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Baseball Seeking OAC Supremacy in 2020

(Photo Courtesy of Alec Palmer)
(Photo Courtesy of Alec Palmer)

BEREA, Ohio – Under the helm of tenth-year head coach Brian Harrison, the Baldwin Wallace University baseball team will look to claim another Ohio Athletic Conference regular season title in 2020.

Harrison, who was the OAC Coach of the Year last season, returns 13 letter winners and one All-OAC performer from last year's squad. BW went 27-17 overall, with a conference mark of 14-4, to earn them a share of the OAC regular season title, its first since the 1988 campaign. After an at-large bid, the Yellow Jackets made their eighth overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and fourth under Harrison.

After a junior season that was mostly dealt with injury, ABCA/Rawlings All-American selection and All-OAC outfielder Dudley Taw (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) will look to add stability to the lineup and in the outfield. Taw appeared in 10 games, batted .229, and totaled 12 putouts. After an impressive sophomore campaign, junior All-OAC Alex Ludwick (Brunswick/Padua Franciscan) returns to solidify the middle of the Yellow Jacket defense. Ludwick, who received a first-team All-OAC selection, started in all 43 games, batted .314 with 11 doubles, recorded a team and career-high six triples, batted in 35 runs and stole seven bases.

Two seniors that will add leadership and experience are two-time Academic All-OAC outfielder Brandon Dim (Solon) and infielder Jacob Bonner (Akron/Archbishop Hoban). Dim batted .273 with 13 runs-batted-in(RBI), one double, one triple and stole two bases, while tallying 70 putouts and one assist. Bonner batted .300 with 48 hits, that included 12 doubles and 24 RBI. On defense he recorded 82 putouts and 15 assists.

Junior infielders Tony LoParo (Avon/Elyria Catholic) and Academic All-OAC Luke Razzante (Highland Heights/Mayfield) will add depth to the lineup. LoParo appeared in 33 games and started 21, batted .268 with three doubles, six RBI and stole three bases. Razzante appeared in 29 games and started 17, batted .246 with four RBI, scored 17 runs and stole three bags.

Senior right-hand pitchers Spencer Aukerman (Medina), Max Adams (Massillon/Washington), and left-hand pitchers Spencer Berg (New Albany), and two-time Academic All-OAC Michael Hubert (Cincinnati/Oak Hills) will staple the BW rotation. Aukerman made 10 starts and earned a 2-4 record with a 4.78 earned run average(ERA), while striking out 41 batters in 43.1 innings pitched. Adams made eight appearances with two starts, registered one save and struck out seven hitters in 12.1 innings pitched. As a core relief pitcher, Berg made 14 appearances, all in relief, recorded a 2-2 record with a 2.63 ERA and struck out 22 batters in 24 innings pitched. Hubert made 15 appearances and posted a 2-2 record with two saves, 29 punchouts, and a 4.07 ERA. 

Rounding out the senior class are utility player Scott Kirchhoff (Toledo/Sylvania Northview), catcher Jake Smith (Medina), utility player Kane Zellers (Salem), outfielder Ty McKinney (Uniontown/Canton South) and pitcher Dylan Nieto (Brunswick/St. Ignatius). Filling out the junior class are catcher/first baseman Adam Celidonia (Coraopolis, Pa./Montour), infielder Dom Davis (Coraopolis, Pa./Our Lady of the Sacred Heart), pitcher Jeremy McClure (Mentor), left-handed pitcher John Kaprosy (Mentor) and infielder Bryce Smith (Greenland/Portsmouth).

Returning for their sophomore seasons are pitcher Garrett Miller (McMurray), right-hand pitcher/infielder Drew Wilson (Sagamore Hills/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy), catcher JT Mazula (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills), infielder Mason Ramsay (Bellaire) and pitcher Garret McLeod (Medina). Miller saw time as a starter and relief pitcher as a freshman. He appeared in 14 and started two, compiled a 3-1 record with two saves, one complete game with 27 strikeouts in 30.2 innings pitched. Wilson saw time in the field and on the mound. He batted .261 with three doubles and two RBI, while also appearing in seven games and held a 1.48 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched. Ramsay appeared in five games and batted .250 with a run batted-in. McLeod appeared in three games and carried a 1.73 ERA with five strikeouts.

Pitcher Maxwell Cebulak (Oakmont, Pa./Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy), pitcher Clay Anderson (Garfield Heights/Trinity), catcher Colin Caven (McMurray/Peters Township), outfielder Bijan Kamalipour (Frisco, Texas/Jesuit College Preparatory School), first baseman Ethan Hadley (Billerica), third baseman Kevin McSweeney (Seven Hills/Trinity), pitcher Henry Neumann (Broadview Heights/Padua Franciscan), outfielder/pitcher Braydon Gibson (Salem), outfielder Conner Warner (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) and pitcher Brandon Skory (Parma/Valley Forge) wrap up the sophomore class.

The incoming freshmen class of infielder Chris Viamonte (Naples, Fla./Lely), infielder Ryan Guggenheim (Solon), outfielder/pitcher Nick Stoltz (Geneva), infielder Cameron Jones (Naples, Fla./Lely), outfielder Tanner Conklin (Pittsburgh/Plum), pitcher Ethan Boyko (North Royalton), infielder Luke Vonderhaar (New Bremen), pitcher Dawson Gabe (Lawrence, Ind.), outfielder Vincent Capolupo (Kenmore, N.Y./St. Joseph's Collegiate), outfielder Bryce Holt (Richfield/Revere), infielder Carl Pennington (Wadsworth), catcher Cooper Harestad (Vandalia/Butler), outfielder Adam Yako (Olmstead Falls), pitcher Nik Baldis (Wexford/North Allegheny), catcher Richie Allison (Cuyahoga Heights), infielder Matt Zembo (Palm Desert, Calif.), pitcher Justin Sekerak (Cleveland/St. Ignatius), pitcher Jake Zappia (East Amherst, N.Y./Williamsville East), infielder Aidan Warga (Girard), infielder Ozzie Campbell (Ashtabula/Lakeside), and pitcher Mike Tooker (Reynoldsburg) will all add competition to their relative positions.

BW will play Anderson (Ind.) University on Saturday February 22 to open the season, before a double-header with La Roche (Pa.) University and State University of New York at Oswego (N.Y.) on Sunday February 23.