2022 Spring Outlook: High School Baseball


The Blanchester High School baseball team, from left to right, front row, Adam Frump, James Wymer, Austin Dick, Reagan Burch, Janson Wymer, Kyle Garrett, Sammy Roush; back row, Coach Roush, Coach Pyle, Jake Ficke, Ty Miller, Michael Mulvihill, Zach West, Dylan Estep, Bryce Sipple, Bryce Burress, Coach Lawson. Coaches Kevin Brown and Alan Ledford were not present for the photo.

The Blanchester High School baseball team, from left to right, front row, Adam Frump, James Wymer, Austin Dick, Reagan Burch, Janson Wymer, Kyle Garrett, Sammy Roush; back row, Coach Roush, Coach Pyle, Jake Ficke, Ty Miller, Michael Mulvihill, Zach West, Dylan Estep, Bryce Sipple, Bryce Burress, Coach Lawson. Coaches Kevin Brown and Alan Ledford were not present for the photo.


Submitted Photo

The Wilmington High School baseball team.


Submitted Photo

New Richmond and Goshen tied for first (7-3) in the American Division while Williamsburg (10-2) won the outright title in the National Division last season.

For the Lions, the title was the first sincd 2018. For the Warriors, its the first baseball championship since 2015. And for the Wildcats, it’s the first crown since 2016.

Blanchester

Aaron Lawson is now in his 10th season as the Blanchester baseball coach.

And he’s witnessing a first for his Wildcats this season.

“We have question marks all over the diamond like nothing I’ve ever experienced,” said Lawson, who is 149-80-1 in his BHS career. “It will be nice once we can get outside to see what everyone can do in the dirt.

“I like the mix of talent we have and how we are already beginning to gel as a team. We are young.”

The Wildcats were 16-10-1 last season, 7-5 in the SBAAC National Division. Reagan Burch (.417 ba, 13 sb) and Trenton Czaika (.405 ba, 32 hits, 24 rbi, 4 3b) were first-teamers last year; Czaika graduated last spring while Burch is a senior this season.

BHS grad Brody Rice, now at Cedarville University, led the SBAAC last season in homers (6) and was second in runs batted in (27). Cole Ficke was a four-year starter at catcher for BHS and is now at Miami University-Hamilton.

Lawson will be assisted this season by coaches Rusty Black, Kevin Brown, Alan Ledford, Bradon Pyle, Ricky Roush and Kyle Campbell.

Seniors Adam Frump and Burch have taken over leadership of the team. They are the only seniors on the team, which includes five juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen. They “have really taken on the leadership roles thus far. Adam and Reagan have been around and know how things work within the program. They both have done a nice job working with the new members of the team, leading vocally and more importantly by example.”

Also returning this season are Zach Weste, James Wymer and Bryce Sipple.

Lawson said Frump and Burch have committed to play baseball in college at Capital University. Burch has 66 career hits and with a good season can challenge Jared Monhallen’s BHS record of 100 career hits, Lawson said.

“Team goal is to get 1 percent better each day and contend for a league title,” said Lawson. “We know it’s going to be a process this year. Understanding with every failure comes a learning moment. We will use those moments to teach and help grow as a player and a person.”

Lawson said his players must improve the mental side of the game that is typically gained with varsity reps and maturity. To contend for an SBAAC title, Lawson said pitching must provide quality starts and defense must make the routine plays.

Clinton-Massie

The Falcons were 11-13 last season, 6-4 in the SBAAC American Division.

All-SBAAC first teamers for the Falcons last season were Cayden Clutter (.417 ba, 30 hits), Nate Wildermuth (.394 ba, 26 rbi) and Kody Zantene (5 wins, 2.10 era). Clutter graduated. Wildermuth and Zantene were juniors last season. Carson VanHoose was a second teamer last year as a junior.

Brian Camp is again the head coach of the Falcons and will be assisted by Jeskee Zantene, Tyler Hayslip, Andrew Ledley.

Returning players for the Falcons are Wildermuth, Zantene, VanHoose, Gabe McDowell, Cole Adams, Tyler Keck, Ethan Johnson, Adam Frisch, Garrett Vance, Miles Theetge and Wyatt Creech.

Newcomers to note, Camp said, are Garrett Newkirk, Gavin Hunter, Jack Stanley, Kaiden Smith, Liam Denehy.

With a singular goal to “win” for his team, Camp said the league will be competitive but “I think we will be in the thick of things at the end.”

Overall, Camp said, “We have 10 seniors with plenty of experience at the varsity level. We think our pitching has more depth than a year ago, our defense overall will be good and with some improvement on the hitting end this year, we think we have a good bunch of kids that want to win.”

East Clinton

The Astros were 6-14 last season, 2-10 in the SBAAC National Division. Isaiah Curtis (.408, 15 sb) was a first-team player last year as a junior.

Joey Schulte will take over the program this season. He is a Wilmington High School graduate who played collegiately at Wittenberg University. He will be assisted by Jake Dillon and Michael Weisenberger.

The new coaches will have 10 returning players, nine of those who started last season.

“All of the seniors have stepped up,” Schulte said. “It can be tough to come in as a new coach, but these seniors have bought into what we are trying to do here. I am thrilled with their level of commitment and leadership. Practices run smoothly and information is communicated effectively. None of that is possible for a new coach without stellar senior leadership.”

Schulte likes the teams chance to improve on last year. “There are no egos on this team,” he said. “Everyone is working hard to improve. Sometimes, returning starters can become complacent, but you just don’t see it with these guys. It has been nose to the grindstone from day one and everyone is working their tail off.”

The coach said his team must limit the amount of “free bags (bases) his team gives up via walks and errors.”

“If you are not trying to win your conference and make a run in May then you are wasting your time,” Schulte said. “This is a group of quality young men of character. I am proud to death that I have the privilege of coaching them. It is truly an honor.”

Wilmington

The Hurricane were winless last season and have not won a game since May 14, 2019, when they defeated Mt. Healthy 11-1 in a tournament game. The last regular season win prior to the 25 straight losses was a 12-9 victory over Blanchester on April 16, 2019. The 2020 season was canceled because of Covid-19.

Kellen Baltazar was a second-teamer last season on the All-SBAAC squad.

Austin Newman takes over the baseball program. He’ll is assisted by Billy Foster and Shane Walterhouse.

There are six returning letterwinners, but only four returning starters. Jayden Tackett is the top returning player.

Newman said newcomers of note include freshman Jake Stephens, junior Keenan Milliner, junior Cole Fickert, freshman Logan Phillips, junior Braden Harmeling and junior Samual Nichols

Senior Ethan Henson has been a leader throughout off-season workouts, with zero missed day, Newman said. He shows leadership daily as a captain of our team. Braden Harmeling, who was on JV last season, has also not missed a single day since November and has put in work like I have never seen before, the coach said.

Newman said his team is gritty and has embraced the desire to get better each day. The team must, however, accept that baseball is a game of failure and not perfection.

“I see a team that has been getting after it since November really putting the past few years past them and building a culture of success,” he said.

The Blanchester High School baseball team, from left to right, front row, Adam Frump, James Wymer, Austin Dick, Reagan Burch, Janson Wymer, Kyle Garrett, Sammy Roush; back row, Coach Roush, Coach Pyle, Jake Ficke, Ty Miller, Michael Mulvihill, Zach West, Dylan Estep, Bryce Sipple, Bryce Burress, Coach Lawson. Coaches Kevin Brown and Alan Ledford were not present for the photo.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/03/web1_BAS_blanteamPR.jpgThe Blanchester High School baseball team, from left to right, front row, Adam Frump, James Wymer, Austin Dick, Reagan Burch, Janson Wymer, Kyle Garrett, Sammy Roush; back row, Coach Roush, Coach Pyle, Jake Ficke, Ty Miller, Michael Mulvihill, Zach West, Dylan Estep, Bryce Sipple, Bryce Burress, Coach Lawson. Coaches Kevin Brown and Alan Ledford were not present for the photo. Submitted Photo

The Wilmington High School baseball team.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/03/web1_BAS_wilmteam.jpgThe Wilmington High School baseball team.Submitted Photo