2021 OHSAA Tournament: Regional Preview - Division IV


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 IV

***** 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 IV - Strongsville Regional

  • No. 47 Columbia vs No. 14 Warren JFK
  • No. 10 Tiffin Calvert vs No. 25 Mathews

Region Overview: Columbia Station Columbia has permitted only one run in the tournament but the pitching will be tested against Warren JFK, which owns 10-0, 14-1 and 10-0 tournament victories to date. Tiffin Calvert is headed to regionals for the first time since 2006 and has a matchup with Vienna Mathews, which won its first two tournament games via shutout before a 12-4 triumph over Western Reserve. Vienna Mathews was a regional semifinalist in 2019.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • Warren JFK over Columbia
  • Tiffin Calvert over Mathews
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Warren JFK

Fan Vote:

  • Warren JFK over Columbia
  • Tiffin Calvert over Mathews
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Warren JFK

Columbia

Record: 17-10
Final Ranking: No. 47
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: No. 47 - Final
Postseason History:

  • Columbia won its first district title in school history this year.
  • Regional title would be first in school history.

Top Players:

  • Andrew Champagne, P
  • Owen Menge, 2B
  • Trevor Hottell, CF
  • Tom Reljin, DH
  • Jeff Grzywna, C, Monmouth commit
  • Cody Davis, 3B
  • Nick Reljin, 1B
  • Chris Davis, RF
  • Carter Kalamasz, LF
  • Austin Stair, SS/P

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: The team right now is playing “Free and Easy.”  Not worried about making a mistake, simply going out there and playing comfortable and confident baseball!

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Since our school and program have never won a district title in baseball, we were all obviously extremely excited with the win but we were also aware that we are capable of more. The community of Columbia Deserves this! Columbia is full of passionate, hard working and dedicated people! The fact that the community is getting joy out of this team's accomplishments, means alot to this program!

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We couldn’t be more excited to be playing in Regionals! It's an honor to be playing at this time of year and nobody gave this team anything! This was all earned by them and that is what has been so fun to see!

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: We don't know much about the other teams in Regionals but we know they are all good! Everyone is good once you get to this point. We just continue to focus on ourselves, play our game and good things happen!

Warren JFK

Record: 18-8
Final Ranking: No. 14
Preseason Ranking: N10
Highest Ranking: No. 14 - Final
Postseason History:

  • Seeking first regional crown.

Top Players:

  • Cam Hollobaugh, Senior, SS/RHP, Walsh commit
  • Caleb Haley, Freshman, C
  • Jaden Rishel, Freshman, OF/P
  • Gavin Shrum, Funior, 2B/SS/RHP

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Starting pitching has been getting better all year.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Very fulfilling. The kids have put in a lot of hard work and the assistant coaches have worked hard. It's all come to fruition which is good to see.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We're very young, only 11 are on the roster, half are freshmen and we have no JV program. What makes me proud is our young kids coming together quickly.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: Basically we have to show up and play our game, pitch it well, hit it well and we;ll be alright.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: We went to the regional final in basketball and that's helped contribute. The stage has not been too big.

Tiffin Calvert

Record: 23-6
Final Ranking: No. 10
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: No. 10 - Final
Postseason History:

  • First district title since 2006.

Top Players:

  • Nick Palm, SS, Sophomore - .423 AVG, .537 OBP, 1.062 OPS, 41 Hits, 4 Doubles, 3 Triples, 18 RBI, 43 Runs, 12 BB, 13 HBP, 17 SB
  • Ethan Vera, 2B, Senior - .370 AVG, .469 OBP, .939 OPS, 30 Hits, 6 Doubles, 1 Triple, 16 RBI, 24 Runs, 10 BB, 7 SB
  • Nick Seifert, P, Senior - .348 AVG, .500 OBP, 882 OPS, 31 Hits, 21 RBI, 35 Runs, 22 BB, 6 HBP, 16 SB | 10-1, 60 IP, 2.10 ERA.
  • Josh Gase, 1B, Senior - .396 AVG, .466 OBP, 1.018 OPS, 38 Hits, 10 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 48 RBI, 27 Runs, 10 BB | 5.2 IP, 1-0, 3.71 ERA
  • Mason Johnson, 3B, Sophomore - .340 AVG, .390 OBP, .859 OPS, 32 Hits, 9 Doubles, 1 HR, 8 BB | 31.1 IP, 4-0, 1.79 ERA
  • Caden Otterbacher, CF, Freshman - .299 AVG, .340 OBP, .731 OPS, 26 Hits, 5 Doubles, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 24 Runs, 9 SB | 15.1 IP, 1-0, 1.83 ERA
  • Hunter Yeakle, C, Junior, - .267 AVG, .659 OBP,  .356 OPS, 16 RBI, 21 Runs, 8 BB, 16 SB - Hunter is throwing out just under 40% of basestealers.
  • Quinten Ronski, DH, Senior - .293 AVG, .421 OBP, .848 OPS
  • Leo Longo, RF, Senior - .212 AVG
  • Jack Shultz, LF, Senior - .273 AVG, .355 OBP, .628 OPS, 8 RBI, 12 Runs, 7 BB
  • Max Paul, RHP, Junior - 54 IP, 5-2, 1.82 ERA
  • Nick Palm, RHP, Sophomore - 19.2 IP, 2-1, 2.49 ERA

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I like the way we are approaching our at-bats and making pitchers work, as well as coming to get the ball on the defense. I also like the way we have responded to adversity overall.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: The boys showed a quiet confidence at districts and remained calm. It was a great feeling, having been 15 years between regional appearances and knowing the high level of tough competition throughout the District.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It has felt wonderful just to be on a field this year at all. Overall, we just feel blessed as a team.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: It appears to be a good mix of experience and veterans making for an interesting Regional.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: We are excited to have this opportunity following the layoff last year. Our seniors have provided great leadership and have displayed a calm demeanor. Despite only having 8 total boys in the Senior Class, these 6 Seniors have taken the program to another level and have been inclusive toward the underclassmen and their talents.

Mathews

Record: 16-6
Final Ranking: No. 25
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: No. 25 - Final
Postseason History:

  • Looking for first regional title.

Top Players:

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I really like the leadership I have on this team. They are a close knit bunch and have come a long way this season.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: I felt overwhelming joy to win the district championship. I have 9 new starters and zero returning letterman from my 2019 district championship team.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: I feel blessed to have the opportunity. After losing last season to COVID I was just happy to be back at it this year. To advance to this level is special.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: I believe all 4 teams in the regional have the ability to win it. Winner will be the team that executes and plays the best basebal.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: I am extremely proud of my team and their accomplishments this season. They are a great group of young men and I know they will give their all and represent our community well.

Division IV - Hamler Regional

  • No. 23 Mohawk vs No. 18 Leipsic
  • No. 5 Antwerp vs No. 4 Lincolnview

Region Overview: After recording just two hits in a 1-0 district semifinal victory over South Central, Mohawk erupted for 15 in a 12-2 district final win over Arlington. No. 19 Leipsic avenged a regular-season loss to Putnam County League rival Miller City 5-0 in the district semifinals, then beat top-seeded Kalida 5-1 in the district finals, the second win over their PCL foe this year. The second game - Antwerp vs. Lincolnview - features a rematch from a PBR Spring Classic game captured by the Lancers, 7-1. Lincolnview won a thrilling 1-0 11-inning district final over St. Henry with Collin Overholt scoring the winning run and picking up the victory in relief of ace hurler Landon Price. Fifth-ranked Antwerp, looking to make it back to state again after reaching the Final Four in 2019, defeated No. 8 Montpelier 5-1 in the district title game.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • Leipsic over Mohawk
  • Antwerp over Lincolnview
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Antwerp

Fan Vote:

  • Mohawk over Leipsic
  • Lincolnview over Antwerp
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Lincolnview

Mohawk

Record: 19-11
Final Ranking: No. 23
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: No. 23 - Final
Postseason History:

  • 8th regional appearance, last one in 2016.
  • Mohawk has never won regional.

Top Players:

  • Tyler Hayman, CF, Senior
  • Trey Combs, 1B, Senior
  • Nathan Geary, SS/RHP, Junior
  • Bale Harper, C, Senior
  • Bryce Hannam, RF, Sophomore
  • Troy Russell, DH, Senior
  • Travis Geary, LF, Freshman
  • Landen Snyder, RHP, Senior
  • Xavier Oesch, 2B, Senior
  • Wyatt Swartz, RHP, Senior
  • Xavier Oesch, RHP, Senior, Relief

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I really like the energy and confidence we are playing with right now. It leads to great communication and outstanding defense.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: When we scored the final run to win the district, I was just excited for the kids. We have a great group of seniors who have had a lot of fun growing up together playing baseball. I'm glad they have made another memory together.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Making it to regionals in any team sport is very difficult and an amazing accomplishment for the team and the program. I'm thrilled for the players, the school, and the community. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to see my kids continue to compete.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: These are all good programs who have had recent success in baseball. Also they have had success in other sports this school year, which tells me they have a good group of athletes who know how to compete and win. There are some outstanding individual players that will be fun to watch.

Leipsic

Record: 24-6
Final Ranking: No. 18
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: No. 18 - Final
Postseason History:

  • Only trip to state came in 1976.

Top Players:

  • Quin Schroeder  Fr.  LF
  • Trey Schroeder  Sr.  CF/LHP
  • Tyler Sickmiller Sr. RHP
  • Lorenzo Walther  Sr. C
  • Jeremy Tavarez  Soph. DH
  • Jaden Siefker  Sr. SS
  • Mason Brandt  Jr. 2B/RHP
  • Blake Liffick  Jr. RF/LHP
  • Kaleb Gillespie  Sr. 1B
  • Spoors RHP
  • Adrian Carrillo  Jr. 3B

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We have been improving defensively throughout the year.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Great feeling winning the districts because I feel there were some good teams. We had to beat our top two rivals in Miller City and Kalida. I was proud of how this team has handled everything thrown at them.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It is always an honor to make it to the regionals.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: The teams in our regional are very good; as to be expected. We are going to have to be at our best.

Antwerp

Record: 18-5
Final Ranking: No. 5
Preseason Ranking: No. 1
Highest Ranking: No. 1 - Preseason
Postseason History:

  • Seeking consecutive regional championships, the only two in school history.

Top Players:

  • Chase Clark, C, Junior
  • Parker Moore, OF/P, Soph
  • Austin Lichty, SS/P, Senior
  • Luke Krouse, OF/P, Junior
  • Hunter Sproles, SS/P, Junior
  • Carson Altimus, 2B, Freshman
  • Dylan Hines, 3B, Senior
  • Ethan Lichty, 1B/P, Soph
  • Jason Geyer, OF, Senior
  • Reid Lichty, OF/P, Freshman

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Our pitching has been solid all season, which has allowed us to control most games. The bottom of the lineup has been producing more the last few games, which compliments the top of our lineup very well.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It was very exciting for not only the coaches, players, and parents, but the entire community of Antwerp. The support for the baseball team from the community has been overwhelming. It’s a great feeling to be part of another history making season. I’m personally very happy for the community and program, and this means a great deal to me because I’m a graduate of Antwerp. The feeling was overall different however. We were not in the underdog role this time and had to survive as a favorite.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We are honored to be able to represent the Green Meadows Conference and the Bryan district in regionals. With this only being the 2nd time in school history for Antwerp to reach regionals, I feel we will again be playing with nothing to lose much like two seasons ago.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: Lincolnview is the team we are the most familiar with, because we played them earlier in the season. They got the best of us, and we will be looking to bounce back from that earlier setback. They are a very good team that is well coached. As for the other teams, we do not play either in the regular season and have not played them at all recently. At this point in tournament every team is strong and well coached. As I have said from the start of tournament play, we will expect to see every opponent’s best and will need to play at our best to win.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: I feel my team is very well balanced with valuable contributors from every grade level. The team is led by three seniors (Austin Lichty, Dylan Hines, and Jason Geyer). All three have lettered since their freshman year. Lichty has been a top pitcher for us since he was a freshman, and he has consistently contributed at the plate.  He has been a leader in several categories throughout his career. When not on the mound, Austin has been a solid SS and I feel one of the best in the area. Hines has been our 3rd baseman throughout the entire season and has provided quality innings behind the plate as well. His hitting has been up and down throughout the season, but he has big hits for us in tournament time in the past. Geyer has locked down the right field position since his sophomore year, and he has come up with clutch hits for us in the past in tournament as well as this season.

Three juniors (Luke Krouse, Hunter Sproles, & Chase Clark), two sophomores (Ethan Lichty & Parker Moore), and two freshmen (Reid Lichty & Carson Altimus) round out the majority of contributions this season. Krouse has been a top pitcher for us like Austin. I consider them pretty equal on the mound and we a comfortable with either starting for us. Krouse has 76 strike outs on the season, and Austin has 62. Krouse moved into the 4-spot in our lineup after the great hitting season he had as a freshman. He currently leads the team with a .422 batting average. Sproles missed a few games at the beginning of the season because of an injury to his throwing hand.  He returned and slowing found his way back on the mound and at the plate. He is currently pitching and hitting the best he has all season. Clark has been a huge part of the success our pitchers have had this season and two season ago. He understands what our pitchers like and don’t like and does a great job calling games from behind the plate.  He has also been one of our best hitters from the lead-off position this year after not getting many at bats two season ago. He currently leads our team with 3 home runs. Ethan Lichty has been a strong 1st baseman for us all season. He has been a little up and down at the plate but has produced in some of our more recent games from the bottom of the lineup. Ethan has also provided quality innings on the mound. Moore has been a solid outfielder for us this season floating back and forth from left field to center field. He has also provided quality innings on the mound like Ethan. Parker has worked his way up in our lineup currently batting in the 2-spot because of his execution at the plate. He has already had a couple big hits for us in tournament this season. Reid Lichty has played left field for us when Luke Krouse is pitching. He played well in the district finals game contributing to relay that got the first out of the 7th inning. Carson Altimus has spent a lot of time at 2nd base this season, but also DHs for Reid Lichty when Krouse is pitching. His production at the plate is a big reason why he earned a spot on the field this season. He adds another lefty to our lineup and also provides us with more speed on the bases. Senior Jordan Buerkle and freshman Camden Fuller have provided our team with some extra speed on the bases as pinch runners this season as well.

Lincolnview

Record: 21-8
Final Ranking: No. 4
Preseason Ranking: No. 2
Highest Ranking: No. 2 - Preseason
Postseason History:

  • Only regional crowns came in 1962 and 1974.
  • 1962 State Champions

Top Players:

  • Landon Price, LHP/OF/1B, 2022, 9-0, 0.00 ERA, 135 K, 8 BB
  • Collin Overholt, RHP/C/SS, 2021, 7-1, 1.48 ERA, 69 K, 6 BB
  • Dane Ebel, RHP/SS, 2023, 2-4, 3.25 ERA, 64 Ks, 18 BB
  • Carson Fox, C/INF, 2022
  • Cole Binkley, OF/LHP, 2022
  • Caden Hanf, 2B/OF, 2023
  • Brandon Renner, LHP/1B/OF, 2023
  • Clayton Leeth, 1B/2B, 2021
  • Creed Jessee, 3B, 2021
  • Aaron Cavinder, RHP, 2021, 2-0, 4.500 ERA, 12 Ks, 4 BB

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I like our starting pitching and our play behind the plate at the catcher position.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: What a game and battle that was against the St Henry Redskins in a 1-0 win in 11 innings. It was a fantastic feeling as we have been close in the very tough Coldwater District before, and finally broke through for a District title this Spring.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Being in the top 16 remaining in the state and practicing and playing into June is a great feeling. The caliber of teams still playing are very high and should make for a great Regional tournament.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: I know Antwerp is a very solid and well coached ball club. In Leipsic, I have heard from their PCL counterparts they are a solid team and have experience playing at Patrick Henry in the District tournament. Mohawk out of the Galion District is a ballclub I have seen play some teams we have scrimmaged against. To be in the Final 16 means you have earned this spot and are going to give your best effort in the Regional tournament.

Division IV - Lancaster Regional

  • No. 33 Lucasville Valley vs No. 46 Paint Valley
  • No. 2 Berlin Hiland vs East Knox

Region Overview: Lucasville Valley is attempting to make it to state for the first time since 1977 while Paint Valley has only made it to state one time, winning the title in 1995. Lucasville Valley has outpointed the opposition 23-2 in the tourney while Paint Valley trailed Eastern Meigs 5-0 in the third only to rally for a 9-8 district-final victory. Berlin Hiland has yet to allow a run in the tournament, outscoring four opponents by a 29-0 combined score. Howard East Knox, which was once 4-10 on the year and finished the regular season at 12-12, scored one in the seventh to send the game into extra innings and tallied three in the ninth to beat Berne Union 7-5 in the district finals.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • Lucasville Valley over Paint Valley
  • Berlin Hiland over East Knox
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Berlin Hiland

Fan Vote:

  • Paint Valley over Lucasville Valley
  • Berlin Hiland over East Knox
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Berlin Hiland

Lucasville Valley

Record: 18-11
Final Ranking: No. 33
Preseason Ranking: No. 14
Highest Ranking: No. 14 - Preseason
Postseason History:

  • Four regional titles, the last coming in 1977.
  • State Champions in 1975.

Top Players:

  • Andrew Andronis, SS, Senior
  • Hunter Edwards, RF, Sophomore
  • Breckon Williams, 1B, Senior
  • George Arnett, RHP, Sophomore
  • Chase Morrow, LF, Junior
  • Christopher Queen, DH/RHP, Sophomore
  • Carter Nickel, CF/RHP, Sophomore
  • Jace Copley, C, Freshman
  • Blake Wood, 3B, Senior
  • Devin Wiley, RHP, Senior

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Our pitching has been exceptional all season. And the last few weeks our defense and hitting have really came along... It's been a good recipe for success.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It was a great feeling. It was a major goal of ours and experience our seniors had as freshmen. Winning a region is no easy feat, and to see our kids happy and celebrate after missing last year due to Covid was a great thing for our team.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It's a great opportunity for our kids. We have a young squad overall, but we have 2 seniors who were starters as freshmen on a regional team in division 3 in 2018, so getting the chance to play in the regionals is a big thing for our program. We don't want to take this opportunity for granted because you never know when you'll get another chance.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: Our opponent (Paint Valley) has some very strong pitching, which presents an enormous challenge. The other two teams, East Knox and Hiland, are schools I do not know much about at this point. I know that Hiland has extremely rich history of success and they look to have had another great season. East Knox has had to play comeback ball throughout the district tournament so I'm sure they feel great about where they are at as a team.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: Our community has been extremely supportive of our boys and the excitement level is very high. Having a mostly young team, it has been great to have this level of success late in the season. This is hopefully a springboard to a consistent run of regional appearances.

Paint Valley

Record: 18-11
Final Ranking: No. 46
Preseason Ranking: No. 17
Highest Ranking: No. 17 - Preseason
Postseason History:

  • Fifth trip in school history to the Sweet 16 - 1995 (State champs), 1996, 2014, 2015, 2021.
  • Third district title in the last seven baseball seasons.

Top Players:

  • Dax Estep (SO) - Catcher (.470, .505, .640 | 5-2, 1,89 ERA, 29.2 IP, 41 K, 13 BB)
  • Trent Mettler (JR) - SS (.375, .481, .420)
  • Brock Blanton (SR) - RHP (.440, .552, .667 | 68.1 IP, 8-3, 1.02 ERA, 112 K, 14 BB) ... Signed to pitch at Eastern Kentucky.
  • Connor Free (JR) - 1B/P (.277, .388, .337)
  • Cole Miller (SO) - CF (.185, .250, .185)
  • Beau Blankenship (JR) - LF (.194, .333, .236)
  • Devlen Spradlin (SR) - 2B (.188, .305, .203)
  • Cadyn Norman (SO) - 3B/P (.232, .384, .362)
  • Blaine Parker (JR) - RF (.170, .267, .170)
  • Cyrus Beavers (JR)

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: I love how this team has stayed together through all the adversity this year. We are playing together, and every kid has contributed to this tournament run in some way.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Winning another district title was extremely special for this group. It marked the third time in the past seven baseball seasons that we have advanced to the Sweet 16, but I think this team felt a little bit of the underdog role. It was a great feeling to see them get the opportunity to celebrate together.”

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: Playing in the regionals is a great honor. We are thankful for the opportunity to represent our community, as well as, a great baseball league like the Scioto Valley Conference.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: We have a great level of respect for the other three teams at Lancaster, but honestly, we have just kept our focus on Lucasville Valley. They are an extremely complete team, and we know we will have to play a great game to have a chance to win.

Berlin Hiland

Record: 26-4
Final Ranking: No. 2
Preseason Ranking: No. 5
Highest Ranking: No. 2 - Final
Postseason History:

  • In search of sixth regional title this century (2017, 2016, 2012, 2008, 2000).

Top Players:

  • Jared Hostetler, CF, Senior
  • Casey Lowe, P, Senior
  • Reece Schlabach, 3B, Senior
  • Isaiah Miller, C, Senior
  • Collin Lowe, 2B/P, Senior
  • Derrick Troyer, 1B/P, Senior
  • Grant Miller, DH, Junior
  • Tony Yoder, LF, Junior
  • Nolan Yoder, SS/P, Soph
  • Isaak Yoder, RF/P, Soph

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We are playing solid defense right now, limiting our physical and mental errors. We haven't been giving teams a lot of extra outs in innings.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: I was extremely happy for our players. They have been working very hard since last fall, to put themselves into this position.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: It is very humbling, not many teams get the opportunity to get to this point in the tournament. I know the guys are very excited and looking forward to competing against some of the best teams in the state.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: They are all playing very good baseball right now. The team that can limit mistakes and get timely hits should come out on top. We should see three really good games in our region.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: The whole program has worked very hard to get here and I couldn't be prouder of our guys. I'd like to thank all the fans that come out to our games as well as our parents and the community for the support they have shown the players.

East Knox

Record: 15-12
Final Ranking: NR
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: NR
Postseason History:

  • Looking to bring home first regional title.

Top Players:

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: We like the fact that our young 2 and 3 sport athletes have become pretty good baseball players, simply put. Many have not played much baseball in the last couple of years but they have put in the work and have improved tremendously this season. A lot of the credit goes to our Senior leaders, Weston Melick and Sam Printz.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It was great to win the districts and it was the first district championship in school history. I was just really happy for our players and all the players and coaches that have been a part of our program throughout the years.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We are very excited to play in the Regionals and feel that we belong. We also know that it will be a very tough road ahead.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: We know that the other schools didn't get here by accident. We are excited to see what we can do versus such great competition.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: I would just like to thank the guys who make up one of the best coaching staffs in high school baseball, for their time and passion to the kids and the game.. Josh Moss, Chuck Melick, Ron Fannin, Dennis Skeen and Nathan Johnson are the kind of men that I would want coaching my own kids. They're the best!

Division IV - Springfield Regional

  • No. 15 Russia vs No. 3 Fisher Catholic
  • Cedarville vs No. 1 Fort Loramie

Region Overview: Russia has not given up an earned run in the tournament and now has a regional semifinal battle with Lancaster Fisher Catholic, which scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat Newark Catholic 8-5 in the district finals after winning its first two tournament games by a combined 28-0. Top-ranked Fort Loramie, which has beaten Russia twice this season, pushed its winning streak to 11 with a 6-4 victory over Troy Christian in the district title game. Cedarville, hoping to make it to state for the first time since 1945, tallied two runs in the top of the seventh to beat Cincinnati Christian 3-1 in the district finals.

For Fun Prediction:

Dylan Hefflinger

  • Fisher Catholic over Russia
  • Fort Loramie over Cedarville
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Fort Loramie

Fan Vote:

  • Fisher Catholic over Russia
  • Fort Loramie over Cedarville
    • REGIONAL CHAMP - Fort Loramie

Russia

Record: 22-5
Final Ranking: No. 15
Preseason Ranking: R
Highest Ranking: No. 15 - Final
Postseason History:

  • Three-time state qualifiers, seeking first regional title since 2017.

Top Players:

  • ???

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: ???

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: ???

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: ???

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: ???

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: ???

Fisher Catholic

Record: 23-4
Final Ranking: No. 3
Preseason Ranking: No. 10
Highest Ranking: No. 3 - Week 6
Postseason History:

  • The Irish won the district championship for the first time since 2005. 
  • The district championship win over Newark Catholic was the first win over NC since 2005.
  • Coach Jared Stewart reached his 100th win of his coaching career this season.
  • Senior Nick Krooner was named Mid-State League Cardinal and Central District Player of the Year.

Top Players:

  • Mitchell Santino - C (Sr)
  • JJ Viau - 2B/P (So)
  • Nick Krooner - CF/P (Sr)
  • Jack Tencza - SS (Jr)
  • Nick Dolci - 1B/P (So)
  • Chase Springer - P (Jr)
  • Josh Burke - 3B (Sr)
  • Sean Harp - RF (Sr)
  • Simon Messerly - LF (Fr)

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: This team is not easily intimidated. We only have 13 players in our entire program (down to 12 with one guy out with a season ending injury) but they use it as motivation. We've played teams that look like armies when they show up and they've got more guys on their bench than we have on our team, but it doesn't faze these kids. Also, the calm demeanor of this team is amazing. They do not panic when they get down in a game. They realize it's a long game and they go to work chipping away.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: It was a great feeling to finally get the monkey off our backs in terms of beating Newark Catholic and winning the district. This program hasn't won the district since 2005 and it's also been the same amount of years since we beat NC. So it was a great feeling.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We are extremely excited for this opportunity. We know that there are no easy games from here on out. We are focused one game at a time with our goal being a trip to Akron.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: I honestly believe that any of the four teams in this regional could not only make it out of the regional, but also make a run at the state title.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: This team has battled through tremendous adversity to get to where we are this season. We have a total of 13 players in our entire program (3 freshmen, 2 sophomores, 3 juniors, 5 seniors), no 2020 season, 2 returning starters from 2019, multiple COVID positives during winter workouts, one senior getting his nose literally knocked off his face and missing the first month of the season with reconstructive surgery, and another senior missing 2 weeks with appendicitis then losing that same senior for the season right before the district tournament began with a torn meniscus. The odds have been stacked against these young men all season but they have shown tremendous grit, resiliency, and determination to get to where they are but they aren't satisfied yet.

Cedarville

Record: 19-12
Final Ranking: NR
Preseason Ranking: NR
Highest Ranking: NR
Postseason History:

  • Only regional championship came in 1945.

Top Players:

  • ???

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Our guys are all playing hard and as a team right now.  Everyone is contributing.  

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: Cedarville has not won a district title since 1997.  The whole community is really proud of this team and their accomplishments.  It is a great feeling.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We are excited and honored to have the chance to compete on the regional stage and look forward to the challenge.  

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: Everybody is good when you get this far.  It is all about who plays the best on game day.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: With all the challenges and changes this year has brought- I think the OHSAA has done a great job of keeping this tournament going.  It is a privilege for Cedarville to be a part of it.

Fort Loramie

Record: 26-3
Final Ranking: No. 1
Preseason Ranking: No. 11
Highest Ranking: No. 1 - Final
Postseason History:

  • State Champions 2007, 2010, 2018

Top Players:

  • Mack Fortman, P/1B, 2021
  • Caeleb Meyer, P/OF, 2021
  • Jake Sanders, 2B, 2021
  • Evan Eilerman, SS, 2022
  • Darren Hoying, C, 2021
  • Clint Hilgeford, 3B, 2022
  • Trevor Middendorf, OF, 2021
  • Grant Albers, OF, 2021
  • Derek Meyer, OF/P, 2022
  • Devin Raterman, DH, 2021

Coach's Thoughts:

PBR: What are a couple of things you like about your team right now?
Coach: Our players are a cohesive unit right now that play as teammates. They support each other and pick each other up, and we are playing with a lot of heart.

PBR: Talk about the feeling when your team won districts?
Coach: There was a lot of determination and grit shown from our team in winning the District Final game. We fought through adversity and overcame a tough opponent.

PBR: Thoughts about being able to play in the regionals?
Coach: We are excited to be back in the Regionals and can’t wait to prove what we can do.

PBR: Thoughts on the four-team's as a whole that are at the regional?
Coach: There is very good pitching on every team. And each team has multiple dynamics that make all four teams dangerous.

PBR: Anything else you would like to add?
Coach: After a year with no season, it’s refreshing to see high school tournament baseball again in Ohio.

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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