Blanchester baseball coach Aaron Lawson makes no bones about this team’s main goal for 2023.
And it doesn’t start with winning the SBAAC National Division.
“Our philosophy and team attributes are not like most,” Lawson said. “We have a chance to do something real special if we can pitch from in front, play a solid defense and take the extra 90 feet when it necessarily isn’t there. We do those three things and I believe everything else will take care of itself.
“League titles are overrated. Our goal is to win a district title. I’d much rather be playing at the end of May.”
Lawson is in his 12th season as BHS baseball coach, sporting a 166-78-1 record. He’ll be assisted this season by Kevin Brown, Kyle Campbell, Alan Ledford, Ricky Roush and Bradon Pyle at the varsity level. Greg Short is the JV coach and he’ll be assisted by Kaleb Goodin.
The Wildcats were 17-7 last season. Blanchester was National Division champion in 2018.
There are nine returning letterwinners, six of them starters, back from a year ago. Top returnees are Zach West, James Wymer, Austin Dick, Sammy Roush, Bryce Sipple and Tyler Miller.
“The upper classmen have all stepped up and are embracing leadership roles,” Lawson said. “The seniors are vocal and lead by example. The best of both worlds. They have set the tone for practice so far.
“I like the experience we have returning. I can see the team chemistry growing each day. The returners have done a phenomenal job teaching the newcomers how we go about our business. We have created an atmosphere with a lot of competition. We have 18 players battling for 13 spots.”
Reagan Burch (.477 average, 22 RBI, 23 SB) was first team All-SBAAC and is now the BHS all-time hits leader. Adam Frump and West also were first team. Burch and Frump graduated last spring. Second team players were Roush and Wymer. Dick was given honorable mention.
Newcomers to keep an eye on are Dreyden Dees and Carson Curless, who is back from missing 2022 with an injury.
Lawson said defense and base running must be improved but with better weather and time outdoors those things can get better.
“We are all eager to get outside and start getting reps in the dirt,” said Lawson.
March 29^Williamsburg JV^H^430p
April 7^Clermont NE^H^430p
April 10^East Clinton^A^430p
April 26^Clermont NE^A^430p
April 28^East Cliton^H^430p
May 5^Western Brown^A^430p/7p
May 8^Eastern Brown^H^5p