US Baseball: An Exciting Start to a Promising Season

Charles Herrick

Contrary to past years, when the season was significantly more casual with relatively low expectations, US Baseball has high expectations for this spring season. In the hallways and amongst some of the players, I have heard talks of a potential deep playoff run for Varsity Baseball; it’s a strong team, and they can surely go the distance.

Part of this new optimism comes from new leadership. Rob McNerney, a new face for US Baseball, is taking over the coaching duties this season. McNerney has much experience in the local baseball landscape, coaching the team at Case Western Reserve, and also many local high school club teams. This experience has been essential in the season so far. The Preppers are off to a great start, with a 4-1. Highlight games include a walk-off in their 11-10 victory against West Branch. The team hopes to continue this success.

With the current varsity lineup, there is a good chance that they keep their winning streak. The team can do it all, with excellent two-way talent all over the roster. A lot of this comes from the flexibility of each player. Players can drive multiple hits one day and then pitch multiple solid innings another day. US is never short of pitchers; whenever a relief pitcher is needed, there’s always someone ready set down the bat and step up on the mound. One notable case of all around strength was Junior Calvin Mitchell, a Division 1 Wright State commit who secured 4 RBIs in a win against Garfield before he pitching 5 innings and striking out 8 in the next game against the team up the street.

Along with Mitchell, there are 3 other baseball commits: Math Bossick (Kenyon), Manny Nager (Denison), and Peter Bambakidis (St. Olaf). Senior Manny Nager is the ace of the pitching staff, with an effective start in the first game against Garfield, where he whiffed 6 and allowed 2 runs in 4 innings. Senior Peter Bambakidis, the power hitter, started 2021 with a go-ahead homerun against West Branch, the teams only dinger so far this season. Younger talents are also ready to take a step this season including sophomore starting pitcher Evan Shapiro, during his start against CVCA, he led the team to victory by silencing the CVCA bats with 5 innings pitched and 0 earned runs. Overall, the team is riddled with talent. If they can put it together like they have done so far, we can expect a strong and exciting season. However, there’s still a lot a baseball left, so we can only hope they can keep the momentum going.