by Todd Robinson
Loveland, Ohio – The Loveland High School men’s baseball team expanded their lead in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference with an 11-0 victory over Withrow on Monday afternoon at Dave Evans Field.
The Tigers are 7-0 in ECC league play at the mid-point of their conference schedule, including series sweeps over conference rivals Milford and Kings during the past ten days. After sharing the ECC title with Milford last season and going 21-5, this year’s edition of the Tigers promised to be a bit of the “unkown” with Coach Ken Reed looking to replace 6 seniors who graduated with all-conference honors last year.
For the third consecutive year, the Tigers started their season over Spring Break at Dodgertown, the former spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers in Vero Beach, Florida. After losing two one-run contests in the their first three games, the Tigers found their stride, finishing 4-2 in Florida and now extending their winning streak to 13 consecutive games.
Pitchers Cole Ayers and Brian Haberer are tied for the ECC league lead with 3 wins apiece and Ian Knabe and Carson Sence both have three saves.
Offensively, the Tigers lead the league with a .371 team batting average, with four starters hitting over .400 including Luke Waddell, Cal Conley, Alex Hansberry, and Mitch Robinson. The 14-2 Tigers are currently ranked fifth in the state by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association and third in the city according to the Cincinnati Enquirer Coaches Poll.
Loveland faces a stiff contest on Tuesday night, taking on Cincinnati’s second ranked team, the Mason Comets. Friday, they return to ECC league play taking on the second place Anderson Redskins.
(Up-date: Loveland fell to Mason on Tuesday 9-1.)