Rhymer takes helm of Mustangs

Westfall Mustangs Baseball
Todd Rhymer
2022 record: 10-15, 5-9 fifth in Scioto Valley Conference
Key returnees: Senior Brandon Bingham, pitcher and third base; senior Bryant Coker, pitcher and third base; senior Clay Ellis, outfield; junior Trent Walters, shortstop; junior Bryce Wickline, catcher; junior Brady Mullins, pitcher and first base; sophomore Brenden Lowe, pitcher and outfield; sophomore Noah Stonerock, pitcher and outfield; sophomore Jaden Towler, outfield
Key newcomers: senior Caleb Graul, third base; junior Cade Hall, second base; sophomore Trent Gardner, pitcher, second base and shortstop
Key losses: Peyton Weiss, pitcher, first base and third base; Ashton Nunemaker, second base; Hunter McCoy, outfield; Hunter Wright, catcher

Todd Rhymer takes over the program after long-time coach and athletic director Trevor Thomas left to become the athletic director at Zane Trace.

“Of course, helping Trevor Thomas for the last three years has helped me learn his system, but we have been focusing on the fundamentals, and I have been teaching the boys about the 5 C’s to Success: Character, Commitment, Competitiveness, Concentration, and Confidence,” Rhymer said. “I read the players a different quote every day before practice to help motivate them to be successful.”

The Mustangs have lost an ace to graduation in each of the past two seasons, Luke Blackburn and Peyton Weiss, but Rhymer has liked what he has seen from his arms so far this preseason.

“I have been very happy with how our pitching has looked so far in the preseason, but the last two years we have had an ace like Luke Blackburn and Peyton Weiss at the top of our pitching rotation,” he said. “This year we have many good arms to throw at our opponents, hopefully one of our young pitchers can develop into an ace in the future.”

Rhymer noted the Mustangs’ struggles at the plate last year and talked about trying to have more success this season.

“Our hitting struggled at times last year, so we have been focusing on putting the bat on the ball, not striking out as much as we did last season, and really being aggressive at the plate this year,” he said.

Rhymer discussed his senior and junior classes and what he will need from them for the Mustangs to have a successful season on the diamond.

“Seniors Brandon Bingham, Bryant Coker, Clay Ellis, Seth Gifford, and Caleb Graul have been great leaders in the preseason because it’s always tough when you have a new coach for your senior year with new expectations,” he said. “Brandon and Bryant will both pitch and share the third base duties. Seth is coming off a good basketball season and will pitch and play first base.

“The junior class is led by many good athletes who have had success in other varsity sports as well, so hopefully that will carry over to the baseball season as well. Trent Walters had a good football season and has been our leadoff hitter and shortstop for the last two years, so I am expecting great things from him this year. Bryce Wickline is coming off of a state tournament appearance in wrestling after having a great football season playing quarterback, so I am looking for great things from Bryce being our main catcher this year, leading our young pitching staff.

“Brady Mullins had a very successful soccer season and will pitch and share first base with Seth. Cade Hall is a transfer from Circleville and has been a very nice surprise in the preseason,” Rhymer added. “He has definitely been coached by great coaches in Coach Bigam and Coach Gray, and he could fill the void at second base taking over for two-year starter Ashton Nunemaker.”

Rhymer is looking to his sophomore class to help fill out the top of his lineup card and also help fill out the pitching staff.

“Our sophomore class is very talented in the game of baseball, starting with Brenden Lowe and Jaden Towler, both started in the outfield for us last year, and will be at the top of the batting order this year,” he said. “Brenden, Noah Stonerock, and Trent Gardner all pitched in varsity games last year and will be expected to shoulder a bigger part of the pitching staff this year.”

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