The Archbold baseball team will take no one by surprise this season. Although finishing 4-3 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League last season, good enough for fourth place, the Blue Streaks caught fire in the Division III state tournament and made it all the way to the state title game where they fell just short.
They claimed sectional, district, and regional championships along the way to their state runner-up finish. The Streaks return 10 letter winners from the 2021 team.
“This team was very young last year, but gained a lot of very valuable experience,” said head coach Dick Selgo. “They are very motivated to continue the tradition of Archbold baseball. A strong non-league schedule including Defiance, Perrysburg, Anthony Wayne, Bowling Green, Ottawa Hills, and Sylvania Southview, plus many teams in our immediate area and league, will be quite challenging.”
Archbold was led to the state championship game by its pitching duo of senior DJ Newman and sophomore Jayden Seiler.
Newman is a Bowling Green State University commit. He was first team All-NWOAL and All-Ohio as a junior.
Offensively, Newman hit .509 with three home runs and 30 runs batted in. He also went 7-4 on the mound with a 1.96 earned run average and 96 strikeouts over 68 innings pitched.
Seiler was a force on the mound for the Streaks during his freshman season. He was 10-3 with a 1.21 ERA and 70 strikeouts over 70 innings pitched.
Another notable returnee is Jaybe Burkle (P/1B), who was second team All-NWOAL last season. Burkle hit .333 with 15 RBIs.
The Streaks also have back Gavin Bailey (OF), Zane Behnfeldt (P/3B), Devon Morris (C), Carson Dominique (OF), Brayton Hobbs (INF), Krayton Kern (OF) and Jack Hurst (P/OF). Morris drove in 15 runs a season ago, Dominique 20, and Hobbs 14.
“A number of key returning letter winners that had very productive years last season,” Selgo said of his team’s strengths heading into the season.
The Streaks are also adding newcomers Cade Miller (2B), Brian Burrowes (C), Stephen Diller (INF) and Mason Siegel (INF).
However, Archbold does lose a pair of key pieces from last year’s squad. Gone are Brandon Taylor (P/INF), who was a first team all-league selection and Caleb Hogrefe (C), an honorable mention all-league performer.
“Filling the key positions of players lost to graduation, and getting everything to jell together at the right time,” said the Blue Streak skipper of their main weaknesses.
Selgo predicts Evergreen to finish atop the league standings. He then has his Streaks, Wauseon at third, Bryan fourth, Patrick Henry fifth, Liberty Center sixth, Swanton seventh and Delta eighth.
“It is very difficult to win a strong league, especially when you only play a single round of seven league games,” he said. “Evergreen will be one of the top teams to beat, as they were very good last year, and have everyone returning.”
As a program, Archbold has won five consecutive district championships. They are averaging over 20 wins a year over the last eight seasons, and will look to carry on that tradition in 2022.
In 2021 they posted a 23-12 record for the season.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.