By Bill Bray
With spring comes the Fremont Ross Baseball season. Also, with spring comes snow and rain and a transition in weather that often causes spring sports to take a back seat in March and early April.
Spring sports took another hit two seasons back when covid cancelled the season. Then last season the Little Giant diamond kings were back. Under the direction of third year head coach Jared King, the Little Giants have an ace on the mound and several key returners to have the hopes of a successful season dancing like diamonds in the sky.
Last season was successful for this year’s senior Owen Wright. Wright, a left-handed pitcher, had a first team all-TRAC season in 2021. He finished with 86 strikeouts as he threw 60 plus innings. His ERA was 2.07 over 67 2/3 innings. He finished 5-5 with a save. He began the 2021 campaign by no hitting Fostoria over five innings.
“As a team we should be improved from last year’s 11-16 campaign,” coach King said. “We feel strongly that we have the pitching to be able to compete with anyone on the schedule. We return a total of seven lettermen from last year. We were young and inexperienced last spring, but with more experience this year we feel we can find more ways to win ball games. We have more athleticism this year and more speed as a team, King continued. “We feel we should be strong defensively. If we find ways to hit more consistently with runners in scoring position, then we should be a tough team to beat.”
Besides the steadiness of Wright on the mound, other seniors expected to play a key role in the Little Giants success will include Micah Olvera, Nick Pearson, Tyler Binder, Scout Mosser, Marcus Overmyer and Cole Von Eitzen. Olvera will bounce around a bit in the field between the corner outfield position and first base. “Micah will be a key member in the top of the batting order,” coach King shared. “Micah will also put in some innings in relief on the mound.” Pearson provides depth in the outfield. “Nick has swung the bat well early this offseason as he competes to increase playing time,” King added. Binder will also add depth in the outfield and will be another strong arm in the bullpen this season. Mosser will be a good contact hitter and will be the team’s “ultimate utility guy”. Overmyer gives the team depth at first base and on the mound. Overmyer is strong at the plate and finds ways to barre up the baseball. Marcus will need to contribute this year on the mound from the bullpen. Von Eitzen is new to the team for his senior season. “Cole brings a lot of energy to the team and hustles at practice every day,” King added. Cole will provide depth in the outfield and speed on the basepaths. Wright and Olvera come to 2022 as two-year letter winners and leaders of this crop of Little Giants.
The junior class adds some depth and strength to the Little Giant roster. Dylan Wright, Adam Hrynciw, Brayden Guhn and Alejandro Melchor represent four, one year letter winners. Wright is a staple at centerfield. Defensively he makes tough plays look easy according to King. Wright will be expected to be more consistent at the plate and to use his speed to create more opportunities to score. The second junior letter winner is Adam Hrynciw. He returns as one of the bonafide leaders of the team. Hrynciw, a second baseman in 2021, will slide over to shortstop this season. Hrynciw will more than likely be the Giants leadoff man this season. Brayden Guhn is another junior letter winner. Guhn displays a high baseball IQ. Guhn will hit in the middle of the batting order and will be the team’s anchor from behind the plate. The final junior letter winner returning is Alejandro Melchor. “Hondo” as he is called, will be a top pitcher this season. “Hondo will be expected to throw at a lot of top league opponents again and he always gives us an opportunity to win games.” King said. Alejandro will rotate at third base and hit in the middle of the batting order.
Other juniors expecting to play a role this season include Mason Durnwald and Bryson Hammer. Mason will be at first base and contribute to the middle of the batting order. “Mason brings a great glove at first base, and we think he will have an opportunity to drive in lots of runs.” Durnwald will also be called on to throw innings in relief. Hammer is new to the game of baseball this season. “Bryson will provide us a great deal of speed defensively and on the base paths,” Kind said. Hammer will play second base and has worked hard to be where his is at defensively.
One sophomore on the varsity this season is Elijah Simms. Simms provides the team with depth at the catcher position. “Elijah provides a lot of athleticism and has a strong arm,” King added. “He is aggressive at the plate and has a lot of ‘upside.’
Two freshmen have cracked the roster for coach King’s crew. Karson Kayden is a “young kid with a big arm.” King stated. Kayden will be a starting pitcher this season for the purple and white and King is looking for him to compete at a high level. “Karson will also be able to rotate in the infield and provide a strong bat in the middle of the order.” The other freshman on the varsity roster this season is Braylon Schneider. Unfortunately, Schneider is out of the lineup for the season because of an injury.