Prep Baseball Report

Division III Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Marengo Highland

Bruce Hefflinger
Ohio Senior Writer

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Division III Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Marengo Highland

MARENGO - A nine-game winning streak has Marengo Highland ranked 10th in the state and tied for first place in the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference. Along with that comes recognition as the Prep Baseball Report Division III Team of the Week.

“Our goal this year is to compete for an MOAC title, win 20 games, and make a tournament run in the district tournament,” explained head coach Don Kline. “This team has proven to be tough, physically and mentally. We are 12-0 when we score six runs or more, and many of those games included being behind or in a one-run game earlier. Both of our losses are league walk-off losses, but it feels like those losses helped us learn how to compete for a full 21 outs in every game.”

Two wins this past week over River Valley, 7-2 and 5-2, along with a 13-5 victory over Granville moved the Scots to 15-2 on the season and 7-2 in the MOAC.

Korts Sears and Zach Church each did not permit an earned run in 4.1 innings against River Valley and lead a formidable staff that includes Jayden Collins, who gave up two hits in four innings against Granville with nine strikeouts. Sears, a junior right-hander who has gone at least four innings in every league start, is 4-1 with a 1.18 ERA, striking out 38 in 29.2 innings. Church, the sixth-rated sophomore catcher in Ohio, is 5-0 with a 1.217 ERA, fanning 35 in 23 frames, winning five of his six starts (no decision in 10-inning game with Shelby). Collins, the sixth-rated 2026 third baseman in Ohio, is 3-1 with a 1.667 ERA, recording 33 Ks in 21 innings.

The trio are also among the top hitters on the team, Sears with a .426 average, 19 RBIs and 22 runs, Church at .340 with 18 RBIs and 21 runs, and Collins .397 with 18 RBIs, 26 runs and 10 doubles.

Senior outfielder Jace Brooks, a Terra State commit, tops the team in batting at .439, driving in 16 runs and scoring 19 with 11 stolen bases.

Hayden Kline, another senior outfielder, has a .415 average with a team-high 27 hits to go along with 23 RBIs, 16 runs and 15 stolen bases. In addition, Kline has not given up an earned run in 7.2 innings with nine strikeouts and two saves.

More pitching help has come from senior right-hander Drew Altizer, a St. Vincent College commit, who has thrown in 10 games this year, allowing opponents to hit just .135 in 15 innings on the mound.

Additional assistance at the plate has come from Gavin Wiggard, a junior C/OF, who carries a .325 average with 13 runs scored.

“The bottom part of our lineup has been very productive this season and that really helps turn the lineup over,” noted the Marengo Highland head coach. “Evan Johnson, Hendrick Karya and Rhett Russell have really helped our offense this season.”

Johnson, a senior infielder, is batting .340 with 13 RBIs and 14 runs, Karya is hitting .333 with 16 RBIs and 11 runs while fellow sophomore Russell carries a .333 average with 16 runs scored.

“We need to do the ‘little things’ right in order to be competitive in the league title hunt and the tournament,” concluded Kline, whose Fighting Scots meet D-II 12th-rated Clear Fork tonight in a battle of league front runners.

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