Division III Team Of The Week: Week 2 - Waynedale


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Division III Team Of The Week: Week 2 - Waynedale

APPLE CREEK - Head coach Lucas Daugherty likes what he has seen out of his Waynedale baseball team in 2021.

“So far I have been impressed with our guy’s ability to focus in on each game,” explained Daugherty. “Our pitchers have thrown a lot of strikes and our offense has put pressure on opposing teams.”

A sweep of Rittman, with 16-0 and 12-2 wins, along with 5-4 and 5-0 victories over Norton has Waynedale standing at 13-0 on the season and earning the honor of this week’s Prep Baseball Report Division III Team of the Week.

“I expected our team to be able to compete at a high level,” admitted Daugherty, whose squad is now 6-0 in the Wayne County Athletic League. “We have a lot of games ahead of us and we need to keep getting better at the little things.”

Jaden Varner, a Kent State commit, has been a terror both at the plate and on the mound for the Golden Bears, the top-ranked team in the state in Division III. The fifth-rated 2021 southpaw pitcher in Ohio is 4-0 with an astounding 47 strikeouts in 18 innings of work. At the plate, the left-handed hitting Varner, who plays center field when not pitching, is averaging .604 with eight doubles and one home  run.

Sophomore right-hander Trey Barkman has also produced as a pitcher for Waynedale with a 3-0 record. In 18 innings, Barkman has struck out 28.

Ian Lehman, a junior right-hander, threw the shutout against Norton last week and has also been big with the stick this season. Lehman is batting .419 with 14 RBIs so far.

Two seniors have additionally been major contributors to the success of Waynedale this year. First baseman Mitchell Yoder is hitting .435 while left fielder Mateo Camacho is averaging .389 with 26 runs scored and 14 RBIs.

“We need to be consistent,” Daugherty said about the keys to the team in looking ahead at the rest of the season. “We need to focus on one game at a time and continue to improve at the details of the game.”

A pair of games with 17th-ranked Hillsdale are on the schedule for Waynedale this week along with one against Triway, with two matchups against No. 16 Norwayne slated a week later as well as a contest with Tuscarawas Central Catholic.

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