Patriots poised to compete for another league title


The Olentangy Liberty baseball team had a strong season a year ago and, with seven starters back and ready to roll, 2023 could be even better.

That’s saying something for a team that finished 22-7 overall and won an OCC-Central Division championship. The Patriots didn’t advance as deep into the postseason as they would’ve liked, though.

“Humility has brought clarity to our offseason habits,” Patriot coach Ty Brenning said. “We’re excited to see this group blend their individual talents into the shared goals of a team. Our senior class is a special group of leaders who inspire others and define excellence. It will be fun to see our guys in action.”

Returning seniors include Mason Onate (shortstop), Anderson Gomez (pitcher/outfield), Connor Mick (outfield), Brock Amelung (pitcher/first base), Josh Bercaw (third base/second base), Colin Bester (pitcher/first base) and Josh Stickel (second base/third base).

Onate, a Tulane commit, led the Patriots at the plate a season ago, batting .477 with five doubles, four triples, a home run and 24 RBI. Stickel is back after hitting .364 a season ago while Amelung hit over .300 as well, closing with a .328 average, seven doubles, three triples, a homer and 15 RBI.

Amelung and Gomez, who will head to Bowling Green and Walsh University, respectively, after this season, are the team’s top returning arms, too. Amelung finished 6-1 with a 1.71 ERA last spring while Gomez was 4-1 with a 1.84 ERA. The duo combined for more than 90 strikeouts in 79.1 innings of work.

Other returners include juniors Brady Schnierer (outfield) and Zach Meyer (catcher) while seniors Noah Mathis (infield/pitcher), Nick Metzger (infield), Mitchell Gray (pitcher) and Blake Hajjar (outfield) will look to contribute as well.

Sophomores Griffin Galbreath (catcher/pitcher), Andrew Leonard (infield) and Landon Hunter (outfield) will look to make some noise while freshman Drew Hauenstein (pitcher/first base/outfield), Parker Van Engelenhoven (pitcher/infield) and A.J. Goldmeyer (catcher) should add some depth.

Brenning said his team has all the ingredients to improve upon last season’s success, citing team offense, team defense and leadership as strengths.

Liberty will open its title defense April 5 against visiting Dublin Coffman. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.

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