With six returning letter winners the Wauseon baseball team is hopeful they can battle for a Northwest Ohio Athletic League title in 2017.
“We will look to continue to compete for a league championship which will require consistent play throughout the season,” said head coach Trent Thomas. “We feel like we have developed a non-conference schedule that prepares us for the league season and will prepare us for a longer tournament run.”
The Indians have six returning letter winners, led by senior Carter Bzovi who was second team All-NWOAL last season. Bzovi held a .344 batting average with 15 runs batted in a season ago. On the mound, he finished with a 1.29 earned run average and 37 strikeouts.
Also back are Marcel Barajas, Kris Moebs, Brooks Gype, CJ Moser and Everett Bueter. Barajas hit .269 last season and was 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA on the mound.
“We only have three returning full time starters from last season but some others who have good experience,” said Thomas. “We have two players returning who were out with injuries a season ago and would have seen varsity action which should add some depth.”
The injured players mentioned by Thomas are Jacob Raabe and and Carter Stump. Other promising newcomers for the Indians are Tony Banister, Justus Chapa, Eric Parker, Zach Stipp, Xavier Torres, Trevor Rodriguez and Trent Armstrong.
They will have to replace departed letter winners Brady Rupp (first team all-league), Josh Whitcomb (first team all-league), JJ Kauffman (second team all-league), Jac Flory (honorable mention all-league), Travis Smith and Franklin Peralta.
A strength noted by Thomas for the Indians is team depth. Weaknesses include pitching depth and youth at key positions.
Wauseon finished last season with a 14-6 record and 6-2 mark in league play, which was good enough for second in the NWOAL. This season they are looking to challenge Bryan and others for the league crown.
“The NWOAL is so competitive top to bottom, but I don’t think you can overlook the success that Bryan has had recently and throughout the history of the league,” said Thomas of the Golden Bears. “They would have to be the favorite again this season.
“We hope to have an opportunity to be competing for a championship at the end of the league season.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010
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