Pitching and defense to power Pioneers


If you’re a fan of pitching and defense, the Olentangy Orange baseball team will be worth paying attention to this season.

Complete with a deep rotation and most of last year’s starting infield intact, the Pioneers are poised to make plenty of noise in the OCC-Central Division and beyond.

“The rotation is deep,” Orange coach Tom Marker said. “We return Matt Wolfe, Jacob Tabor, Cole Cahill and Diego Astacio, who all started OCC games for us in 2021. Josiah Ross is an upper 80s arm that will help in the starter role, Colin Shoemaker and Josh Sorensen look to anchor the bullpen with juniors Luke Shearer, Tyler Fuller and Luca DiMeo vying for the additional innings.

“Defensively, our whole infield is back and Tate Scholvin, who was out last year with an injury, will anchor the outfield. We gloved it at a 0.965 clip in 2021 and I only anticipating that improving this year.”

When not on the mound, Wolfe will anchor the infield at shortstop and Cahill will play first base. Wolfe, a four-year starter and Vanderbilt commit, was a first-team All-District and second-team All-State selection a year ago. Cahill, a three-year starter who will bring his services to Toledo in a couple years, was a first-team All-District and Honorable Mention All-State selection last spring. Tabor, another junior committed to Toledo, was a first-team All-District choice last year as well.

Charlie Scholvin will play second, Evan Eichel and Morgan Twyford are competing for time behind the plate and Rocco Leonetti and Kyle Diehr are battling for third. Tate Scholvin will roam centerfield while Jacob Lattig, Shearer, Eichel, Fuller, Gabe Miller, Michael Clouse and Ian Dando could see time at the corner outfield positions, Marker said.

Marker said his guys have always been solid students of the game. That said, one of this year’s goals is to turn the lessons learned into a competitive advantage on game days.

“The key to our success will be our ability to transition from our 80/20 phase to our 50/50 phase as it pertains to learner versus competitor. I think if we can let it rip on game days, we have a shot to compete. Our schedule will be uber competitive, as always. With that being said, our focus will be to have competitive at-bats to match the level of competition we will be facing. I think the identity of our offense will differ from what it was last year, however, I do believe we’ll be as competitive, if not more so than we were last year.”

A good portion of that loaded schedule includes OCC-Central Division foes, including rival Olentangy Liberty.

“Olentangy Liberty is the pinnacle for baseball in Central Ohio,” Marker said. “They are the best team in the area year in and year out. I think if you can close the gap on a team of that caliber, you have a shot to compete. Their success in every sport is a testament to their athletic department as a whole. We’ll work to compete with them and the other great teams on our schedule.

“We have zero ‘give me games’ on the schedule. Every game will be an opportunity to compete.”

Olentangy Orange’s Matt Wolfe fires to first base during a game last season in Lewis Center.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/03/web1_oo22olen13-2.jpgOlentangy Orange’s Matt Wolfe fires to first base during a game last season in Lewis Center. Gazette | File

By Ben Stroup

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