PHOTOS BY JUSTINE LOOMIS
Dalton’s Justin Basinger
Dalton’s Brady Hignight
By ARIEL STAHLER
Gazette & News sports writer
Dalton High School’s varsity baseball team overcame many tough teams in the tournament this season, but they could not clear the hurdle of John F. Kennedy in the Division IV regional semifinal June 1 at Louisville High School. JFK won 7-1, which ended Dalton’s season with an 18-9 overall record.
“A little disappointed with how we went out, but overall, it was a great season for us,” said Dalton’s head coach Scott Huth. “I am very proud of the team and the way they came together after a rough start to the season. We started out 4-6 and had a lot of younger, inexperienced guys on our team. We gained some confidence and played really well and went 14-3 the rest of the season.”
JFK put three runs on the board to lead off the first inning of the regional semifinal. Talan Greegor doubled home Jack Steiner in the bottom of the inning, but that was the Dawgs’ only run of the game. JFK added four more runs in the third inning. Seth Wyckoff was the losing pitcher. He gave up five runs on two hits, issued three walks and recorded one strikeout in two innings of work.
Huth talked about the accomplishments his team achieved this season, which was particularly notable for a young team. Steiner, Bryce Johnson and Justin Basinger were Dalton’s seniors.
“We won a share of the league championship, as well as sectional and district championships–all with only three seniors,” said Huth. “I think our team and coaches knew the potential was there and we sort of surprised everyone else with how well we came together and finished the season so successfully. The three championships, winning at Norwayne in extra innings to earn a share of the conference title and beating Hillsdale three times, I think those were all great accomplishments for this team.”
Huth noted some adjustments he would like his team to make in the following season.
“We will just need to find a way to score some more runs, have a little higher team batting average and take some pressure off of our pitchers. We will miss our three seniors tremendously and they will be hard to replace. … They are all great guys and I can’t say enough good things about their play, attitude and work ethic. … The baseball program at Dalton will miss them for sure, but with the number of guys playing key roles for us this year, the baseball team will have a bright future as well, for next year and beyond.”
Waynedale baseball is set to play the Ottawa Hills Green Bears in the state semifinal at 4 p.m. June 9 at Canal Park, Akron.