2017 McDonald Baseball Preview

McDonald begins play on March 25 at Girard.

McDonald Blue Devils High School Baseball - McDonald, Ohio

2017 McDonald Baseball Preview
Head Coach: Bill Ifft, 2nd season (12-10)
2016 Record: 9-13

Key Returnees
Joe Celli, C/OF (SR)
Dylan Portolese, SS (SR)
Nick Shiley, IF (SR)
Joe Sudol, CF (SR)
Nate Ifft, IF (JR)
Calvin Woolford, IF (JR)
Logan Shields, IF/OF (SO)

Strengths
The Blue Devils return seven starters from last year’s lineup including three-year letterwinners in Joe Celli, Dylan Portolese, Nick Shiley and Joe Sudol. Celli helped the Blue Devils in a number of roles last year including pitching in 3 games as well as being one of six players to compete in each game last Spring. Portolese finished fourth on the team in hitting with a .380 average (27-71) and a team-leading 18 RBIs. Shiley had 7 RBIs offensively and pitched in 15.1 innings last season. Sudol closed out 2016 as the Blue Devils’ leader in runs scored (20) and with 3 triples. He also tallied 28 base hits (2nd on the team) and batted .378 (5th) and accumulated a .440 on-base percentage (3rd). Junior Nate Ifft and Calvin Woolford will also play key roles on this year’s bunch. Ifft displayed his prowess to make contact as a sophomore as he hit for a .388 batting average (26-67) and drove in 10 runs. Woolford reached base 30% of the time (.304 OBP) as he collected 8 RBIs.

The team is led by an experienced coaching staff managed by Bill Ifft, who’s in his second year as McDonald’s head coach. Anthony Ragazine oversees the Devils’ pitchers while Ryan Ifft serves as the team’s hitting coach. Ray Lewis assists with the outfielders. Ifft points to another trait – his team’s strong work ethic – which should prove to benefit the Blue Devils in 2017.

Weaknesses
McDonald not only lost their two top hitters but also their two top pitchers in Ben Carkido and Garrett Mulrooney. Carkido batted .397 (29-73) and amassed a 4.14 ERA in 47.1 innings of work (64 Ks, 4-5). Mulrooney batted .393 (.500 OBP) as he toiled through 38.2 innings and accumulated a 2.53 ERA (51 Ks, 3-2). The remaining Blue Devil pitchers must replace 62% of the innings thrown a year ago and 15 games started. Starting pitching will be have coach Ifft’s attention this off-season.

2016 Leaders
Batting Average: Ben Carkido – .397 (29-73)*
On-Base Percentage: Garrett Mulrooney – .500*
Runs Scored: Joe Sudol – 20
Base Hits: Ben Carkido – 29*
Doubles: Garrett Mulrooney – 9*
Triples: Joe Sudol – 3
Runs Batted In: Dylan Portolese – 18

Earned Run Average: Garrett Mulrooney – 2.53 (38.2 IP)*
Wins: Ben Carkido – 4-5*
Innings Pitched: Ben Carkido – 47.1*
Strikeouts: Ben Carkido – 64*
Saves: Nick Skiley – 2
*-Graduated

2017 Schedule
Mar. 25 – at Girard, 1
Mar. 29 – at Wellsville, 5
Mar. 30 – Springfield, 5
Mar. 31 – United, 5
Apr. 3 – Mineral Ridge, 5
Apr. 4 – at Mineral Ridge, 5
Apr. 6 – at Columbiana, 5
Apr. 8 – at Bristol, 11
Apr. 10 – at Jackson-Milton, 5
Apr. 11 – Jackson-Milton, 5
Apr. 12 – South Range, 5
Apr. 13 – at Southern, 5
Apr. 18 – Western Reserve, 5
Apr. 19 – at Western Reserve, 5
Apr. 20 – at Crestview, 5
Apr. 21 – Leetonia, 5
Apr. 24 – Sebring, 5
Apr. 25 – at Sebring, 5
Apr. 28 – at Warren JFK, 5
May 1 – Lowellville, 5
May 2 – at Lowellville, 5
May 3 – at Lordstown, 4:30
May 4 – East Palestine, 5
May 8 – vs. Lisbon at Kent State, 5
May 12 – Mathews, 4:30

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