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    Cardinals add depth

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    Mentor opens the 2019 season with six returning starters from last year’s team that went on to win the Division I Euclid District.

    The Cardinals also added more depth, which isn’t good news for district opponents.

    “I really like the team chemistry we have and with the new additions, we are a much deeper team than we have been in the past,” Mentor coach Jeff Haase said. “If guys play to their potential, who knows how far we can go.”

    Mentor closed out the year with a 17-9 record, which included a 9-5 mark in the Greater Cleveland Conference.

    The Cardinal earned the No. 2 seed in the Euclid District and defeated both Madison and South on the way to upsetting No. 1 Mayfield in the district championship game.

    A 3-1 loss to eventual regional champion Medina Highland ended the Cardinals’ season in the regional semifinals.

    Leading the way for Mentor is two-year starter Matt Sabin, a senior third baseman who is a returning all-conference performer and captain. Sabin already has committed to continue his education and baseball career at Baldwin Wallace University.

    Senior second baseman Kyle Beller joins Sabin in the infield and Mentor features three seniors in the outfield. Tim Eppich will play left, Alex Edwards will line up in center and Howie Cavell will patrol right field.

    Junior Andrew Witte is slotted to play shortstop while sophomores Eric Coode and Hal Walker round out the projected starting lineup at catcher and first base, respectively.

    “We have depth and a lot of guys capable of giving us big innings on the mound,” Haase said.

    Mentor’s pitching staff includes a pair of college-bound players in Chad Rogers, a junior who has committed to play at Penn State, and John Poppy, a senior Lake Erie College commitment.

    Senior Justin Wilson is projected as the ace of the staff followed by Rogers, junior Charlie Hawley, senior Jacob Costello, junior Alex Ehinger, sophomore Aiden Limtry, Beller, Poppy and Sabin.

    With depth, both in the field and on the mound, versatility and team speed, the Cardinals are poised to make another long postseason run.

    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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