Dayton Christian baseball eyes fourth straight conference crown

MIAMISBURG – The 2020 senior class at Dayton Christian High School might have produced the best team in program history. But they never got the chance.

This year’s group is doing its best to make up for that. Dayton Christian (13-3) goes for its fourth straight Metro Buckeye Conference title – and sixth in the past seven seasons – at Troy Christian (13-3) on Saturday.

Both teams are undefeated in the MBC heading into the showdown with Troy Christian 7-0 and Dayton Christian 6-0. Those two teams have also combined to win the last nine league titles with Dayton Christian claiming five and Troy Christian four.

“Faces change, expectations don’t. That’s been our mantra all year,” Dayton Christian coach Doug Adams said. “We lost everybody (after 2020). … I’d say the biggest key to success is how much we love each other. We have the best chemistry of the teams I’ve coached in all my years.”

Shortstop and pitcher Ryan Edgerton is the Warriors’ lone senior. The Owens Community College recruit is hitting .391 with 32 runs scored. He’s also 5-0 with a 2.71 ERA. He has 53 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.

“Ryan, he’s special. He’s a great leader,” Adams said.

And he’s fast. Edgerton has 27 of the Warriors’ 137 stolen bases. Sophomore Nate Scanlon (23), junior Isaiah Bost (21), junior Luke Carnegis (18) and freshman Isaac Scanlon (17) have also been active on the basepaths.

“With how we play we always have the green light,” Adams said. “All of our players always have the green light unless we have a big lead or something like that.”

Dayton Christian’s three losses have come to Carlisle (14-9), Tri-Village (6-5) and Beavercreek (12-3).

It’s another loss, though, that drives the Warriors. Dayton Christian led Versailles 7-6 after five innings in the Division III district title game in 2019. Versailles rallied with four runs in the sixth and held on for the 13-11 win.

Dayton Christian’s last district championship came 51 seasons ago.

To have that chance this season the Warriors will rely on pitching from Edgerton and junior Naaman Anderkin. Edgerton is 5-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.

Anderkin is 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 15 innings. He’s missed the last six games but is expected to return for the tournament.

Junior Luke Carnegis (2-1, 4.82 ERA) and sophomore Nate Scanlon (202, 4.86 ERA) have also seen quality innings.

Against Troy Christian they’ll see the MBC’s top two leading hitters. Senior Ethan Twiss leads the league with a .636 average with eight doubles, five triples and 27 runs batted in. Junior Lucas Day is hitting .600 with nine doubles, six homers and 34 RBI.

Offensively for Dayton Christian, junior Isaiah Bost is third in the league with team highs in average (.488) and runs batted in (25). He’s also hitting .708 with runners in scoring position.

Anderkin (.417), Carnegis (.378), sophomore Nate Scanlon (.476), freshman Isaac Scanlon (.422), sophomore Justin Lotter (.375) and junior Caleb Tomblin (.310) are all hitting above .300.

Defensively, junior Nick Dillhoff has stabilized the defense at catcher.

“We’re not as talented as a depth perspective as we’ve been in the past,” Adams said. “The 2020 class was probably the best in school history. But these guys work. Back in September or October I wasn’t sure what we would be. By December and January I saw the work ethic of them coming in three days a week at 6 a.m. lifting, doing those things. They were outworking the previous teams I’d coached.

“I love my team. They compete and they’re great teammates. They work hard and it’s an honor to coach them.”

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