Area players shoutout opponents who impress

The spring season of high school sports is upon us. Who better to know what kind of talent Greater Cincinnati offers than the players themselves?

The Cincinnati Enquirer sought opinions from players across multiple conferences on opponents who have been impressive on the field this season. This week, area baseball players gave their input.

Check Cincinnati.com each week to see which baseball and softball players left an impress on their opponents this year.

More:“It was pretty rough.” Colerain’s Mark Hulgin pitches final season after losing his dad

More:Which teams top Southwest Ohio Baseball Coaches Association’s final poll?

More:Vote: Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky high school athletes of the week, May 16

Want to give an opponent a shoutout for his or her stellar play this season? Contact Shelby Dermer at sdermer@enquirer.com or on Twitter @EnquirerShelby

Beechwood junior Brice Estep leads the Tigers in batting average, hits, RBIs and doubles this season.

Brice Estep, Beechwood

“The player I would have to choose would be Brice Estep out of Beechwood. I played with Brice for a couple of seasons when we were younger and I can confirm that he is one of the hardest workers in Northern Kentucky. That has led him to be, in my opinion, the best catcher in the Ninth Region and one of the best bats in the region as well. The way Brice goes about himself is impressive and he is one to fear and respect whenever opposing him.”

— Chase Gartner, Cooper

Estep, a junior Eastern Kentucky University commit, hit .380 with a team-high 46 hits last season to help lead Beechwood to a 35th District title, Ninth Region championship and a berth in the KHSAA state tournament.

This season, Estep leads Beechwood in batting average (.494), hits (43), RBI (52) and doubles (14) to go with five home runs. The Tigers are 25-5 and the top team in the region.

Mason left-hander Brenden Graula tossed a perfect game, striking out 17, in the Comets' 1-0 sectional tournament win over Western Brown May 19. He also scored the game's only run.

Brenden Garula, Mason

“I respect Brenden Garula’s game so much as a player. His stuff was nasty last year and it’s only gotten better. He can run it up to mid 80s and has a very sharp curveball. Not to mention the kid just flat out rakes.”

-John Rodriguez, Fairfield

Garula is coming off a perfect game in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Western Brown, striking out 17. He also went 2-for-2 with a walk and scored the game’s only run.

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