Division III Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Ottawa Hills


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Division III Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Ottawa Hills

OTTAWA HILLS - What an impressive four-day stretch of baseball for Ottawa Hills, the Prep Baseball Report Division III Team of the Week.

After winning on Wednesday 6-2 over Blissfield, the 10th-rated team in Michigan’s Super 30 Power Rankings, the Green Bears took two from a pair of state-ranked teams in Ohio, beating Anthony Wayne 4-2 and Archbold 2-0.

“I suspected we’d be pretty good,” long-time Ottawa Hills mentor Chris Hardman said about his squad, which finished last week at 17-2 after topping Division I third-rated AW and Division III 22nd-ranked Archbold. “Last summer we played a lot of baseball between travel ball and ACME. With pitching and defense, we’ve got a chance every game.”

Jack Genzman, who threw the first inning against Blissfield before a complete-game effort against AW, has been outstanding on the mound for Ottawa Hills, the fifth-rated team in Ohio in D-III. The right-handed junior is 6-0 with a 0.59 ERA, highlighted by a shutout victory over Wauseon and standout pitcher Connar Penrod.

Adam Hamilton, who blanked Archbold on Saturday to improve to 4-0 on the year, has also been solid for Hardman, whose team has 10 shutouts on the season in 17 victories.

“Our goal is to score one run an inning but we haven’t needed that,” noted Hardman, who points to a pair of juniors who have been a big part of the success thus far this season.

Shortstop Alex Nemunaitis, called by Hardman a “Division I player,” is hitting .460 batting in the three-hole this year.

“Defensively he’s been outstanding,” Hardman said. “He makes at least a play a game where you’re amazed. He also hits both good pitching and bad pitching.”

Catcher Blake Gnepper is another that has stood out for Ottawa Hills, which has big games ahead at home with Liberty-Benton on Friday and at Toledo Central Catholic on Sunday.

“He’s so steady behind the plate,” Hardman related. “He knows our pitchers and calls a great game. And I like when people try to run on him.”

With the Green Bears battling Toledo Christian for the Toledo Area Athletic Conference title, Hardman understands what his squad needs to do to be successful the rest of the way.

“We must continue doing what we’re doing,” Hardman explained. “We’re playing at a high level and we’re confident. I just hope it doesn’t transform into being sloppy. We’ve still got to get better and take it one game at a time. That’s my message to them.”

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