Railroaders baseball returning talent from District Championship team


By Drew Terhall


BRADFORD — The Bradford baseball program is returning a majority of last year’s team that won a District title and made a Division IV Regional Semifinals appearance.

Head coach Bill Sturwold said he’s using the scrimmages and practices to bring in the younger players and see where everyone fits.

“We just need to play. You can only do so much in the gym. We got some seniors I’m pretty solid on. But I got to mix in the younger guys in. We got 17, which is a tough number with not having a JV team. But I still got to try to get them in a little bit,” Sturwold said.

The Railroaders were 21-11 last season with a 7-4 WOAC record. After losing their last five regular season games, Bradford won four straight playoff games. That includes an upset win at Fort Loramie and a win over Troy Christian in the District Championship game.

Bradford will be returning WOAC Player of the Year in senior Tucker Miller. He led the team in batting average hitting .430 and in hits with 43. On the mound, he had 110 strikeouts and a 1.09 ERA.

They are also returning All-WOAC First Teamer in Landon Wills. Seniors Garrett Trevino and Hudson Hill along with junior Owen Canan are also back after starting last season. They do have a handful of players with some experience back.

Sturwold said he expects his returning players to have good seasons while they are focused on getting the more inexperienced players up to speed on the varsity game.

“I expect solid years out of all five of my seniors. Canan is Canan. Everyone knows the effort he puts out,” Sturwold said. “Got to work with the guys down at the bottom so they’re competing a little better at this level of pitchers.”

Sturwold said when they are ready to roll, they will be a competitive team. Last season, they jumped out to a 9-1 start to the season. After a brief losing streak, they won eight straight games.

Last season, they were second in the WOAC in team batting average hitting .293 while leading the WOAC in RBI with 171. They also tied or led the conference in each extra base hit category.

With a lot of the offensive production returning, the focus is on pitching and defense. Sturwold said it all starts with pitching and having a solid defense behind his pitchers.

“We need to play defense. It just shows when our pitchers are struggling, our defense struggles. We had twice this scrimmage where we had two outs and nobody on and they scored. We should get that third out and get off the field,” Sturwold said.

Bradford does have a tough schedule ahead of them. Sturwold said the conference slate and their non-conference games will challenge them.

They have teams like Troy Christian, Jackson Center, Dayton Christian and Versailles on their schedule.

Sturwold and his team are ready to get the season rolling. They are in a position to contend for not only a WOAC title, but also get back to regionals.

“These guys are ready to get after it. They know it’s their last time, the seniors are going to give it their all. I’m looking forward to it. We should contend for league and district titles,” Sturwold said.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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