Baseball: Lima area preview capsules


Division IV

Putnam County League

2023 record: 2-19 (0-7 PCL, eighth)

Head coach: Jordan Streicher (second season)

All-PCL returners: Ethan Sullivan INF/P (Honorable mention), Braxton Stegbauer C/INF (Honorable mention), Jayden Pitney C/P (Honorable mention).

Other key returners: Sam Newsome P/INF, Tim Shepard UTIL, Dwayne Nienberg OF, Alex Heidenscher OF/P, Quinn Tegenkamp UTIL, Rhettik Bowers OF/P, Brady Thomsen INF/P, Bain Stegbauer OF.

Promising newcomers: Carson Etter INF/P, Jackson Bidlack INF

Key losses: none

Coach’s outlook: “We will return most of our team from last season. We will have good competition at multiple positions for the first time in many years. We will have a couple of guys at the top of the rotation who are pretty good pitchers. Last year we really struggled at the plate. We hope to improve on our hitting this season.We will preach the fundamentals and playing good baseball.”


Division IV

Midwest Athletic Conference

2023 record: 21-10 (5-3 MAC, second)

Head coach: Jerry Jackson (10th season, 90-118)

Other key returners: Collin Feathers OF/INF, Austin Moenter OF/INF/P, Braylon Metzger P/OF, Grant Ulm P/INF, Austin Moenter INF/OF/P, TJ Werts INF/OF/P, Tyler Lindeman INF/P, Cam Elwer INF/P, Tyce McClain INF/P.

Promising newcomers: Brayden Pohlman C/OF, Josh Mueller INF/C/P, Alex Martz INF/OF, Drake Fittro C/OF, Brayden Klaus OF.

Key losses: Landen Grothaus, Jack Gerker, Peyton Stabler, Nolan Schwinnen.

Coach’s outlook: “Super excited to have the whole pitching staff returning from last year and the nine starters from defense and offense. This 2024 team is ready to compete for a MAC championship and looking for another opportunity to return to the regional championship game with final four incentives.”


Division IV

Putnam County League

2023 record: 19-7

Head coach: Chad Ehrnsberger (fourth season, 54-28)

Key returners: Bubba Smith, Ethan Wehri, Jacob Siebeneck.

Promising newcomers: Griffin Klausing, Jaxon Hoffman, Caden Looser, Logan Kerner, Jack Stechschulte, Brady Rampe.

Key losses: Carson Klausing, Jaden Smith, Colin Hoffman, Drew Buss.

Coach’s outlook: “We’re young but have some talent. We may have some ups and downs due to inexperience, but I’m looking forward to watching our guys grow individually and as a team, and hopefully, we’ll be playing our best ball as the tournament approaches.”


Division I

Toledo City Athletic League

2023 record: 4-25

Head coach: Casey Reed (seventh season)

Key returners: Brandon Griffith P/OF, Caiden Crawford INF/P, Peyton Rader C/UTIL, Dalton Chiles OF, Anthony Whaley OF, Clay Jordan INF/P/UTIL, Yahir Brito-Diaz INF/P/UTIL, Blake Hahn INF, Cooper Twining P/OF/INF.

Promising newcomers: Izaiah Phalen INF/P, Hunter Castle OF, Korben Moellering, Junio INF/P, Emmanuel Jokinen-Rutz UTIL/P, Riley Miller C/UTIL/P.

Coach’s outlook: “We return all but three letter winners from last year and welcome a huge freshman class of 14 kids. We are extremely excited about the season and feel that we have a great mix of experienced guys and young guys that can infuse some energy for us. We are looking forward to joining the Toledo City League and hope to continue building our program. Our guys have been working extremely hard to get ready for the season and you can just feel a different type of energy with the way we approach every day.”


Division IV

Putnam County League

2023 record: 15-13 (3-4 PCL, fifth)

Head coach: Dusty Pester (14th season, 228-108)

All-PCL returners: Brettn Koenig OF/P (First team), CJ Lehman INF (Second team), Brendan Barlage C (Honorable mention),

Other key returners: Ethan Barlage OF, Andrew Weis OF/P, Jared Niese UTIL, Ethan Ellerbrock OF.

Promising newcomers: Jack Wenzinger INF, Jonathan Pester INF, Max Long OF.

Key losses: Caleb Niese (Second team PCL, Second team all-district), Thomas Weis (PCL honorable mention), Connor Hermiller, Aiden Lause.

Coach’s outlook: “I’m excited to see how our team grows and competes this season. We lost a great group of seniors from a year ago. We are capable of putting a nice season together if we come together as a team and play for one another.”


Division IV

Putnam County League

2023 record: 4-17 (2-5 PCL, sixth)

Head coach: Ty Wannemacher (ninth season, 69-99)

All-PCL returners: Jayden Saxton INF/P (Second team), Keaton Schnipke OF/INF/P (Honorable mention).

Other key returners: Jace Langhals OF/INF/P, Aiden Hilvers OF, Andy Moorman OF/P.

Promising newcomers: Damien Lawhorn OF/INF/P, Cruse Schroeder OF, Evan Altenburger INF/P, Nick Quartana INF/C, Landen Saxton OF/INF/P, Eli Hoersten OF/INF/P, Carson Turnwald OF.

Key losses: Alex Suever (PCL honorable mention), Trey Landwehr.

Coach’s outlook: “Last year was a learning curve for many of our players. We got better as the season went on and played our best baseball in the later part of the season. We have a great group of experienced seniors and juniors coming back. If some of the freshmen can step up, we can be a very dangerous team. I look for us to be competitive this season in every game we play.”


Division IV

Putnam County League

2023 record: 9-21 (1-6 PCL, seventh)

Head coach: Abram Escamilla (third season, ninth overall)

All-PCL returners: Isaac Stall P/OF (first team), Zach Neuenschwander P/OF/IF (Honorable mention), Colin Harris P/INF (Honorable mention).

Other key returners: Lane Lee P/INF, Grady Kempf P/OF/INF, Cory Gerten OF/P/INF, Brock Stall C, Nolan Leatherman P/INF, Owen Huffman INF, Derrick Teders P/OF, Nate Maag P/OF/INF, Matt Maag OF/INF.

Promising newcomers: Tanner Bott (P/INF/OF, Sam Brannon P/OF

Key losses: Jake Maag (PCL honorable mention)

Coach’s outlook: “We’re bringing back an experienced team with Pitching and Defense being the key to our success this season. We ended last season on a nice run and if we can do the fundamentals of the game and not give up extra outs we should be where we want to be this season.”


Division IV

Northwest Central Conference

2023 record: 10-13

Head coach: Mark Hoersten (13th season)

Key returners: Brady Shively INF/P, Braylen Ardner INF, Hunter Scott INF/P, Preston Evans INF/P, Conner Patrick INF, Chance Webb OF, Brodey Douce OF/P, Bailey Morlock OF, Marcus Hill OF, Sylas Johnson INF.

Promising newcomers: Saccarious Doughty INF, Wyatt Taviano C, Tate Essex OF.

Coach’s outlook: “We’ll play three freshmen a lot and we need them to contribute early for us to be successful. We also have three returning starters who will begin the season injured and their return is going to be important for us. We have some strong leadership back and we’ll continue to improve throughout the season.”


Division IV

Northwest Central Conference

2023 record: 12-11

Head coach: Matthew Thompson (first season)

Key returners: Xavier Stuck OF/P, Jevin Henderson OF/C/P, Ethan Moore INF/P, Jayden Sifrit INF/P.

Promising newcomers: Elday Musayev OF, Brenden Eckstein INF/OF, Connor Eckstein INF/OF, Jon Cromer INF/OF/P, Kody Kiser INF/OF/P, Maddox Thompson INF/P, Mason Woodruff INF/OF/P, Maverick Dawson C/P, Memphis Harvey OF.

Coach’s outlook: “With only four returning letter winners, 2024 is going to be a growing year for us. We have been working hard on developing skills and a team mindset in the offseason. Our goal this season is to compete every time that we step on the field. We have a lot of young guys who are driven and want to work to succeed, so we will continue to use that mission to guide our team.”


Division IV

Northwest Central Conference

2023 record: 4-16 (2-10 NWCC, sixth)

Head coach: Nathan Inniger (fifth season, 18-58)

All-NWCC returners: Alex Sanders P/C/INF (first team), Maddox Underwood INF/P/C (First team), Mason Thompson INF/OF/P/C (Second team), Drew Sanders INF (Honorable mention)

Other key returners: Weston Decker P/OF, Andrue Kindle UTIL/P.

Promising newcomers: Carter Peoples OF/INF, Braylon Dunson INF/OF/P, Landan Wilson INF/OF, Jesse Prater INF/P, Caiden Lowery OF/INF, Beau Sanders INF/OF/P, Gio Olivieri INF/C, Macain Underwood UTIL, Wyatt Davis UTIL.

Key losses: Tommy Carl (NWCC honorable mention).

Coach’s outlook: “Last year was a tough season. We’ve been focusing on “controlling the controllables” and “doing the little things.” We feel our returning players can continue to take steps to improve in all aspects of the game. Along with the upperclassmen, nearly half of our roster is made up of freshmen, but we feel several of our young players can help provide improved depth in our lineup and on the mound.