By Chris Chaney
As the regular season winds to a close, the Glen Este Trojans are still in the hunt for an Eastern Cincinnati Conference title, but with eyes on a bigger prize: a run in the postseason.
At 16-6 overall and 7-3 in the ECC, the Trojans sit in solo third place, a half game behind Milford and Anderson for the league crown.
Glen Este played their second game of the week against Milford on Wednesday, May 7, but the game’s result wasn’t available at the time this edition went to print.
Similarly, Anderson had two conference games left on their slate against Turpin and Loveland. The Trojans would have to beat their Clermont County neighbors and receive some help in the form of an Anderson loss to get a piece of the title, but head coach Mike Hatfield said that his team will be concentrating on only what they can control.
“As far as the league race goes, we can only focus on what we can control and that is how we go about our business on a daily basis,” Hatfield said. “I know that each team involved within the league race has difficult games remaining, which is a testament to the strength and parity within our conference, so with each team having games remaining I couldn’t possibly prognosticate how things will transpire.”
What Hatfield does know, however, is who is keeping his team in that race: a strong core of upperclassmen leadership. The Trojans’ roster reads like who’s who of Glen Este letter winners.
The Trojans pitching staff is stout, led by four hurlers who have logged more than 20 innings each and boast earned run averages under 3.00.
“On the mound, four of our starting pitchers have done a tremendous job of controlling counts and getting opposing hitters to hit behind in the count,” Hatfield said.
Ryan Moores, Peyton Burdick, Zach Jones and AJ Sweatland make up the core of the Glen Este rotation. The foursome has a combined record of 11-3 and is doing an exceptional job at keeping themselves in winnable situations.
At the plate, timely hitting and rallying with two outs have been keys to getting runs on the board this season, Hatfield said. No one is doing a better job of moving runners across the plate than senior Tyler Flanigan.
“We are getting an MVP-caliber performance this season from right fielder Tyler Burdick,” Hatfield said. “Tyler is currently second in the conference in hitting (.477) and in home runs (6) and leads the conference in hits (31) and RBI (31) through 24 games.”
Also hitting well for the Trojans are Ronnie Murphy, Cody Mays, Jake Neely, Peyton Burdick , Dylan Chafin and Sweatland, all of whom have averages over .300.
With the league generally out of their control, games that the Trojans can control begin next week in the Division I sectional tournament.
Glen Este garnered the No. 8 seed and will host No. 20 Little Miami on Tuesday, May 13. If the first round plays out to chalk, the Trojans would find themselves in a 7/8 matchup with Oak Hills on May 15, for the right to advance to the sectional title on May 22.
Complete sectional tournament brackets can be found on swdab.org.