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Woodridge baseball team ends season with ‘great run’ in playoffs

6/5/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

PENINSULA — Head coach Dennis Dever called 2014 a “great season” for the Woodridge High School baseball team.

“Any time you get to the regional finals, it’s a very successful season,” he said. “And I think all of our players got better as the season went on, so I would say it was successful from that point, as well. It was a very hard-working, close-knit group. They did a great job of playing as a team.”

Woodridge finished with a 28-4 overall record, including a perfect 12-0 mark in the Portage Trail Conference’s (PTC) County Division. The season ended with “a great run” in the postseason, Dever said.

“We ended up beating CVCA [Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy] for the sectional championship, which then took us to the Akron District. That was played at Canal Park, where we beat St. Vincent-St. Mary’s in the district semis,” the coach said. “Then we beat Tallmadge in the district finals to go to regional play. That was the Elite 8 at Hudson High School, where we beat Poland Seminary 3-2. And in the regional finals, we were defeated by Notre Dame Cathedral Latin. Any time you win that many games in the playoffs, it’s exciting. I’m very proud of the kids, and I think we went a long way. I think we accomplished a lot.”

According to Dever, the team’s experience entering the year played a key role in the successful season.

“All of the guys who have been with me for several years all had solid seasons,” he stated. “Either offensively, defensively or as pitchers, they excelled. And some players excelled at all of them.”

The team’s senior captains this season were outfielder Anthony Yacobucci and catcher Tommy Morehouse.

“Anthony had a solid year for us. He was a great leader and he really excelled in centerfield. Defensively, he had a phenomenal year,” the coach said. “And Tommy was the PTC County Division’s Player of the Year. He had a great year for us behind the plate, and he hit well for us, too. He led our team in RBIs.”

In addition to Morehouse, Dever said, several players from this year’s squad took home league honors.

“Junior Mike Seminatore was first-team pitcher. Junior Michael Walter was first-team at large. Junior third baseman Tommy Finegan and senior first baseman Kevin Kelleher were first-team. And Justin Whitely, another senior, was first-team outfield,” he said. “And we had two guys that were honorable mention: junior Christian Owens and freshman Preston Clark.”

Dever said this year’s team was able to accomplish a number of goals that the players had set out before the season began.

“The boys had set out to win 20 games, and we won 28, so we achieved that. The 28 wins is the most in school history,” he said. “They set out to win the league, which we did. And they also had made a goal to become district champions, which we did. So it was a very successful season. The team that we had this year could play with any of the teams that we’ve ever had. We got the best of what we had out of this year’s team.”

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