2013 Baseball Capsules

Lake Erie League

Lorain Titans

Coach: Brad Ternes

Key returners: Adrian Calez (sr.), Nic Billingsley (sr.), Nate Drabiak (sr.), Desmond Guice (sr.), Thomas Holloway (sr.), Andre Morales (sr.), Ryan Osko (sr.), Kyle Stumphauzer (sr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Calez, Stumphauzer.

Last year’s record: 18-9 (lost in sectional semifinal).

Outlook: The Titans hope to build off a solid 2012 which ended with a surprising early exit in the sectional tournament ... Adrian Calez (4-4, 4.16 ERA, 46 Ks in 2012) and Kyle Stumphauzer (3-0, 0.50 ERA in 2012) will anchor the pitching staff as the only starters with varsity experience. Brad Ternes’ lineup has a lot of talent returning including Ryan Osko who hit .405 with 19 RBIs and 28 runs scored, and Thomas Holloway who hit .323 with 22 RBIs. Ternes wants his team to be more aggressive on the basepaths to help out a pitching staff that lacks experience.

Northeast Ohio Conference

Elyria Pioneers

Coach: Eddie Piazza

Key returners: Mike Izzarelli (sr.), Mike Parron (sr.), Chris Emerson (sr).

Ace(s) of the staff: Emerson.

Last year’s record: 14-14 (lost in sectional final).

Outlook: The Pioneers may still be a young team, but have plenty of experience with 10 returning lettermen, and the top seven in their batting order consisting of returning starters ... coach Eddie Piazza hopes the pitching led by senior starter Chris Emerson can be more consistent to take pressure off of the offense. Middle infielder Mike Izzarelli could be a Division I prospect and is being looked at by Morehead State. Piazza feels his team can surprise in 2013 if their pitchers cut down on walks.

Patriot Athletic Conference

Stars Division

Brookside Cardinals

Coach: Brad Bomback

Key returners: Tim Crnko (sr.), Greg Maust (sr.), Mathew Seekins (jr.), Crae Watkins (jr.), Cameron Drew (soph.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Maust, Seekins, Watkins.

Last year’s record: 8-16 (lost in sectional semifinal).

Outlook: Brookside hopes to bounce back in 2013 with a good core of players returning, especially in the starting rotation with Greg Maust, Mathew Seekins and Crae Watkins all returning ... 6-foot-6 senior Nathan Keith joins the team at first base in his first year of playing baseball. Sophomore Cameron Drew had a great freshman season at the plate, leading the Cardinals in batting average in 2012.

Keystone Wildcats

Coach: Bert Fitzgerald

Key returners: Marcus Gunter (jr.), Kendle Stiner (jr.), Korey Horne (jr.), Pierce Young (jr.), Michael Martin (jr.)

Ace(s) of the staff: Martin.

Last year’s record: 22-9 (lost in regional semifinal).

Outlook: Bert Fitzgerald has assumed the duties of head coach and returns six starters from a team which won a district championship a year ago ... Michael Martin returns for his junior season to anchor an inexperienced pitching staff after going 4-0 with a 2.59 ERA a year ago. Among the top returners for the Wildcats include second-team all-Lorain County catcher Pierce Young and first-team all-PAC shortshop/pitcher Kendle Stiner.

Wellington Dukes

Coach: Roger Sasack

Key returners: Jacob Grimmett (sr.), Erik Fehlan (sr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Fehlan.

Last year’s record: 9-17 (lost in sectional final).

Outlook: The Dukes bring back seven returning lettermen and four seniors, including pitcher Erik Fehlan who will be the ace of the Wellington staff ... Nick Carevic will return to the rotation and be the No. 2 starter behind Fehlan after missing the previous season with a bicep tendon injury. Senior infielder Jacob Grimmett will lead the offense after hitting .271 with 14 RBIs and eight stolen bases.

Firelands Falcons

Coach: Ted Busch

Key returners: Joe San Felippo (sr.), Brett Helton (sr.), Justin Baumann (sr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: San Felippo, Helton.

Last year’s record: 19-10 (lost in district final).

Outlook: After reaching the district final a year ago, the Falcons hope to make another strong run despite losing some quality talent including starter Chris Hertrick ... Joe San Felippo may be one of the best hitters in Lorain County, returning for his senior season after hitting .540 with three home runs and 36 RBIs in 29 games. Brett Helton will anchor the pitching staff, going 3-4 with two saves, and an ERA of 3.50 in 2012.

Stripes Division

Clearview Clippers

Coach: Dennis Pihlblad

Key returners: Ryan Vargo (sr.), Jack Bennett (sr.), Jared Miller (sr.), Chad Anderson (sr.), Antonio Melendez (sr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Vargo, Bennett.

Last year’s record: 14-13 (lost in district semifinal).

Outlook: Ryan Vargo returns for his senior season to lead what should be another very good Clearview Clipper team ... Vargo, who will go to Tiffin University, hit .408 last season and is the ace of the Clippers staff. Clearview has plenty of senior talent back in the fold with Jack Bennett, Jared Miller, Chad Anderson and Antonio Melendez all returning.

Oberlin Phoenix

Coach: Lynn Gray

Key returners: Liam McMillin (sr.), Marcus Bailey (sr.), Tommy Brewster (sr.), Mattayo Wyman (sr.), Tyler Buga (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Brewster, Bailey.

Last year’s record: 9-17 (lost in sectional semifinal).

Outlook: The Phoenix return four seniors as they hope to improve on last season and compete for a PAC championship ... Marcus Bailey will lead a very young pitching staff after going 2-2 with an 8.75 ERA in 2012. Senior Liam McMillin will lead the Oberlin offense after hitting .387 with three triples and 16 RBIs. Coach Lynn Gray feels the team’s strength lies in its defense and hitting.

Columbia Raiders

Coach: Justin Ramsey

Key returners: Michael Hershey (sr.), Jacob Kleinhenz (sr.), Sean Nagle (jr.), Adam Sasala (jr.), John Cordell (jr.), Michael Boey (jr.), Kevin Simon (soph.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Boey, Simon.

Last year’s record: 16-8 (lost in sectional semifinal).

Outlook: Coach Ramsey and the Raiders hope to defend their PAC championship and avenge their early tournament exit from last season ... Michael Boey anchors the pitching staff after going 6-2 with an ERA of 2.05. Juniors Sean Nagle, Tyler Underwood and John Cordell each hit over .300 as sophomores and look to build off strong sophomore years.

Firelands Conference

Monroeville Eagles

Coach: Adam Gerber

Key returners: Andrew Higgins (sr.), Zach Smith (sr.), Hunter Smarr (sr.), Blake Kime (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Smith, Kime.

Outlook: The Eagles will begin anew as first-year coach Adam Gerber takes the helm ... Gerber said he was excited about his team’s offseason work and is eager for the season to start.

New London Wildcats

Coach: Glen Morse

Key returners: Cory Smith (sr.), Dane Held (sr.), Deven Phillips (sr.), Clay Wilson (sr.), Keaton Ruggles (sr.), Nick Thomas (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Held, Phillips, Thomas.

Last year’s record: 20-8 (lost in sectional final).

Outlook: New London returns eight starters from a team that went 20-8 a year ago including top hitter Cory Smith and top pitcher Dane Held ... Smith hit .484 last year with 26 RBIs and eight doubles, and Held went 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA with 42 strikeouts. Coach Morse wants his team to improve defensively after giving up 72 unearned runs last year. This season will be Morse’s last as coach of the Wildcats after 21 years at the school.

St. Paul Flyers

Coach: Jim Carper

Key returners: Justin Fulton (sr.), Grant Dilger (soph.), Devin Smith (soph.), Matt Starcher (jr.), Scottie Slauterbeck (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Fulton, Slauterbeck, Smith, Dilger.

Last year’s record: 7-18 (lost in sectional final).

Outlook: St. Paul did not have a strong season in 2012, but coach Jim Carper feels his young team may be able to help bring the Flyers back because of their work ethic ... Justin Fulton leads the St. Paul rotation after going 4-7 with a 3.26 ERA, but did not walk many hitters. Sophomore Grant Dilger led off last year and hit a team-best .333 as a true freshman. Carper feels this group needs to show more dedication to the program in order to help bring St. Paul baseball back to where it was.

Western Reserve Roughriders

Coach: Greg Mullins

Key returners: Dillan Mullins (sr.), Zack Nissen (sr.), Jake Springer (sr.), Jacob Muenz (sr.), Nate Ash (sr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Mullins, Springer, Muenz.

Last year’s record: 12-14 (lost in sectional semifinal).

Outlook: With three seniors among the top pitchers, the Roughriders hope to contend for a Firelands Conference championship ... All-Firelands Conference and All-District pitcher Dillan Mullins returns for his senior year along with Jake Springer and Jacob Muenz. Nate Ash was also an All-Conference and All-District selection a year ago as he will provide some leadership to the lineup.

Northern Ohio League

Norwalk Truckers

Coach: Wes Douglas

Key returners: Isaac Perry (sr.), Michael Finch (sr.), Collin Souter (sr.), Ethan Rhodes (sr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Souter, Finch, Gerson Cousino (jr.), Colin Obringer (sr.), Joe Hinckley (jr.), Andrew Shields (sr.).

Last year’s record: 22-5 (lost in district semifinal).

Outlook: Norwalk hopes to continue its reign atop the Northern Ohio League after winning back-to-back titles, and return nine lettermen as the Truckers aim for a third-straight title ... Isaac Perry and Michael Finch are both all-district and all-NOL players, as they lead a senior class which has gone 60-19 entering 2013. Perry is the team’s top returning hitter with a .384 average last season, and Finch went 5-0 from the hill. Fellow senior Collin Souter will be the Truckers’ top starter after going 5-3 with an ERA below 3 in 2012.

Sandusky Blue Streaks

Coach: Zack Moots

Key returners: Drew Yontz (sr.), Derrick Kirkwood (sr.), Brady McKillips (soph).

Ace(s) of the staff: Yontz.

Last year’s record: 19-7 (lost in sectional final).

Outlook: Sandusky will have to fill numerous voids left behind by talented players including MLB draft pick and Vanderbilt outfielder Xavier Turner ... Drew Yontz will lead the pitching staff after going 3-0 with a 4.53 ERA and 17 strikeouts a year ago. Derrick Kirkwood returns for his senior year to lead the lineup which coach Zack Moots hopes will produce good quality at-bats.

Sandusky Bay Conference

Edison Chargers

Coach: Sean Hoover

Key returners: Trenton Emody (sr.), Alex Bixler (sr.), Tommy Gerbracht (sr.), Adam Wroblewski (jr.), Austin Utter (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Wroblewski, Utter, Gerbracht.

Last year’s record: 19-10 (lost in regional semifinals).

Outlook: Pitching and defense will be the key for the Chargers as they aim for yet another district championship in 2013 ... Adam Wroblewski who was first-team All-SBC as a sophomore will anchor an experienced, but young pitching staff after going 8-4 with a 1.30 ERA. Seniors Alex Bixler and Austin Utter are the main guys in the lineup where coach Hoover hopes his team will show more consistency this season.

Huron Tigers

Coach: Sam Hohler

Key returners: Jake Justus (sr.), Jacob Kovach (sr.), Josh Evers (sr.), Ryan Pickett (sr.), Danny Schoolcraft (sr.), Zach Souter (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Justus, Pickett.

Last year’s record: 10-16 (lost in district semifinal).

Outlook: Sam Hohler returns to the dugout to coach the Tigers, who graduate their top three starters from a year ago ... Jake Justus will anchor the pitching staff after going 2-1 in four starts with three complete games, 26 strikeouts compared to just six walks and a 2.88 ERA. Junior Zach Souter had an explosive sophomore season at the plate, hitting .434 with six home runs and 23 RBIs.

Perkins Pirates

Coach: Ray Neill

Key returners: Cameron Waldock (sr.), Seth Bryant (sr.), Quintin Cantelli (sr.), Thane Walton (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Waldock, Walton.

Last year’s record: 19-10 (lost in district final).

Outlook: After a run to the district final, the Pirates hope to make it one step further in 2013 ... senior pitcher Cameron Waldock and catcher Seth Bryant should each anchor their respective units after Waldock had five wins, three saves, a 2.60 ERA and 54 strikeouts, and Bryant hit .440 with 27 RBIs a year ago. Junior Thane Walton will be the second starter after winning six games, striking out 49 and having a 1.84 ERA. Coach Neill wants his pitchers to cut down on their walks.

St. Mary Panthers

Coach: Ben Stover

Key returners: Ryan Myers (sr.), Brandon Green (sr.), Brett St. Clair (jr.), Caleb Severance (jr.), Kyle Feyedelem (jr.), Trevor Fitzthum (soph).

Ace(s) of the staff: Myers, St. Clair.

Last year’s record: 14-12 (lost in district semifinal).

Outlook: Led by veteran starters Ryan Myers (5-2, 1.67 ERA, 44 Ks in 2012) and Brett St. Clair (5-6, 4.12 ERA, 50 Ks in 2012), the Panthers hope to build off another winning season ... sophomore Trevor Fitzthum had an outstanding freshman season, with a .372 average and scoring 22 runs. Senior Brandon Green and juniors Caleb Severance and Kyle Feyedelem will anchor the lineup. Former St. Mary coach Denny Link returns to coach the school’s first J.V. baseball team since 2006.

Northeast Ohio League

Lake Ridge Lions

Coach: Jason Dimacchia

Key returners: Eoin Mullaney (sr.), Jay O’Neill (sr.), Jordan Johnson (sr.), Jack Spellman (jr.), Danny Fulop (jr.), Steven Urban (soph).

Ace(s) of the staff: Mullaney, Spellman.

Last year’s record: 3-12 (lost in sectional semifinal).

Outlook: Lake Ridge opens its first season of the NEOL with a new coach in Jason Dimacchia and several seniors returning ... Jay O’Neill leads the Lions’ offense after hitting .411 last season, and Jack Spellman and Eoin Mullaney will be the main guys in the rotation.

Independent

Open Door Patriots

Coach: Matt Loescher

Key returners: Jordan Wright (sr.), Josh Moses (sr.).

Ace of the staff: Moses.

Last year’s record: 10-9 (lost in sectional final).

Outlook: The Patriots will be going through a rebuilding year in 2013 as Open Door gaduated its top pitcher, hitter and defensive player from last year ... seniors Jordan Wright and Josh Moses will be the leaders of a team with a lot of freshmen and sophomores on it.

Southwestern Conference

Amherst Comets

Coach: Matt Rositano

Key returners: Griffin Weir (sr.), Connor Morris (sr.), Brandon Chesmar (sr.), Corey Stamco (sr.), Justin Mott (jr.), Zach Bires (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Weir, Chesmar.

Last year’s record: 19-9 (lost in district semifinal).

Outlook: Amherst J.V. coach Matt Rositano takes over the Comets baseball team replacing former coach Al McConihe ... the Comets have a lot of talent around the diamond led by Griffin Weir, who signed with Stanford as a pitcher. SWC MVP Connor Morris and 2012 All-Journal first-teamer Justin Mott will lead the offense, while Weir and Brandon Chesmar will anchor the pitching staff.

Avon Lake Shoremen

Coach: Kevin Marlow

Key returners: Brett Kiser (sr.), Matt Morissette (sr.), Matt Russell (sr.), Cole Rosmarin (sr.), Brad Hamilton (jr), David Winkel (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Kiser.

Last year’s record: 15-11 (lost in sectional semifinal).

Outlook: Coach Marlow returns plenty of offensive firepower led by talented juniors Brad Hamilton and David Winkel, who each hit over .350 as sophomores ... senior pitcher Brett Kiser is going to be the leader for the Shoremen rotation this year. Marlow has been stressing consistency from his ballclub heading into the season.

Westlake Demons

Coach: Brendan Zepp

Key returners: Danny Strodtbeck (sr.), Jamie Lackner (sr.), Matt Leonard (sr.), Kent Axcell (sr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Strodtbeck.

Last year’s record: 24-7 (lost in state final).

Outlook: The Demons enjoyed an improbable ride to the state championship game a year ago, but must fill the void left by 14 seniors and their top two starting pitchers ... assistant coach Brendan Zepp will replace long-time coach Jeff Short who retired at the end of last season. Zepp was an assistant to Short for 10 years prior to taking head coaching job ... Zepp does have plenty of talent back including pitcher Danny Strodtbeck who started for the Demons in the championship game last June. Strodtbeck went 6-2 last season with a 4.79 ERA. At the plate, he batted .348 with 25 RBIs ... Jamie Lackner, Matt Leonard and Kent Axcell bring a good combination of skill and experience to the Westlake lineup. Lackner hit three home runs and had 27 RBIs last season. Leonard even pitched out of the bullpen last season, going 3-0 with 2 saves and a 1.72 ERA.

Others in the SWC: Berea Braves, Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees, Midpark Meteors, North Olmsted Eagles, Olmsted Falls Bulldogs.

West Shore Conference

Avon Eagles

Coach: Frank DeSmit

Key returners: Matt Wentz (sr.), Brandon Linna (sr.), Austin Bevins (sr.), Bradford Dill (sr.), Donny Kelly (sr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Wentz.

Last year’s record: 24-4 (lost in district final).

Outlook: Avon will need to rely on its lineup early this season, led by Brandon Linna who hit .455 in 2012 and infielder Donny Kelly, after graduating several of their top pitchers from a year ago ... senior Matt Wentz will anchor the pitching staff after a great 2012, going 8-0 with a 1.37 ERA and earning first-team all-West Shore Conference honors. Coach DeSmit wants his team to focus on being more consistent at the plate.

Bay Rockets

Coach: Joe Cheney

Key returners: Craig Linder (sr.), Jake Peters (sr.), Chris Eaton (sr.), Max Lamb (sr.), Matt Toth (sr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Peters, Eaton, Marty Schuerger.

Last year’s record: 6-19 (lost in sectional final).

Outlook: Joe Cheney’s Rockets may have one of the more experienced pitching staffs in the West Shore Conference led by junior ace Marty Schuerger and seniors Jake Peters and Chris Eaton ... 10 lettermen return from last year’s squad including five seniors, as Craig Linder, Max Lamb and Matt Toth will be among the go-to guys in the lineup. Cheney wants his team to cut down on their strikeouts and improve their run production.

Elyria Catholic Panthers

Coach: Bruce Lisicky

Key returners: Chris Tomshack (sr.), Dan Whitacre (sr.), Zach Brosky (sr.), Joey Begany (jr.), Angelo Cruz (jr.), Brian Mahilo (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Tomshack, Whitacre.

Last year’s record: 18-10 (lost in district semifinal).

Outlook: Elyria Catholic should continue to contend for a West Shore Conference championship with plenty of talent returning ... senior pitcher Chris Tomshack returns after a junior season with four wins, a save, an ERA of 2.61 and 44 strikeouts. Dan Whitacre and Joey Begany each return after 22 RBI seasons a year ago for the Panthers.

Midview Middies

Coach: Scott Jalowiec

Key returners: Eric Lauer (sr.), Steven Frye (sr.), Brett Gerbec (sr.), Ryan Smith (sr.), Cody Callaway (jr.), Ben Milam (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Lauer, Callaway, Milam.

Last year’s record: 18-9 (lost in district semifinal).

Outlook: Scott Jalowiec moves up from the J.V. team after eight seasons to coach the Middies this season and he inherits a very good pitching staff featuring two all-West Shore Conference pitchers in Eric Lauer and Cody Callaway ... Lauer and Callaway also lead a very good lineup with seniors Steven Frye and Brett Gerbec as the Middies hope to repeat as WSC champions.

North Ridgeville Rangers

Coach: Matt Ponting

Key returners: AJ Morrow (sr.), Kevin Shaw (sr.), Anthony Miranda (sr.), Matt Findlay (sr.), Matt Feierabend (jr.), Jacob Chalkwater (jr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Feierabend, Morrow, Chalkwater.

Last year’s record: 5-20.

Outlook: North Ridgeville returns all but one starter from last season’s young team ... Feierabend hit .375 and went 2-3 with a 4.67 ERA on the hill last season and should continue to have an impact both as a hitter and pitcher. Shaw and Miranda add senior leadership to the lineup after each hitting over .300 as juniors. Coach Ponting wants his Rangers to improve their defense, particularly in late-game situations.

Vermilion Sailors

Coach: Jeff Keck

Key returners: Garrett Koutsopoulos (sr.), Nick Dlugosz (sr.), Vinny Ragnoni (sr.).

Ace(s) of the staff: Koutsopoulos, Dlugosz, Brad Wind (jr.), Justin Albrethsen (sr.), Alec Adams (jr.).

Last year’s record: 8-17 (lost in sectional final).

Outlook: Only one player from last year’s disappointing season is gone as the Sailors look to bounce back led by an experienced rotation ... Garrett Koutsopoulos will be the Sailors’ No. 1 starter after a 4-5 record with 51 strikeouts a year ago. Nick Dlugosz returns after having Tommy John surgery last May. Senior catcher Vinny Ragnoni was a first-team All-County selection in Division II and should be the anchor of a lineup that should improve after hitting just .242 as a team, which has been a big emphasis in the offseason.

Others in WSC: Rocky River, Lakewood.

@Bielik_Tim

Last Updated: 3/30/2013 9:55:35 PM EST

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