Archbold baseball has high expectations going into this season, fresh off their second straight district championship in 2017.
“Our guys are embracing the challenge of high expectations, even though they realize it won’t be easy,” said head coach Dick Selgo. “One of our biggest challenges will be overcoming injuries. We have never gone into a season with so many injuries, even before the season starts. All-League catcher Gabe Petersen is very questionable due to a knee injury suffered at the end of last football season. We also have three other returning starters that are dealing with knee or arm problems.”
The Bluestreaks won the Northwest Ohio Athletic League title outright last year, finishing 21-7 overall and 7-0 in league play.
However, they will have to replace NWOAL Player of the Year Toby Walker and Ian Radabaugh, who was second team All-NWOAL.
Returning for the Streaks are Bryce Williams (first team All-NWOAL), Trevor Rupp (first team All-NWOAL), Gabe Petersen (second team All-NWOAL), Bryson Taylor (second team All-NWOAL), Nic Rodriguez, Brandon Miller, Rigo Ramos (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Jeron Williams, Travis Ziegler and Kade Kern.
“Our defense has a chance to be as good as it has ever been,” said Selgo on the strengths of his team. “Pitching and pitching depth will hopefully be another strong asset.”
On the downside, the skipper is worried about the quality of players lost to graduation.
“We didn’t lose a lot of players from last year, but the guys we lost had a huge impact on our success. Toby Walker, centerfielder, was the NWOAL Player of the Year, and Ian Radabaugh, first baseman and pitcher, also had an excellent year.”
The Streaks are adding newcomers Holden Galvan, Mitch Grosjean, TJ Rice and Aiden Warncke.
The NWOAL race should be a competitive one this season says Selgo.
“We are looking forward to trying to defend the league championship, but we realize the NWOAL has a very strong tradition, and there will be a number of very competitive teams again this year,” stated the coach. “It is also very difficult to win a strong league, when you only play a single round – only seven league games out of 27 total.”
The Bluestreak baseball program has averaged 20 wins per year over the last five seasons, and they hope to continue their winning ways this season.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010