By Chris Chaney
Coming off of a disappointing 2012 season, the Amelia Barons baseball team is off to a good start to their 2013 campaign, winning four of their first six games.
A relatively young team, the Barons only have one senior on the roster, 6-foot-6 pitcher and first baseman, Michael Seebohm. The rest of the squad is comprised of five juniors and six sophomores, a solid core of talent that will be gaining experience on the fly for head coach Jeff Hurt.
The Amelia pitching staff will be a key component to a successful season on Clough Pike as they run out a rotation of bonafide studs that includes Seebohm, Marshall University signee, left-handed junior Trevor Simon, junior Zach Morris, junior Austin McCabe and a trio of sophomores looking to get more varsity experience under their belts; Allen King, Mike Diana and TJ Reed.
In what is expected to be a pretty tight race in the Southern Buckeye Conference American Division, the Barons opened up with tough loss on April 2 to league rival Bethel-Tate, 3-1.
Amelia’s ace, Simon, was credited with the loss, but the Barons bats were mostly to blame with all but Diana struggling to hit Russell Hartley of the Tigers. Diana went 2-3 with a triple and the lone run batted in in the opening game of the season.
With the Barons’ bats waking up in their first away game of the year a day later, the Barons evened their record at 1-1 behind a strong performance from the right-handed Seebohm. Timely hitting and solid run support lifted Amelia past Goshen 6-2.
The success was short-lived as the Barons visited odds-on league favorites New Richmond on Friday, April 5. The Lions, who at one point were ranked No. 1 in the state last year, took it to Amelia run-ruling the Barons in five innings, 13-0.
Junior Zach Morris was saddled with his first loss the year after the Lions’ proved why they were the team to beat in the SBC.
At 1-2 through the first three, Amelia found themselves with their backs against the wall early in the season, but they have responded in a big way, winning their next three, including sweeping a double-header on Saturday, April 6 at Hillsboro.
Evening their record at 2-2 in Game One of the double-header, the Barons eeked out a one-run victory, 3-2. In the second game of the double dip, Amelia cruised a bit more comfortably, doubling up the Indians 6-3.
On a bit of a roll heading into Monday’s match-up with first-year SBC foe Norwood, the Barons kept on trucking behind an impressive performance by Simon on the hill.
The junior south paw struck out 10 while going 2-3 from the dish with two doubles.
Seebohm added on with another 2-3 day, which featured a double, a home run and three RBI.
Sitting two games above .500, the Barons have to be happy with how the team has responded to some early-year adversity. However, things are not getting any easier in the immediate future.
Amelia played SBC-National defending champions Batavia on Tuesday and got an early rematch with Bethel-Tate on Wednesday in the Cincinnati Reds High School Showcase, played at Jay Bruce Field in Batavia.
Coming off of those back-to-back games, Amelia keeps their heavy work load going with another six more games in six days before a day off on Wednesday, April 17.