This spring, the Swanton baseball team will look to continue a rebuilding effort under Coach Josh Siewert. The Bulldogs are coming off a 3-24 season, but return several letter winners for the 2022 squad.
Leading the list of returnees is junior Drew Smigelski. The pitcher and first baseman earned second team all-league honors last season.
Also returning are Hunter Gowing (P, IF), Ryan O’Shea (P, IF), Garrett Swank (IF), Kaden Curtis (C), Austyn Gossett (C, utility), Lucas Bloom (P, utility), and John Heckert (P, C).
“We have a little experience from last year, but we have good team chemistry,” said Siewert. “And if we can learn something from every game we play, I believe we will be able to compete with anyone.”
The Bulldogs will have to replace a trio of letterwinners from the 2021 team. Gone are Trent Weigel, Devon Crouse, and Blake Szalapski, who was honorable mention all-league a season ago.
Newcomers that could help to ease those losses include Caleb Ostrander-Bowser (utility), Zander Swartz (IF), Wes Coon (P, 1B), and Kyler Stevens (P, OF).
Siewert said that in addition to team chemistry, discipline will be a strength of Swanton. Weaknesses include inexperience and pitching.
He thinks there will be several quality teams in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League again this season.
“I think we play in one of the toughest leagues around, it will be a grind. Archbold coming off a runner-up at the state tournament and Evergreen having 11 seniors,” said Siewert. “Wauseon and Bryan are always in the mix.”