Ursuline Fighting Irish High School Baseball Preview
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A year ago, Ursuline won 18 games and won the Strathers County Championship by defeating Rootstown (8-2) before being eliminated by eventual Division III state champion Waindale (8-4).
During the off-season, the Fighting Irish were relegated to the Second Division for the upcoming season. “Our goal is to continue to compete at a high level,” says coach Paul Kempe. “Our schedule is very busy and we hope it will prepare us for the Division 2 tournament this spring.”
Ursuline returns five bats that were worth over 0.300 a year ago. Senior Luca Ricchiuchi led the team with a .419 batting average and 12 RBIs. Nick Bako hit .407 while Johnny Cumbert (.355) and Tom Groner (.354) each hit over .350 in the 2022 season. Dylan Casey also batted .329 with 16 RBIs. Andrew Kirila leads all returning players with 17 runs as a junior.
Kirila won 7 games on the hill (7-2), knocking out 70 batters, and finished the season with an earned average of 2.07. Tom Groner posted a 1.50 ERA to end the year 3–1 with 22 strikeouts, an Ursuline pitch.
Kempe says: “We are bringing back a core group of writers from [last year’s] district title team. Our staff is very excited about our pitch rotation as we have a lot of guys who we are sure can throw for us. Our team speed is what we will rely on offensively, as well as returning 5 of our top six hitters from last year.”
The 2023 season kicks off with a home match against the Champion on Saturday, March 25th.
Ursuline Fighting Irish Baseball Preview2022 record: 18-102022 Post-season finish: Won district championship defeating Rootstown (8-2); Lost to Waindale (8-4) in regional semi-final Coach: Paul Kempe
Key returneesNick Bako, Sr. Dylan Casey, Sr. Tom Groner, Sr. Andrew Kirila, Sr. Mark Manning, Sr. Luca Ricciuti, Sr. Johnny Cambert, Jr. Jack Erickson, Jr.
Schedule for 2023March 25 – Champion Mar. 25 – St. EdwardMar. 26 – TBA March. 28 – in Massillon Mar. 29 – Western branch March. 31 – Geneva, April. 3 – Warren JFKApr. 4 – in Canfield, April. 5 – Cardinal MuniApr. 10 – in Chardonnay Apr. 12 – east Apr. 14 – Springfield, April. 15 – on St. Vincent-St. MaryApr. 17 – Salemapr. 18 – vs. CheneyApr. 21 – Hubbard Apr. 22 – Central Catholic Canton. 25 – in St. Edward Apr. 27 – in Lakeview Apr. May 29 – Struthers May 2 – Cardinal Mooney May 4 – Warren JFK May 5 – South Range May 8 – Fitch May 99 – Howland May 10 – Fitch May 11 – Poland
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