Despite losing six all-league performers from 2018, Archbold appears primed for another successful season led by two Division I athletes.
“Our team is looking forward to the season with high expectations,” said coach Dick Selgo. “A strong non-league schedule including Defiance, Perrysburg, Anthony Wayne, Bowling Green, and Toledo Central Catholic, plus many teams in our immediate area, will be quite challenging.”
Junior Kade Kern leads nine returnees for the Blue Streaks, who have won three straight district championships and finished second in the NWOAL last season. Kern, an Ohio State commit, hit .402 last season with 36 runs batted in and was first team all-league. He will man centerfield.
Rigo Ramos, a Bowling Green signee, is back for his senior season after being named second team all-league. The pitcher and first baseman was 4-1 on the hill with a 3.27 ERA last season.
Senior shortstop Jeron Williams returns after being named honorable mention all-league and hitting .330 with 31 RBIs in 2018. Senior TJ Rice (P/3B) hit .385 last year with 14 RBIs and was also 3-2 on the mound with a 3.23 ERA.
Senior Corey Erbskorn (OF), a Trine signee, is back after hitting .279 last year. Other returnees are senior Mitch Grosjean (OF) who hit .320 last year, senior Holden Galvan who hit .250 with 13 RBIs, senior Aiden Warncke who was 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA, and catcher Travis Ziegler.
Good overall balance between pitching, hitting, and defense was listed a strength by Selgo.
“We also have 10 seniors with a lot of experience,” he said. “Good depth will allow us to use some different lineups, depending on who is pitching.”
Even with all the returning talent, Archbold did lose several key players from last year’s 24-6 team. Gone are first team all-leaguers Brandon Miller and Bryce Miller; all-league second teamer Gabe Petersen; and Nic Rodriguez, Bryson Taylor, and Trevor Rupp, who were each honorable mention all-league.
“We lost six all-league players to graduation,” said Selgo. “All six of those players had a huge impact on our success last season.”
Promising newcomers for 2019 include senior Clay Nafziger (IF), senior Kreighton Sims (P/1B) and junior Drake Mohring (1B).
The NWOAL should be tough as always.
“It is very difficult to win a strong league, especially when you only play a single round of seven league games,” said Selgo. “Bryan will definitely be the favorite. They have had some very good young players the past few years that have gained valuable experience.”
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010