Baseball: Lima area preview capsules



Division II

2023 record: 10-12 (6-3 WBL, third)

All-WBL returners: Skyler Lhamon (Second team WBL), Quintin Collins (WBL honorable mention)

Key losses: Blaine Albright (First team WBL)


Division II

2023 record: 12-16 (3-6 WBL, seventh)

Head coach: John Dorner (third season at Celina, 30-37; 34th overall season, 574-240)

All-WBL returners: Nick Steinbrunner C (First team), Max Baumstark INF/P (Third team), Zander Jones OF/P (Third team), Carver Harris OF (Honorable mention).

Other key returners: Caleb Stephenson INF/P, Wes Greber OF/P, Dale Secrest OF/P, Brady Steinbrunner INF/P, Zach Greber INF/P, Ethan Bryant INF/P, Luke Maxwell C/INF/P, Reese Pottkotter OF.

Promising newcomers: Brodee Schulte-Arnold INF/P.

Key losses: none

Coach’s outlook: “Consistent and quality plate appearances will be the key to our season. Execution at the plate and on the bases will be big factors in determining the level of our success. We really like the depth of our pitching staff.”


Division II

2023 record: 27-5 (7-2 WBL, second)

Head coach: Rick Weaver (first season)

All-WBL returners: none

Other key returners: Christian Conley OF/P, Garret Rodenberger OF, Torin Long INF, Cody Shaw C/P, Brezlen Zipfel P/INF.

Promising newcomers: Luke Webb P, Grant Rodenberger OF, Tyson Williamson OF, Brady Borton OF/P, Noah Gomez INF, Logan Hutchison INF, Khalil Logan P/INF, Abel Rubio OF, Cohen Stockman OF.

Key losses: David Jimenez (First team WBL), Bradyn Shaw (First team WBL), Tyler Fredrick (First team WBL), Aidan Kiessling (First team WBL), Gavino Gomez (Second team WBL), Jackson Walter (WBL honorable mention).

Coach’s outlook: “We are a talented, but a young team. We are very deep in pitching but lack varsity experience. If our pitchers grow up quickly, we could have a successful season.”


Division II

2023 record: 8-18 (1-8 WBL, tenth)

Head coach: Tyler Leatherman (first)

All-WBL returners: none

Other key returners: Zach Suever P/INF’, Seth Sharp C/OF, Trey Hershey P/INF, Ryan Mcgue P/INF, Gabe Adcock INF.

Promising newcomers: Travis Adkins P/INF, Brade Simmons OF, Griffin Burton P/INF, Noah Schweitzer OF/C, Marc Troyer OF, Isaac Jones C/INF/OF, Darien Jones OF.

Key losses: Brice Engle (Second team WBL), Brady Kirk (Third team WBL), Camden Howard (WBL honorable mention)

Coach’s outlook: “We have a great group of individuals that work hard to make themselves and the team better every day. In my first season with them, there are a lot of unknowns, which will be the best part. I believe our defense, and aces of the staff can keep us in any game. If we do the little things right every day we can be very successful this year.”


Division II

2023 record: 11-11 (4-5 WBL, fifth)

Head coach: Josh Wormley (second season)

All-WBL returners: Grady Kleman-Beazley (Third team WBL), Seth Leffler (WBL honorable mention)

Other key returners: Dawson Miller P/INF, Anthony Hunt OF, Kade Smith P/OF, MJ Coulson OF, Luke Leffler C/OF, Kyle Thrush P/INF.

Promising newcomers: Hunter Taylor INF, Eli Kauble INF, Garrett Campbell OF, Alex Beach P/INF, Garraden Wirbel UTIL.

Key losses: Jarron Willoby (Second team WBL)

Coach’s outlook: “We have eight returning lettermen and are returning our top two hitters in Grady Kleman-Beazley and Kyle Thrush. We look for them both to be at the top of our batting order and lead us again in 2024. We are returning only 30% of our innings pitched last year. In 2023 we won our seventh sectional championship in school history and only the second time in 20 years. We have a lot of guys back from that team last year and these guys are hungry and ready to build off that success.”


Division III

2023 record: 17-14 (3-6 WBL, seventh)

Head coach: Nick Watkins (second season)

All-WBL returners: none

Other key returners: Jordan Metzger OF, Griffin Seimet OF, Brandon Warnecke INF, Trevor Maag P/INF, Justin Yaeger C/OF, Colin White INF/P, Mitchell Schroeder P/INF, Jayden Stechschulte C/INF, Carson Leopold INF/P, Grant Leopold INF.

Promising newcomers: Will Gulker INF, Austin Koch P/OF, Evan Buckland INF/P, Ross Maag OF.

Key losses: Carter Duling (Second team WBL), Ty Buckland (WBL honorable mention).

Coach’s outlook: “You are going to see a team that brings a ton of energy to the field and is ready to compete every day. I love this group for that reason. They love baseball and enjoy playing this game together.”


Division II

2023 record: 9-16 (3-6 WBL, seventh)

All-WBL returners: Derek Lyons (Second team WBL)

Key losses: Chase Sunderland (Second team WBL), Sage Ebling (Third team WBL), Jaden Wheeler (WBL honorable mention).


Division II

2023 record: 15-14 (6-3 WBL, third)

Head coach: Adam Graves (sixth season)

All-WBL returners: Joel Kogge (Second team WBL), Jacob Kaiser (Second team WBL), Kasey Gross (WBL honorable mention)

Other key returners: Luke Rammel C/P, Jace Turner INF.

Promising newcomers: Blake Dingledine INF/P, Alexander Hoenie OF, Cayden Ballweg INF, Keaton Fischbach OF, Aidan Meinerding INF/P, Preston Rupert INF/C/P, Logan Botkin OF/P, Aidan Hollandsworth INF/OF/ P, Dominik Osborne INF/C.

Key losses: AJ Dieringer (Third team WBL), Brayden Sullivan (Third team WBL).

Coach’s outlook: “We will be young this year, but hope to build off last year’s tournament run and be competitive all season. We want to be playing our best at the end of the season.”


Division II

2023 record: 10-12 (4-5 WBL, fifth)

Head coach: Charlie Witten (27th season, 292-297)

All-WBL returners: Brylen Parker (Third team WBL), Kaden Shaffer (WBL honorable mention)

Other key returners: Briston Wise, Sam Houg, Case Stegaman, Hayden Davis.

Promising newcomers: Trevor Halker, Conner Harris, Griffin McCracken, Cam Werts, Finley Dickinson, Hayden Dowler, Nate Gearhart, Donovan Winkeljohn, Kaydin Doner, Spencer Clay, Kristian Akerman, John DeAmicis.

Key losses: TJ Stoller (First team WBL), Conner Loughrie (Third team WBL), Damon McCraken, Travis Francis, Luke Wessell, AJ Proffitt.

Coach’s outlook: “We will look to be very competitive again this year. We have a good core group returning from our team last year. We are looking for consistent improvement from day to day. The Cougars will have a balanced offensive attack. Pitching and defense will be keys to our success this year. We will need many players to contribute in order to accomplish our goals.”


Division II

2023 record: 18-6 (8-1 WBL, first)

Head coach: Jason Brandt (22nd season, 365-168)

All-WBL returners: Grant Jolly INF/P (WBL Player of the Year, First team), Taylor Echols INF/P (First team), Kaden Moore P/INF (Second team), Ryan Price P/INF (Third team).

Other key returners: Zac Niekamp OF/P, Alex Lewis C/OF, Drew Bailey INF/P, Mason Ludwig INF/P, Griffin Mericle C.

Promising newcomers: Jarrett Mullin OF/C, Carter Lighty OF, Bryce Herbst P/UTIL, Peyton Young INF.

Key losses: Landon Brandt (First team WBL), Austin West (WBL honorable mention).

Coach’s outlook: “With a strong group of players returning, including WBL and District Player of the Year Grant Jolly and Taylor Echols, we return two of the top pitchers in the area. With the three other pitchers returning, it gives us 92% of our innings pitched from last season. We also return over 450 varsity at-bats. We hope to compete for the WBL title, but more importantly, we hope to be playing our best baseball in May and make a nice tournament run.”



Division IV

2023 record: 7-15 (0-8 NWC, ninth)

Key losses: Roman Snyder (NWC honorable mention), Spencer Wall (NWC honorable mention).


Division III

2023 record: 10-10 (4-4 NWC, fourth)

Head coach: Tyler Stevens (second)

All-NWC returners: Jackson Thompson (Second team), Carson Clum (NWC honorable mention)

Other key returners: Trey Hensley OF/P, Caden Hedrick OF, Donovan Kennedy OF/P, Brady Brooks INF/P, Levi Clum INF/P, Austin Hutchinson INF, Owen Sneary OF.

Promising newcomers: Zane Newland INF, Braden Clum INF, Caleb Lybarger INF, P, Ethan Hershberger OF/P, Travis Stanley OF/P, Myles McDorman C/INF/P, Colt Snyder OF/P.

Key losses: Jacob Hershberger (First team), Braylen Kennedy (First team), Donovan Kennedy (NWC honorable mention).

Coach’s outlook:

”Good things are in the future for Allen East Baseball. We’re only losing three starters from last year, we bring back a good group of seniors who look to set the tone early in the season. We had three freshmen who started last year, so we’re hoping for big things from them as sophomores this season. We have a very talented freshmen class, with some of them looking at Varsity playing time right from the start.”


2023 record: 11-13 (4-4 NWC, fourth)

All-NWC returners: Jacob Granger (Second team), Braeden Jordan (Honorable mention), Tyler Cupples (Honorable mention), Landen Worcester (Honorable mention), Quinn Eachus (Honorable mention).


Division III

2023 record: 23-8 (6-2 NWC, second)

Head coach: Brayden Sautter (fourth season)

All-NWC returners: Kyle Hopkins INF/P (Honorable mention).

Other key returners: Evan Sautter OF/P, Everett Palte INF/P, Caleb Davis C/P, Nate Fisher INF/OF/P, Aiden Patrick OF/P.

Promising newcomers: Devin Barnt, Riley Sautter, Brady Basinger, Carter Flores, Wyatt Fuerst, Trenton Wynkoop.

Key losses: Shep Halker (First team NWC), Brock Hoffman (First team NWC), Taylor Schroeder (Second team NWC), Landen Schroeder (NWC honorable mention), Dalton Wurth (NWC honorable mention), Brenton Renner.

Coach’s outlook: “We will be pretty inexperienced, having lost eight seniors from last season, each of which had important roles, and seven of which started on an everyday basis. Overall, we bring back two guys from our tournament lineup. We bring back five guys who fulfilled roles on our team last year. We will be a work in progress from the start. I think we have the potential to make some noise, but that will be dependent on guys stepping up into bigger roles and performing well, as well as some new faces stepping in and contributing right away.”


Division IV

2023 record: 15-6 (6-2 NWC, second)

Head coach: Jim Wharton (41st season)

All-NWC returners: Hunter Jones (First team), Preston Kreischer (Second team), Bryson Penix (Honorable mention).

Other key returners: Connor Sheets INF/P, Levi Grace OF/INF, David Cereghin INF/C/P.

Promising newcomers: Nolan Walls INF/C, Ayden Hyitt INF/P, Evan Hart OF, INF, Zaine Cereghin INF/C/P, Huxley Grose INF/P, Owen Heckler INF/P, Braxtyn Couts INF/P, DJ Yinger OF, Rex Gerardot OF, Blake Lutz P/OF/INF, Hayden Buck OF.

Key losses: Carson Hunter (First team NWC), Nathan Lichtle (Second team NWC), Parker Speith

(NWC honorable mention).

Coach’s outlook: “I’m cautiously optimistic as we have a number of high-quality pieces returning that we’ll be able to build around while replacing six starters. We feel we have three quality starting pitchers and a great catcher that will keep us in games. We have many spots to fill in and we have enjoyed seeing a number of guys competing, trying to secure playing time. We hope to play our best baseball in May.”


Division IV

2023 record: 5-17 (3-5 NWC, sixth)

Head coach: Rick Suever (second season)

All-NWC returners: Karder Agner C/OF (Second team).

Other key returners: Vincent Murray P/INF/C, Luke Rode P/OF, Xach Houx INF, Sheldon Fetter INF.

Key losses: Braylon Scalf (First team NWC)


Division IV

2023 record: 14-11 (3-5 NWC, sixth)

Head coach: Darren Henry (22nd season)

All-NWC returners: Quinn Schroeder C/P/OF (First team), Jeremy Tavarez (Second team), Tommy Offenbacher INF/P (Honorable mention), Nick Schroeder INF/OF/P/C (Honorable mention).

Other key returners: Ethan Zeisloft INF/P, Trent Siefker INF/P, Tyler Lammers OF/P.

Promising newcomers: Gavin Bryan OF, Colin Niese INF/P/C, Ty Walther INF/P, Ryan Recker OF, Zac Lammers OF, Lane Vieira OF, Andrew Hittle INF, John Dewar INF/P, Myles Camareno INF/C, Mill Paniagua OF/P, Avery Paris OF/INF, Eban Hardy OF.

Key losses: Luke Spoors (NWC honorable mention).

Coach’s outlook: “We have six solid players coming back. We hope to be competitive in both leagues.”


Division IV

2023 record: 18-10 (8-0 NWC, first)

Head coach: Eric Fishpaw (ninth season)

All-NWC returners: Austin Bockrath INF (First team), Luke Bollenbacher P/INF (Second team), Jack Dunlap INF/P (Second team), Chayse Overholt INF/P (Honorable mention).

Other key returners: Aiden Hardesty P/OF, Myles Moody INF, Holden Price P/OF, Reide Jackson P/INF.

Promising newcomers: Gavin Evans OF, Max Hammons OF/P, Seth Brant INF, Carter Stevens OF/P, Conlan Hatfield INF/P.

Key losses: Dane Ebel (NWC Player of the Year, First team)

Coach’s outlook: “We have a good group of hardworking players this year. We are a mix of old and young with eight seniors on the roster. I’m excited for the guys and the opportunities they have in front of them this Spring. I like our pitching depth and overall team speed as strengths for us this season. We will need to improve as the season goes on and have competitive at-bats offensively.


Division III

2023 record: 3-19 (2-6 NWC, eighth)

All-NWC returners: Evan Osting (Second team), Carter Layman (Honorable mention)

Key losses: Carter Ringwald (First team NWC)