Piedmont baseball looks to be strong again

Peter Krumins (2) and Ellis Moss in a 2023 game.

The Piedmont High School baseball team is ready to get rolling after losing several early season games to the weather.

“We have a good solid crew of seniors which is always where you start,” Highlanders coach Eric Olson said. “We don’t have a ton of JV kids. It’s a little bit of transition. Were going to lighten the JV schedule. With the rainouts its unfair to have them play three times a week.”

The seniors are led by Peter Krumins, who has committed to Northern Kentucky. Krumins is going to be the top starting pitcher and play shortstop when he isn’t on the mound. He’ll also anchor the No. 2 spot in the batting order.

“He’s going to be a table-setter for us,” Olson said. “Great leader, strong work ethic, first one there, last one out.”

Olson said Krumins is topping out around 87 miles an hour with his fastball.

Markos Lagios (4) puts the tag on Branson’s Luke Shane on a pickoff attempt in May 2023 (Photo by Damin Esper)

“That’s probably a 3-4-5 mile per hour gain from last year,” Olson said. “That will translate to playing defense (behind him).”

Dimitri Papahadjopoulos is another key senior, committed to Occidental. He’s scheduled to hit cleanup.

“His role is going to expand a little bit this year,” Olson said. “His role has been a first baseman. He’s going to play a lit more outfield this year. He can run, he’s one of the fastest kids on the team. Dimitri’s tools. He’s putting it together. Becoming a really, really good baseball player.”

John Olsen is along with Krumins at the top of the rotation. Another senior, Olsen played outfield last season but will now concentrate on pitching.

“I’m hoping he can focus on being a pitcher and refine some of the details that can help him take the next step,” Olson said. “If we can get 58-65 percent strikes then I think John will be unhittable.”

The third starter is Seve Sanchez, also a senior. He has been rehabilitating from a shoulder injury.

“Once he’s healthy, he’ll slide into that third role,” Olson said. “He’s a strike-thrower. He’s a guy you love in high school, he just throws strike one, strike two. The defense loves to play behind him.

Olson said Sanchez is on a throwing program and hopes to be ready to go at the end of the month.

The other senior is Ellis Moss, who will pitch and play all over the field.

“He’s a baseball junkie, just loves it,” Olson said. “He can play second base, he can pitch. He says, ‘Coach, what can I do?’ He’s willing to do whatever it takes.”

Junior Markos Lagios will hit at the top of the lineup and play center field.

“Not only am I impressed with what he’s doing on the field, but he’s also taking a leadership role, holding his teammates accountable,” Olson said. “Markos is definitely mature beyond his years. When he comes up there first batter of the game, it says, ‘Hey, we’re coming at you!’ He’ll play in the outfield a lot and he’s going to catch a bit. I can see him getting some middle relief or late relief if the team needs it.”

Catcher Will Parker is a junior and will hit third.

“It’s a relief as a coach that you have a catcher that you don’t have to worry about,” Olson said. “He’s going to block balls, he’s going to throw guys out. He’s a calming persona as a catcher. He’ll be knocking balls off that right field screen that we have as a left-handed hitter.”

Junior Brandon Dicke will hit fifth and play right field.

“He came up last year in the playoffs and just had a monster playoff,” Olson said. “He’s nursing a shoulder injury so he’ll be a primary DH for the first part of the season. He has gotten stronger, he has gotten bigger.”

Junior Jordan Vo is up to the varsity and will take over at first base while hitting in the lower part of the lineup.

“Jordan hits the ball hardest of anybody on the team,” Olson said.

Sophomore Diego Delventhal will start at third base. He’ll also pitch some. Sophomore Jack Meyjes will also see significant playing time.

Piedmont has been a regular in the North Coast Section playoffs of late and made it to the Division 4 semifinals a year ago, losing a heartbreaking but exciting game, 11-10 to Justin-Siena-Napa.

“We haven’t really talked about goals other than just trying to get better every day,” Olson said. “Show up to practice with a great mindset and improve.”

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