MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Tag: Madeira High School

  • Sports records often fall through the cracks when they are set and soon forgotten.

    Courtesy photo

    Mark Lewis

    Such is the case with Mark Lewis, who was a standout shortstop from 1985-88 at Hamilton (Ohio). He was good enough to set a state record with 222 career hits, but for some unknown reason it never was turned in to the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

    That's why we wrote recently that Andrew Benintendi of Madeira (Cincinnati, Ohio) had set a state record with his 201st hit earlier this month. Actually, Benintendi still has a shot at finishing with the record if his team plays enough state-tourney games. He has 206 at the moment.

    School officials, in fact, reported that Lewis' 222 hits and 212 runs batted in were national records at the time. He was named Gatorade National Player of the Year and drafted No. 2 overall by the Cleveland Indians in 1988. He played in the Major Leagues from 1991-2001.

    The 43-year-old Lewis, who is a volunteer  assistant coach at Hamilton, told Mike Dyer of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he didn't want to take anything away from Benintendi, but I am very proud of what I did in high school. I enjoyed my high school career and I had a great time."

    Former Hamilton coach Dan Bowling called Lewis, "Just an outstanding hitter. He was ahead of his time."

    And now the record book finally is catching up with him.
  • Andrew Benintendi notched his second Ohio career baseball record on Friday as Madeira (Cincinnati) crushed Deer Park (Cincinnati), 17-5.

    Courtesy photo

    Andrew Benintendi

    Already holder of the state record for career runs, Benintendi became the all-time hits leader by smashing a double, two home runs (one being an inside-the-park grand slam) and driving in eight runs. That gave him 203 hits, breaking a tie he had forged with Dan Ruff one day earlier.

    The University of Arkansas signee told the Cincinnati Enquirer, "It was frustrating to be pitched around recently, but I looked at it as a sign of respect and tried to not let myself swing at bad pitches."

    Madeira coach Jack Kuzniczci said, "I have a feeling Andrew is glad it's over, but we have enjoyed the chase over the last couple of weeks. I've never seen him play as well as he has over the last two games to close it out. He has five home runs and a double in his last seven at-bats."

    One day earlier the 5-foot-10, 170-pound center fielder, who is a career .500 hitter, had belted a pair of three-run homers during a 15-4 rout of Indian Hill (Cincinnati, Ohio). In his first two at-bats, however, he was hit by a pitch, which resulted in some angry exchanges between coaches and fans and the ejection of the starting pitcher.
  • Courtesy photo

    Andrew Benintendi, Madeira

    Andrew Benintendi, a senior center fielder from Madeira (Cincinnati, Ohio), entered his final prep baseball campaign with an eye on the Ohio state record for career hits.

    On Saturday, however, he scored three times during a 16-1 rout of St. Bernard (Cincinnati, Ohio) to set a state record with 174 career runs. The previous record of 172 was set by Doug Paullin of Jeromesville Hillsdale from 2007-2010.

    Benintendi told MaxPreps, "It came as a surprise and I'm pretty happy about it. You can't do it all by yourself. There have been a lot of good players hitting behind me. Before this year I had an idea how many hits I would need. I think I'm 10 hits away from tying it."

    The career record for hits is 200 by Dan Ruff of Lancaster Fairfield Union from 1984-87.

    The 5-foot-10, 170-pound left-handed hitter is an ideal leadoff man who runs 60 yards in a swift 6.5 seconds and fires bullets from the outfield. He has never batted below .500 during his four-year career and was talented enough as a rising junior to start for the powerful Midland Connie Mack World Series champions.

    Benintendi says proudly, "Every year since I was a freshman, my batting average has gone up. It's come pretty easy for me, but it's something I really work at a lot."

    Madeira coach Jack Kuzniczci gives his star a lot of leeway.

    He noted, "I let him steal on his own. He always has the green light. He's made my job a lot easier. I've been a head coach for 23 years and he's the best player I've had. A lot of pro scouts have been out to watch him."

    The University of Arkansas signee wants a pro career, but he stresses, "It all depends on the right situation coming up. It's going to take a lot for me to skip college."