Prep Baseball Report

Division II Team Of The Week: Week 7 - St. Clairsville

Bruce Hefflinger
Ohio Senior Writer

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Division II Team Of The Week: Week 7 - St. Clairsville

SAINT CLAIRSVILLE - It has been a memorable season thus far for St. Clairsville, the Prep Baseball Division II Team of the Week.

The Red Devils defeated Barnesville 10-5, Steubenville 14-0 and Union Local 11-3 to improve to 23-2 on the year heading into this week’s action that has included a 2-0 win over Buckeye Local in the sectional championship game on Tuesday.

“I'm not really surprised,” head coach Tom Silva said about his team’s play to date. “I'm just really happy with how well they have played together.

“We had a strong nucleus returning five seniors and a good mix of juniors, sophomores and a couple freshmen. The senior leadership has been outstanding. This group has been very close all season and they have worked very well together. They work very hard at getting better and support each other.”

The performance on the mound has stood out according to Silva.

“Pitching has been a strong point of the season so far,” pointed out the head coach of St. Clairsville, who is led by seniors Caleb Keenan and Hunter Hoffman along with junior Brody Saunders.

Keenan is 7-0 and Hoffman 5-1, both with ERAs of less than 1.50. Saunders, who threw a no-hitter earlier in the season and was also the winning pitcher in the OVAC championship game win over Indian Creek, is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA.

Junior Mickey Balgo and sophomore Colt Florence add depth to the staff, both 3-0 on the season, while junior Ryan Ivey has one win and two saves.

Hoffman, a Walsh University commit, is also the top hitter at .486 with 10 doubles, 30 runs and 31 RBIs while Keenan is averaging .435 with 21 runs and 25 RBIs. Senior catcher Marcus Bush, an Otterbein recruit, is batting .427 with eight doubles, 36 runs and 35 RBIs while senior Braylen Blomquist, a Wright State commit, is hitting .393 with six doubles, four triples and 38 runs scored while driving in 20 for the 23rd-ranked D-II team in the state.

Sophomore third baseman Niko Jacob is hitting .365 while classmate Rowan Mellott is batting .327 with 20 runs.

Florence is carrying a .410 average while Balgo has scored 22 runs and brought home 21. Saunders is hitting .314 with 20 runs and 26 RBIs.

Senior Mason Myers, a Findlay commit, has been injured and only played in seven games batting .478.

“The keys to continued success are to stay focused, and hungry,” concluded Silva, whose team returns to tournament action next Wednesday against Millersburg West Holmes. “Stay together and keep working hard.”

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