Archbishop Hoban claims share of league baseball title
AKRON — Despite the loss of nearly every starter on last year’s team to graduation, the 2012 Archbishop Hoban High School baseball team was able to tie Walsh Jesuit High School for first place in the North Coast League with an 8-2 league record.
Hoban’s overall record was 18-9. The Knights made it to the district final, where they fell to Tallmadge High School.
“This year’s team was comprised of a lot of kids with no varsity experience,” said head coach Jim Diestel. “After last year’s run to the state title game, we graduated 11 seniors and eight starters, so we knew this year was a slight step back. But with the experience of the returning seniors and the talent at the junior level, we were a tough team to beat by the end of the season.”
There were six seniors on this year’s squad, and Diestel said they “all contributed to this year’s success.”
“They all have a never-say-die attitude,” the coach stated. “All are great kids and tough competitors.”
The senior class was led by co-captain Tom Yakubowski.
“[Yakubowski] was our only returning regular in the lineup from last year,” Diestel said. “Tom hit just under .400 and led the team in RBIs.”
The team’s other senior co-captains were Colin Shaub, Jon Crabbs and Nick Corbett.
“Colin was 6-2 on the mound, Jon got to show off his cannon arm in right field often and Nick had several big hits all season and was huge on defense down the stretch,” Diestel said.
The other two seniors on the team were Matt Krznaric and Ray Paoletta.
“Matt had a clutch RBI double to help defeat Firestone, and Ray ripped a single up the middle against Medina that sparked a four-run comeback win,” the coach stated.
According to Diestel, the team also saw key performances from other players this season, including junior Sean Trexler, who had a .442 batting average, and junior Drew Lakos, who compiled a 5-1 record on the mound.
“Other juniors that were big contributors were Cody Hargett, Austin Farber, Anthony Osmun, Adam Gray, Aaron Cain and Tony Guerriero,” the coach said. “We also got help from sophomores A.J. Fisher and Travis Pero.”
Diestel said this season featured a number of memorable moments.
“Our biggest pluses this year were beating [St. Vincent-St. Mary] two times and beating Walsh,” he said. “But our early season rematch of last year’s state final with Columbus DeSales [a 5-2 win for Hoban this year] is what gave our young guys the confidence that they could compete with anybody.”
Going forward, Diestel said, the team will look for more consistency at the plate.
“Our offense was up and down throughout the season, but our pitching and defense were stellar,” he said. “This bodes well looking forward to next year.”
This was Diestel’s fifth season at Hoban, including four years as the head baseball coach. His overall record is 69-40.
“My assistants — Kris Immel, Alex Hausch and Agostino Micozzi — have been with the program for four years,” Diestel said. “Other coaches include A.J. Pero, Dan Walker and student assistant Antonio Sibbio.”
The head coach said his offseason will be spent “watching games and setting our schedule for 2013.”
“With the talent we have returning, we should be very tough from opening day on,” Diestel said. “Our goal, as always, is to win the district title. Once you get past that, anything can happen.”
More Sports News
Calendar of Events
- Spring Nature Hikes - 5/22/2013
- Summit Children’s Choir - 5/22/2013
- “Calamity Jane” - 5/23/2013
- Book Sale and Bizarre Bazaar - 5/25/2013
- Art Sale - 5/25/2013