With a good number of returning players with varsity game experience on the roster, Xenia High School baseball coach Barry Claus is excited about getting the 2014 season under way.
“We have several players back with varsity experience. We hope this helps us compete in the Greater Western Ohio Conference South Division,” he said.
Last season, Xenia finished 9-18 overall, but went 0-and-10 in the always tough GWOC South. The last time the Bucs won a division contest was May 2, 2012 against division rival Fairborn.
Claus lists senior catcher Joe Walton, junior first baseman Austin Newell, senior outfielder Denny Sterling, junior third baseman Blaise Denny, junior pitcher Trevor Adkins and junior outfielder Jordan Current as his key returnees this season.
Denny is off to a solid start through the team’s first two games. He’s among the Greater Western Ohio Conference leaders in doubles (2), batting average (.333, 2-for-6) and RBIs (4). Adkins is among the GWOC leaders in runs scored, with three.
Another Buccaneers player — Matthew Graham — is currently second in the GWOC with two stolen bases thus far.
Xenia opened with an 11-5 win at New Lebanon Dixie, then they fell in a neutral game at Wright State University versus Beavercreek, 5-0. Weather permitting, Xenia will host its first home games of the season on Saturday, when they’ll play Franklin in a noon and 2 p.m. double header.
“The team is ready for Spring, after a long Winter, and we look forward to representing the Xenia community for the 2014 season,” Claus said.
The coach said the Xenia Hardball Club would like to thank its area sponsors and fundraising supporters. You can find the complete list of sponsors on display at the team’s baseball field.
With nine returning starters, coach Josh Patrick is expecting the team to have a successful season in 2014.
Fairborn went 11-13 with a 3-7 mark in the GWOC South last season.
At this point, the Skyhawks would just like to play baseball. Rain claimed wins in the team’s first two scheduled games. They’re set to play Dayton Christian for a doubleheader at Wright State University’s Nischwitz Stadium today. Games are set for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Catcher Ty Boedicker, first baseman Kyle Keeton, outfielder Josh Chavez, pitcher Brent Grody and infielders Alec Voris, Stephan Coghlan, Aron Childers, Nick Kimmey and Jonathon Chaney all return this season.
“The team is looking forward to having a successful season,” Patrick said. “The players’ focus is getting better each day, and (they are) playing to the best of their abilities.”
The Skyhawks will play Sidney Lehman at noon, April 12 for a neutral site game at Fifth Third Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Reds’ Class A minor league team, the Dayton Dragons.
After a tough 1-run loss on the road in Fairfield, Beavercreek claimed a 5-0 win over Xenia at Wright State’s Nischwitz Stadium to start the 2014 campaign at 1-1. Weather permitting, the Beavers will enjoy a home opening doubleheader today with Bellefontaine. Those games are set for noon and 2 p.m.
The Beavers finished in a tie for second in the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s Central Division last season with a 14-10 overall mark, 7-3 in the division.
Beavercreek coach Brandon Long says Alex Anders (P/1B), Bryan Janson (SS) and Caelan King (OF) are the team’s top returning players. “We expect to win the GWOC Central championship,” he said.
Anders is one of two GWOC players to hit home runs in the early going this season. Ace pitcher Jackson Tedder is currently third in the league in strikeouts with nine, through seven innings of work.
The team will begin GWOC Central play, Monday when they’ll host Kettering Fairmont.
Coach John Augustine will count on senior returnees Dan Griffith and Dylan Holley, along with junior returnee Sam Barber to lead a young Ambassadors squad this season.
Xenia Christian finished with a 12-9 overall record and finished 2-3 in the Metro Buckeye Conference a year ago.
Augustine says with the addition of Fairborn transfer Tyler Johnson and freshman shortstop David Kensinger, he’s expecting Xenia Christian to have a .500 record this time around.
After a tough 20-0 home loss to Tipp City Bethel to start the season, the Ambassadors rebounded with a 9-7 road win over MBC foe Middletown Christian last week. They’re scheduled to host neighboring MBC rival Yellow Springs at 7 p.m., Monday at the Athletes in Action Fields.