North success hinges on pitching

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Kenny Streb

North returns five starters from last year’s squad that won 17 games.

To achieve similar success this spring, the Rangers need a few pitchers to step up and fill the holes left by graduation at the top of the rotation.

“We return an excellent group of young men, who are some of the hardest working and self-driven individuals I have coached,” said North coach Kyle Stahlberg. “Our roster will be a bit young, with only a handful of returning varsity starters. We lost some excellent pitching last year and are looking for several individuals to step hold and take control of the staff.”

Seniors Cam Shreves, Brandon Cassidy and Kenny Streb and juniors Stephen Davies and Seth Higham all will see time on the bump this spring.

Stahlberg is counting on that group to develop in a hurry.

“We have numerous quality pitchers, however, we are really looking for several of them to step up in a big way and be the workhorses we need to have a successful season,” he said.

The Rangers have plenty of talent and depth in the field.

Junior Brandon Swearingen and senior Ben Goerndt will platoon behind the dish and Shreves and Goerndt will split time at first base.

Junior Zach Mitchell will play second and Streb, a first-team All-Western Reserve Conference honoree returns at shortstop. Seniors Devin Kleinhenz and Brian Stergar will share the duties at third base.

Senior Lou Severino, a John Carroll University football recruit, and senior Cory Cantrell will play in left field while Davies and Stergar will patrol center. Senior Brad Burrows, a Mercyhurst football commitment, and sophomore Dylan Froelich will play right.

“This group is very self-driven and the field experience we lack will be made up by the leadership and grit that these young men possess,” Stahlberg said. “We expect to be strong defensively and offensively and our leadership should also set the tone for our season.”

North has the pieces to put together a solid season but the Rangers have to focused and play fundamental baseball.

“We must approach each practice and each game one pitch at a time,” Stahlberg said. “We have to pitch with confidence and need to focus on the details and concentrating and doing all of the little things right. We need to focus on these little things as we play and hopefully at the end of the game these little things add up in a big way.”

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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.