The high school baseball season is underway — Mother Nature permitting, of course. Area teams should have a say in determining league championships and potentially even regional titles based on last season’s runs by Shawnee and Triad. Here’s a look at some players to watch and things to know about the 2014 baseball season.
10 Players To Watch
Kaleb Wilson, Greenon: Senior center fielder gets it done on the bases after leading the Knights in average (.406), hits (26) and stolen bases (20) and also scored 16 runs.
Marcus Lykins, Kenton Ridge: Senior catcher hit .432 to led the Cougars. Ranked among leaders in hits (31), runs (10) and RBI (16).
Matt Bogan, Mechanicsburg: Right-handed pitcher finished with a 2.42 ERA and hit .389 at the plate for the Indians.
Nick Wiseman, Northeastern: Senior shortstop hit .342 with 32 runs scored, 15 stolen bases and a pair of triples for the Jets. Verbally committed to Otterbein University.
Hunter Houseman, Northwestern: Senior infielder/pitcher went 4-3 with a 2.97 ERA for the Warriors, striking out 40 in 30.2 innings. Scored 25 runs and stole 17 bases (both team highs), had 17 RBI while hitting .279.
Joey Chapman, Shawnee: Senior provided offensive power hitting .411 with 10 doubles, two homers and 28 RBI to lead Braves; also scored 29 runs.
Zach Smith, Southeastern: Senior shortstop and team captain gets it done at plate with a .377 average, 27 runs and 21 stolen bases for Trojans. Finished with .854 fielding percentage.
Kawambee Moss, Springfield: Junior center fielder swiped 17 stolen bases and hit .347 for Wildcats.
Doug Lowe, Triad: Senior lefty was dominant on the mound with 8-0 record and 0.72 ERA, striking out 71 in 46 innings. OHC player of the year committed to the University of Cincinnati.
Tre McIntyre, Triad: Senior catcher and four-year starter stroked 17 extra-base hits with .330 average and 30 RBI. Will play football at Ohio Dominican.
10 Things To Know
1. It will take a youth movement for Kenton Ridge to reach its eighth straight sectional final. The Cougars, who have won five of those sectional appearances, have three seniors on the roster.
2. This could be a bounce back year for the Springfield Wildcats. Eight starters return from a team that finished 8-18 in the always difficult Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division.
3. Can Triad be stopped in the Ohio Heritage Conference? The Cardinals go for their fourth straight OHC title. They finished 25-6 after losing 9-7 to state semifinalist Hamilton Badin in the Division III district championship. This run might be tougher: Three starters return from last year.
4. Southeastern looks to keep recapture the magic. The Trojans took top-seeded Arcanum into extra innings in the Division IV sectional final before losing 7-6 in nine innings. Southeastern is young with three seniors and two juniors but talented.
5. Circle the date. For teams in the Central Buckeye Conference’s Mad River Division that means games with Indian Lake, which has won the past three division titles. Tippecanoe has won four straight in the CBC Kenton Division.
6. West Liberty-Salem starts the season under new leadership. The Tigers are now led by Rob Rogan, who replaces Toby Smith.
7. Kenton Ridge was the last team to represent the area at the state tournament. The Cougars recorded back-to-back trips in 2007-08. Cedarville, Graham, Greeneview, Southeastern, Springfield, Triad and Urbana have also qualified for state.
8. Here’s the OHSAA division breakdown for area teams: Division I — Springfield and Tecumseh; Division II — Graham, Greenon, Kenton Ridge, Northwestern, Shawnee and Urbana; Division III — Greeneview, Northeastern and West Liberty-Salem; Division IV — Catholic Central, Cedarville, Mechanicsburg, Southeastern, Triad and Yellow Springs.
9. The sectional tournament starts the week of May 10. District play starts on May 19 and regional action is May 29-30. Follow the tournament results at www.swdab.org.
10. It all ends in Columbus. The OHSAA state championships will be held at Huntington Park in Columbus on June 5-7.