The win total for the Greenon High School baseball team has crept north the past few seasons. Greenon coach Dan Young didn’t have a specific five-year plan for success, per se.
But year five is looking even better for the Knights.
“If you’re going to beat us you better beat us this year,” Young said. “We have a lot of kids playing select baseball now. We’re young and we have a lot of talent coming up.”
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That’s not to say Greenon is lean on experience this season. The Knights have four seniors on the roster – Adam Campbell, Cooper Chaffin, Cameron Cox and Wesley Patrick – and a host of talented underclassmen. The Knights are expected to start two seniors, one junior four sophomores and two freshmen.
“Our young guys are very talented. We have a deep pitching staff that’s inexperienced but they’re going to be good ones,” Young said. “Getting all these games backed up … we have about six pitchers and they’re all the same so it doesn’t bother us too much.”
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Among the hurlers are No. 1 pitcher Campbell, crafty junior Nick Hundley, sophomores Ryan Stockdale and Zach Cornett – a pair of athletic right-handers – and freshman lefty Trent Green.
“The strength of our team is definitely our defense,” Young said. “If we throw strikes we’ll be in about every game.”
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Greenon finished last season 12-13 overall. That was just shy of the program’s second winning season since 1996. The Knights have won 12, 11, 8 and 7 games the past four seasons. That stretch of wins, according to Young, is one of the best four-year spans since the 1970s.
“I felt when we came (five years ago) in they had some talent,” Young said. “We lost some close games and we were in a lot of games.”
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They expect to be in more this season, especially with a shift to the Ohio Heritage Conference. Greenon, which plays in the South Division, expects to compete with league favorites Greeneview and Southeastern.
The Knights are off to a 3-1 start in the OHC South Division and 4-2 overall with wins over Madison Plains, Cedarville, Catholic Central and Dayton Christian. A loss to Triad is the lone setback.
“I think the favorite is Southeastern because they have the best pitcher in the league and they’re a very well coached team,” Young. “They have some pretty good players but I think we can battle them for the league title.”
Being in the OHC should boost the win total. It’ll do the same for his players’ confidence. Greenon was one of the smallest schools in the CBC. The program consistently logged about a half dozen wins a season overall against the likes of Kenton Ridge, Shawnee, Tecumseh, Indian Lake, Northwestern and Graham, among others.
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“Now we’re playing schools our size,” Young said. “A lot of the CBC schools, besides Ben Logan, were a lot bigger than us. The CBC is a powerhouse in baseball. The last four years we’ve had some of Greenon’s best teams in decades. We had to play our best team to hope for a win. The depth of the teams in that league is really good. … I definitely think it was a good move for the kids. I think now they feel more confident.”
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