The Bexley (Hartley) Post 430A American Legion baseball team lost two-thirds of its games, but the season wasn't without benefit.
Seniors Tim Heinmiller and Steve Williams and juniors Ben Currie and Jacob Swartz were among those who figured to be among the team's top performers, and each lived up to that expectation.
There also were enough positives in hitting and pitching to believe that those two areas could be strengths next spring for the Hawks.
Poor defense plagued Bexley all season and likely will be an area of focus heading into the offseason.
"We've got a lot of guys returning next year, and one of the biggest things about this summer was that a lot of guys got a lot of experience," Swartz said. "We had a lot of guys on this team who didn't get a lot of varsity time in the spring.
"I think the best thing for us is to kind of go back to basics and play the game the way it should be played. The errors kind of killed us this year, but if we get more reps we should be good because we hit the ball pretty well so our hitting and pitching should be right back to where we want them to be."
Bexley lost to Southway (Central Crossing) Post 144A 5-3 on July 14 and beat Don Gentile (Westland) Post 532W 11-3 on July 15 in its final games of the regular season and was the 11th seed of 17 for the District 12 tournament, which began last Saturday.
Post 430A opened the postseason by losing to Dublin (Jerome) Post 800J 8-6 last Saturday and fell to Gahanna Post 797A 10-2 last Sunday to finish 8-16.
Last Saturday, Bexley allowed six unearned runs. It scored five in the ninth to cut it to 8-6 but left the bases loaded.
Jeff Daley went 3-for-3 last Sunday, including hitting a two-run home run that was his only home run of the season.
"We had a chance to tie it (against Jerome)," said Steve Daley, who finished his second season as coach. "There were kind of the same things that plagued us all year. We gave up six unearned runs. We struggled with kids not playing in their usual positions but some of it comes down to kids just picking up ground balls and making throws, and we just didn't do that. We just (weren't) consistent."
Jeff Daley hit .361 and was one of two graduates along with Jared Quinn.
Currie led Post 430A with 26 RBI and hit .403, Heinmiller batted .441 with 12 runs scored and eight stolen bases, Williams hit .400 with 16 runs scored. Swartz led in stolen bases with 17, hit .295 and scored 18 runs.
Junior Tim Eichhorn batted .390 with a team-best 22 runs scored and added 13 RBI and six steals. Senior Tucker Reeb hit .298 with 13 RBI and 13 runs.
Eichhorn also was the team's most effective pitcher, throwing 29 2/3 innings and going 2-1 with a 4.01 ERA and 13 strikeouts. Junior Tim Schmitz was 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings.
"You never really know how things will work out until next season comes around, but we certainly had people who we expected to lead us be leaders and be consistent," coach Daley said. "If they were pitchers, they threw well and they all hit well. Swartz had a good summer getting on base and stealing.
"There's something to be said for the versatility we showed this summer. We had guys scattered all over the place. It would be obvious to say that we were disappointed in terms of team goals."