Baseball: Dublin Scioto Irish showing promise after lost 2020 season

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Scioto's Jack Geisler throws to first during practice March 17. Coach Ryan Longbrake believes Geisler, a sophomore infielder and pitcher, has the potential to develop into one of the area’s top players.

The Dublin Scioto baseball team was hoping to build last spring on a 2019 season in which it went 18-9 for its most wins since a 22-3 campaign in 2009.

The Irish never got that chance because the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the season. 

“These guys have responded really well,” fourth-year coach Ryan Longbrake said. “They’ve worked really hard in the fall and the winter and were really impressive in the scrimmages. I really like where we’re at. They surprise me every day. They’re getting better and better. They’re grinding. I think we’re going to have a great year.” 

Senior Angel Garcia (C/P) was a DH in 2019, but has moved behind the plate. 

“He’s been a leader since day one, since he’s come into the program,” Longbrake said.  

Also back is senior Blaze Boryczewski (3B), and Longbrake believes sophomore Jack Geisler (SS/P) has the potential to develop into one of the area’s top players. 

“He’s a stud,” Longbrake said. “He’s only a sophomore. When you watch him play shortstop, he looks like he’s been there and done that before. I’m looking for bright things from him and a lot of people in that class.” 

The pitching staff should feature senior David Schmidt (P/OF), sophomores Cameron McKenzie (P) and Ethan Shipps (P/OF/INF/C) and freshman Bryce Kyees (P). 

Other key contributors are expected to include juniors Luke George (2B/P), Patrick Joyce (3B/P) and Silas Moore (CF/INF) and sophomore Connor Peer (1B/P/OF). 

Scioto opened with losses to Westerville Central (14-2 in five innings March 29) and Grove City (9-8 on March 31). 

The Irish are competing in the OCC-Capital Division with Big Walnut, Canal Winchester, Delaware, Franklin Heights, Westerville North, Westerville South and Worthington Kilbourne. 

They open league play April 14 against visiting South and face Kilbourne on April 19 and 21. 

INSIDE THE IRISH 

Coach: Ryan Longbrake, fourth season 

Next game: April 8 at Hilliard Davidson 

Key athletes: Angel Garcia, Jack Geisler and David Schmidt

Celtics enjoying 

time back together 

Coming off a 2019 season in which it went 13-13, Jerome was expecting to have 11 seniors last spring before the season was canceled. 

There are another 11 seniors on this year’s roster for coach Chris Huesman, who is in his 16th season. 

“These kids are resilient,” Huesman said. “We know now, especially this group, not to take anything for granted. They just want to be around one another constantly. They miss that social interaction so much.” 

Although Jerome doesn’t necessarily have a clear No. 1 starting pitcher, according to Huesman, there is depth at the position. 

Senior Sammy Stoner, who gained experience in 2019, should be one of the top pitchers. He will be joined on the mound by juniors Andrew Barney and Egan O’Hara and freshman Brayden Krenzel.

Stoner also will bat leadoff and play in the outfield, with senior Matt McClements (SS/C/OF), junior Andrew Williams (C/INF) and sophomore Caden Lockwood (3B) expected to hit in the middle of the lineup. 

The Celtics also will be looking for contributions at the plate from seniors Nathan Kirk (1B/OF), Chuck Kupfer (SS), Sean McCarthy (C), Ryan McQuain (INF) and Matthew Santiago (1B/P) and sophomore Alex Mazza (2B/C/P).

Senior Connor Andrews is another option at second base, with Krenzel, Williams, senior Caden Manos and juniors Luke Milanovich and Luke Walter all being other outfield options. 

Seniors Jake Ernst and Ben Snyder, junior Will DeMuesy and sophomore Reid Birkholz each could play multiple positions. 

“I look forward to coming to the park every day and being with this group,” Huesman said. “It’ll be fun.” 

INSIDE THE CELTICS 

Coach: Chris Huesman, 16th season 

Next game: April 8 at Upper Arlington 

Key athletes: Andrew Barney, Brayden Krenzel, Caden Lockwood, Matt McClements, Luke Milanovich, Egan O’Hara, Matthew Santiago, Sam Stoner and Andrew Williams 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

Shamrocks’ work ethic 

impresses new coach 

Following a stint as coach in 2018 and 2019 at his high school alma mater, 2005 Buckeye Valley graduate Drew Kirby was named Coffman’s new coach last June after Tim Saunders retired. 

The Shamrocks went 589-393 in 33 seasons under Saunders, including 16-11 overall and 9-6 in the OCC-Central in 2019. 

“It’s been going well,” Kirby said. “It’s probably one of the hardest-working groups of kids I’ve worked around. Their attitude is, ‘Let’s go to work.’ I couldn’t be more excited to lead a group of young men who work like this.” 

The only regular from 2019 who returns is senior catcher Nathan Kassis, who batted .351 as a sophomore. 

Senior Hunter Hicks is expected to be one of the top pitchers along with classmate Nate Werth, juniors Andrew Rust and Zach Rust and freshman left-hander Kyle Warnsman. Hicks also will see action at shortstop. 

Others expected to play leadership roles, according to Kirby, are senior Kyle Ulring (OF) and junior Alex Diehl (INF/OF/P). 

Junior Ryan Cramer should join Diehl and Ulring in the outfield, with Diehl and Hicks seeing time at third base. 

Andrew Rust, junior Michael Meyer and Hicks all should see time at second base, with Zach Rust and Werth at first base. 

Also looking to contribute are seniors Jack Baughman (left-handed P), Pierson Disher (P/1B), Jackson Foreman (utility), McKinley Gyurko (1B), Kyle Hageman (OF), Jered Harper (OF), Jack Hirschfeld (OF), Nash Hostetler (INF/P), Lucas Sarver (OF) and Carter Wilson (C) and juniors Mason Charlton (P), Caleb Grundei (OF), Zach Peterson (C/INF) and Drew Vick (OF). 

INSIDE THE SHAMROCKS 

Coach: Drew Kirby, first season 

Next game: April 8 vs. Watkins Memorial 

Key athletes: Ryan Cramer, Alex Diehl, Hunter Hicks, Nathan Kassis, Andrew Rust, Zach Rust, Kyle Ulring, Kyle Warnsman and Nate Werth 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports