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College notes: Former Firelands ace Trevor Damron refocused after frustrating freshman season at Coastal Carolina

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    Coastal Carolina pitcher Trevor Damron said he refocused after struggling last season as a freshman. It seems to have worked. So far this season, Damron has 32 strikeouts in 24 innings pitching out of the bullpen.

    Scott Dean

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Trevor Damron needed a wake-up call after his freshman season at Coastal Carolina.

It’s safe to say he got the message.

The former Firelands ace has been sharp in his sophomore season, helping solidify the Chanticleers bullpen with 32 strikeouts in 24 innings, while allowing just eight runs, seven earned.

“I had a really rough year last year,” Damron said. “The coaching staff really got on me about making sure I really take advantage of the opportunities that were given to me here. They told me they didn’t want me to look four years down the road and regret that I didn’t try hard enough or really grasp everything that was given to me here.”

A starter in high school, Damron knew he’d be coming out of the bullpen in college, but his freshman year was a rude awakening. He learned quickly that he couldn’t take any batter for granted and labored to an 8.22 ERA in 11 appearances with a 1-1 record and a save.

Damron said he needed to refocus over the offseason. The lefty worked on his mechanics and committed to the weight room.

He also said he needed to take a step back, focus on his mindset and remember that even though the college game is faster with tougher hitters, it’s still just baseball.

“Freshman year took me on by storm,” Damron said. “I wasn’t ready for everything that was thrown in my direction. I took the lifting program seriously and work very hard this offseason to put myself in position to play this year. I didn’t want to not play and not be successful while I was here.”

The turnaround has been sharp — he had only allowed two runs in his first 11 appearances and sports a 2-1 record. His biggest win came April 10 against N.C. State, who was ranked second in the country at the time.

Damron came in the eighth and got the final two outs, striking out two as the Chants went on to win 7-6.

Damron said the team, which has been ranked in the Division I Top 25 at times this year, has high goals.

“We just stay focused,” said Damron, who is majoring in finance.

“We have a tough schedule. You just have to be ready for every team you face regardless of their caliber. We always have to be dialed in and focused. We came here to win games and try to make a run in the postseason.”

Extra innings

  • Redshirt junior Marques Inman is in the midst of another strong season for West Virginia. The former Elyria standout is hitting .273 with five home runs, five extra-base hits (four doubles) and 13 RBIs in 31 games and 110 at-bats.
  • Evan Shawver (Amherst) is making an early impact at Cincinnati. The freshman has a 4.63 ERA with a 1.40 WHIP in 10 appearances and three starts, striking out 41 in 35 innings.
  • Andrew Abrahamowicz didn’t take long to get settled into his new home at Bowling Green. The Elyria Catholic graduate, who transferred to the Falcons from Nebraska in the offseason, has a 2.14 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings and a 2-2 record in nine appearances.
  • Senior Noah Bland (Elyria Catholic) is hitting .317 with five home runs and 24 RBIs in 38 games for Ohio Dominican. He also has 18 stolen bases and has scored 34 runs.
  • A trio of locals is seeing playing time at Toledo. Freshman Mark Mohnickey of North Ridgeville (St. Edward) has started 12 games and played in 16. The catcher is hitting .214 in 42 at-bats with two doubles and three RBIs. Fellow freshman Jamie Myers (Midview) has a 7.16 ERA in 11 appearances and three starts with 15 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings. And sophomore Andrew Compton (Keystone) has six hits in 10 at-bats with seven RBIs and five runs, appearing in four games with two starts.
  • Two juniors are making waves at Hiram, both former Midview standouts. Curtis Caithaml is hitting .302 with six RBIs, 13 runs and three stolen bases in 23 games, while Gavin Taulbee, who previously played at Lorain County Community College, is hitting .239 with a home run, 11 RBIs, seven runs and two stolen bases in 15 games.

Walk-offs

  • Sammie Stefan is crushing it in her sophomore year for Maryland. The Keystone standout is second on the team in batting average at .339 and leads the Terrapins in home runs (six) and doubles (11) in 39 games (38 starts) and 112 at-bats. She also has 27 RBIs, 18 runs and a slugging percentage of .598 — another team high.
  • Penn State junior Destiny Weber, a fellow Keystone standout, is hitting .306 with two home runs, two doubles, eight RBIs and six runs.
  • Summer Constable, yet another Keystone alum, is hitting .206 in 34 games with 10 starts, 15 runs and one RBI as a sophomore at Ohio State.
  • Christina Clark (Avon) has thrown 131 1/3 innings as a freshman for St. Francis. She has a 5.12 ERA with a 9-8 record, two no-decisions and 64 strikeouts.
  • Toledo senior Kailey Minarchick (Columbia) has a 9.63 ERA in 32 innings with 10 strikeouts and 18 walks.
  • Sophomore Paige Hartley and freshman Valeri Broschk (Keystone) are seeing time at Cleveland State. Hartley is hitting .200 with four doubles, eight runs and an RBI, while Broschk is hitting .160 with four runs and four RBIs. Freshman Gabby Shackelford (Midview) has played in 19 games with a .161 average, one run and one RBI.
  • Alex Kozich (Avon) is having a strong junior season with Baldwin Wallace, hitting .400 in 36 games with three home runs, 33 RBIs, 25 runs and four steals.
  • Alexis Dill, another Avon alum, is also having a solid junior year at Oberlin. She’s hitting .310 with 17 starts, a double, five steals, 13 runs and 13 RBIs.
  • Freshman Lauren Kachure (Amherst) is hitting .250 for Capital in 36 games. She has one home run, 12 RBIs, 13 runs and two steals.

Notable

  • Ohio State senior Niki Schroeder has four Top 25 finishes for the women’s golf team, highlighted by placing ninth at the Westbrook Spring Invitational. The former Avon Lake standout has played 26 rounds with an average score of 74.7.
  • Cleveland State senior Anton Krecic currently ranks third in school history with a 74.6 scoring average. The Columbia resident, who played at St. Edward, has a 75.3 average with one top-five finish.
  • John Carroll senior Madisyn Rini (Avon) has a 9-6 record at second singles for John Carroll’s women’s tennis team. The former Avon standout started 0-5, but has won nine of her last 10 matches through April 12.
For additions to the college notebook, contact Chris Sweeney at (440) 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com and follow him @CSweeneyCT on Twitter.
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