Prep Baseball Report

Division III Team Of The Week: Week 2 - Wheelersburg

Bruce Hefflinger
Ohio Senior Writer

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Division III Team Of The Week: Week 2 - Wheelersburg

WHEELERSBURG - A no-hitter by Cooper Heimbach highlighted an impressive week from Wheelersburg pitchers in four wins by the Prep Baseball Division III Team of the Week.

Heimbach, a sophomore right-hander, came up big in a 1-0 victory over Jackson in a week that also included a 3-0 blanking of Minford, a 12-2 pounding of Portsmouth West and a 2-1 triumph over Warren.

“We had huge pitching performances all week from seniors Caden Conn, Jake Darling and Cole Estep,” noted Wheelersburg head coach Derek Moore.

Conn, the 38th-rated senior left-handed pitcher in Ohio and a Mount Vernon commit, tossed a three-hitter allowing just four baserunners against Minford, moving the Pirates to 2-0 in the Southern Ohio Conference Division III. The league expanded from a two-division setup to three divisions this year.

Connor Estep, who is also headed to play at the next level at Mount Vernon, is the shortstop and four-year starter for the Pirates and one of the top hitters to date. Seniors Isaac Brockway and Landon Hutchinson also had big hits during the week according to Moore, the head coach of the fifth-ranked team in Ohio in D-III.

“We have high expectations, but knowing we have to show up and put in the work,” explained Moore, whose squad has eight starters back from the regional championship game loss to Harrison Central last year. “Each week is a grind and we just want to keep playing good baseball. Between our conference and non-conference schedule, each game is a tournament-style game.”

Moore is hoping winning close games is a sign of what is to come this season for the Pirates.

“We showed a lot of resiliency which makes a coach very proud,” noted Moore.

Games with Waverly, South Webster, Ironton and Northwest are on tap for Wheelersburg, which stands at 7-1 heading into this week.

“I believe it starts on the mound and playing good clean defense,” Moore said about keys to continued success this year. “If our pitchers give us a chance I’m hopeful our bats will continue to produce some runs.”

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