“He’s to the point where he could be running his own team,” Barhorst said. “We’ve got a really good team again, obviously. Hopefully, we can go really far, and I know we’re going to have a pretty strong team coming back next year.”
Barhorst, a 1985 CJ graduate, has a career record of 144-113. The Eagles finished 24-5 last season and beat Wapakoneta 3-1 in the state final to win the program's first championship since 1970. The victory came a year after a 4-0 loss to Tallmadge in the championship game.
This year, the Eagles are 20-2 and took a 16-game winning streak into a sectional tournament game Thursday against Trotwood-Madison. Barhorst told his players about his decision a week ago.
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“I wanted them to have time to think about it and be able to absorb it a little bit,” he said, “and forget about it and move back into tournament mode.”
Barhorst has a full-time job with Gary Bryant Construction, so it’s never been easy devoting so many hours to baseball.
“It’s a very time-consuming process,” he said. “You’re spending at least six months of the year doing baseball: three to five or six days a week. I was just getting to the point at 20 years, I’m thinking I’d like to relax a little bit and not get home at 8 or 9 at night after working all day. I just thought this was time. I think the team’s going to be in good hands. I think it’s still going in the right direction.”