Prep Baseball Report

Division III Team Of The Week: Week 3 - Millbury Lake

Bruce Hefflinger
Ohio Senior Writer

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Division III Team Of The Week: Week 3 - Millbury Lake

MILLBURY - Pitching can carry a team a long way. Millbury Lake has found that out in a 9-0 start to the season, earning recognition as the Prep Baseball Division III Team of the Week.

“From my perspective, I thought we had a chance to be really competitive because I knew we were healthier than last year and our pitching was really deep,” explained head coach Casey Witt. “To be honest, our pitching has even exceeded my expectations so far on the season. It has allowed us to play freely and aggressively on offense, which has paid off big time up to this point.”

Jay Blazevich and Caleb Tobias combined to blank Toledo Christian 5-0 to open last week and, after a 16-2 pounding of Rossford, Drew Tajblik threw a complete game with 13 strikeouts in a 3-2 victory over Clyde.

Tajblik, the seventh-rated junior shortstop in Ohio and a Toledo commit, is 4-0 on the season with 47 strikeouts in 22.2 innings for a Lake staff that has thrown two combined no-hitters this year while giving up just six earned runs.

“That has allowed us to stay in every game and has helped keep our offense relaxed as a result,” explained Witt, whose Flyers are rated ninth in the state in D-III.

Ryan Wagner is 3-0 with 17 Ks in 13 innings, giving up three earned runs in backing Tajblik on the mound. Tobias and Blazevich are both 1-0, Tobias giving up one earned run in eight innings with seven strikeouts and a save, and Blazevich not permitting an earned run in 7.1 frames, fanning 11.

Tajblik also leads the way at the plate with a .500 average and .611 OBP, recording 14 stolen bases. Blazevich is hitting .433 with nine steals while a pair of sophomores are also shining at the plate, Jack Sobzack at .385 and Gavin Kohlhofer .321 with nine stolen bases.

Senior Aiden Young is also getting the job done with a .308 average to go along with a .571 OBP and four steals.

As far as big hits, Tobias came through with the go-ahead hit in the bottom of the sixth against Clyde.

“Our coaching staff has really pushed our guys to be aggressive on the bases and use our speed as an advantage and we have done that better than I thought we could or would,” Witt related. “I think that it has put defenses in some tough positions and has allowed us to score additional runs here and that is super important, especially as you get later in the season.”

Games this week are against Oak Harbor, Division III top-ranked Eastwood and Maumee.

“I'm a firm believer that pitching and defense wins games, so that is the obvious answer when it comes to continuing to build off our hot start,” Witt said when asked the keys to keeping the success that has taken place going. “If we do that and stay healthy, I like the trajectory we are on and being able to play in important games at the end of the season.”

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