Division II Team Of The Week: Week 1 - Canfield


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

Follow on Twitter- @PrepBaseballOH
Follow on Twitter- @PBROhioScout
Follow on Instagram- @pbrohio

To view the Weekly Team Rankings, click below:

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

Division II Team Of The Week: Week 1 - Canfield

CANFIELD - How dominant has Canfield been so far this season?

The Cardinals have four shutouts to their credit in seven wins and have yet to permit an earned run while outscoring the opposition 57-8.

It is a big reason why Canfield is the Prep Baseball Report Division II Team of the Week.

“All three phases - it starts with pitching, offense and defense,” Canfield head coach Gary Knittle pointed out. “Right now we check the boxes in all three. It’s why we’re where we’re at.”

Landon Beidelschies and Ryan Petro have been superb on the mound in helping the Cardinals to a 0.00 ERA and 7-0 record. An Army commit, Beidelschies has 22 strikeouts in 10 innings while Petro has shutouts in both starts, allowing just three total hits.

“We haven’t had to use Nate Shaw much, he’s been mainly at shortstop,” added Knittle about the junior committed to Wright State who has not given up a hit in five innings of work.

Finding a problem with three run-rule wins is not easy.

“Thankfully, we have five-inning victories, but with that we can’t get the backend of the bullpen work,” Knittle explained.

As the second-ranked team in Ohio entering the season, the Canfield mentor admits to a target on the back.

“We opened up with Salem and Youngstown State commit Lane Rhodes” Knittle pointed out about the pitchers his squad has had to face thus far. “Then we go to Hoban and they’re ranked third and we saw Shawn Parnell (Cincinnati commit). Then it’s Gardner Webb commit Ethan Shaw at Mooney, then Braden Gebardt, a big lefty with Howland. He’s a dude. He went seven innings against us.

“We know we’ll see everybody’s number one, but our kids feed off that.”

There is more that Knittle likes with the 2021 edition.

“Defensively, we’ve only had four errors in seven games,” Knittle related. “For high school baseball that’s phenomenal. I looked  it up and we had 50 errors in 23 games two years ago.”

One change also ignited the lineup according to the Canfield head coach.

“We decided to put Josh Juliano in the leadoff spot and move Dom (Magliocca) down to the five-hole in game three,’ Knittle pointed out. “He’s hitting .536 batting leadoff, even his outs are screamers.”

Opponents have found the going tough.

“One through nine there’s not a gap,” Knittle said. “I can rotate guys in and out and even our bench guys are getting it done. We’re over .500 on-base percentage as a team. We’ve hit on all three cylinders to this point. I’ve never been around a group as loose.”

There is also bad news for the opposition when it comes to the future.

“We’re young,” Knittle noted. “All our pitchers are juniors and sophomores. We only have two seniors, Dom Magliocca (a shortstop committed to Miami of Ohio) and Gianni Gaetano (outfielder). But our kids look up to them.”

As for what lies ahead, Knittle is not about to let his squad get complacent.

“Two years ago we started 8-0 and we kind of got a little lax,” Knittle reflected. “We lost to a Salem team, and they were good, but we learned we can’t take any game for granted. These guys don’t take a day off. They’ll give you max effort. I’m proud of the way they’ve handled it.”

After this week there is also another matchup with Austintown Fitch, a team Canfield was playing in the finals of the PBR High School Classic/Dirty Bird Invitational on Saturday that was rained out with Canfield up 4-1 and Fitch with the bases loaded.

“That was exciting, that was electric,” Knittle said of the event. “Considering there was a downpour from the first pitch, there were a lot of people there. It was our league foe and we were excited. Some of those kids I coach in the summer and I know they were excited.”

The league matchups with Fitch take place April 19 and 22 after playing Warren Harding twice and Champion once this week.

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

To view each of the parts to the No 'Last Dance' Series, click below:

To view the 2020 Team Previews, click here.

To view the 2020 Preseason All-State Teams, click here.

To view the 2020 Virtual Ohio High School State Tournament/Preseason Team Rankings, click here.

A Look Back At The Last Decade:

To view the Ohio High School All-Decade Team 2010-2019, click here.

A Look Back At The 2019 Season:

To view the 2019 Team Previews, click here.

To view the OHSAA Baseball Tournament Roundup, click below.

To view the 2019 All-State Teams, click below.

To view the 2019 Preseason All-State Teams, click below.

A Look Back At The 2018 Season:

To view the 2018 Team Previews, click here.

To view the OHSAA Baseball Tournament Roundup, click below.

To view the 2018 All-State Teams, click below.

To view the 2018 Preseason All-State Teams, click below.

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.

Recent Articles