By Josh Hess/Dayton Dragons
This spring, Fifth Third Field and the Dayton Dragons will play host to a series of high school baseball games for the 14th straight season, presented by Mount St. Joseph University. The action begins with a doubleheader on the afternoon of Sunday, April 7.
The games at Fifth Third Field also serve as a fundraiser for the participating schools. This year’s series of games will raise approximately $30,000 for the schools to help with the cost of uniforms, equipment, and bus transportation.
New to the high school baseball schedule this season is the introduction of a Most Valuable Player and scholarship winner. After each game, coaches can nominate one MVP who will be recognized immediately following the game at Fifth Third Field. Then, during the Dragons home game on May 20th against Lake County, each of the MVPs will be welcomed back to the field to be recognized in front of a sold-out crowd. One player from among the 20 MVPs will receive a $1,000 college scholarship to be presented at their respective high school in front of family, friends, coaches, a Dragons mascot and Mount St. Joseph University staff.
The contests at Fifth Third Field will feature several highly-touted programs and individual standouts. Schools from 17 different conferences across Ohio will be represented. Among the teams participating, 13 finished in the top three in their respective conferences and five were ranked in the final OHSBCA Coaches Poll of 2018. Eleven players were named to an All-Ohio Team in their division. In total, 18 schools that played at Fifth Third Field last year return to play again this season and four games are a rematch from a year ago.
The high school baseball slate opens with Lincolnview against New Knoxville on Sunday, April 7th, at 1:00 p.m. Lincolnview finished on top of the Northwest Conference last season with a 20-6 overall record and return senior Jayden Youtsey and junior Gavin Carter, both first-team NWC members last year. The second game of the opening doubleheader features Fairborn and Edgewood. Both teams eclipsed 10-wins overall. This is a rematch of last year’s contest at Fifth Third Field.
Monday, April 8th, will be the first of six intra-conference matchups held at Fifth Third Field this year. For the 4:30 p.m. game, Dayton City League rivals Ponitz squares off against Stivers. In game two that night, the Greater Western Ohio Conference (GWOC) takes center stage in the first of two conference matchups during the season. Tippecanoe meets Piqua following a season where both teams secured post season wins. Franklin-Monroe and Arcanum, two teams who played at Fifth Third Field last year, meet in a battle of Cross County Conference foes on April 19th. Both games on April 30th feature conference matchups, starting with Springfield and Wayne in another GWOC clash. Dixie and Milton-Union will both represent the Southwestern Buckeye League in the nightcap on that Tuesday to play for the second straight year at Fifth Third Field. In the final conference matchup of the season at Fifth Third Field, West-Liberty and Mechanicsburg out of the Ohio Heritage Conference square off on May 1st.
The other 12 games played at Fifth Third Field are all non-conference matchups beginning on April 9th with Lebanon and Harrison. Harrison is coming off an impressive 18-win season last year and Lebanon finished their season close behind with 15 wins. Spencerville and Liberty-Benton will follow that game on the second Tuesday in April. Liberty-Benton ripped off 8 wins in conference play last season to finish third in the Blanchard Valley Conference.
The Cross County Conference and Central Buckeye Conference square off on April 19th when Mississinawa Valley faces Northwestern in the day’s first game. Northwestern hopes to continue its stellar pitching and defense this season, coming off a year where the team gave up under 3.55 runs per game. Two other games that Saturday see 2018 GWOC West champions Springboro play 2018 Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division co-champions Lancaster. Finally, National Trail, coming off a 13-win season, plays Valley View to wrap up the weekend.
The final non-conference games in April are both on Monday, April 22nd. In game one, Lehman Catholic faces Dayton Christian. Both teams will be their only conference representatives to play at Fifth Third field this season, from the Northwest Central Conference and Metro Buckeye Conference, respectively. Following that contest, Versailles takes on Fort Loramie at 7:00 p.m. Fort Loramie is led by two first-team All-Shelby County performers in seniors Jared Middendorf and Carter Mescher, Versailles is coming off a strong season, finishing 18-5 overall in 2018.
The high school baseball schedule at Fifth Third Field concludes the first week of May with six games across three days. Following the West Liberty versus Mechanicsburg game on May 1st, Preble Shawnee battles Twin-Valley South at 7:00 p.m. Preble Shawnee graduated five All-Conference selection from a year ago while Twin-Valley South had three players selected to the All-Conference teams.
Springfield is the only team to play at Fifth Third Field multiple times this season when they take on Middletown on May 2nd. Middletown’s Adonis Herrera and Gene Underhill were both All-Greater Miami Conference members in 2018. Following that game will see Springfield-Shawnee face Beavercreek. After a successful season in 2018, Springfield-Shawnee had five players selected to the All-Conference team, including three players selected First-Team. With 20 wins a year ago, Beavercreek was tied for the second most wins in the entire GWOC.
The high school slate wraps up on Saturday, May 4th, with an early double header. Lima Senior squares off against Elida at 10:00 a.m., the earliest start for any game. Both teams had five All-Conference selections from 2018. Finally, Covington and St. Henry rematch a game they played at Fifth Third Field last season.
The Dayton Dragons have been hosting the Miami Valley’s best baseball teams since 2006 and are proud to continue the tradition for a 14th consecutive year. A complete list of high school baseball games scheduled to be played at Fifth Third Field can be found below.
All games are free to attend and the media is invited to cover them. Gates will open 30 minutes prior to the first game played that day. High schools may provide their own PA announcers, broadcasters, cheer squads, and national anthem singers. Participating schools sell Dragons tickets to help raise money for their programs.
To learn more about the high school baseball program and schedule at Fifth Third Field, visit www.daytondragons.com/hsbaseball
|Date||Time||Home Team||Away Team|
|4/7/19||Sunday, April 7, 2019||1:00 PM||Lincolnview||New Knoxville|
|4/7/19||Sunday, April 7, 2019||4:00 PM||Fairborn||Edgewood|
|4/8/19||Monday, April 8, 2019||4:30 PM||Ponitz||Stivers|
|4/8/19||Monday, April 8, 2019||7:00 PM||Tippecanoe||Piqua|
|4/9/19||Tuesday, April 9, 2019||4:30 PM||Lebanon||Harrison|
|4/9/19||Tuesday, April 9, 2019||7:00 PM||Spencerville||Liberty-Benton|
|4/19/19||Friday, April 19, 2019||4:30 PM||Mississinawa Valley||Northwestern|
|4/19/19||Friday, April 19, 2019||7:00 PM||Franklin-Monroe||Arcanum|
|4/20/19||Saturday, April 20, 2019||1:00 PM||Lancaster||Springboro|
|4/20/19||Saturday, April 20, 2019||4:00 PM||National Trail||Valley View|
|4/22/19||Monday, April 22, 2019||4:30 PM||Lehman Catholic||Dayton Christian|
|4/22/19||Monday. April 22, 2019||7:00 PM||Versailles||Fort Loramie|
|4/30/19||Tuesday, April 30, 2019||4:30 PM||Springfield||Wayne|
|4/30/19||Tuesday, April 30, 2019||7:00 PM||Dixie||Milton-Union|
|5/1/19||Wednesday, May 1, 2019||4:30 PM||West Liberty||Mechanicsburg|
|5/1/19||Wednesday, May 1, 2019||7:00 PM||Preble Shawnee||Twin-Valley South|
|5/2/19||Thursday, May 2, 2019||4:30 PM||Springfield||Middletown|
|5/2/19||Thursday, May 2, 2019||7:00 PM||Springfield-Shawnee||Beavercreek|
|5/4/19||Saturday, May 4, 2019||10:00 AM||Lima Sr.||Elida|
|5/4/19||Saturday, May 4, 2019||1:00 PM||Covington||St. Henry|
More Information: The Dayton Dragons are the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and play a 70-game home schedule at beautiful Fifth Third Field in downtown Dayton, easily accessible from Interstate 75. Individuals and groups seeking information about Dayton Dragons group tickets, lawn tickets, the season ticket wait list, sponsorship opportunities or booking a Dragons speaker are encouraged to contact the Dragons by calling (937) 228-2287, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web at daytondragons.com