‘These guys are all in’ — Badin baseball looking to continue its success in 2024

HAMILTON — Badin baseball coach Brion Treadway won’t complain about his team getting a second-ranked nod in the Division II preseason state poll.

It’s simply a matter of historical respect for the highly touted Rams.

“We spent time at practice talking about that the other day,” Treadway said. “That’s built on the backs of other guys and really being respected in our area. It’s built on the backs of 30 years of Badin baseball guys that got after it and wanted to make Badin baseball mean something across the state.”

Treadway has entered his 13th season as Badin’s skipper, and he said the focus for the program isn’t about to change. Since the 2021 stint, the Rams have gone 84-16 — including this year’s 2-1 start.

“It’s our job to make our mark as a collective group regarding that in 2024,” he said.

The Rams graduated 12 players from a squad that went 29-2 and reached the regional finals before sustaining a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Greater Catholic League Coed rival Chaminade Julienne a season ago.

It’s opened an opportunity for this year’s seniors — all four of them — to leave their mark.

“Only having four seniors is an interesting situation,” Treadway said. “Kids had dropped off because of other sports, injuries and things like that.

“But we’ve been in this situation before — in 2010,” Treadway added. “We had four seniors, and that class was following a really talented ’09 group. Not a lot was expected out of them, but we ended up in the Final Four that year.

“We have four seniors that are all contributors to our team.”

Austin Buckle is the lone upperclassman position player. He’s off to a hot start at second base, according to Treadway.

The other three seniors — Matty Helms, Ian Price and Tyler Verdin — are expected to be key contributors on the mound.

“Helms is going to be a stud for us this year,” Treadway said. “Ian Price was 5-0 for us last year, and Tyler Verdin is our go-to arm out of the bullpen.

“These guys are all in. I think they’re excited to leave their mark as seniors.”

Badin is looking to defend its stellar run in the GCL, which includes conference titles every season since 1992 — except 2016 when McNicholas claimed the GCL Coed Central crown.

“Fortunately, we’ve grown accustomed to playing the game fast and causing chaos on the basepaths,” Treadway said. “We have the athletes to be able to do that this year. It’s a huge part of what we do in the offseason, as well as practice. It’s to prepare for stealing bases and taking bunts when they are given to us and things like that.”

Sophomore Chandler Taylor has claimed the leadoff duties and center field early on following a productive freshman season when he batted .422 at the plate.

Other names to keep an eye on are junior Kyle Anderson (third base/catcher), sophomore Cooper Anzalone (catcher/outfield), junior Chase Luebbe (pitcher/outfield), sophomore Austin Vangen (shortstop/outfield), junior Kade Bowling (infield), sophomore Jeremiah Carmella (catcher), sophomore Vince Laugle (infield), junior Cooper Ollis (infield/outfield) and junior Xander Arnold (infield).

“As a group, our junior class is really strong,” Treadway said. “Our sophomore class is really large and really deep. So, we have 28 sophomores in the class. There are a ton of good baseball players. A lot of our arms are in the sophomore class.

“We’re giving a lot of those guys their first varsity experience,” Treadway added. “How quickly they can adjust to the speed of the game at the varsity level is going to depend on how successful we are. The cool part about this year’s team is that we have leaders in the senior class and the junior class.

“I think we’re in a really good situation where we have leadership regardless of class throughout our program. There’s just a standard that’s set by guys for years that have gone by. They understand what it means to play for Badin baseball. It’s just kind of cool to see that trickle down to even the freshmen level.”

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