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  • Writer's pictureBen Hicks

LHS Baseball 2024 Season Preview

Following a successful campaign in 2023 which included seventeen wins and resulted in second-year manager Ryne Terry capturing ECC Coach of the Year, Loveland High School baseball aims to capitalize on their recent collection of talent by winning the program’s first ECC Championship in six seasons this coming spring.

The Tigers had six all-conference selections last season, but only DH Seth Ellis (12) returns to the third base dugout at Dave Evans Field this year, meaning that if the Tigers are to compete for the crown in a loaded ECC, it will take contributions from a plethora of newcomers and underclassmen.

Ellis’ power bat is accompanied by a few notable returning Tigers. Two-time captain and stalwart at second base Ian Richards (12) returns as Loveland’s leader on and off the field. Athletic sophomore Brady Stidham (10) should slide into the everyday shortstop role for the Tigers this spring, following a breakout .314 freshman campaign. Richards also contributed 14 RBI to Ellis’ .317 average towards the top of Terry’s lineup card last spring, providing offensive consistency for a Tigers team dominated by a talented pitching staff in 2023.

On the mound is where the question marks lie for this edition of Tigers baseball, as ace Callum McGill and steady number two Jared Werling have graduated and gone on to pitch at the college ranks. Key relievers Cole Carrigan and Tyler Evans have also graduated, meaning that there are numerous opportunities across the board for young pitchers to step in and make a name for themselves.

Among those expected to compete for innings are the hard-throwing Will Bertke (11) and Andrew Kitts (12), as well as the crafty Max Harper (12) and Henry Bradley (11). Drew Oerther (10), Ryan Dooley (12), and Aiden Hansen (12) are all returning infielders who could see some time on the mound as well.

In an interview with The Loveland Roar, Richards demonstrated the responsibilities he faces as a two-time captain, saying, “Being the returning captain comes with a lot of responsibility in the off-season. I want to make sure that our new guys are prepared for varsity baseball. We have the talent to have a great season, and it falls on us returners to make sure it happens.”

Richards continued by detailing the Tigers’ preparation for the upcoming season, saying, “Our main goals for this season are to win the ECC and have a successful showing in the OHSAA playoffs. We have been working hard five days a week pretty much all year to ensure that we are ready on March 13th for our first scrimmage.”

The Tigers play a gauntlet of a schedule this season, headlined by the always difficult 18-game ECC slate and a March 30th non-conference date with reigning state champions Moeller at Kremchek Stadium. Loveland opens their season at noon on Saturday, March 23rd against Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School of Cleveland at the friendly confines of Dave Evans Field. Make sure to support the Tigers on the diamond all throughout the spring!

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