Alex Brasky | @BataviasBestHS
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 | BataviasBest.org
Here is a brief preview of the 2018 HS Baseball season:
Alexander Trojans (GR)
Season Outlook: Last season the Trojans finished 10-9 while falling in the quarterfinal round of sectionals. This year, after graduating much of what propelled them last year, they will have to rebuild on the fly in hopes of making a title run.
Key Players: Dylan Busch (3B/SS/P) – Dylan hit /471 last year with 16 RBI, while also serving as one of the Trojans’ top-pitchers. This year as a sophomore he should continue to grow in both areas.; Tyrone Woods (SS/3B/P) – Tyrone struggled at the plate last season but played solid defensively, and should take a step-forward in both departments this year.; Erik Scharlau (1B/C) – Erik recorded a .303 batting average last season with 20 RBI. He will be counted on to produce runs in the middle of the Alexander lineup.
Coach’s Quote: “We are young, but talented,” said Alexander HC Ben Whitmore. “Through our work in practice, and game experience, our team should improve game-in, and game-out. (We) look to be a contender in our league, and in sectionals.”
Attica Blue Devils (GR)
Season Outlook: Attica finished as the GR League Division I Champ in 2017 after a 14-5 campaign. This year, they should be in for another run at the title behind a solid pitching staff and capable lineup.
Key Players: Sam Cusmano (P/1B) – Sam was at the top of the Devils’ staff a season ago after finishing 6-1 and with a team-lead in strikeouts. He should be the ace of the staff this season.; Joe Aguglia (3B/P) – Joe was another important member of the Attica rotation last year, finishing with four wins. His ability with the bat is also valuable for this team.; Matt Travis (SS/P) – Matt’s defense at shortstop will be key for this group, while he will also be called upon to toe the slab.; Logan Veley (OF/P) – Logan is a two-way player for the Devils who will help solidify the lineup and the pitching staff.
Coach’s Quote: “We should be solid in the field and our lineup has a lot of potential from top to bottom.,” said Attica head coach Shawn Fromwiller. “This team has worked hard in the offseason and works hard every day (in practice). Our first goal is always a league/division title and then a sectional run.”
Batavia Blue Devils (MC)
Season Outlook: Batavia finished 13-4 last year and finished their season with a loss in the Class A2 Semifinals to eventual champion Pittsford Sutherland. Although they have a few All-League players returning this year, the Devils must look to a few of those players to take on new roles in hopes of maintaining the program’s success.
Key Players: Hunter Mazur (2B/P) – Hunter was a First Team All-League selection a season ago after batting .409 with 15 RBI. He will be a key cog in the heart of the Batavia lineup in 2018.; Chandler Baker (C) – Chandler was also a First Team All-League selection last year after racking up 21 hits, and 21 runs scored. His defense will also be key for this team this year, as his arm behind the plate is a weapon.; Sam Sallome (SS) – Sam was a Second Team All League selection last year after breaking through with a .324 AVG at the plate. He will make the move to shortstop this season and will serve as the Devils’ captain of the infield.; Jordyn Schmidt (1B/P) – Jordyn was lost a season ago after being hit in the face with a ball, but now healthy, I expect him to step back into the fold as one of this team’s best players. He will also be a key part of the pitching staff.; Griffin DellaPenna (C/3B) – Griffin also dealt with the injury bug last year, but finished with a .437 AVG at the plate. His ability offensively will be valuable for Batavia.
Coach’s Quote: “We will be as good as our starting pitching,” commented Batavia head coach Rick Saunders. “Our offense should be able to hit and score runs, our defense should be solid, and we have team speed. Our schedule is very tough so we have to come ready to play everyday.“
Byron-Bergen Bees (GR)
Season Outlook: The Bees struggled last season, but have a bunch of experienced starters returning to the lineup. This year, I expect the Bees to be right in the thick of things for a league title.
Key Players: Bobby Stevens (1B/OF) – Bobby underwent shoulder surgery last season after leading the team in batting average as a sophomore. His return will be key for this group.; Peyton Armison (SS/P) – Peyton is entering his third season as the team’s starting shortstop. His ability on the mound will be valuable for this team as well.; Daren Barron (P/3B/OF) – Daren batted .314 a season ago and also served as a member of the Bees pitching staff in 2017. Look for him to take a step forward this year.; Alex Brumsted (2B) – Alex flourished last season after being given the opportunity to be the Bees starting second baseman as a freshman This year he will look to improve upon his defense and .318 batting average from a year ago.
Coach’s Quote: “We have improved each of the last three years, and this year, we will be looking to challenge for a league championship and to make a deep run into sectionals,” said Byron-Bergen head coach Kurtis Fannon. “We are very young, but much of our starting lineup is returning to us – and that experience should benefit us going forward.”
Cal-Mum Red Raiders (LC)
Season Outlook: Cal-Mum enters the season under first-year head coach Andy Leyden, following a year which they finished 7-13. They return a few important players, and should be able to compete within a difficult Livingston County League.
Key Players: Joe Butler (C) – Joe batted .310 with 13 RBI a season ago. He will be important for the Raiders both offensively and defensively.; Ian Lenhardt (P/OF) – Ian will be at the top of the Raiders’ rotation this year, while also chipping in at the plate (.246, 14 RBI last year).; Tanner Richardson (1B/P) – Tanner will be another member of the C-M pitching staff. He batted .250 with 14 RBI last year.; Joe Lauren (IF/P) – Joe led the Raiders in innings pitched last season, recording a team-leading 3.14 ERA and 3-2 record. He will be the ace of the staff this year.
Holley Hawks (GR)
Season Outlook: The Hawks saw their longtime head coach head step down during the offseason, and turn to their former jv coach to lead them this year. It will be interesting to see what we get from this group this year, as they seem to be a team in transition.
Key Players: Sam Lammes (P/SS) – Sam posted a solid 3.62 ERA with 21 Ks as the number two pitcher for the Hawks a season ago. This year, he will be extremely important as he takes over the top-slot in the rotation.; Patrick Bower (C/P) – Patrick will help the Hawks on the mound, while also serving as their starting catcher.; Ryan Andrews (3B/P) – Ryan will aid the Hawks’ efforts on the mound and on the hot corner. He’s also a key member of their lineup.; Nick Shutz (1B/P) – Nick is another important two-way player for the Hawks.
Coach’s Quote: “We have a solid team with many returning experienced starters.” said first-year Holley head coach Dan Burke.
Le Roy Oatkan Knights (LC)
Season Outlook: The Knights won the Section V Class C1 Championship last year, and return more than enough to make another run at the title in 2018. I expect them to be right in the thick of it come postseason time.
Key Players: Gavin Luckey (C/OF) – Gavin didn’t hit for a high average last season, but he did knock in 16 RBI, and scored 22 runs. His ability to hit in key situations, and his talent behind the plate is sure to be valuable for this team.; Cole Biggins (SS/P) – Cole was third on the team in batting average last season but will take on an increasingly vital role in the Knights lineup this season. Also, replacing the team’s longtime SS who graduated this past June, Biggins will also be important for this team defensively.; Reece Tresco (1B) – Reece batted .432 last season after leading the team in hits. The Knights will need his bat, and his glove if they hope to compete within the league and come sectional time.; Tim McMullen (INF/P) – Tim spent most of the season on JV in 2017, but came up to the varsity squad during sectionals and pitched them to a Section V Class C1 Title. Big things will be expected of him this season.
Coach’s Quote: “As we began our offseason training in January, I noticed the absence of some familiar faces that achieved their ultimate goal, (and rather) saw the look and felt the presence of a new tenacity in the great group of men right in front of me.” said Le Roy HC Ieon Koukides. “One thing which was ultimately proven last year was the strength of Livingston County Baseball. Being competitive in this league as well as fighting to win a Divisional Title is a task that we are prepared to improve on.”
Lyndonville Tigers (GR)
Season Outlook: Lyndonville won the Class D1 Title last season, but lost a bunch from their championship squad. This year, with only two players returning to the lineup, it will be an interesting year for the Tigers.
Key Players: Zach Johnson (OF/P) – Zach batted .475 last year while also slotting in as an important member of the Tigers’ pitching staff. I expect he will be the most-important player for Lyndonville this season.; Kane Flynn (IF/P) – Kane will be another important player for Lyndonville, following a sophomore season which he seemed to find his footing at the varsity level.
Coach’s Quote: “We will be young – starting mostly underclassmen, including two freshmen,” said Lyndonville head coach Shane Price. “Looking at the year, we hope to be better each week and set ourselves up to be in the mix.”
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (GR)
Season Outlook: Despite losing two of their top-players from a season ago, Notre Dame returns plenty of firepower which they hope will lead them to success this season. I expect the Irish to be in the mix for a league, and sectional title.
Key Players: Zach Cocking (2B/P) – Zach is a solid five-tool player who can also sling it from the mound. Expect him to be one of ND’s top-players once again this season. As a sophomore last year, he batted over .400; Devin Grimshaw (UTIL/P) – Devin played every position on the field last year for the Irish. He is as valuable as they come and will help lead ND after batting over .400 as a junior; Grant Hens (P/OF) – Grant enters his senior season after leading the Irish in ERA last year (1.64). He will likely be at the top of the rotation in 2018; Brendin Klotzbach (OF/P) – Brendin was also one of the strongest arms for ND a season ago, finishing with a 3.00 ERA in six appearances. I expect him to also be at the top of the rotation this year.
Coach’s Quote: “This year’s success will be determined by how much of a contribution our players up from JV, and those returning to baseball this year, make.” said Notre Dame head coach Mike Rapone about his team’s chances this year. “Overall I am excited about the potential this team possesses – if we can do what it takes offensively to win baseball games.“
Oakfield/Elba Hornets (GR)
Season Outlook: The Hornets finished last season 7-10 under new leadership. This year, having gained valuable experience, I expect this group to take a step forward and improve their record from a season ago.
Key Players: Tyler Ohlson (P/UTIL) – Tyler has been one of the leaders of this team the past few seasons. I expect him to endure a strong 2018 campaign. ; Aiden Johnston (P/INF) – Aiden batted .477 a season ago while also aiding the Oakfield pitching staff. He will be a vital piece to this team’s success this year.; Joe Burdick (SS/P) – Joe was a part of a strong Hornets’ lineup last season, batting .354 while providing speed and athleticism. His ability at shortstop improved last year, which should help his team defensively this season.
Coach’s Quote: “I am very excited for this upcoming year,” said Oakfield head coach Nate Klos. “Throughout our season last year we grew a lot as a team and as baseball players. I think we learned what it takes to be successful in GR and Section V Baseball. These guys have really been working hard after a subpar season last year and we are looking to get back to the strong winning tradition that Hornets Baseball has always had.”
Pavilion Golden Gophers (LC)
Season Outlook: Pavilion endured a rebuilding year in 2017, and finished with a 5-11 overall record. This year, with added experience, those returning to the Gophers’ hardball squad are hoping for an improved season.
Key Players: Kyle Campbell (1B/P) – Kyle is the Gophers’ most-reliable hitter – and a four-year varsity talent. He will be the catalyst for Pavilion this year after batting .318 in 2017, while also hurling 15 innings and recording a 5.01 ERA.; Clay Swearingen (UTIL) – Clay is a versatile player who can play multiple positions while also contributing with the bat. He may be the most-important player for the Gophers’ this season after batting .278 in 2017.; Zach Weidrich (P/OF) – Zach pitched 31 innings for Pavilion last season, striking out 40 while recording a 4.50 ERA and 2-2 record. He will likely slide into the top-rotation spot this season.
Coach’s Quote: “We are excited for the weather to break and to get this season started,” said Pavilion HC Matt Roth. “We have many of the pieces in place to compete for the division title and make a long run in sectionals. If we can improve on our offensive numbers from a season ago, and play good quality defense, I think we could be playing our best baseball in late May.“
Pembroke Dragons (GR)
Season Outlook: Pembroke finished a measly 2-12 last year, but their level of talent was much-better than their record would indicate. Luckily for them, they have much of talent returning this year to a team hoping to make a sectional run.
Key Players: Zach von Kramer (INF/P) – Zach batted .444 last season with 17 RBI, while also serving as the team’s ace on the hill. I expect him to be a force to be reckoned with once again this season.; Reid Miano (OF/INF/P) – Reid finished last season as the team leader in hitting (.458, 21 RBI). He will be a key component in the middle of this lineup, while also spending time on the mound. ; Jacob Miller (INF/P) – Jacob is looking to slot in as the Dragons number two pitcher, and will also be their leadoff hitter this season.
Coach’s Quote: “With so many returners coming back this season the expectations are very high,” said Pembroke head coach Matt Beach. “Many players on this team have two, or more years experience at the varsity level. Having that experience against varsity pitching is a huge advantage that we have going into the season.”
Tune in all season long to our homepage, as well as @BataviasBestHS on Twitter for updates on the action.