Boardman to rely on returners in 2023

Senior Gavin Hyde returns as the Spartans ace after going 6-1 with a 1.14 ERA last season

Staff file photo / Neel Madhavan. Boardman’s Gavin Hyde swings at a pitch during the Spartans’ district final matchup against Hoover.

Gradually improving over the past two seasons, the upperclassmen — along with some fresh faces — at Boardman are more than ready to take the field for the Spartans and honor the tradition-rich program.

Coach Joe Gabriel has seen plenty of baseball entering his 10th season at the helm of the Spartans, but this spring, pitching is going to tell the tale, more so after losing 10 seniors.

“A lot of athleticism this year, I think we definitely have some pitching depth, so we’ll rely heavily on that.,” said Gabriel. “We have some good younger guys that are coming up that we’re going to give some experience to early on and hopefully that pays off.”

The big arm in the room is senior Gavin Hyde, who’ll be chasing Boardman’s career wins and strikeout records, along with potentially eyeing the single-season strikeout mark with a solid spring campaign.

As a junior last season, Hyde registered a record of 6-1 with a 1.14 ERA and 69 strikeouts as the Spartans reached the district finals. He also had an effective season at the plate, hitting for a .271 average to go along with nine RBIs.

“Anytime you have your one coming back that’s been your starter, our goal is to make sure he stays healthy and we manage him the right way, but there’s no doubt that anytime he takes the mound we feel pretty good about ourselves,” said Gabriel. “He locates so well, in-out, up-down. He can throw a pitch about anywhere he wants and he just has such a good feel for the game. He has such a high baseball IQ, it just makes him really good on top of being physically good.”

Junior Charlie Young returns after appearing in nine outings last season, fanning 13 hitters over 14.1 innings of work. He’ll look to cause some damage as a hitter, along with senior Luke Leonard and juniors Ben Herrmann, Marty Stachowicz, and Adam Konnerth.

Seniors Caleb Satterfield (.278 and 8 RBI) and Isaiah Torres are returning letter winners as well, but the less experienced position players on the roster will be looked upon to step up.

“When you go to a little bigger school like Boardman, you kinda have to wait your turn a lot and these guys have definitely done that,” said Gabriel. “We definitely had a great senior class last year, so those guys have waited their turn and I think they’re ready to go.”

It also means that the contests early in the season carry a bit more weight.

“I think you’re still trying to put the puzzle together still, there’s a lot of unknowns and things that we have to figure out as a coaching staff early on,” Gabriel said. “It’ll play out and we’ll just have to put the puzzle together, that’s all.”

Boardman posted a record of 17-13-1 last spring, losing to Hoover during the Canton district final. Earning the right to play for some hardware isn’t an easy task, especially playing in Division I along with competing in the AAC against some of the best teams in the Mahoning Valley.

“We always played a hard schedule and I tried to keep that going, and I think we have. We believe playing a hard schedule helps you toward the end and into the tournament,” said Gabriel. “It’s a very tough conference, there’s a lot of rivalries within that conference with Canfield, Fitch, Harding, and Howland.

“But, it’s fun. It’s what makes it fun, rivalries are what makes the game fun and what makes the conference important to win, and we like that challenge.”


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