After a solid 2021 — a season in which it finished second behind Olentangy Orange in the OCC-Central title chase, and 23-7 overall — the Olentangy Liberty baseball team is looking to get back to its title-winning ways.
The Patriots certainly have the pieces to make it happen, coach Ty Brenning said.
“Our group of men is excited for the opportunities this spring will provide,” Brenning said. “We have a special group of people who have the character traits needed to achieve at a high level.
“The experiences and personalities of our roster will be a strength. Our locker room will be made up of kids who have a passion for the game, and a commitment to what really matters.”
Liberty returns five starters to a potent lineup that hit .334 as a team and scored 242 runs one year ago.
Mason Onate, who hit an even .500 with 11 doubles and 30 RBI, headlines the group while Nolan Fogg, Connor Bourn and David Dielman also return. Fogg hit .360 and knocked in 25 last year, Bourn finished .319 with 8 doubles and 27 RBI and Dielman finished .321 with 12 RBI.
Onate, Fogg and Dielman are all Division I prospects. Onate will anchor the infield at shortstop, Fogg will patrol the outfield and Dielman will pitch and play third base.
Other returning letter winners include Dom Roberts (catcher), Nathan Leininger (pitcher), Grant Murphy (pitcher), Anderson Gomez (outfield/pitcher), Connor Mick (outfield), Brock Amelung (first base/pitcher), Josh Bercaw (third base/second base), Colin Bester (first base) and Josh Stickel (second base/third base).
Gomez will headline the pitching staff after finishing 8-1 overall with a 2.07 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 50.2 innings of action in 2021. Other top arms included Amelung, Dielman, Bourn and Leininger.
The Patriots had a team ERA of 3.11 with 228 strikeouts last spring.
Liberty is slated to play a doubleheader against Prestonsburg and South Park to close out March on Thursday before hosting Dublin Jerome in non-league action Monday.