Yesterday we featured eight individual players to keep an eye on this high school baseball season.
Who are the best TEAMS in the state of Ohio? The list is made up of teams from all around the state, with great potential matchup leading up to the state tournament in Columbus. They are many questions to be asked:
- Can anyone stop Moeller?
- Can St. Ignatius hold off Walsh Jesuit as the best team in the Cleveland area?
- Can Massillon Jackson and Olentangy Liberty break through and get back to Columbus?
- What team out of the Top 10 can make a run to Columbus?
Anything can happen in a high school baseball game, especially come tournament time when teams are in a "one and done" format.
That being said, here are the Top 10 teams in the state of Ohio coming into the season.
#10 St. Edward
The Eagles of St. Edward come in as the tenth ranked team in Division I in Ohio. The Eagles will will be their usual strong selfs this season, and will rely on a senior laden lineup, featuring senior right handed pitcher Jon Laird, and junior rising prospect at catcher and shortstop, Mason DeAnna (pictured)
#9 Cincinnati Elder
The Panthers of Cincinnati Elder come in at #9. Don't let the 14-12 record from a year ago fool you. Elder plays in the highly competitive Greater Catholic League. This program has the most state baseball championships (12) and will look for their first state championship since 2005.
Lebanon has the perfect mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen. The Warriors are led on the mound by seniors Wes Noble (Campbell recruit), and Nick Cecil (Evansville recruit). The star of the show may be sophomore catcher Ty Duvall (pictured). Duvall is ranked as the 2nd best sophomore in the state, and has already given a verbal commitment to Vanderbilt.
The Cardinals of Mentor have a wealth of talent returning from a team the was one game away from the state final four last season. Kade McClure leads the pitching staff, and outfielders Caleb Potter (Ohio State recruit) and Sam Vilk provide the punch for the offense
#6 Olentangy Liberty
The Patriots of Olentangy Liberty come in at number six. They feature two of the best players in the state regardless of grade in Ohio State recruit Jacob Niggemeyer (pictured) and junior Cameron Comer (Virginia recruit).
#5 Massillon Jackson
The Polar Bears of Massillon Jackson have always had a great baseball program, and this year is no different, as they come in as the fifth best team in Ohio. A weel balanced team with good pitching and an explosive offense, the Polar Bears will rely on four year starter Jake Miller (pictured) to try and lead them to the state finals
#4 Walsh Jesuit
The Warriors of Walsh Jesuit come in at #4. The Warriors can mash. Ryan Feltner, Nick Roman, and Dominic Canzone lead the expolsive Walsh offense. Missouri recruit Ty Shoaff (pictured) anchors the always strong pitching staff. The Warriors are a real threat to anyone they play, and could give St. Ignatius all they can handle in the Cleveland area.
Mason can flat out pitch, and will present the stiffest challenge to defending state champion Cincinnati Moeller. The Comets boast the top junior in the state in North Carolina recruit Rodney Hutchison Jr.(pictured). Chris Martin, a Kent State recruit can shut down opposing teams, and rising junior Andy Marzheuser give the Comets a great 1-2-3 starting rotation.
#2 St. Ignatius
The state's number two ranked team, the St. Ignatius Wildcats fell in the state championship game last season, and return a core of players that should make them the best team in the Cleveland area. Nick Fabian (West Virginia recruit), and Miami University recruit Nick Longo (pictured) lead the offense while Rider University recruit Nick Margevicious and junior MJ Nara anchor the pitching staff
#1 Cincinnati Moeller
What else can be said about the Crusaders of Cincinnati Moeller? The two time defending state champions return five players with division I college offers, and five pitchers that throw in the mid 80's or above. They are far and away the best team in Ohio, at it would be a huge surprise if they aren't in Columbus going for a three-peat