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    2024 Baseball Preview: Beachwood Bison

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    With five returning starters, Beachwood’s baseball team is well-positioned to build off of last year’s 20-win season.

    The Bison, who finished 20-7 overall and won the Chagrin Valley Conference Metro Division with a 9-1 record, moved into the Chagrin Division this spring, but that hasn’t changed the expectations.

    “Our coaching staff is excited at the opportunities that lay ahead of this team,” said Beachwood coach Matt Lamovec. “We have five everyday starters returning from last season along with transfer student, Cole Schreibman, who will be joining the starting lineup. We also have a few upperclassmen who are joining the varsity squad this season along with a handful of underclassmen who are fighting for the remaining spots in the lineup. These guys have been working hard every day, which gives us optimism for the upcoming season.”

    Beachwood dropped a 4-3 decision to eventual Division III state champion Waynedale in a district semifinal last spring.

    With a large contingent of starters returning from that squad, Lamovec and his coaching staff have reason to be optimistic.

    “From the coaches’ perspective, we anticipate the experience of our returning starters will help them step up as leaders this year,” Lamovec said. “Our seniors will also play a factor in this team’s success because of the maturity they bring to the table. Our expectation is for players to compete on every pitch, regardless of the situation. Maintaining this mentality will put us in a position to win a lot of games. If we can get some wins early in the season, it will provide momentum for the start of conference games and hopefully carry on through a playoff run.”

    The Bison won’t be without their challenges, most notably adapting to a new coaching staff.

    “The biggest challenge we are currently working through is adjusting to a new coaching staff from last season,” Lamovec said. “All five coaches on the staff are new to Beachwood this year, which requires an adjustment period for the players. As a whole, the players have been receptive to the new staff. We have a very coachable group, full of players who are willing to listen to feedback and make adjustments.”

    Leading the way for the Bison is junior Josh Rosenblitt, the Metro Division’s reigning MVP and an all-conference selection as a pitcher.

    Rosenblitt will play first when he isn’t pitching.

    “Josh Rosenblitt is poised to have another great year. He has been working all offseason to refine his pitch arsenal and continues to evolve as a student of the game,” Lamovec said. “He has proven his ability to step up in big games, and we will look for him to be the leader in those moments. We also expect big things from him on the offensive end, as he will be slotted in the heart of the lineup this year.”

    Sophomore Ethan Malek returns at shortstop and also will chew up innings on the mound for the Bison. He was a first-team all-conference pitcher as a freshman.

    “Ethan Malek has continued to show growth in all aspects of his game,” Lamovec said. “He has added velocity on the mound and has shown the ability to command the strike zone at a high level. We also expect him to drive in a lot of runs this season, hitting in the three-spot of the lineup. The experience gained from last season should help propel him to the next level this spring.”

    Junior left fielder Jaycob Zabell was an honorable mention all-conference selection last spring.

    “Jaycob Zabell is one of our most versatile players,” Lamovec said. “Offensively, he will be one of the main table-setters at the top of the lineup. Defensively, we will rely on his versatility to play both outfield and infield, as well as being a big part of the pitching rotation.”

    Center fielder Cole Schreibman, a transfer from rival Orange, earned honorable mention all-conference honors last spring as a sophomore.

    “Cole Schreibman will be our leadoff hitter, center fielder, and part of the pitching rotation,” Lamovec said. “Even though it is his first year on the roster, he is already one of the vocal leaders of this team. Cole’s leadership ability is something the team will lean on heavily this year to have a successful season.”

    Sophomore Henry Strean takes over behind the dish and he’ll have his hands full with a loaded pitching staff.

    “He has been working hard to build chemistry with our pitching staff during the offseason,” Lamovec said. “We need a strong defensive season from Henry to complement the strength of our pitching staff. We will also look for him to be a run producer on the offensive end, hitting behind a group that should be on base often.”

    Senior Sam Grieco (second base), junior Jake Tannenbaum (DH), and sophomores Gavi Lappen (third base) and Tristan Brown (right field) round out the projected starting lineup.

    Rosenblitt, Malek, Zabell, Schreibman, Lappen, sophomore Caleb White, and Brown all will see time on the mound.

    “Pitching is definitely our biggest strength,” Lamovec said. “We have a couple of aces that will take on a large bulk of the innings in Rosenblitt and Malek. We also have juniors Zabell and Schreibman who have experience on the bump at the varsity level. They all have great stuff on the mound but what really sets them apart is their pitch sequencing to effectively produce outs. We also have a few young arms in Lappen, White, and Brown who continue to develop and learn from the veteran players every day.”

    The Bison have the talent and experience in place to make a run at the CVC Chagrin Division title and to win more postseason games.

    Their success hinges on a tried-and-true formula.

    “In order to be successful this season, we need to focus on having a team-first mentality,” Lamovec said. “We have a group of players with different skill sets that complement each other well when everyone is on the same page and working together. We need to continue building team chemistry each and every day.”

    Steve Hare
    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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