Wyatt Haupt
Picture of Derrick Webb

Derrick Webb

Derrick is SOSA's chief content coordinator and has worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, the Portsmouth Daily Times and Eleven Warriors. He's a 13-time award-winning journalist, a self-proclaimed baseball purist, a suffering Bengals fan and has never met a stranger.

BASEBALL: 15 players to watch for this spring

These 15 players are poised for big years on the diamond.

Derrick Webb, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

Believe it or not, the end of another school year is near, and that means baseball season is back in full swing — pun intended.

After a long winter, the boys of spring are ready to take the field once again and we expect big things from an array of clubs in Southern Ohio.

As we get reacquainted with the diamond, here’s a list of 15 players in our coverage area, and in no particular order, to keep an eye on this spring.

NOTE: This certainly does not mean there aren’t other players who will have great seasons. This is simply a list of 15 players we’ve randomly compiled. 

Luke Cassidy, Notre Dame

On the bump and at the dish, Cassidy got it done as a freshman. While leading the Titans to a share of the league title, he struck out 71 hitters in 40 frames and hit .443 alongside three triples, five doubles, 23 runs and 25 RBIs. He’s one of the area’s best young talents.

Noah Ernst, Jackson

Ernst replaced a second-team All-Ohioan at Jackson’s catcher position last year and did so flawlessly. The all-FAC and all-district selection hit .346 with eight doubles and 21 RBIs. The Ironmen look to continue their tradition of success and they’ll count on Ernst to help that cause.

Wyatt Haupt, Eastern Brown

To say that Eastern Brown’s baseball program enjoyed a historic year last spring is an understatement. Haupt was at the center of that run, leading his Warriors to their first district crown since 2008 with a 0.69 ERA on the hill and a .446 average at the plate. He’s elite.

Fairfield’s Gabe Fouch was 7-3 with a 1.15 ERA last season.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

Gabe Fouch, Fairfield

Pound for pound, Fouch is one of the best all-around baseball players in the area. Point blank, period. As a pitcher, he was 7-3 with a 1.15 ERA alongside 100 strikeouts. As a hitter, he batted .357 with four homers, 26 RBIs and 28 runs scored. There isn’t anything he doesn’t do well.

Keegan Snyder, Unioto

The Shermans’ backstop was simply magnificent as a sophomore, hitting a league-leading .533 with nine doubles, 27 runs and 36 RBIs. Those numbers helped Unioto win 25 games and helped Snyder earn SVC POY honors. He’ll be up to the task of defending those accolades.

LT Jordan, Waverly

Since Jordan stepped onto the diamond, he’s been a force to be reckoned with. Last season was no different as he hit .420 with four triples, seven doubles, 35 runs and 17 RBIs. He was a first-team all-SOC and all-district selection and, if all things go well, will be again this spring.

Jakob Tipton, West

Tipton is as consistent as they come. Always a tough out, he hit .524 last spring with five triples, 13 doubles, 25 runs scored and 26 RBIs. Those numbers allowed him to earn a first-team all-district nod. Now a senior, he’ll be looking to lead West on a deep run. It can happen.

Austin Magill, Adena

There’s a reason Magill led the SVC in strikeouts last year. The reason is that his stuff is filthy. Magill will be one of the Warriors’ aces this spring and for good reason. The southpaw keeps hitters off balance, gets ahead in counts and consistently sends opponents back to the dugout.

John Wall, Washington

Wall’s .464 average, four doubles, 19 stolen bases, 28 RBIs and 39 runs scored helped the Blue Lions make a Final 4 run in Division II. How’s that for a resume? While Washington attempts to defend its regional title, Wall will be one of the team’s leaders. He’s nothing but special. 

Kaden Penwell, McClain

Rather quietly, Penwell has pieced together quite the resume over three seasons. His junior year was just the latest chapter of that saga. While leading his Tigers to double-digit wins, Penwell hit .371 alongside 16 RBIs and 25 runs. That led to all-FAC and all-district honors.

Brycen Hunt, Fairland

19 wins and an OVC crown secured. That’s how last year went for Fairland. Now, the Dragons are looking for more of the same with Hunt leading the charge. As a junior, Hunt hit .362 with seven doubles and 18 RBIs. He’s one of the team’s biggest bats in the middle of the order.

Eli Roberts, Whiteoak

After yet another deep tourney run, Whiteoak graduated multiple talented seniors a year ago. What’s that mean for Roberts? He’ll be one of the Wildcats’ unquestioned leaders this spring. As a junior, he hit .413 with three homers, 20 stolen bags and 38 RBIs. He’ll be the focal point.

Carson Cronin, Minford

Not many players had better years than Cronin in 2023. Leading the Falcons to 17 victories, he batted .540 alongside 32 runs scored. Needless to say, he was constantly blazing trails on base paths. After a first-team All-Ohio nod, he’ll try to continue a stellar track record this spring.

Wheelersburg’s Caden Conn was dominant last year with a 0.32 ERA.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

Caden Conn, Wheelersburg

The Pirates won 22 games last spring. Conn, on the mound, had a hand in 11 of them. The junior was 11-1 with a 0.32 ERA in 73 ⅔ innings. He also hit .371 with 25 runs and 30 RBIs. His numbers speak for themselves. Now a senior, he’ll look to add to an already impressive resume.

Trent Walters, Westfall

Check any of last year’s leaderboards in the SVC and Walters’ name is probably present. The now-senior is coming off a year where he hit .418 alongside eight doubles, two triples and 21 stolen bases. He’s got speed, he’s an elite contact hitter and he’s constantly on base.


Share this post