Ready Roundup: Silver Knights baseball team takes ‘huge strides’ under coach Joe Dimel
Backed by a strong coaching staff, Joe Dimel wasn’t daunted by what he knew would be a challenging situation as the new Ready baseball coach last spring.
What would have been his first season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, leaving him with an even more inexperienced roster as he began this season.
The Silver Knights proceeded to – at least in some ways – surpass Dimel’s expectations, snapping a 30-game CCL losing streak when they beat Watterson 3-1 on May 3 and finishing 12-16 overall.
As the No. 13 seed for the Division III district tournament, Ready was leading sixth-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek 1-0 before the Aces scored five times in the fourth inning on their way to a 6-1 victory May 20 in a second-round game.
“Some of the reasons we took huge strides were the coaches and how they planned out practices and got us game ready,” senior third baseman Cael Dent said. “Every game felt like we were ready to compete, and that goes to the coaches for how they prepared us. Also, production from our underclassmen helped us very much. They stepped up when we needed them to.”
Dent, who has committed to play football for Otterbein, was joined in the senior class by Stephen Reed (C/P) and Jacob Metz (CF).
Ready had gone a combined 3-56 from 2017-19, including 0-20 in 2019, after going 12-15 in 2016 when it last posted a CCL victory.
Among the assistant coaches was Rich Dimel, who played for the University of Dayton and is Joe Dimel’s brother. Assistants Gil Rinehart and David Oddi also have extensive baseball knowledge, said Joe Dimel, who played for Wright State.
“The biggest reason for our success was our coaching staff,” said Metz, who will play football for Wilmington. “They turned the culture around and took us back to the old Ready baseball.”
Sophomore Rylan Williams, who was the No. 1 pitcher and also played in the infield, and sophomore Logan Dimel, who pitched and batted .350 while also starting at first base, should be among the top returnees. Logan Dimel is Joe Dimel’s son.
Williams was first-team all-CCL as Ready went 1-7 in the league. Logan Dimel, Dent and junior Preston Macioce (2B) were second-team all-league.
Freshman Dominic Eiden started eight games at catcher, freshman Donovin Macioce started at shortstop and junior Byron Scott started in left field.
Juniors Kenny Haynes (CF/P), Collin Kammerer (OF) and Dylan Murray (OF), sophomore Tyler (LF/P) and freshman Josh Richter (OF/P) also were key contributors.
Others eligible to return after playing multiple positions are junior Marvin Sutton, sophomores Cullen Dent and Andrew Wolfe and freshman Jude Kusan.
“Our approach to the game was a lot different than maybe what they had previously,” Joe Dimel said. “We build off the small victories like making the routine plays. If you make 50 percent of the 50-50 plays, you’re in games, so we went back to simplifying the game a little bit and as the season progressed, we worked some more complex things in.
“I'm pretty low-key until I need to not be. I have a pretty great staff. We all brought something a little different to the table. … In the grand scheme of things we had a successful season and in the grand scheme of things we thought it could have been a little bit better, but it was a huge improvement from (going 0-20 in 2019).”
ends at district
Of the seven points the boys track and field team scored in the Division II, district 1 meet May 18, 19 and 22 at Westerville North, senior Tyrese Hudson was directly responsible for four and was on a relay that also scored one.
Ready failed to advance anyone to the regional meet May 27 and 29 at Lexington. Hudson finished sixth in the 100 meters (11.74 seconds) and eighth in the 200 (23.86) and joined senior Darius Parham, junior Angel Rivera-Martinez and sophomore Aaron Marshall on the eighth-place 400 relay (46.42).
Senior P.J. Daniels and Parham were among three competitors to score one point apiece for tying for seventh in the high jump (5 feet, 6 inches).
None of the boys team’s other district competitors were seniors. Among those eligible to return are juniors Illijah Austin (shot put), Todd Ernst (shot put), J’Sun Gardner (sprints, long jump), Conor Moore (discus), Evan O’Connell (hurdles, middle distance, discus) and Sage Tilley (sprints), sophomore Brian Fitzsimmons (sprints) and freshmen Jacob Blubaugh (distance), Alejandra Cabrera-Merino (distance), Dalton Miller (sprints, long jump) and Eder Zepeda (middle distance).
For the girls, junior Claire Larger scored the only point at district as she placed eighth in the 100 (13.66).
Clarissa Bachelder (sprints), Mercy Cala-Avila (sprints, hurdles), Emma Pond (discus, shot put), Jenna Ruth (high jump, shot put) and Iveth Saucedo (discus) are seniors who competed at district.
Also eligible to return after competing at district are juniors Allison Bair (sprints), Sophia Bowman (sprints) and Addison Whitmer (distance), sophomores Kate Radwanski (middle distance) and Bryn Whitmer (sprints) and freshmen Ella Larger (sprints, long jump), Jackie Smith (distance) and Amy Vanegas (middle distance).
•Record: 12-16 overall
•CCL standings: Hartley (6-2), DeSales (5-3), St. Charles and Watterson (both 4-4), Ready (1-7)
•Seniors lost: Cael Dent, Jacob Metz and Stephen Reed
•Key returnees: Logan Dimel, Dominic Eiden, Kenny Haynes, Donovin Macioce, Preston Macioce, Byron Scott and Rylan Williams
•Postseason: Lost to Amanda-Clearcreek 6-1 in second round of Division III district tournament
TRACK & FIELD
•CCL standings: Boys — Fifth (15) behind champion Watterson (172); Girls — Fourth (33) behind champion Watterson (214)
•Seniors lost: Boys — P.J. Daniels, Tyrese Hudson and Darius Parham; Girls — Clarissa Bachelder, Mercy Cala-Avila, Emma Pond, Jenna Ruth and Iveth Saucedo
•Key returnees: Boys — Jacob Blubaugh, Brian Fitzsimmons, J’Sun Gardner, Aaron Marshall, Evan O’Connell, Angel Rivera-Martinez and Sage Tilley; Girls — Allison Bair, Sophia Bowman, Claire Larger, Ella Larger, Addison Whitmer and Bryn Whitmer
•Postseason: Boys — 13th (7) at district behind champion Watterson (122); Girls — 19th (1) at district behind champion Buckeye Valley (96)