BATAVIA – Opportunity can arise at any time.
In the case of 2010 Finneytown High School graduate and current Queen City Legends pitcher Michael Deitsch, that time is now.
Deitsch – who recently graduated from the University of Rio Grande – has tossed a team-high 40 and 2/3 innings for the Legends this season and boasts a 2.43 ERA with 60 strikeouts en route to a 3-2 record. His fastball, which runs anywhere between 88-92 miles per hour, and strong curveball have earned the former Wildcat an opportunity to attend an invite-only tryout with the Cleveland Indians in August, as well as a private workout in front of major league scouts scheduled for July 19.
All of this comes just weeks after Deitsch made the decision to continue playing summer ball when he could’ve hung up the cleats and moved on.
“I played in pretty good leagues the past two years in summer ball, but I just decided to play some more, thought it was a good idea to keep playing, and then it ended up getting me some looks,” Deitsch said before the Legends beat the Cincinnati Cobalts 14-2 July 15 at Brian Wilson Field. “We played the Miami Valley Wolverines and the coach said I could play, so he made a few calls and said I have an invite-only tryout, so I’m real excited about that.”
The Legends are part of the Southern Ohio Valley Collegiate League and are coached by current Roger Bacon High School assistant coach Ryan Desjardins, who graduated from Colerain High School in 2000 and went on to play for the College of Mount St. Joseph (now named Mount St. Joseph University).
For Desjardins it was a no-brainer when he discovered Deitsch had interest in lacing it up for the Legends.
“He just wanted to continue to play and I told him we’d get some scouts out to watch him,” the coach said. “All he has to do is perform and that’s what he’s done. It’s nice to have.”
The Legends have won five straight (as of July 16) and are 13-9 on the season with two regular season games to play before the SOVCL tournament begins July 24.
Offensively, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy graduate, Danny Moorehead, is leading the way. The third baseman is hitting .408 in 71 plate appearances with 12 stolen bases and is tied for second on the team with 14 RBI.
“He just mashes,” Desjardins said. “His approach to the plate – he knows what pitch is coming, when it’s coming. He just drives the ball and absolutely rakes.”
Summit Country Day graduate Gabe Scott was a late-minute addition to the team and has given the Legends a huge boost with his .373 batting average, 11 RBI and especially his defensive skills.
“We put him out in right field and he has an absolute hose,” Desjardins said, who previously was an assistant coach at Miami University-Hamilton, Northwest High School and the College of Mount St. Joseph. “At the plate he’s just driving the ball everywhere.”
Other local players include: Cory Cook of Northwest, Eric Stiene of Moeller, James Mortimore of Colerain, Eric Grant of Beechwood and players from Lakota East and Mason.
As for Deitsch, his first year with the Legends has provided an at-home feel, which has helped him thrive on the mound.
“I know a lot of the guys from the past and it’s fun,” he said. “It’s just nice because when I went to (Rio Grande) I knew one guy from home that I played with. Coming back and playing with a lot of the Cincinnati guys again is really fun.”