Brian Roberts is in his first season as the varsity head coach of the Wilmington High School baseball program.
But he’s been around long enough to know pitching and defense will be keys for the Hurricane to compete for a league title in 2019.
Roberts has been with the WHS program as an assistant for seven seasons. He coached travel ball in the Cincinnati area for six seasons.
Roberts said New Richmond and Clinton-Massie “always seem to be at the top of the (SBAAC) American” Division standings but the Hurricane can sneak in with good pitching and defense. He noted depth in the outfield positions as well as on the pitching staff are concerns as the season begins.
“I feel like we can compete for the American Division title,” Roberts said. “We have good returning players, good senior leadership, and some talented younger players. Alex Meyer has been a leader in practice and helped a lot of the young players.”
Wilmington was third in the American last season but lost Stephen Krause (playing at Miami) and Brett Bell (playing at Urbana). Krause hit. 537 last season with 23 runs batted in. Also graduating WHS was Nate Lakes and Zack Eden.
Returning players are Meyer, Jordan Tackett, Ben McAllister and Jake Vaughan. Tackett hit .412 last year with 16 RBI. McAllister hit .407 and was 2-2 on the mound. Vaughan had a 2-0 record with a 1.91 earned run average.
Assisted by Phil Gilmore, Gary Andrews and Rick Kneisel, Roberts said transfer Matthew Spears is one of the top newcomers on the WHS team this season.