Barons look to build on breakout season


With seven senior starters back from last spring’s 20-win campaign, it would be easy for the Buckeye Valley baseball team to sashay into the season expecting another ridiculously successful spring.

Instead, BV coach John DeRing has his guys focusing on what went wrong for a crew that won its second straight MSL-Ohio title, a district crown and finished as regional runner-up last year.

“We have to be better on defense and more consistent at the plate,” he said. “Anything can happen and we have to keep our nose to the ground and compete. We have a target on our back and are going to get everyone’s best.”

Seniors Jaxson Stried (pitcher), Enzo DiRocco (catcher), Cole Raile (catcher/right field), Tanner Domyanich (third base), Teddy Akas (second base), Ridge Webb (first base) and Noah Huss (outfield) will lead the charge, DeRing said.

“Jaxson was a huge part of our success on the mound, was our defensive MVP and hits in the heart of the lineup,” the coach said. “Enzo hit leadoff and was our leading hitter, Cole hit in the heart of the lineup, Tanner played third and hit in the No. 2 hole, Teddy played second, Ridge should play an integral defensive role for us this year and Noah helped us last year in the outfield and on the mound.”

Stried was first-team all-league and all-district, DiRocco (ODU commit) was first-team all-league, all-district and honorable mention all-Ohio, Raile is a VMI commit, Akas is a Lourdes University commit and Webb will play football at Otterbein next fall.

Junior Bryson Schumate, who saw varsity time last season, is also back to add depth on the mound and in the lineup.

After that, DeRing said there are plenty of underclassmen competing for playing time.

“The battle for defensive spots is wide open … nothing is even close to set in stone,” he said. “The pitching rotation is still wide open, too. We may not know our starting lineup until we are well into league play … it’s anyone’s for the taking.”

What is certain, is the Barons love to play ball.

“We have a lot of kids who love to play baseball,” DeRing said. “My goal is to maintain focus and consistency and put ourselves in a position to compete for a state title. It’s no easy task.”

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