BASEBALL, SOFTBALL, AND SUCCESSION 

Shots in the Darke

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The NFL draft begins Thursday, April 27th in Kansas City with either THE’s CJ Stroud or  ‘Bama’s Bryce Young expected to be the first pick of the Carolina Panthers with the other QB  likely to go second to the Houston Texans. Let’s start with the first of two trivia questions in this week’s award-winning column! 

Four Buckeye quarterbacks have been selected in the first round of the draft over the years —can you name at least three of them? A handful of Buckeye leaves to anyone who can name all four! Answer to follow along with trivia question two. 

We’re far enough into the high school spring sports campaign to take a look at the baseball and softball standings to date in several area conferences. Starting with baseball, in the MVL North or Miami division, Troy leads the pack with a 7-1 league mark while the other four schools are 4-2 or better including Greenville’s Wave with a 5-2 record. In the South or Valley, Sidney stands 5-3 while the rest of the division struggles mightily.  

Greenville’s Lady Wave remain undefeated in the North at 6-0 following a big win over Tipp Friday. Tipp is now 8-1 with Butler third at 6-1 while Fairborn rules the South at 6-2. The Lady Wave are now 8-3 overall following non-conference losses to Covington and Kings. The team  is led by senior Skylar Fletcher hitting .516, senior Kylee Hamm with 11 RBI and a 3-1 record in  the circle along with a 1.94 ERA, and sophomore Zoey Burns who is hitting .500 with 20 RBI  and has a 5-1 mark highlighted by a microscopic 1.02 ERA. 

In WOAC baseball action Tri-Village is currently on top with a 4-0 record followed by three teams with one loss each; Arcanum, Preble Shawnee, and Newton. Junior Cais Kingsley of TVS is hitting .643 while sophomore Seth Kiser of Mississinawa and junior Tucker Miller are at .600 thus far. Bradford senior Brendan Baker, ‘Roaders junior Hudson Hill, and Newton freshman Rhett Koffer all have driven in 12 runs. On the mound, Newton senior Carson Knupp, T-V senior Jace Lipps, Miller of Bradford, and F-M senior Cade Peters all have recorded 3 wins. 

On the girls side of WOAC diamond action Arcanum sets the pace at 5-0 trailed by Tri-County North, Ansonia, and Bradford with one loss apiece. Senior Jocelyn Hoggatt of M-V is hitting .556, senior Haley Davidson of National Trail is batting .545 with 16 RBI, and junior Hannah Webster also has driven in 16. Tied at 7 wins each are pitchers Hannah Kendig, an Arcanum junior, and Ansonia junior Abby Kramer. 

In the Three Rivers Conference Covington and Bethel head the baseball rankings while Covington and Milton-Union are tied at 5-1 in softball action. Meanwhile up north in the MAC St. Henry and Versailles are undefeated in baseball play so far while Minster’s girls lead Parkway and Versailles by a game early in the season. 

As I mentioned earlier Covington’s Lady Buccs defeated Greenville 7-6 in non-league play. I  have to say that the Miami County team’s uniforms were some of the sharpest I’ve seen—black  with white pinstripes, the mirror image of the hated (at least by me!) New York Yankees. 

The answer to the first trivia question—Buckeye signal callers drafted in the first round of  the NFL draft include Art Schlicter in ‘82; the late Dwayne Haskins in ‘19; and Justin Fields in  ‘21. The fourth you ask? Don Scott in 1941, an outstanding two-year starter for the Bucks. 

Unfortunately Scott was killed at age 23 in a bomber crash in England during WWII and never played a down of professional football. The OSU airport is named in his honor. Question number two—what Buckeye QB has amassed the best NFL statistics of any former wearers of the Scarlet and Gray? 

Don’t look now but the LeBron Lakers are back after a mediocre regular season mark in NBA play. They defeated the homestanding Memphis Grizzlies last night in the first round of the playoffs to take a 1-0 series lead. Meanwhile the Sacramento Kings won their first playoff game since 2006 by taking down the defending champion Warriors and the Cavs lost in Cleveland to the Knicks. The playoffs will continue through mid-June if anyone can last that long! 

Whoa!! What just happened in this week’s episode of one of my favorite series, Succession? It seems that family patriarch Logan Roy unexpectedly passed away leaving the media empire in a state of uproar as his sons and daughter struggle to assume control. A little rude and crude, the plot and characters make for good viewing on a par with another favorite series, Ted Lasso! 

Finally, former Buckeye Mike Tomczak (yes, Mike Tomczak!) played for fifteen years in the  NFL for four different teams (the Bears, Packers, Browns, and Steelers) passing for 16,073  yards and 88 touchdowns including winning a Super Bowl ring with the ‘85 Bears as a rookie  backup quarterback to Jim McMahon. You are a true BuckNut if you got that right!!