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43215-2220 MISC22 11/00
By JIM METCALFE firstname.lastname@example.org
DELPHOS — Doug Geary finished 13-10in 2011, his first season as head varsity base-ball coach at Jefferson, after serving six yearsas the junior varsity head coach.Four major cogs from that team are gonedue to graduation but a lucky number seven— as in returning starters — are back to tryand help Geary do even better in his sopho-more campaign for the Red and White hard-ballers who ended up 5-4 in the NorthwestConference and lost to Kalida 4-3 in 11innings the Division III district semifinals.Senior Curtis Miller (third year; firstbaseman/pitcher; .347 batting average, .459on-base percentage, .555 slugging percent-age, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 19runs batted in, 19 runs scored, 12 walks,8 stolen bases; 1-1, 5 saves, 24 strikeouts,0.32 earned run average) leads the veteransafter his second-team NWC honors from ayear ago, along with second-teamer DrewKortokrax (junior pitcher/outfielder; .243BA, 5 2Bs, 11 RBIs; 3-3, 1.94 ERA, 44 Ks)and senior honorable-mention NWC pickTony George (third year; shortstop/secondbaseman/pitcher; .315 BA, .438 SLG%, 19runs, 6 2Bs, 15 RBIs, 15 SBs; 2-2, 5.86 ERA,24 Ks).Justin Rode (senior catcher; third year;.271 BA, 13 RBIs), Kyle Anspach (senioroutfielder), Mike Joseph (senior centerfield-er/pitcher; 1-0, 4.66 ERA) and multi-purposesophomore Ross Thompson (shortstop/sec-ond baseman/pitcher; 3 2Bs, 11 RBIs) alsoreturn for a senior-laden Wildcat baseballcrew.However, four players exhausted theireligibility from last spring, including third-year Nik Moore (shortstop/second baseman;honorable mention; .338 BA, .466 OB%,5 2Bs, 22 runs, 8 SBs; 1-1, 0.00 ERA inrelief), third-year Nick Cook (second base-man/pitcher; .300 BA, 3 2Bs; 1-1, 2.70 ERA,19 Ks), pitcher/first baseman Ben Babcock(second year; .291 BA; 2-0, 6.26 ERA) andrightfielder Jordan Vorst (second year).Two other letterwinners expected to makethe jump into full-time service for the 2012Wildcats are senior pitcher/third basemanJeff Schleeter (.241 BA; 2-1, 5.25 ERA) andsenior outfielder Evan Neubert.“We return the core of a pitching staff that posted a 3.12 earned run average, whichshould be a strength,” Geary noted.However, that may not be happening rightoff the bat due to some injuries.“Having Curtis and Drew unavailable forpitching at the beginning of the season dueto dinged-up shoulders, we’ll be lookingfor guys like Jeff, Tony and Mike to step upearly on and give us some solid innings,”Geary said.Still, the Red and White will need to findways score runs — especially after a changein the bats the team will use — to help makethat expected pitching strength stand up; theWildcats finished 2011 with a .264 battingaverage and scored 6.2 runs per game.“Offensively, we’ll have to find ways tomanufacture runs. Sitting and waiting fora 3-run home run with these new BBCOR
Geary hopes 7 a lucky number in his sophomore campaign
Jefferson baseball varsity 2012
The varsity baseball team for Jefferson this season has, seated from left, Jeff Schleeter, Evan Neubert, Mike Joseph, Curtis Miller, Jordan Rode, Tony Georgeand Kyle Anspach; and standing, assistant coach Clay Erman, Drew Kortokrax,Dylan Haehn, Aach Ricker, Zach Kimmett, Ross Thompson, Austin Jettinghoff, CurtWollenhaupt, manager Cody Hilvers and head coach Doug Geary. Assistant coachRusty Thompson is absent.
bats, it just won’t happen as frequently asin the past,” Geary explained. “With thosechanges, hitting fundamentals have been apriority in 2012.”They will also need to shore up thedefense, especially the middle infield, to helpout the pitching staff and allow the offenseto work its way into the season. Last year’sdefense committed 55 errors and allowed 46of the 127 runs scored against them to beunearned.“We lost our middle infield to graduationin Nik and Nick, so filling those holes are amust,” Geary commented.The remainder of the 14-man varsity ros-ter has junior Zach Ricker (infielder/pitcher), junior Zach Kimmett (outfielder/first base-man), junior Seth Wollenhaupt (outfielder), junior Dylan Haehn and multi-purpose soph-omore Austin Jettinghoff (third baseman/second baseman/catcher).“Crestview, Lima Central Catholic andColumbus Grove seem to be the top teams inthe conference and I’d like to think we’d beright there in the mix,” Geary added.Clay Erman is serving as the varsityassistant coach, along with Rusty Thompson.Josiah Stober is the junior varsity coach,along with JV assistants Chris Mercer andJordan Jettinghoff.The JV roster has juniors Tyler Wrasmanand Gage Townsend; sophomores ZavierBuzard, Tyler Rice and Jordan Herron; andfreshmen Gaige Rassman, Jesse Stemen,Ryan Bullinger, Curt Wollenhaupt, NickFitch, Logan Pruett, Tyler Talboom, JordanMcCann and Austin Carder.Jefferson was slated to begin 2012 witha home doubleheader versus Van Wert onSaturday, March 24.
Jim Metcalfe photo