Norton will put its 11-0 record on the line Monday when it hosts rival Woodridge at 5 p.m. in a Portage Trail Conference Metro Division baseball game.

The Panthers have nonleague wins over Barberton, Kenmore-Garfield, Manchester and Northwest, two PTC Metro wins over Cloverleaf, Ravenna and Springfield and a PTC Metro win over Streetsboro.

Norton coach Rod Swartz said the Panthers benefit from an upperclassmen-heavy roster that includes 11 seniors and five juniors.

“This is the most amount of seniors that we have had since 2005, and that happened to be the year that we made it to Columbus and the final four [in Division II],” Swartz said.

Senior Luke Bosley is a key pitcher for Norton, senior Ben Aiken is a catcher and pitcher and senior Parker Hray is the shortstop.

Norton’s other seniors are second baseman-pitcher John Cline, third baseman-pitcher Jarred Pasterchek, third baseman-pitcher Clay Crawford, right fielder Andrew Kozak, center fielder Clay Borrelli, pitcher-outfielder Zack Whitney, pitcher CJ Griffin and outfielder Zane Brady.

The Panthers' juniors are first baseman-pitcher Steven Cruz, left fielder Par Rockhold, pitcher Evan Cefalo, catcher Owen Pasterchek and infielder Ben Coughenour.

“We have a lot of experience back on the team and we are very deep,” Swartz said. “A lot of kids have been playing varsity since at least their sophomore year, and a couple of them played when they were freshmen. We have a lot of arms that can throw. We go about seven or eight deep on the mound, and we have a lot of interchangeable guys position-wise too.

“This is a great group of kids. … We have three captains in Parker Hray, Luke Bosley and Ben Aiken, and they do an outstanding job of leading this group.”

Hray is in his fourth year starting, and Bosley and Aiken are each in their third year as starters. Swartz said Kozak, Borrelli and Par are all hitting over .400.

Woodridge (10-4, 7-0) has two wins each over Ravenna, Streetsboro and Coventry, and single wins over Cloverleaf, Jackson Gold, Waynedale and Cuyahoga Falls. The Bulldogs lost to Lakewood St. Edward, Twinsburg, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and Canton Central Catholic.

“My No. 1 pitcher is senior Jarrett Martin,” Woodridge coach Dennis Dever said. “He has thrown 22 innings, he has a 0.64 ERA and he is 5-0.”

Junior Carson Murphy, senior Max Asher, senior Kyle Schneider and junior Malcolm Neitenbach are also key pitchers for Woodridge.

Senior Brad Goodyear is Woodridge's catcher. Senior Luke Hosford and junior Kevin Baker split time at first base, senior Brian Fitzsimmons and junior Andrew Mekeal share second base, senior Ty Mygrants is the shortstop, and Mekeal and Schneider split time at third base.

Mekeal is hitting. 460 with 20 RBI, and Mygrants has scored 14 runs.

Woodridge’s outfield features junior center fielder Brandon Albright (.483), junior right fielder Kyle Mottice (.389) and either Murphy, Martin, Baker or Schneider in left field.

Senior Cooper Takacs and juniors Fletcher Larson and Josh Kearns contribute as reserves.

“I think our best baseball is ahead of us,” Dever said.

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com.