Division I Team Of The Week: Week 1 - Olentangy Orange


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Division I Team Of The Week: Week 1 - Olentangy Orange

OLENTANGY - A 2-0 victory over Preseason top-ranked Walsh Jesuit capped off an impressive start to the 2021 season and sealed Prep Baseball Report Division I Team of the Week honors for Olentangy Orange.

“We want to play the best if we can,” Olentangy Orange coach Tom Marker said about the matchup with Walsh Jesuit last Saturday. “When we had an opportunity to play Walsh we jumped on it.”

It upped the Pioneers to 6-0 on the young season, following wins over 17th-ranked Gahanna Lincoln, 23rd-rated Olentangy and No. 26 Grove City to go along with an 11-2 victory to open the year against Central Crossing and a 15-2 triumph over Worthington Kilbourne.

“Currently we’re a really connected group,” Marker said of his squad, which has jumped to the number one team in Ohio in Division I in the PBR state ratings. “We’ve got the largest roster this year we’ve ever had given the circumstances. Guys one through 22 seem connected. We have guys that are constantly picking each other up. They’re pushing each other. There’s internal competition but in a good way.”

With Josh Laisure and Cole Cahill leading the way on the mound, Marker is enjoying the sight of what his team is doing.

“Our pitching has been outstanding,” noted Marker, now in his third year at the helm of Olentangy Orange. “Josh Laisure, our starting quarterback in football, has shown consistency on the mound as well as at the plate. Cole Cahill has two complete games. And Connor Till has caught every inning behind the plate. He’s managed our pitching staff at an elite level.”

Laisure, a right-hander, is committed to Wright State while Cahill is a sophomore lefty who also plays first base. Till, a senior, will play collegiately at King University.

Marker also pointed to a pair of other seniors with helping his squad get off to the strong beginning to the campaign in right fielder Sam Sells, an Ohio Northern commit, and left fielder Austin Knupp, an all-state hockey player.

“We play the game and not try to play the opponent,” explained Marker. “After losing last season, we’re just trying to stay consistent with what we’re doing.”

With a roster featuring the likes of junior Matt Wolfe (Vanderbilt commit) along with seniors Caden Konczak (Toledo commit) and Tommy Robbins (West Liberty commit), the Pioneers are definitely one of the teams to beat in the state of Ohio in 2021. The win over Walsh Jesuit is proof of that.

“There was a great atmosphere. It was a lot of fun,” Marker said of the matchup with Laisure on the mound against Walsh sophomore Ryan Piech. “We watched the things they did and tried to pick up on it. Their coaching staff is really good with things like detail. We as coaches, and we told the same to the players, tried to take things that they do well and embrace them.”

A Look Back At What Would've Been The 2020 Season:

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A Look Back At The Last Decade:

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A Look Back At The 2019 Season:

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A Look Back At The 2018 Season:

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A Look Back At The 2017 Season:

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