(4-5-17) – When most people around the US think about High School baseball, places like California, Texas and Florida come up in most of the conversations. The conditions to produce quality players with the great weather  makes it possible for those to states to do a lot more with a spring program.

But one school in Northwest Ohio can easily be considered as one of the top programs in all of the US, Defiance has the record, the players, the system and now the facilities.

Defiance Head Coach Tom Held has been the man in charge of the Bulldogs

Tom Held
Tom Held
theld
Tom Held Career Coaching Record

Defiance Head Coach Tom Held recently told the Crescent-News:

“There’s no magic formula. We had other teams just as talented as those that won it (state), you’ve just got to get some breaks and believe. It was a matter of getting over some obstacles. Then once you do something you start to believe.”

“Winning a state championship is not a goal. If I had retired before we ever won I would have been fulfilled. What I really love are the winter workouts and developing players. That’s probably my favorite part of coaching.”

How does a school in Northwest Ohio produce MLB pitchers, they even have a long list of past players who have thrown 90 mph or faster called the “90” Club. MLB pitchers like Chad Billingsley and Jon Niese have done that, plus they produced last year’s Ohio Player of the Year Shay Smiddy, who is now at the University of Louisville.

Defiance K's
Defiance Career Strike Out Leaders

In a recent article calling it the ‘Defiance Way’ Coach Held talks about his thoughts on pitching:

“I think there’s a 90 mph arm in every school in the country. I’m not sure there’s not one in every class.”

What makes Defiance special is the program continued its excellence even after Greg Inselmann (1982-1998) retired and Tom Held moved over from Bryan to lead the program.  Inselmann coached the Bulldogs to their first state title in 1992.

Defiance, a member of the Western Buckeye League, has won 24 conference titles in 43 years of membership.

In the last 10 years they have lost only four conference games, while winning 86 games.

The Bulldogs have won three state titles during the past five years.

State Championships
2016 Baseball Division II State Champion
2015 Baseball Division II State Champion
2013 Baseball Division II State Champion
2010 Baseball Division II State Semifinalist
2002 Baseball State Semifinalist
1992 Baseball Division I  State Champion


All-Time WBL Baseball Team Results Thru 2016
WBL Titles  Champs Co-Champs   Seasons	  W-L	%
24	      18	6	 43	305-77	.798
(2016, 14, 12, 11, 10, 09, 08, 07, 05, 04, 02, 00, 
1999, 98, 97, 95, 94, 93, 92, 89, 85, 84, 82, 77)

2016 WBL Baseball Standings
Teams		WBL Record	
1.  Defiance	9-0		

2015 WBL Baseball Standings
Teams		WBL Record	
3.  Defiance	7-2	

2014 WBL Baseball Standings
Teams		WBL Record	
2.  Defiance	7-2	

2013 WBL Baseball Standings
Teams		WBL Record	
1.  Defiance	9-0	

2012 WBL Baseball Standings
Teams		WBL Record	
1.  Defiance	9-0	

2011 WBL Baseball Standings
Teams		WBL Record	
1.  Defiance	9-0	

2010 WBL Standings
Teams		WBL Record	
1.  Defiance 	9-0 		

2009 WBL Standings
Teams		WBL Record	
1.  Defiance 	9-0 		

2008 WBL Standings
Teams		WBL Record	
1.  Defiance 	9-0 		

2007 WBL Standings
Teams		WBL Record	
1.  Defiance 	9-0 		

All of the past years success has now provided the Defiance baseball program with some great new facilities in 2017.

Coach Held told the Crescent-News after the 1st game this season:

“This is a huge advantage for our kids. You can take so many more reps defensively with ground balls, you have a hitting facility there where you can hit all the time. If you love baseball, if you can’t get better at this complex that our school gave us, there’s something wrong. We’re so appreciative. It’s an unbelievable opportunity.”

New Turf Field and Stadium completed this season

Defiance BB Field
New turf field at Defiance – photo from Tim Schortgen‏ (Twitter account)

Jon Niese Center

The building of the program has worked over the years and it looks to remain strong for a very long time.

08/21/13 Niese’s nine stirkeouts

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