Tyler Ronevich shares much in common with his father.

Like his father, the senior right-handed pitcher for Central Crossing has a love for baseball. He also is going to play at the collegiate level in the Mid-American Conference, just as his father did in the early 1990s.

Ronevich has committed to Miami University, while his father, Jeff, played at Akron.

The younger Ronevich lost his senior season when the OHSAA canceled spring sports because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, while his father's senior prep football season in 1989 was in jeopardy because of a teachers' strike.

"My dad has always told me to play every game like it's your last because you never know what is going to happen," Tyler Ronevich said. "When my dad played, he had to deal with a teachers' strike, which is bad, but I would rather have that strike than this. You can never take anything for granted."

According to Jeff Ronevich, like this spring, athletes from his high school were not allowed to use school facilities.

"We had to practice football off of school property, but it was really minor compared to what the kids are going through now," said Jeff Ronevich, a 1990 graduate of Wintersville, which consolidated with Mingo Junction Mingo in 1993 to form Indian Creek. "Right now, Tyler's doing what he can. He is trying to meet some of his buddies when he can to throw with them. He's going to be playing against the best of the best in (Division I) baseball, so he has to work on every aspect of the game, especially the mental side of the game."

In what turned out to be his final prep game, Tyler Ronevich left a Division I district semifinal last spring against Gahanna in the bottom of the first inning with tightness in his pitching arm after retiring the only batter he faced. The Comets were playing in their first district semifinal since 2015 and led 7-0 when he exited the contest, but would lose 10-9.

"It was such a shame. I relive that game so often," coach Scott Todd said. "Tyler had been doing a great job on the mound coming into that game. With the way he had been pitching and his level of competitiveness, things looked promising.

"Me and the coaching staff have so much confidence in him and we were excited to have him come back. His arm was healthy (this spring) and we all had high expectations. (The season being canceled) was disappointing not just for us, but all of the spring sports."

Last spring, Ronevich earned second-team all-district and all-OCC-Central Division honors, as he went 4-3 on the mound with a 3.54 ERA, 53 strikeouts and 33 walks in 55 1/3 innings and batted .321 with 13 RBI and 12 runs.

"Tyler got to where he is because of his work ethic and his competitiveness," Todd said. "When he came in as a freshman, we saw his potential. It was a matter of what kind of kid he was, how hard he would work and how much he wanted it.

"He has earned the right to play Division I (college) baseball. For him, he'll have to continue to hit the weight room, and he will be around some great coaches that will help to strengthen and develop his arm. He will learn so much about baseball, and he soaks in feedback. If he stays positive and stays competitive, the sky's the limit."

Miami is looking at Ronevich as being strictly a pitcher. He throws a mid-80s mph fastball as well as a curveball, slider and changeup.

"I hit in high school, but in summer league I only pitch, so I'm OK with that (at Miami)," Ronevich said. "I like that as a pitcher you're really in control of the game. Your defense behind you only plays as well as you pitch. I want to dominate every time I go out there."

The Comets tied the program record for wins last spring by finishing 18-9, winning 12 of 13 games before the season-ending loss to Gahanna. They expected to return the bulk of their team this spring and had high expectations before the season was canceled.

Ronevich is hoping to play over the summer with Bo Jackson's Elite Sports in Hilliard, but the pandemic may end that season as well.

"I hope they open (the Bo Jackson facility) soon because they are closed like everyone else right now," he said. "We had a Zoom meeting with the team the other day, and hopefully we will have a season. They said (tournament organizers) are holding out on calling the tournaments until the last minute. That's where they make their money, so they want to get them in if possible."

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen