Ready Roundup: Silver Knights baseball team playing with ‘renewed energy’
Despite the struggles that he and his teammates endured in 2019, Stephen Reed was optimistic that the Ready baseball team would be a much-improved squad last season.
It’s a year delayed, but Reed’s expectation has started to come to fruition.
The Silver Knights lost their CCL opener to DeSales 21-2 on April 19, but they were 6-6 after that game.
Ready, which hasn’t posted a winning record since going 12-10 in 2011 and went 1-16 in 2017, 2-18 in 2018 and 0-20 in 2019, has a new coach in Joe Dimel.
“My sophomore year we went 0-20 and I was a varsity starter, playing second base a lot and I was also in the pitching rotation,” said Reed, who is now a senior catcher and outfielder. “The coaching staff has changed a lot. (Dimel) is really positive. He talks about the problems and what we can do to change them. Also, we’ve got a lot of good, young players that came in the previous year and some players that came in this year.
“We’ve got a lot of good hitters, a lot of contact hitters, and we’re all a really solid group. I actually expected us to do what we’re doing last year and turn it around and win games like we are now.”
Ready, which posted a 16-0 win over Harvest Prep on April 15 and then split a doubleheader with Ashtabula Edgewood on April 17, losing 10-3 and winning 6-4, has a “renewed energy,” according to Dimel.
“We had two heartbreaking (losses) but we’re playing a lot better,” he said. “We’re competing. We lost a game to Franklin Heights 2-1 (on April 12) in which we had guys on second and third two times and couldn’t convert.
“We’re just a program that’s building confidence, is working hard and is going back to the basics. We’ve got good kids that are willing to learn. My seniors have never won (many) high school (games) until this year. I have three seniors and they’re on the moon.”
The other seniors are starting outfielders Cael Dent and Jacob Metz.
Juniors Preston Macioce (3B) and Byron Scott (utility), sophomore Logan Dimel (1B/P) and freshman Donovin Macioce (OF) have been among the top hitters along with Metz, according to coach Dimel.
On the mound, juniors Kenny Haynes and Rylan Williams have been the top starters. Preston Macioce has stepped into the closer role, and freshman Josh Richter has settled into a key middle relief role.
“The pitching has been good for us,” coach Dimel said. “Rylan Williams has been lights out, throwing the ball well and really keeping us in games. Josh Richter is someone who we’ve brought up and he’s kind of a different change of pace. Preston Macioce has been pitching well as our closer. Those are the pieces Ready was missing in the past when the pitching wasn’t really solid.”
Softball team grows
through tough slate
In addition to facing what it expects to be a challenging CCL schedule, the softball team played nine games against Division I programs in its first 13 contests.
Ready lost to DeSales 9-5 on April 19 to drop to 1-12 overall and 1-1 in the CCL. The Knights beat Hartley 4-2 on April 14.
“We’ve played powerhouses,” coach Jen Goff said. “I was just telling them, you’re going to wonder why I’m crazy but I scheduled those teams to get us (to improve).”
Through 13 games, junior shortstop Emma Sweetman was batting .357 with four home runs and 10 RBI, and junior pitcher Joely Ciborek was hitting .457 with two home runs and nine RBI.
Senior center fielder Catey Wolfe, who was batting .357, led off the game against Hartley with a home run.
“It was actually the first home run I’ve hit over the fence in my softball career, so I was really excited,” Wolfe said. “It has really helped us a lot to see good pitchers and see different speeds, being able to adjust back and forth and really just being disciplined and knowing what to swing at.”
Ciborek, who was a backup as a freshman, pitched every inning of the team’s first 13 games, walking just 13 in 74 1/3 innings.
Ready is scheduled to play its second-round league game against Hartley on April 26 on the road.
The Division III postseason drawing will be held May 2.
“(The win over Hartley) definitely boosts (my confidence) and makes me believe in myself more,” Ciborek said. “I think I’m very mentally tough. I handle pressure and I just try my best. It’s really eye-opening to see how great the other hitters are and it helps me to push myself.”
Track teams tune
up for postseason
The boys and girls track and field teams have a little more than two weeks of preparation remaining before the CCL meet May 10 and 12 at DeSales.
On April 16, the boys team scored 24 points to tie for ninth in the 12-team Pat McMillin Invitational at Whitehall behind the champion and host Rams (108), while the girls were ninth (23) behind champion Pickerington Central (97).
Junior Claire Larger led the girls with a runner-up finish in the long jump (14 feet, 2 inches) and a fourth-place finish in the high jump (4-6). Senior Emma Pond was fifth in the discus (85-1) and sixth in the shot put (27-10).
Freshman Jackie Smith was fourth in the 1,600 meters (6 minutes, 32.6 seconds) and ran on the fifth-place 3,200 relay (12:39.21) with junior Addison Whitmer, sophomore Kate Radwanski and freshman Amy Vanegas.
For the boys, senior P.J. Daniels finished fourth in the high jump (5-6), the 1,600 relay of senior Tyrese Hudson, juniors Evan O’Connell and Angel Rivera-Martinez and sophomore Aaron Marshall was fourth (3:46.17) and freshman Jacob Blubaugh finished sixth in the 1,600 (5:15.52).