You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

KR grad Beals likes where Ohio State baseball is heading


Greg Beals bounded out of the dugout and into a sea of scarlet. He huddled with his players in left field before a game against his former team, Ball State, on Wednesday.

Four years ago, just up that same base line at Bill Davis Stadium, Beals sat with his wife and three daughters as he was introduced as the 11th coach in 127 years of Ohio State baseball. This is the fourth season for the 1988 Kenton Ridge graduate. Two of the three seniors on the team were recruited by Beals’ predecessor, Bob Todd, but none of the current players have played at Ohio State for anyone other than Beals.

This is his team now, his program.

“I’m very much a self-evaluator and a man-in-the-mirror type guy, looking at what we’ve done and what we have to do to get better,” Beals said. “I feel good about where we’re at in the process, but we’re still very much in the process.”

The Buckeyes lost 8-6 to Ball State on Wednesday, falling to 21-17. Ohio State has slumped in the last three weeks, losing 10 of 14 games and slipping to ninth (4-8) in the Big Ten in a year in which they were picked to finish third.

In the big picture, though, Beals feels good about where the program is headed. He was 26-27 in his first season, then 33-27 in 2012 and 35-23 last season. Five starters returned from the 2013 team that tied for second in the Big Ten at 15-9.

“In my opinion, the talent we’re looking for on the field continues to evolve,” Beals said. “The pitching staff continues to evolve. We’ve been nicked up a little bit this year, which has affected our depth. It hasn’t affected our ability to pitch and play, but it’s affected our depth a little bit. Fortunately, we have depth, so we’re still strong now, but as we go into the stretch run, I’m a little concerned.”

The Buckeyes lost freshman pitcher Adam Niemeyer, a Minster grad, to Tommy John surgery after three appearances. Beals said that injury happened because of a pre-existing condition. He’s always paying attention to the health of his players because he wants to make sure he and his coaches aren’t getting players hurt.

Getting them to the next level is a big goal every season. Ohio State had three seniors drafted last year.

“Every guy in that locker room, when he steps on the campus, comes with the intention of playing professionally some day,” Beals said. “For me, the backbone of our program is our player development. I was blessed to be around good coaches who took an interest in helping you get to the next level. That’s really main my main goal: to help our guys achieve those goals. In the meantime, if we’re recruiting the right kid and we’ve prepared and developed them, the winning and losing will take care of itself on the field here at Ohio State.”

Beals continues to get support from Springfield. Former Kenton Ridge coach Tom Randall, one of Beals’ closest friends, was in the stands Wednesday, as he almost always is.

“It’s been a blessing to be close to home,” Beals said. “My brother’s over here at regularly. My mom’s retired, so she’s over here regularly. Coach Randall’s here almost every night and even in the fall comes over. That’s great. Coach has been so special to me. It’s good he’s able to reap some of the benefits of what we’re doing here now.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

H.S. Results for 1/16: Troy girls win Pioneer Classic

The Troy girls bowling team’s baker game totals pushed them ahead of Centerville by four pins in the 24-team Pioneer Classic on Monday. Troy tallied a 3,763. Centerville had a 3,759. Bellefontaine finished third, followed by Vandalia, Coldwater and Versailles. Tacey Ballen of Centerville rolled the highest score in the tournament. The boys had...
Ohio State commits shine at Flyin’ to the Hoop
Ohio State commits shine at Flyin’ to the Hoop

Two future Ohio State basketball players who took the floor Monday at Trent Arena had different outcomes, but they both came out smiling. For Versailles junior wing Justin Ahrens, it was a matter of pride, scoring 26 points in a 61-56 win for the Tigers over Tri-Village at Day 4 of the 15th annual Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop. “They&rsquo...
Alter rallies to beat Middletown at Flyin’
Alter rallies to beat Middletown at Flyin’

Alter played its third game in four days and rallied in the fourth quarter to edge Middletown 48-44 in the Day 4 finale of the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop at Trent Arena. Dominic Laravie had 21 points to lead the Knights (10-2), who beat Fenwick on Friday and lost to unbeaten and top-ranked Moeller (Division I) on Saturday. “It&rsquo...
Girls Basketball: Top-ranked Alter beats Tecumseh
Girls Basketball: Top-ranked Alter beats Tecumseh

Tecumseh found out early in a nonconference girls basketball game on Tuesday night that Alter is deserving of the No. 1 ranking in Division II. The Knights likely solidified their spot with a 66-52 win over Tecumseh. “We knew what we were getting into, and that’s why we wanted to play them,” Tecumseh coach Danielle Thomas said. &ldquo...
Wesley Christian (Ky.) edges CJ in OT at Flyin’
Wesley Christian (Ky.) edges CJ in OT at Flyin’

Jacquel Freeman-Parks hit a late 3 to force overtime but Chaminade Julienne couldn’t convert enough in the extra session and fell 51-49 in OT to Wesley Christian (Ky.) in Day 4 of the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop at Trent Arena on Monday. Benson Lin led Wesley with 14 points. P’Hariz Watkins paced CJ with 19 points and Christian...
More Stories