Baseball team looks for repeat of last year's successful season

Megan Urbanic

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Photos used with permission/Ken Klemencic

Junior Mac Schoenman (1) anticipates the ball while playing in the outfield during the Cuyahoga Falls game on May 5. 

Senior Travis Wood (24) attempts to tag out a runner at first base during the same game on May 5. The Explorers beat the Tigers, 3-1.

Last year’s varsity baseball season was one of the greats, with the team not only winning 20 games in their regular season, but also winning their league and districts, and additionally making it to the Regional State qualifier. When asked of his expectations for the current 2015 season, senior first-baseman and outfielder Travis Wood says he expects this team, which has been ranked in the top 10 teams in Ohio for Division One, to have as good a season as the prior year, if not surpassing it and continuing on to the State tournament.

 

Wood states, “Our team always has a huge target on our back because we have a good team year after year.” 

He says that one of their toughest competitors this year is Massillon Jackson, the team that beat them in the regional finals last year and ultimately won the state tournament. 

He further explains, “Anytime we play a play-off game it’s going to be a tough one because you go home after losing a game; you’ve got to play every game like it’s your last.”

Some key players of the season, besides Wood, are seniors Jake Stuursma (infield), Matt Wallace (outfield), Dean Miller (outfield), Jacob Mckenzie (pitcher), Dan Fetsko (pitcher), along with juniors Ian Swan (pitcher/first-baseman), Jackson Hickert (pitcher/first-baseman), Mac Schoenman (outfield), Mike Moreland (pitcher), Joe Charpentier (catcher) and sophomore Hayden Knox (infield).

According to Moreland, the team started out the season with a tough loss against Strongsville, but quickly turned it around. 

He says the biggest difference from the beginning of the season until now is that “we started out separated by different social groups and lacking comaraderie, but now after a season of ball, we have it when we need it most.” 

According to Wood, the team’s strongest area is defense, and if they needed work on anything, it’d be their hitting.

He says, “You’ve got to throw, catch and hit the ball. It’s such a simple game on paper, but it’s hard when you get out there and play.” He further states, “It’s a team game, so everyone has to play 100 percent at all times.”

Not only is this team close on the field, but Wood claims it’s like a second family to him.

“The coaches have known me since I was seven or eight years old; I was always the little kid going to practices and being the bat boy. These four years went by too fast, and it’s weird to think that I won’t be with my family anymore.

Last year’s season left high expectations, and the team is prepared to meet them. Their record is currently 21-5, with expectations to go far in the play-offs. They defeated Brunswick on May 13 played Walsh Tuesday May 19.

Wood’s final words were to “Watch out for Hudson; I’m confident in this team to do great this year.”

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2015-05-19 08:22:34

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