The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

March 27, 2014

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL 2014 — Great expectations

Jefferson, Edgewood headliners this spring

(Continued)

Lakeside

Taking over the Dragons and getting his first shot as a varsity baseball coach is John Anservitz.

Lakeside struggled last season, going 6-16 and finishing just 1-15 in the PAC.

If that’s to change, it will start with a strong senior class led by Nick Meola (P-1B), Victor Tuttle (OF-P), Jared Zeman (INF-P), Caleb Garcia (OF) and Austin Beal (INF-P).

Attitude is one of the main things Anservitz is stressing to his team.

“I know that if we play together, stay positive and work hard, good things will happen,” he said. “I am proud of the unity that has taken place. My job is to make sure that continues.”

Also back for the Dragons are juniors Josh O’Block (OF), Tristan Hayford (INF-P) and sophomore Matt Rocco (INF-OF).

Despite its recent struggles in the conference, Anservitz doesn’t expect that to be the case this season.

“I believe that all the hard work that has been put in by my players up to this point will translate to our team being very competitive in the PAC,” he said.

Madison

Next to Bell and Grand Valley, the area coach with the most talent to replace is Blue Streaks boss B.J. Titman.

The only returning lettermen for Madison are seniors Kurt Smith (1B), Lucas Ingalls (C) and Brian Sotyak (INF).

“We are returning very little pitchers with varsity experience,” he said. “It will be vital that our young pitchers like they belong. Also very important to fill the senior leadership that we lost.”

Titman will be selecting from a pool of five pitchers — two juniors and three freshmen.

The fourth-year Madison coach said he expects progress throughout the year.

“With only returning two starters people need to step up and earn their time and not have the mentality that it is just their turn,” he said. “I expect us to compete at a high level and finish stronger than we start.”

After years of trying to get to the top of the PAC, Titman hopes this could be the year they breakthrough.

While they’re youthful, Titman doesn’t just want his team to compete for a title but focus on winning one.

“PAC has finished very similar every year, with either North or South up top and Chardon, Riverside and US pushing,” he said. “I expect our young guys to compete at a high level and push our way into that group. We have inched closer every year for the last three years. It will be very important for us to not be satisfied with competing.

“We will focus on winning to earn our way into the top of the group.”

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