Linsly Looks for Another Baseball Title
By BUBBA KAPRAL
WHEELING — Linsly has a rich baseball tradition. That tradition took on a little more luster thanks to a successful 2016 season.
Coach Jay Cartwright’s squad rang up an impressive 20-4 record en route to capturing the OVAC 3A title via an 8-2 win over Fort Frye in the finals. The Cadets dispatched Steubenville Central in the semifinals.
Despite the loss of some outstanding talent, the Cadets are poised to continue their winning ways at a high level.
Linsly lost four players through graduation. Logan Goodnight, one of the premier players in the OVAC the last few years, is now seeing time with Penn State at third base. Tyler Ashbrook, a quality pitcher-outfielder, is enrolled in the WVU engineering program. Hard-hitting outfielder James Cartwright is a member of the Franklin and Marshall College football team while outfielder Jared Schachter is a student at University of Michigan.
“I was very pleased with our overall team chemistry last year, and last year’s seniors were a key to holding that unit together,” Cartwright said. “We have eight seniors on the roster this year, and they are expected to assume that leadership role.
“We should be solid at the plate, and we have some pitching experience. The weather and the flu have limited our outdoor practice opportunities.”
Cartwright’s senior class boasts good numbers and solid talent, many of whom played integral roles in last season’s OVAC-winning campaign.
Frankie Favede and Josh Auten will anchor the mound staff. Both turned in several strong mound outings as juniors.
Tommy Curtin will be their battery mate. He offers both quality defensive skills with a potent bat.
Floid Giddings returns as a power-hitting first baseman. He will be joined by two classmates on the left side of the infield. Jacob “Butter” Murray and Gage Giovengo are stellar at shortstop and third base, respectively. They will also bat in the heart of the order.
Speedy Warren Saunders will again patrol center field. He will also be utilized as a hurler. Alex Williamson is also ticketed for outfield duty.
A six-member junior class is topped by Vic Giovengo. He brings deft versatility to any position but pitcher.
The balance of the junior class includes pitchers Jake Auten, Jack Fencl, Sam Park and Tyler Kemp as well as catcher-infielder Cory Smith.
The sophomore class numbers nine candidates led by talented Eli Petho. He saw varsity time as a freshman and will start at second base.
Jon Milton will also be a key contributor. The southpaw will be in the Cadets’ rotation and will help in the outfield.
Jules Giovengo will also be in the hunt for a starting outfield spot.
Other sophomores battling for varsity time are Dom Gorence (P, IF, OF), Christopher Nau (P, IF), Avard Hart (C, IF), Gavin Ernst (P, IF), Alex Papadimitriou (IF) and Cody Lobosky (P, OF).
Rounding out the deep Cadets roster are 10 freshmen. They are: Lee Paull (IF), Lee Cartwright (P, OF), Jay Liu (IF), Bakari Adderly (P, OF), Chance Knight (IF), Walkyr Jackson (IF), Christopher Polecanos (IF), Paul Cook (P, IF), Gabriel Hicks (P, OF) and Marshall Taylor (P, OF).
“I am pleased with our schedule. That was an off-season challenge after being forced out of our long membership in the Eastern Ohio Baseball League,” Cartwright said. “Linsly had been a part of that league since 1974 when my predecessor Gary Sprague was instrumental orchestrating our membership.”
Cartwright has been in charge of the Linsly baseball program since 2007. Prior to that, he assisted Sprague (an OVAC Hall of Famer) from 1993. Cartwright has scripted a 196-58 record at the Cadet helm.
His varsity staff includes Scot Goodnight (pitching coach) and Mike Doyle (first base coach).
Chris Kiedaisch and Jameson Murray will handle the reserve team.
March 17: Oak Glen 5 p.m.
March 20: at Bishop Donahue 5 p.m.
March 22: at Oak Glen 5 p.m.
March 23: Weir 5:30 p.m.
March 25: Mercers Acad. (2) 12:30 p.m.
March 27: Wheeling Central 5 p.m.
March 28: at Caldwell 5:30 p.m.
March 29: at University 5 p.m.
March 30: Meadowbrook 5 p.m.
April 4: at Meadowbrook 5 p.m.
April 5: Bishop Donahue 5 p.m.
April 7: at Steub. Catholic 5 p.m.
April 8: at Kiski (2) Noon
April 11: at Madonna 5 p.m.
April 13: at Cameron 5 p.m.
April 14: at John Marshall 5 p.m.
April 15: at Western Reserve (2) Noon
April 17: at Wheeling Central 5 p.m.
April 18: at Weir 5:30 p.m.
April 21: Harrison Central 5 p.m.
April 22: OVAC Semifinal TBD
April 24: Madonna 5 p.m.
April 25: Morgantown 5 p.m.
April 26: at Morgantown 5 p.m.
April 27: East Liverpool 5 p.m.
Aril 29: OVAC Finals at Vaccaro 11 a.m.
May 1: at John Marshall 5 p.m.
May 2: at Crestview 5 p.m.