College Baseball Destinations Coached by Ed Konopka


2012: Mike Ruffing - St. Ignatius HS, Washington & Jefferson University

2012: Nate Ferster - Olmsted Falls HS,  Baldwin Wallace University

2012: Zach Browning - Cuyahoga Heights HS, Notre Dame College

2012: Joey Stoll - St. Edward HS, Ohio State University

2012: Matt Hoyer - St. Ignatius HS, Mercyhurst University/University of Akron

2012: Matt Eckhardt - Avon HS, Toledo/Ohio State University

2012: Anders Mahon - Avon HS, Cuyahoga Community College

2012: Zach Dennison - Fairport Harbor HS, Notre Dame College

2012: Derek Westerfield - Olmsted Falls HS, Alderson-Broaddus University

2012: Scott Chase - St. Ignatius HS, Mount Union University

2012: Kyle Toma - Strongsville HS, Mount Union University

2012: Robbie Rising - Bay Village HS, Baldwin Wallace University

2012: Kyle Ward - Padua HS, Walsh University


2013: Ben Szymcak - Strongsville HS, Cuyahoga Community College

2013: JP Sorma - Independence HS, Ohio State University/Ashland University

2013: Chris Tomshack - Elyria Catholic, Lake Erie College

2013: Garrett Koutsopoulos - Vermillion HS, Tiffin University

2013: Tyler Stephenson - Midview HS, Bethany College  

2013: Jamie Lackner - Westlake HS, Wooster College

2013: Wayne Naida - Lakewood HS, Lakeland CC

2013: Danny Strodtbeck - Heidelberg College/Lakeland CC

2013: Patrick Higley - Midview HS, Ohio Dominican University


2013: Derrick Stephenson - Midview HS, Walsh University


2013: Alex Zander - Cuyahoga Heights HS, Walsh University

2013: Derek Stephenson - Midview HS, Walsh University


2014: Caleb Potter - Mentor HS, West Virginia University


2014: Kent Axcell - Westlake HS, Ohio State University

2014: Eli Kraus - Buckeye HS, Kent State University

2014: Mike Martin - Independence HS, Mount Union College

2014: Marty Schuerger - Bay Village HS, Mount Union College

2014: Joe Begany - Elyria Catholic HS, Marietta College

2014: Joe Keleman - North Olmsted HS, Mount Union College

2014: Matt Feierabend - North Ridgeville HS, Tiffin University

2014: Darren Krolikowski - Independence HS, Mount Union

2014: Brett St. Clair - Sandusky St. Mary HS, Walsh University

2014: Zach Souter - Huron HS, Owens Community College

2014: Noah Skladan - Amherst HS, Mount Union College

2014: Jacob Czsmidia - Elyria HS,  Lake Erie College. 


2015: Nick Bebout - Wadsworth HS, Walsh University 

2015: Max Lavisky - Lakewood HS, Cuyahoga Community College


2015: Griffin Watterson - Bay Village HS, Marietta College

2015: Kenny Pierson - Brookside HS, Notre Dame College


2015: Garrett Kordish - Avon Lake HS, Notre Dame College

2015: Jeremiah Campo - Avon Lake HS, Walsh University

2015: Mason DeAnna - St. Edward HS, University of Cincinnati


2015: Kyle Hegedus - St. Edward HS, Youngstown State University

2015: Sam Sustersic - Revere HS, University of Dayton


2015: Mullen Socha - St. Ignatius HS, Washington & Jefferson

2015: Matt Starcovic-North Olmsted HS, Cuyahoga Community College  


2015: Joe Sciarappa - St. Edward HS, Marietta College

2015: Noah Bland - Elyria Catholic HS, Ohio Dominican University  

2015: Scott Barnum - Avon HS, Notre Dame College

2015: Anthony Savarino - Olmsted Falls HS, Marietta College

2015: Adam Dennison - Wadsworth HS, Wheeling Jesuit, Pa University

2015: Alex Lopiccolo - Mayfield HS, Ohio University

2016: Ben Bulchik - Lakewood HS, Walsh University




D2: 1st Team  - Joe Begany (Junior) Elyria Catholic - 1B/LHP - Committed to Marietta University

D3: 1st Team - J.P. Sorma (Senior) Independence - SS/3B - Committed to Ohio State University


D1: 2nd Team - Kyle Hegedus (Junior) St. Edward - OF - Youngstown State University
D1: 2nd Team - Kent Axcell (Senior) Westlake - C - Committed to Ohio State University
D1: Honorable Mention - Max Lavisky (Junior) Lakewood - INF/P - Cuyahoga Community College
D2: Honorable Mention - Eli Kraus (Senior) Buckeye - P - Committed to Kent State University
D3: 1st Team - Mike Martin (Senior) Independence - P - Committed to Mount Union University
D3: 2nd Team - Joe Begany (Senior) Elyria Catholic - 1B - Committed to Marietta University


D1: 2nd Team - Max Lavisky (Senior) Lakewood - 1B - Committed to Cuyahoga Community College

D1: Honorable Mention - Nick BeBout (Senior) Wadsworth - P - Commmitted to Walsh University

D2: 1st Team - Sam Sustersic (Senior) Revere - OF - Committed to Dayton University

D3: Honorable Mention (Senior) Elyria Catholic - OF - Committed to Ohio Dominican University


2015 T3 Rays 18u (31-8) OPL Champion, Midwest Challenge Champion, Palomino Super Region Champion

2014 T3 Rays 18U (22-14) Diamond League-Tied 1st Place

2013 T3 Rays 18U (25-12-1) OPL 18U Champion; Freedom Classic Runner-Up

2012 UTB Titans 18U (26-13) Diamond League Champions

2011 UTB Titans 17U (28-14-2); Diamond League 18U Runner-Up

2010 UTB Titans 16U (33-9)


The ability of a hitter to hit the ball the other way will have a dramatic impact his batting average. For the most part, all major league batting champions have had the ability to hit the ball all over the yard and especially to the opposite side of the field. Hitting to the opposite field should be the easiest task in hitting. To be effective in hitting the ball to the opposite field the only trait the hitter will need is patience. The ability to let the ball get deep into the hitting zone will also afford you more time to decide whether the pitch is a strike or not. You won't be fooled on a curve ball because the object is not to get the bat head out as quick. A hitter who hits to the other way is a mature hitter.

Most high school and some college hitters have a hard time hitting the ball to the opposite side of the field. This is because the amateur player will try and hit the ball out in front of the plate. This will lead to the hitter dropping the bat head and trying to push the baseball to the opposite side of the field. This is next to impossible to do. The result of this swing will lead to numerous foul balls and little pop ups over the first baseman's head. You see this all the time in the game, especially from the hitters who have difficulty hitting the ball hard to the opposite field.

In order to successfully hit the ball hard to the opposite field, the hitter must let the ball get deep into the hitting zone. This will require the player to hit the ball at the back, outside corner of the plate. Ideally, when the hitter is going to try to hit the ball to the opposite field, this should be done so that contact is made just at the leveling out process of the swing. Another good cue is that the hitter should hit the ball off his back groin. This will ensure that contact is made deep. The bat head should remain behind the hands when contact is made. A good reference point is 35 degree angle.

By hitting the ball deep in the hitting zone, the hitter will give himself the best opportunity to hit the ball hard to the opposite side gap. All great hitters can hit the ball hard to the opposite side gap. This will increase the number of doubles and triples throughout the season.

Hitting the ball the other way is the easiest place to hit the ball hard. Most amateur players don't think so but what is happening is that you are letting yourself see the ball for a longer period of time. Also, since you are seeing the ball longer, there is no need to get the barrel of the bat out as fast. So everything in your swing process will slow down and make the hitter more relaxed.


2008 Major Division Puritas League Champions - Photo @ Pipe Yard in Lorain, Ohio.

The Cleveland Mosquitoes (43-9) in 2006 captured the NABF Major Division World Series Championship and was named as the #1 team in the country by the National Semi Pro Baseball Association coached by Ed Konopka.

In this picture at Louisville Kentucky the Mosquitoes defeated Detroit Jet Box 8-3. Jet Box would come back the next year and win the 2007 NABF World Series and again in the Summer of 2009 win it again. The Mosquitoes were a special group and several pro players are missing along with some other key guys. In this picture you can find 10 current or former professional players. Also 5 current or former UTB instructors can also be found. See if you can name the pro's and UTB guys in the team photo.

Hitting by the Numbers
The purpose of the following information is to provide some basic ideas and guidelines as to what a batter should be thinking and looking for, depending on what the count is. The term "their pitch" refers to the area of the strike zone where the hitter feels most comfortable hitting the ball.

While these guidelines are not hard and fast, they certainly will give you a place to start, especially with young batters. I've tried to make the title of each situation memorable so that they can easily be memorized.

0-0 Pitcher's best pitch
The first pitch is usually the pitcher's best pitch. Why? Because they want to get ahead in the count. This pitch is usually a fastball in the strike zone. The batter should be looking for "their pitch". Never swing at an off speed pitch or breaking ball. If the pitch is in the strike zone, but is not "their pitch", or will have trouble with the pitch, they should take it.

0-1 Why did I miss?
The batter needs to determine why they missed the ball and think about what adjustments need to be made. If the pitch was a called strike, then the batter may need to open up their strike zone. There's a very good chance the next pitch will be a fastball. Second choice would be an off speed pitch.

1-0 Look to drive it hard
The pitcher has fallen behind and therefore will usually throw their best pitch, probably a fastball in the strike zone. Again, the batter should be looking for "their pitch" so they can drive the ball as hard as possible. If the pitch however, is not "their pitch", they should take the pitch, even if it's in the strike zone.

1-1 Don't get behind
This is a possible change-up or curve ball situation. Second choice would probably be a fastball. The batter does not want to get behind here so they should look for a good hittable pitch, but not necessarily "their pitch". Keep the hands back in anticipation of a change up or curve ball.

2-0 Hitter's count
This will almost always be a fastball, belt high, down the middle. Why? Because the pitcher must get a strike. If this pitch is not in the hitter's zone ("their pitch"), take the pitch.

2-1 Two's a crowd
The pitcher will probably throw a fastball or fastball with just a little taken off. The pitcher can't afford to take a chance on a change up or junk pitch and get a ball 3 count. He's go to get it over the plate so this can be a good time to crowd it. Or break the pitchers concentration (possible fake bunt). A pitch in the "batters zone" should be driven up the middle.

3-0 Automatic take
If the batter is an exceptional hitter, they should swing at anything hittable in the strike zone, otherwise, let it go.

3-1 The perfect pitch- NO FLY BALLS
This pitch must be the perfect pitch ("their pitch"). If the pitch is perfect, drive it hard up the middle, otherwise let it go. Do not swing at a so-so pitch and fly out or you risk a very upset coach.

3-2 Don't crowd the plate
Don't get jammed by the pitcher throwing to the inside. The batter should be thinking medium strike zone and that a walk is acceptable.

0-2,1-2, 2-2 Stay alive-The BIG strike zone
On any of these counts, the batter should be going after anything that remotely looks like a strike and should foul off any pitch he can't put into play.