The Olentangy Berlin baseball team had its moments a season ago, but finished the year 11-17 overall after a first-round tournament exit at the hands of Dublin Scioto — a game the Bears lost 6-4.
The season-ending setback summed up the whole year, coach Mike Weaver said … and it’s something he’s determined to turn around this spring.
“The tournament game was an example of our entire season,” he said. “We lost nine games by two runs or less. Most of those were a result of giving up too many free 90s and not always playing hard enough the entire game … we’d have one bad inning and couldn’t rebound.
“We beat Cincinnati Moeller, the No. 1 team in D-I — handing them just one of their two losses. We were talented, but inconsistent, and that falls on me.”
This year’s Bears will be led into the season by a slew of returning starters. Senior Griffin White, a Wagner commit, and junior Kyle Haag will anchor the rotation while junior Parker McDaniels will be the anchor behind the plate. McDaniels, a Miami of Ohio commit, has started at catcher since his freshman year.
Other returners include senior Nate Hurley (pitcher/first base), senior C.J. Longo (outfield), senior Jared Moeller (outfield) and junior Ascher Dent (designated hitter/first base), an Ohio State commit.
Weaver mentioned pitching, defense, team speed and leadership as strengths. To be successful, though, his guys will have to learn how to compete for one another … and learn from mistakes.
“Our goal, as always, is to learn how to play for each other, and care more about team results than personal accolades,” the coach said. “Celebrate the success of your teammates and team. I feel like, if we can do that, we have a chance to be pretty good.”
The Bears open the season while on spring break in Florida, but know they’ll have a loaded league schedule waiting for them when they come home.
“Once again, Hilliard Darby will be the favorite to win our league,” Weaver said. “Dublin Jerome, with Brayden Krenzel and the leadership of Tim Saunders back coaching, can beat anyone. But, the game we have circled on our calendar is game No. 1 in Destin versus Bellbrook.”