Division IV Team Of The Week: Week 2 - Antwerp


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Division IV Team Of The Week: Week 2 - Antwerp

ANTWERP - Two years ago Luke Krouse and Austin Lichty pitched Antwerp to the state tournament. Both are still around and the Archers, the Prep Baseball Report Division IV Team of the Week, has hopes of making a return trip to Akron for the 2021 Final Four.

“Returning so many guys, we were disappointed not having a season last year,” reflected Zac Feasby, head coach of the state’s top-ranked D-IV team. “We felt we could make a good run. This year our expectations are still high, but we’ve had to replace guys that made significant contributions to our program.”

The replacements are getting the job done. By the end of last week, Antwerp had a 9-1 record and six consecutive wins following a six-day stretch featuring victories over Parkway 6-5, Edgerton 15-1, Hicksville 4-1, Montpelier 9-1 and Continental 24-2.

“From game one our pitching has been very solid,’ Feasby noted. “When you have Luke Krouse and Austin Lichty you expect that. But we’ve had some others come around to give us some good innings.”

Krouse, the seventh-rated junior left-handed pitcher in Ohio and a Bowling Green commit, is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, striking out 25 in 15 innings of work. The uncommitted Lichty, ranked 97th among 2021 right-handed pitchers in the state, is also 2-0 with a 0.58 ERA, fanning 21 in 12 innings on the mound.

Junior Hunter Sproles has taken over as the number three pitcher after the graduation of Jacob Savina, now at Clark State CC.

“Hunter started out injured but he got a little work a week ago and pitched five innings against Montpelier,” Feasby said. “He’s coming around.”

The sophomore duo of Ethan Lichty (Austin’s brother), the starting first baseman, and Parker Moore, an outfielder, add depth to the staff. Freshman Reid Lichty (no relation) has also seen time on the mound as well as left field.

“Pitching is definitely a strong point,” Feasby proclaimed.

With Krouse and Lichty leading the way, the Archers are also formidable at the plate. The left-handed hitting Krouse, who plays center field or first base when not pitching, is batting .500 with 12 RBIs while Lichty, a shortstop and third baseman in addition to pitcher, is at .471 with 19 runs scored and a dozen runs batted in.

Senior third baseman Dylan Hines, another starter on the 2019 state team, has provided power with two home runs and a triple along with 10 RBIs batting in the three-hole while also seeing time at catcher.

The starting backstop is Chase Clark, who has produced to the tune of .462 with 16 runs and 13 RBIs batting leadoff.

“Chase is a huge part of what we do,” Feasby said of the junior who also has played second base and right field. “He's a huge part of the success of our pitchers and he’s gotten better every game at the plate.”

Clark also came up big in right field with a diving catch with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning of last week’s 6-5 win over Parkway.

Second baseman Carson Altimus is another that has stepped up this year. A freshman, Altimus is batting .474.

“Our hitting got off to a slow start, guys were struggling that haven’t struggled in past seasons but that’s starting to turn around,” noted Feasby, whose other returnee from the 2019 team is outfielder Jason Geyer, the nine-hole hitter who has also seen limited time pitching this year. “The most disappointing thing is silly base running mistakes. That can’t happen down the road.”

The hope is by year’s end the Archers are making another run at state, something missed out on in 2020.

“It’s been exciting to get back at it,” Feasby said. “There was a lot of anticipation building up at the start of the season wanting to do things similar to a couple years ago.

“But we’re not a team that is able to fly under the radar now. We’re a team everybody wants to beat, that’s been obvious. We’ve seen a lot of good pitchers with every team we’ve faced, but that can only help us down the road.”

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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