Worthington Christian Roundup: Warriors baseball team excited for return to action

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Worthington Christian's Caden Leidich fields a grounder during practice March 16. The junior is a move-in from Connecticut who is expected to see action at catcher and first base. The Warriors play April 8 at Tree of Life.

With work being done to its field, a preseason that already was unlike any other because of  COVID-19 protocols was made even more challenging for the Worthington Christian baseball team. 

One thing that hasn’t changed is how appreciative the Warriors have been to play this spring after last season was canceled because of the pandemic. 

Worthington Christian went 10-13 overall and 3-5 in the MSL-Ohio Division in 2019 and was set to have most of its roster back last spring. 

“It’s been a real blessing (to return this season),” coach Tim Kraynak said. “When we played our first scrimmage, I told the boys it had been 673 days since the last baseball game at Worthington Christian, so it was pretty surreal to be able to talk about that. 

“It’s been hard over the last four or five weeks to really see what we have because we haven’t been able to get out on our field much. We’re doing some major improvements, but we’ve been able to use the turf. (When we’ve played) we were very pleased with what we saw. This is the first time we’re going to really start nine ballplayers. We’re looking forward to getting better on a continual basis.” 

Returning after being contributors in 2019 are seniors Levi Hammond (P/3B) and Ethan Kraynak (CF) and junior Carson Graham (OF). 

Ethan Kraynak, who is the coach's son, scored 13 runs in 2019. 

Hammond went 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 32 2/3 innings and figures to be a front-of-the-rotation starter along with junior Ashton Fulkerson, a Marysville transfer, and sophomore Connor Hendrickson. Freshman Sam Blank also should be a key pitcher. 

Junior Caden Leidich is a move-in from Connecticut who will be at catcher along with sophomore David Murawski, with Leidich playing first base when he’s not behind the plate. 

When they’re not pitching, Blank will be at third base and Fulkerson will be at shortstop, with Hammond and Hendrickson also being options at shortstop.  

Hendrickson will be the regular second baseman, with freshman Hobie Raikes in left field, sophomore Ethan Albert in right field and junior Grant Woodfin also in the outfield. 

Senior Simon Haller (OF) and sophomore Alex Wrobbel (OF) are others looking to contribute. 

BASEBALL 

Coach: Tim Kraynak, 17th season 

Next game: April 8 at Tree of Life 

Key athletes: Ethan Albert, Sam Blank, Ashton Fulkerson, Carson Graham, Levi Hammond, Connor Hendrickson, Ethan Kraynak, Caden Leidich and Hobie Raikes 

Softball team looks 

to build on 2019 

After having an eight-member freshman class and going 6-17 in 2018, the softball team won the MSL-Ohio title at 9-0 and finished 17-11 overall in 2019 despite having just two seniors and one junior. 

The Warriors return three seniors and three juniors who played key roles in 2019 as they look to pick up where they left off that season. 

“I hope we get better,” coach Matt Heidorn said. “We can, and we have some talent. We’ve just got to continue to improve. We’ve been hitting really well. Our pitching and defense have to get better.” 

Lilly Heidorn (P/SS), Abby Lanker (C) and Mia Schoonover (P/CF) are returning seniors. 

Heidorn, who has committed to Liberty as an infielder, hit .467 with 31 RBI as a sophomore. She also struck out 86 with a 3.84 ERA in 107 2/3 innings but has pitched only on a limited basis since then. 

Also in 2019, Schoonover batted .342 with 23 RBI and pitched 30 innings, while Lanker had 23 RBI. 

All three were first-team all-league along with junior Paige Tomallo (2B). 

The other senior is Mary Lake, who is likely to be used as a pinch runner. 

Juniors Tori Moore (SS/CF) and Olivia Scholl (3B/C), sophomore Maddy Ball (LF) and freshman Whitney McGlothlin (1B) are others expected to be in the lineup, with freshmen Joely Bussey and Marissa Fowler splitting time in right field. 

SOFTBALL 

Coach: Matt Heidorn, fifth season 

Next game: April 9 at Grandview 

Key athletes: Maddy Ball, Lilly Heidorn, Abby Lanker, Whitney McGlothlin, Tori Moore, Mia Schoonover, Olivia Scholl and Paige Tomallo 

Moore decides

to graduate early

Ten days after helping the boys basketball team to a Division III state runner-up finish, D.J. Moore announced that he’s reclassifying to the 2021 graduating class and starting his college career a year early. 

Moore, a junior guard who was district Player of the Year, had 28 points, five rebounds and four assists in the Warriors’ 61-56 loss to Cleveland Heights Lutheran East in the state title game March 21 at the University of Dayton. 

“I would like to announce that I will be graduating early and attending Liberty University in the fall of 2021,” Moore announced in a Twitter post March 31. “GO FLAMES!” 

Moore, who averaged 18 points and also was the MSL-Ohio Player of the Year, helped the Warriors finish 28-2.  

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek