Division I Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Saint Ignatius


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Division I Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Saint Ignatius

CLEVELAND - A 4-4 start to the season is in the past now for Saint Ignatius.

Winning 12 straight games has Brad Ganor’s squad at 16-4 on the season and the honor of being named the Prep Baseball Report Division I Team of the Week.

“We’ve been playing well after we started out slow early in the season,” explained Ganor, whose team is coming off a 2019 D-I state championship. “Traditionally we use the first quarter of the season with different lineups to see what works. We’re willing to sacrifice games. But once we zero in, we want to keep doing well.”

Most recently there was a 3-2 victory over St. Xavier in the Jesuit Classic on Saturday, with the championship game against Walsh Jesuit slated for this coming Monday.

“Offensively, we’ve been consistent,” Ganor pointed out. “We’ve had a lot of production out of a number of players.”

Matthew Giberti, the third-rated senior outfielder in the state and a Harvard commit, is hitting .295 out of the leadoff position and playing center, with junior Billy Adams batting second. The 11th-rated 2022 shortstop in the state and an Ohio University commit, leads the team with a .410 average.

Anthony Paskel, the 23rd-ranked junior SS in Ohio, is batting .365 while playing third, second, short, right and center. Max Palinski, the eighth-rated sophomore outfielder in the state, plays left and averages .357.

Sawyer Solitaria, the seventh-ranked freshman in Ohio, is hitting .320 and playing first base while also contributing on the mound with a 2-0 record and two saves while not permitting an earned run in 10 innings.

The top pitcher is junior Gabe Nard, a Duke commit ranked 67th in the country among 2022 right-handed pitchers. Nard, who had the walk-off RBI against St. X and is averaging .300 while also playing second base and DH, is 3-0 pitching with 39 strikeouts and 11 walks in 24 innings.

More pitching depth comes from Jacob Rocky, Nick Zarbo and Luke Roggenburk. Rocky, the 30th-rated senior southpaw in the state and a Marietta recruit, is 5-0 with 43 Ks and nine walks in 34 innings while Zarbo, an uncommitted senior ranked 54th among 2021 RHPs, is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in 27 frames. Roggenburk, who has pitched in relief and also played right and first base, is a recent St. Bonaventure commit and ranked 48th among senior right-handed pitchers in Ohio.

“I talked to the team about playing our best at the right time,” Ganor said about keys to success the rest of the way in hopes of winning another state title, starting this week with games versus Chagrin Falls tonight, Tallmadge Thursday and Brunswick Saturday. “You’ve got to get lucky, but I think we’re talented enough to get back there.

“We’re the defending state champions and I like how we’re playing today. But it only matters come May 20.”

That is when Ignatius, currently the eighth-rated team in the state in Division I, begins sectional tournament play against the winner of Maple Heights and Parma.

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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