Though Springfield High School students do not return to the classroom for over two weeks, Avery Swigart is eager to get back. Or more accurately, Swigart is eager to get back on “the hill” near the school where the baseball field is located and start working with his teammates to prepare for his senior season.
Swigart and several other area players participated in the Bob Ross Classic on Saturday night at Fifth Third Field. The all-star game includes some of the Miami Valley’s best incoming seniors and usually draws college coaches and professional scouts.
Swigart started at shortstop for the White team Saturday, while two Springfield teammates played on the Blue team. Nate McGlothlin was the designated hitter and AJ Schnitzer pitched two innings in relief.
“I was wishing we were going to be on the same team,” Swigart said of playing opposite his Springfield teammates. “I guess we can get a little friendly competition against each other.”
Swigart was a Greater Western Ohio Conference National Division all-star after hitting .410 with a .515 on-base percentage for the Wildcats last season. Despite a stellar season at the plate, Swigart was disappointed with Springfield’s record (10-16) and last place finish in the National East.
“We could have done a lot better,” Swigart said. “I think we could have been a very far above-.500 club. I’m looking for big things next year. Remember Springfield’s name, you’ll see it.”
Springfield hasn’t advanced out of the sectionals in the last three seasons, which Swigart wants to change next year.
“I want us to go as far in the state tournament as possible,” Swigart said. “I’ve been playing on varsity since my freshman year and I’ve seen it every year, the heartbreak of losing early in the tournament. It’s my senior year and I don’t want us to go through that. Hopefully we can get a state championship.”
Two area players from Central Buckeye Conference teams started Saturday. Northwestern’s Gage Voorhees was the starting pitcher for the White squad, while Urbana’s Kaleb Bowdle started at third base for the Blue.
Voorhees pitched the first three innings and didn’t allow a hit. He provided a spark at the plate in the fourth with a two-out double to left field and scored the game’s first run when Springboro’s Luke Donaghy followed a double.
Voorhees was first team all-Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division as a pitcher last season. He had a 1.94 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 47 innings of work. Bowdle was second team in the Mad River as a catcher after hitting .341 with nine RBIs.