Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
Lonsway helps Midland win title
By Colin Foster
Western Buckeye League baseball Player of the Year. Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Division II co-Player of the Year. Cincinnati Reds draft pick.
Over the weekend, Seth Lonsway added national champion to his resume.
The Celina High School graduate, who will attend Ohio State this fall, was a key contributor to the Midland Redskins' winning the American Amateur Baseball Congress' Connie Mack World Series, which concluded Sunday at Ricketts Park in Farmington, New Mexico.
The Redskins completed an undefeated run through the tournament with an 11-0 run-rule win over the Danville Hoots in the championship game.
It was the first Connie Mack title for Midland since 2011, and the players celebrated with a dog pile on the pitchers mound.
"The whole summer we were working towards winning the Connie Mack tournament" said Lonsway, who joined Midland after having declined to sign with the Reds. "When we won it, we were all emotional. There were guys tearing up and hugging each other because we worked hard to accomplish this."
Midland featured five high school players of the year from five different states, and the team was about as dominant as you'd expect - outscoring opposition 82-15 in nine games.
"I think we run-ruled teams in all but two games," Lonsway said. "It was unbelievable. I can't compare it to anything. It was ridiculous. When our guys were hot hitting, you just had to watch out because it was one after another."
Lonsway pitched in two innings during the tournament and was his dominant self, striking out five and giving up one run.
Midland's pitching staff held teams to two-or-fewer runs in eight of nine games. The rotation featured players headed to Vanderbilt, Michigan, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Wright State and Wichita State.
"Our pitching coach for our team said there's people talking about our pitching staff being one of the best pitching staffs in amateur baseball," Lonsway said.
The 16-team tournament drew crowds in the thousands, easily the biggest Lonsway has ever pitched in front of. He admitted it took some getting used to.
"When I went out there to pitch against the East Cobb Yankees, I had so much adrenaline that my first 4-5 pitches I was like 93, 93, 93, 94, 94 (MPH)," he said. "I was absolutely chucking the ball and I didn't even realize it because I had so much adrenaline. There was so much around me and all that excitement got me going. It was wild.
"It's weird because it's not in a big town or a big setting. It's in Farmington, New Mexico. It's a decent-sized town, but for this town, this is their whole year. This tournament is what they wait on all year. They just go nuts. There were probably 4,000-5,000 people a night there."
Lonsway will become accustomed to playing in front of big crowds soon enough at Ohio State.
In a couple weeks, Lonsway will report to Columbus to begin his baseball journey. Last weekend's feat didn't go unnoticed by Buckeye coach Greg Beals.
"(Beals) sent a text to me and Jake Ruby, he's our outfielder (for Midland), and told us congrats," Lonsway said. "He said bring that energy and everything with it. That was something special. We did something special by putting up that many runs and pitching the way we did."