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    2019 WRC Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll

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    OhioVarsity.com polled the Western Reserve Conference baseball coaches to get their thoughts on how the conference standings would unfold this spring.

    Here’s a look at their predictions.

    MADISON

    Madison returns just three starters from last year leaving the door open for several players to fill key roles this spring.

    The Blue Streaks have the potential to be competitive in the Western Reserve Conference and in the postseason but it hinges on every player stepping up and playing consistently.

    Click here for the full Madison Blue Streaks preview.

    BRUSH

    With five returning starters from last year’s squad that finished 12-11 overall and 5-9 in the Western Reserve Conference, the Brush Arcs are ready to take the next step.

    With that renewed confidence the Arcs hope to be competitive in league play and beyond this spring.

    Click here for the full Brush Arcs preview.

    RIVERSIDE

    Did not respond.

    NORTH

    Graduation took its toll on the North baseball team but the Rangers have gotten off to a good start down in Myrtle Beach this week.

    The Rangers have some depth and they’ll continue to work out the lineup as the season progresses.

    Seth Higham and James Steinmetz will split time behind the plate, Brendan Collins and Dylan Froelich will both play first, Brandon Swearingen and Zach Mitchell have second base and shortstop locked up, respectively, and Steinmetz and Froelich will see time at third base. Justin Fair and Nick Stuck will compete for time in left field, Stephen Davies and Collins are competing in center and John Keough will play right.

    Click here for the full North Rangers preview.

    KENSTON

    Kenston must replace 11 graduated seniors from last year’s squad that finished 17-8 overall and won the WRC with an 11-3 record.

    The Bombers return 11 lettermen including four seniors and five juniors, giving the Bombers a solid core of upperclassmen to lead the way.

    First team All-WRC pitcher Blaise Gorski, a Mercyhurst commitment, first team All-WRC outfielder Tyler Mintz and three-year starting pitcher/first baseman Jason Vasil, a Wisconsin-Milwaukee commit, are among the most talented of Bombers.

    Kenston’s strength lies in its pitching staff, which consists of up to a dozen capable arms. The Bombers also returns five of its top hitters from last season in Craig Roch (.350, 16 RBI), Mintz (.328), Vasil (.304), Chase King (.281) and John Tomcufcik (.231).

    SOUTH

    Brian Pellegrini will soon officially begin his first season as South’s head baseball coach and if the Rebels follow in the footsteps of their new skipper, the Western Reserve Conference could be in trouble.

    As a player, Pellegrini broke the school record for home runs with 23 in his career and he closed out his senior campaign with a .529 batting average and 46 runs batted in. He went on to become an All-American at St. Bonaventure University and played in the minor leagues before returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach.

    Pellegrini inherits a team that returns just three starters from the squad that finished 15-14 overall and lost to Mentor in a district semifinal last spring, but he has been encouraged by what he’s seen out of the Rebels in the preseason.

    MAYFIELD

    Did not respond.

    CHARDON

    Chardon returns five starters and 11 letter winners from last year’s team that won 20 games and reached the Division II regional semifinals. The Hilltoppers hope that experience paves the way for another deep postseason run in 2019.

    The Hilltoppers averaged nearly seven runs per game last spring. They’ll need to come close to that again this spring to take the pressure off their young pitching staff.

    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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