Whitehall-Yearling Roundup: Rams baseball team gains valuable experience

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Senior David Winegarner joined the Whitehall-Yearling baseball team just before the start of the season and became a key leader for the underclassmen. The Rams finished 2-13 overall and 2-9 in the MSL-Ohio Division.

Whitehall-Yearling baseball coach Johnny DeRing was pleased with the development of his relatively young roster. 

DeRing, who completed his second season, hopes the experience the underclassmen gained bodes well for the future. 

“I was a little disappointed, but we were making up for lost time,” DeRing said of his team’s 2-13 finish. “We were a year behind. Not having last year to play gave some of my kids a disservice, but I was proud of the younger kids. The younger kids did a great job acclimating and competing. That’s all I can ask of them. They’re going to help us in the future. They got thrown into the fire.” 

Seeded 46th in the Division I district tournament, the Rams lost 12-0 in five innings to 17th-seeded Pickerington North in the opening round May 17. 

Whitehall went 2-9 in the MSL-Ohio Division to finish sixth behind co-champions Buckeye Valley and Worthington Christian (11-1). 

“We played in a tough league,” DeRing said. 

The Rams’ wins came against Wellington – 27-1 on April 9 and 17-7 on April 12, both in five innings – and they were competitive in a 6-2 loss to Grandview on April 21. 

DeRing said the team battled depth issues for most of the season because of injuries. 

Senior David Winegarner (2B/OF) helped provide added depth and leadership after joining the team just before the start of the season. 

Winegarner, who also competed in football and wrestling, was playing baseball competitively for the first time since sixth grade. 

“I did a lot better than I expected, and if I had at least two or three more years, I think I would have done much better,” said Winegarner, who previously competed on the boys track and field team. 

“I love mostly all team sports and I just connected with baseball because of the team aspect and the way that everything moves. I’ve always liked watching baseball. I wanted to be somebody that the underclassmen looked up to.” 

Winegarner plans to walk on in football at Ohio Dominican, where he expects to play tight end and hopes to eventually earn a scholarship. 

“He ended up helping us out,” DeRing said. “He was a great addition. He did everything I asked him to do. He took about 1,000 groundballs at second base and was very coachable and then he took about 1,000 fly balls in the outfield and listened to every word that I said. He was a tremendous addition. We were very fortunate to have him.” 

The Rams’ other senior was Jace Peck (utility/P), who was named second-team all-league. 

A.J. Scott (utility/P) and Christian Smart (1B/P) were the only juniors. 

DeRing expects sophomore Max Goodman (utility/P) to be a key contributor next season. 

“He had to step up this year and he had to play some big roles,” DeRing said. “He was a utility guy and gave us a lot of innings on the mound.” 

Others eligible to return are sophomores Andrew Reed (utility), Yeison Samboy (OF) and Seth Webb (OF/P) and freshmen Elijah Grennell (3B/1B), Carsyn Hoy (3B/1B), Miles Krieger (OF), Jacob Leach (utility) and Taylor Mullins (utility). 

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

BASEBALL 

Record: 2-13 overall 

MSL-Ohio standings: Buckeye Valley and Worthington Christian (11-1), Bexley (8-4), Columbus Academy (5-6), Grandview (4-8), Whitehall (2-9), Wellington (0-12) 

Seniors lost: Jace Peck and David Winegarner 

Key returnees: Max Goodman, Christian Smart and Seth Webb 

Postseason: Lost to Pickerington North 12-0 (5 innings) in first round of Division I district tournament