Prep Baseball Report

Division II Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Jonathan Alder

Bruce Hefflinger
Ohio Senior Writer

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Division II Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Jonathan Alder

PLAIN CITY - As the top-ranked team in the state in Division II with a 16-1 record on the season, Jonathan Alder is without a doubt living up to the expectations heading into the 2024 campaign.

“Expectations were really high going into this season with six returning starters and all of our pitching back from our 26-2 team last year,” noted Craig Kyle, head coach of the Prep Baseball Division II Team of the Week. “What has stood out to me the most so far is we have continued to pitch and field it at a very high rate. We have also excelled at the plate in two-strike and two-out situations. We have also done a great job of creating chaos with our bunt and base stealing game.”

A 5-3 win over Kenton Ridge opened this past week with a 10-0 victory in a rematch with the 19th-ranked Division II squad in Ohio following. Then came an 11-1 victory over Ben Logan and 12-2 triumph over Lakewood.

Ashton Martin and Greg Kennedy both threw complete games versus Kenton Ridge, Martin allowing one earned run and one walk with seven Ks while Kennedy fanned nine.

Martin, a junior headed to Ohio State who is the fifth-rated 2025 shortstop in the state, also had a big week at the plate with eight hits, including three doubles and a home run, while driving in nine. Grant Horne, a junior second baseman, also had eight hits, with three doubles, one triple and six RBIs. For the season, Martin is batting .500 with 19 RBIs and 17 stolen bases while Horne has a .411 average with 13 steals and 15 RBIs.

Garret Roach, the top-ranked senior second baseman in the state who is committed to Ohio Dominican, has been a big part of the offense with a .409 average and 25 RBIs while Bowling Green commit Chase Chopin, a center fielder rated 11th among senior outfielders in Ohio, is hitting .408 with six two-baggers. Junior catcher Jace Schrock has added 22 RBIs for the ninth-ranked team in Ohio in the Power 25.

Martin and Kennedy are both 4-0 on the mound, Martin with a 1.037 ERA and 29 Ks while Kennedy, a senior committed to Lake Erie rated 35th in the 2024 class of RHPs in Ohio, has a 0.318 ERA and 40 strikeouts. 

“Our team and players are exactly what I expected,” Kyle said. “They're a very mature, experienced group that loves to compete and play for each other.”

Up four games with four to go in Central Buckeye Conference play, the Pioneers play Indian Lake today, London Wednesday and Springfield Friday before heading to Defiance for a Prep Baseball showdown on Saturday with D-II 10th-rated Wapakoneta.

“Our keys to success moving forward are what they always are for us,” Kyle concluded. “We need to continue to concentrate on what we can control. Rule number one of winning is don't beat yourself. We have to keep pitching and fielding it at a high rate. At the plate we need to continue to grind out at bats with two strikes and keep finding ways to get hits with two outs and runners in scoring position.”

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