Kent Roosevelt is enjoying a turnaround season in baseball with seniors Riley Day and Zane Cramer leading the charge along with junior Zac Common.
The Rough Riders enter this week with a 12-3 overall record and a 7-2 mark in the Suburban League American Conference. Roosevelt went 10-13, 4-8 last season.
Common pitched five innings on April 22, struck out nine, allowed one earned run and scored twice in a 13-2 win over host Tallmadge. Day contributed three hits, three RBI and one run scored in the victory.
Day played the role of hero on Tuesday with a single and a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the host Rough Riders to a 4-3 victory over Revere. Common hit a single, a two-run home run and scored two runs against the Minutemen.
Mike Haney, in his 17th season as Kent Roosevelt baseball coach, described this year’s team as a “special group” with 17 returning letter winners.
“The only player who is not a returning letter winner is a junior move-in from Corpus Christi, Texas, named Nathan Renkes,” Haney said. “Nate is our starting third baseman, and then shortstop when Zac pitches. He is our nine hitter and he pitches a little bit. His dad is in the Coast Guard, and he got relocated to Lake Erie.”
Haney, 45, said Renkes (.343 batting average), junior infielder-pitcher Spencer Townend, sophomore left fielder Alex Dabrowski and sophomore infielder-pitcher Kristian Daetwyler have “self proclaimed themselves the dirt bags” hitting sixth through ninth.
Haney said Common and Cramer are Roosevelt's top two pitchers with 4-0 records. Common has a 0.50 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 28 innings, and Cramer has a 1.29 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 27 innings. Common also plays shortstop and is the leadoff man with a .353 batting average, two home runs and 18 runs. Day plays center field, bats third and is hitting .432 with 17 RBI and 11 runs.
Senior right fielder Lucius Ivory (.325, 11 runs) bats second, and senior catcher Nathan Ritchey (17 runs, nine RBI) and junior infielder Matt Dile (.415, 11 RBI, 13 runs) hit fourth and fifth, respectively. Ivory is a Mount Union recruit, and is considering attending Harvard, Princeton, Chicago, Yale, Duke, Notre Dame and Kent State for academics.
Seniors Chris Gavriloff, Brandon Giunto, Devon Stahl and Bob Haney add depth along with juniors Trevor Woodward, Zach Holman and Kent Gordon. Junior Garrett Slippy (.400) suffered an arm injury and was lost for the rest of the season.
“The work ethic on this team is second to none,” said Mike Haney, a former baseball player at Roosevelt and KSU in the 1990s. “These guys are baseball junkies.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.