Valley baseball teams feature players to watch
players are off
to strong starts
By Greg Gulas
As the third week of the season gets under way, a small sampling of coaches and scouts say that there are multiple local players to watch.
Boardman got off to a slow start, winning just two of their first six games — they went 1-3 in All-American Conference play. Spartans catcher Coleman Stauffer, a Mount Union University commit, outfielder Gaven Strines and pitcher Nick Augustine are players to watch.
“Howland’s Dylan Keller is a shortstop-pitcher that everyone should look at while left-handed pitcher Kenny Misik of Austintown Fitch has been equally as impressive,” Boardman head coach Joe Gabriel said.
Keller has five runs batted in and a mound win during the Tigers’ 3-0 start. Pitcher Michael Massucci (0.00 earned run average) was responsible for the other two wins. He is committed to Walsh University.
Jacob Harsany is headed to Mercyhurst North East while Frank Rappach is batting .500 and has driven in five runs as well.
Bob Beam is an assistant coach with the Spartans and longtime sandlot manager, currently serving as high school scheduler-director of tournament at Cene Park.
“In Division I, Stauffer with the Spartans and Massucci at Howland stand out to me,” Spartans assistant coach Bob Beam said.
Beam said Canfield’s Anthony Vross will play at LaRoche College next year while Poland first baseman Pad O’Shaughnessy will play at Mercyhurst North East.
Beam said Columbiana pitcher Jake Clark is a Point Park University recruit.
He said Cardinal Mooney shortstop Bryce Richey “is probably the best all-around talent in our area.”
Champion catcher Michael Turner is headed to Kent State University.
In Division IV, Beam said Western Reserve pitcher Wyatt Larimer and Jackson-Milton pitcher Eric Ostrowski stand out.
Vross, Canfield first baseman Spencer Woolley and pitcher-outfielder Jack Rafoth helped the Cardinals to wins over Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Fitch, but suffered an early 5-4 setback to the Falcons.
“Kenny Misik threw the ninth inning to pick up Fitch’s win, then threw six innings a day later despite a no-decision,” Canfield coach Matt Koenig said.
In Trumbull County, Warren Harding third baseman Grant Williams packs plenty of pop in his bat for the Raiders while the Girard Indians, who won four of their first six contests, feature pitcher Nick DeGregory.
Indians head coach Aaron Alejars adds that in addition to Turner at Champion, Drake Bathco is also a Division I collegiate player.
In Columbiana County, the Clippers started 4-0 and 2-0 in the ITCL with head coach Ryan Wolf noting that in addition to Clark on the mound, pitcher-shortstop Mitch Davidson and catcher Keenan Green are players to watch.
“Pitcher Dominik Michael of Southern Local and shortstop-pitcher Noah Laster of Jackson Milton have also been impressive in the early going,” Wolf said.
Campbell Memorial, despite a 2-3 start lists sophomore twirler Mikael Torres (1-0) who has pitched eight innings, recorded 11 strikeouts, walked just two with an 0.88 ERA.
Although just a sampling of area players and teams, the next three weeks will go a long way in determining the tournament seeding process which for the first time will take place on-line and follow the NCAA bracket format.