morning.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: The opportunity to be around our guys for another week is something we are not taking for granted. Every experience is an opportunity to grow and connect. We'll embrace the daily opportunity to grow our program.

PBR: Thoughts on the four team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: The opportunity to compete against arguably the best team in the state in Westerville South is exciting. We know that we'll have to play flawless in both games to have a chance. New Albany and Lancaster are regional veterans and Westerville South has possibly the best talent in the field. All the coaches do an outstanding job. I've looked up to Coach Starling for years and Coach Conn might be the best at instilling and breeding culture that I've ever seen.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: Our players from 8-to-18 have committed to this program. Phil Callaghan has helped create an environment of winners and our players have put in the time, effort, and energy to get this program going. Along with that, our assistant coaches live at the field and provide unlimited resources and opportunities for our players to improve their skills.

Westerville South

Record: 26-3
Final Ranking: No. 5
Preseason Ranking: No. 30
Highest Ranking: No. 5 - Final
Postseason History:

  • 1st District Championship.
  • 1st League Title since 1983.

Top Players:

  • Andrew Collinsworth, P, Senior
  • Logan Hunn, SS/P, Senior
  • Brayden White, C, Senior
  • Kaden Saunders, OF, Jr
  • Matt Bame, OF/SS, Senior
  • Nick McConnell, 1B, Senior
  • Jack Bates, 2B, Junior
  • Brandon Kim, 3B, Senior
  • Santo Scillia, OF, Senior

Division I - Bowling Green Regional

  • No. 14 Toledo St. John's Jesuit vs Bowling Green
  • No. 48 Brunswick vs No. 23 Berea-Midpark

Region Overview: St. John’s, which has won three tournament games by the scores of 11-1, 10-0 and 10-1, meets an eight-seeded Bowling Green squad that shut out top-seeded Anthony Wayne in the district semifinals for the second time this year. BG then topped Findlay in eight innings to earn a trip to regionals against a St. John’s team the Bobcats beat 9-1 on May 17. Brunswick, an 11 seed, lost its first four games of the season but has been hot in the postseason with 38 hits in three wins. Brady Compton fired a three-hit shutout for Berea-Midpark to eliminate defending state champion Saint Ignatius 2-1 in the district title game.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • St. John's Jesuit over Bowling Green
  • Berea-Midpark over Brunswick
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - St. John's Jesuit

Fan Vote:

  • St. John's Jesuit over Bowling Green
  • Berea-Midpark over Brunswick
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Berea-Midpark

Toledo St. John's Jesuit

Record: 22-6
Final Ranking: No. 14
Preseason Ranking: No. 44
Highest Ranking: No. 7 - Week 4
Postseason History:

  • Has never made a trip to state.

Top Players:

  • Carson Toth
  • JP Wagner
  • Reece Magers
  • Ryan Snyder
  • Andrew Pelok
  • Nick Pett
  • Trey Lake
  • Reece Disalle
  • Carter Binkowski
  • Jacob Davis

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I really like the chemistry going on with our guys. Fun to see them playing for each other.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Awesome feeling to watch the guys celebrate winning the district. Well deserved for them. Hard work pays off.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Being able to play in a regional is what our guys expected. We played a tough schedule all year to prepare us for this time of the year.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: This regional is filled with competitive teams who are all playing well right now. It's gonna be competitive.

Bowling Green

Record: 18-11
Final Ranking: NR
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: NR
Postseason History:

  • In search of first state tournament berth.

Top Players:

  • Brandon Tucker 3B Senior
  • Ryan Jackson C Junior
  • Eli Brown SS Senior
  • Cody Thompson CF/LHP Senior
  • Kolin Atwood 2B Senior
  • Nate Kress RHP Sophomore
  • Brayden Clauson DH Junior
  • Michael Becker LF/RHP Senior
  • Mason West RF/P Senior
  • Cayden Seither 1B/RHP Senior
  • Jimmy LaForce RHP Junior 1-1

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I love that we are playing as a team with a mission. We have stressed all year that we need to play for each other and not for ourselves, and we are finally doing that. It shows in our dugout energy and also on the scoreboard. These guys are truly believing in themselves and our team and not caring what is said or projected from others. They believe that we can compete with anyone right now. Its fun to watch and be a part of.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: When we finally got the key hit to walk off a very good Findlay team, I was so excited and happy for these guys and coaches. We have worked so hard in the offseason, and these boys have been through so much, it was a huge feeling of redemption and satisfaction. Truly a feeling of overwhelming happiness for our program and our community. Especially since we were so close to home and had a huge showing of support from our community.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We were right here in the Regional Semi the last time we had a season in 2019 and lost to Van Wert 1-0. We have a sense of unfinished business going into this game. We are so excited to be back to Regionals, and can’t wait to do battle on the field on Thurs night!

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: When you make it to this level and this far into the tournament, all teams are good. We have seen St Johns before but we haven’t seen the other 2. I’m absolutely certain that any team that makes it to Regionals is capable of putting runs on the board and can flat out play. There is such a small margin for error at this level that you have to come ready and focused to make it through. We have said all year long that we don’t care who is in the other dugout, if we play our gamel, we can compete with anyone. We are not content just making it here, we want a State Title!!

Brunswick

Record: 17-13
Final Ranking: No. 48
Preseason Ranking: No. 32
Highest Ranking: No. 27 - Week 2
Postseason History:

  • 2nd straight District Title, 3rd in 5 years.

Top Players:

  • Jacob Dye (SR) RF
  • Shane Frimel (JR) 2B
  • Josh Kross (SR) C
  • Jake Scherette (SR) SS
  • Maks Maras (JR) 1B
  • Matt Bottger (JR) 3B
  • Jacob Mancini (Soph) CF
  • Sean Kidd (SR) P/DH
  • Tyler Morgan (SR) LF

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We have challenged ourselves all year with a very difficult schedule to put us into this position.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Excitement for our seniors who won a title as sophomores in 2019 and missed out on a season last year.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Looking forward to the challenge as at this point in the season anything can happen.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: Talented 4 teams but maybe not the 4 teams people expected to be here when the draw came out except for the coaching staffs and roster of the 4 teams that are here.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: We are excited to represent the community of Brunswick and the excitement from everyone supporting us has fueled this run and we hope to keep it going for another few weeks.

Berea-Midpark

Record: 20-7
Final Ranking: No. 23
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: No. 23 - Final
Postseason History:

  • First Regional appearance since Berea High School and Midpark High Schools merged in 2013.

Top Players:

  • Giano Zuccaro
  • Alex Stegman
  • Mason Decker
  • Kade Swisher
  • Billy Campbell
  • Brady Compton
  • Logan Cook
  • Mason Prok
  • Spencer Reardon
  • Robby Meadwell
  • Josh Kincaid
  • Brandon Bechtold

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: This team is an honor to coach. They have battled in tough games this season beating St. Ignatius, Mentor, Amherst, Highland, St. Edward, and Avon Lake. Right now, we are getting solid and gritty pitching; shutting down some of the best hitters in the state. Strong pitching has been coupled in the district with timely hitting and smart, aggressive base running. 

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: The 3-0 District Final game over St. Ignatius was one of the highlights of my coaching career and it was certainly the highlight of the season. The boys came to play in District play and outscored opponents 24-8. Brady Compton held the Wildcats to 2 hits and pitched one of the most determined complete games I've ever been a part of. 

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It is beyond exciting to be playing high school baseball after Memorial Day. There is an energy with the team and school community that wants more!  We can't wait for Thursday but are enjoying every single day that we are able to be together as a team to prep and practice. 

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: We are playing Brunswick for the third time this season. I think that the teams are similar in many ways and it should be a fantastic game. 

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: I love this team!  We have a bunch of different personalities and levels of baseball experience but each of the 19 guys comes every day ready to contribute when called upon. These boys are tough, determined ballplayers who love to win. Their energy is contagious. I can't even think about how much I'm going to miss these 16 seniors-- but we have work to do first.

Division I - Dayton Regional

  • No. 7 Mason vs No. 3 Vandalia-Butler
  • No. 16 St. Xavier vs No. 21 Elder

Region Overview: Mason gets a rematch with Vandalia-Butler after being knocked out of the 2019 tournament 6-5 in the district finals. Brenden Garula was the winning pitcher and had a home run in a 3-1 district semifinal win over Harrison, the only close game in tourney play thus far for the Comets. Third-rated Butler overcame an early 4-0 deficit to beat Moeller 5-4 with two runs in the bottom of the seventh in the district title game. V-B edged Sidney 3-2 in the semis with one in the sixth and two in the last of the seventh. Elder has rode strong pitching in sandwiching a pair of 3-0 tournament wins around a 6-1 victory. St. Xavier avoided a major upset in the sectional finals, scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings before tallying one in the ninth to beat 24th-seeded Middletown, 5-4. St. X, the top seed entering tourney play, has won two of three matchups with Elder this season, winning 9-6 and 9-1 before losing 6-3 in their most recent game on May 6.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • Mason over Vandalia-Butler
  • St. Xavier over Elder
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Mason

Fan Vote:

  • Mason over Vandalia-Butler
  • St. Xavier over Elder
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Mason

Mason

Record: 24-5
Final Ranking: No. 7
Preseason Ranking: No. 6
Highest Ranking: No. 6 - Preseason
Postseason History:

  • Two regional championships (2018 and 1987).

Top Players:

  • Max Johnson, Sr
  • Ben Stuart, Sr
  • Jaxon Orlando, Sr
  • Brenden Garula, Jr
  • Michael Molnar, Jr
  • AJ Lefton, Jr
  • Michael Murphy, So
  • Jake Hanley, Fr

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: The tremendous growth that they have experienced throughout the season. Very young team that started the season 8-5 but have bought into our approach to winning games. Everyone is doing their job and the team is playing clean baseball. Our offensive production has steadily improved throughout the season. The pitching staff has done a great job of keeping the team in a position to win. 

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Proud of the group of young men. 12th District title  - 5th in 7 years. Very special considering how young the team is and obviously, not having a season last year, for this team to gel and win a district championship…could not be more proud of them!

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Great opportunity and going to be a great challenge. Every game is a game 7 and when you are able to win a game you get the chance to extend your season. Excited for the opportunity to prepare together for the chance at winning a Regional title.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: It is a talent packed regional with great baseball tradition with great coaching and talented players. Going to be a challenge to navigate the regional but very much looking forward to the opportunity to play.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: Excited for the players and coaches who have done a great job at representing the program and the school district. Very happy that we are still playing and more excited to go out and see what we are capable of.

 

Vandalia-Butler

Record: 28-2
Final Ranking: No. 3
Preseason Ranking: No. 8
Highest Ranking: No. 3 - Week 6
Postseason History:

  • Owns one regional crown (2000)

Top Players:

  • Boston Smith, 2021
  • Quinton Hall, 2021
  • Carson Clark, 2021
  • Kaden Echeman, 2021
  • Bryce Echeman, 2021
  • Cameron Hendricks, 2021
  • Mike Masters, 2021
  • Cason Bennett, 2022
  • Jordan Taylor, 2024
  • Evan Ables, 2023

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I feel we are very athletic as we play well offensively and defensively.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Very proud of our team after having to come back in our last two tourney games to score two in the bottom of the seventh for the win. Never say die attitude!

St. Xavier

Record: 20-8
Final Ranking: No. 16
Preseason Ranking: No. 12
Highest Ranking: No. 12 - Preseason
Postseason History:

  • First regional appearance since 2017.
  • Seeking third regional championship (2002 and 1994).

Top Players:

  • Gavin Vogelgesang, 3B/P, Senior, 3-0, 0.875 ERA/WHIP
  • Thomas Ryan, RF, Junior
  • William Jaun, LHP, Senior, 4-2, 68 Ks
  • Max Klare, CF, Junior
  • Brennan Hileman, LF, Sophomore
  • Gio Albanese, DH, Senior
  • Evan Weyler, 1B, Junior
  • Justin Bailes, C, Senior
  • Joe Kirby, SS/P, Senior, 10 app., 2 SV
  • Jack Metzger, 2B, Junior
  • Nathan Albrinck, RHP, Senior, 5-0, 2 SV

 

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Our success has come from getting consistent quality at-bats from everyone in the line-up and we’re getting solid pitching performances from our veteran staff. Team chemistry has evolved into a sense of confidence that has allowed us to come from behind in a couple of our tournament games.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It was a great feeling, especially when we were able to put up 6 runs in the home half of the 6th inning after losing a 3-run lead in the top half. Winning a district championship means you’ve had a really good year.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We’re thrilled about being in the regionals. It’s something that’s actually been two years in the making considering that last year’s season was cancelled.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: All of the teams are so evenly matched that anything can happen.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: I am really happy for all of our players, coaches, parents, and the vast. X community that we are able to be playing in the regional. Every one of them has played an important part in our success. We’re also thrilled to still be playing in honor of our 2020 seniors who were super talented, but didn’t get to participate in the tournament due to the cancellation of the season.

Elder

Record: 21-8
Final Ranking: No. 21
Preseason Ranking: No. 49
Highest Ranking: No. 4 - Week 1
Postseason History:

  • Third consecutive district championship
  • Owns 20 regional championships, the last in 2010.
  • State champions 12 times.
  • State runners-up 3 times.

Top Players:

  • Brian Weber 3B, Sr
  • Jackson Grimmelsman P, Sr
  • Brennan Martin C, Sr
  • Jackson Gutzwiller 1B, Sr
  • Zac Schlachter LF, Sr
  • Michael Keehan 2B, Sr
  • Marco Sabato CF, Sr
  • Jacob Flaherty P, Sr
  • Chris Kammerer RF/P, Jr
  • Kellen Sandhas LF/P, Jr
  • Jeremy Ward SS/P, Jr
  • Luke Vaughn 3B, So
  • Kevin Hilton 2B, So

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Our pitching has been outstanding. Outscored our opponents 12-1 in tournament to this point.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Obviously a fantastic feeling! Especially since we lost all last year to covid. Like everyone else we didn't really know what to expect coming into this year but extremely proud of how our guys worked to get better each day and make it to this point.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Always a fantastic experience for our players to get a chance to experience making it to regionals and this year is no different.  We beat a very good Beavercreek team to win Districts and grateful to have the opportunity to continue on with so many great programs in SW Ohio.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: Our regional is always so competitive and this year is no different. Butler is the Coaches state poll champion, St. Xavier won our conference and got the #1 seed in our sectional, and Mason is co-champions of the always tough GMC. Should be a great regional and we're looking forward to the opportunity to compete with those three great, well-coached teams.

2021 Spring High School Season Content

To view all things related to the 2021 Spring High School Baseball Season, click here.

To view the Weekly Team Rankings, click below:

To view the Preseason All-State Teams, click below:

To view the 2021 Ohio Spring Scout Blog, click below:

To view the 2021 PBR Ohio HS Teams of the Week, click below:

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