Editor’s Note: This story will appear in Saturday’s Miami Valley Sunday News
TROY — For the Ohio Dominican University baseball program, it is like cashing in twice.
Troy High School senior pitchers Brian Allen and Trayce Mercer both made the decision to continue their baseball careers at the school located near Columbus.
And Troy baseball coach Ty Welker expects both of them to do well.
“Both guys are guys with good size and project well (at the next level),” Welker said. “I felt all along Brian (Allen) was going to have the opportunity to pitch at the college level and it is the same with Trayce. Obviously, both have benefited from having Heath (Murray) as pitching coach here and I think there best baseball is still in front of them.”
The son of Chad Allen, Brian said Ohio Dominican was an easy choice for him.
“The first time I stepped on campus, I knew that is where I wanted to be,” Allen said. “I feel like I am still getting better (as a pitcher) every day and I will continue to do that. I think it is (somewhere where he could pitch right away).”
As a sophomore, Allen had a 5-2 record in 40-plus innings with 46 strikeouts, 27 walks and a 1.74 ERA.
As a junior, Allen went 5-1 in 32-plus innings with 38 strikeouts, 16 walks and 3.03 ERA.
And he is excited about what his senior season will bring.
“We do (have everyone back), so hopefully we can have a really good season,” Allen said.
And he is happy to have Mercer as a teammate for four years.
“We have been teammates for years and good friends,” Allen said. “So, I am glad he is going there to.”
Mercer, the son of Ty and Jasmine Mercer, said Ohio Dominican was the right fit for him.
“First of all, I really like the school, the program and the coaching staff,” Mercer said. “And I wanted to go somewhere where I could play as a freshman. Now, nothing is guaranteed. I am really going to have to work hard.”
And he is happy to have Allen as a teammate.
“It will be good to have somebody I know,” Mercer said. “We are best friends and will be roommates.”
And Mercer is excited about the upcoming season at Troy.
“I think we are going to have a really good year and make a big run in the postseason,” he said.
As sophomore, Mercer went 6-2 in 47 innings with 45 strikeouts, 15 walks and a 3.43 ERA.
As a junior, he was 4-2 in 47-plus innings with 60 strikeouts, 21 walks and a 2.06 ERA.
Welker is excited about the upcoming season and Allen and Welker are two reasons why.
“They have both combined for 10 career wins already,” Welker said. “To have two pitchers who have 10 wins before their senior season starts, that is pretty impressive.”
And they will look to add to that this spring, before heading to Ohio Dominican as teammates.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]