With the Whetstone High School baseball team already leading 5-2 and with runners on second and third against defending City League-North Division champion Centennial on April 23, third baseman Max Wright perfectly executed a suicide squeeze bunt to give his team a four-run lead.

With the Whetstone High School baseball team already leading 5-2 and with runners on second and third against defending City League-North Division champion Centennial on April 23, third baseman Max Wright perfectly executed a suicide squeeze bunt to give his team a four-run lead.

It was one of many highlights in the Braves' 15-7 victory as they took a one-game lead entering the second half of league play. More importantly, it epitomized the style of a team hungry to put teams away.

"Nobody wants to make the out," coach Tim Broskie said. "They're all just seeing the ball well and hitting it. The major thing for us this year has been our experience. We just kept putting pressure on (Centennial)."

After beating Northland 8-4 on April 7, the Braves averaged more than 15 runs and went 9-1 over their next 10 games. Through 12 games, catcher Zach McGuire (.560), pitcher and shortstop Derek Toler (.545), outfielder Will Homan (.463) and second baseman Dan Tuttle (.455) were among the area leaders in batting average.

Also getting into the act have been Jeremy Althouse (1B/DH), Reggie Mitchell and Wright. Althouse had a grand slam and three-run home run in a 17-11 loss to Bloom-Carroll on April 19, Mitchell went 2-for-5 with three RBI against Centennial and Wright was 2-for-4 with three RBI against the Stars.

"We're really flying high right now," McGuire said. "We've really been working hard as a team. We can bring each other up even when one of us is not doing so well. Most of us are returning letterwinners and we try to talk each player up as much as possible. We all love each other."

McGuire also has enjoyed watching Bradley Barnett and Toler mature into the team's top two pitchers. Toler was the winning pitcher against Centennial as Whetstone snapped a four-game losing streak against it.

"Bradley and Derek are a great one-two punch," McGuire said. "Bradley throws the heat and Derek throws a lot of off-speed stuff. Our pitching has been phenomenal."

•TRACK NOTES -- Senior Blake Callahan is making the most of his final prep season.

Callahan, an Ohio State-recruit who is among the area leaders in the 100 meters (10.6 seconds), helped the Braves finish fourth (50.5 points) at the 20-team Dublin Coffman Classic on April 19 by winning two events.

He and with junior Mario Dovell lead a group of sprinters that give coach Joe Monda confidence in the ability to put together strong relays with the postseason approaching.

"Blake Callahan in the sprints and Mario Dovell in the hurdles have really come on strong," Monda said. "Those two are probably the key reasons we're doing well."

Monda hadn't run what he could be his fastest 400 relay -- one that includes Callahan, Dovell, Marcus Penn and Jamon Hodges -- until last weekend. Others who are candidates to run on the relay include Michael Haynes and Josh Brown.

"Our sprinters have really been scoring high," Monda said. "At (the Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays on April 12) we scored in all but one running event. Our sprinters are a little stronger than our distance but our distance guys are coming around."

Girls coach John Coffman is pleased with the progress of his 1,600 relay that includes Chelsi Cummings, Debbie Miller, Tori Rafferty and Michelle Woods.

Miller also competes in both the 100 and 300 hurdles, although the 300 hurdles is her stronger event. Woods also runs both hurdles events and Rafferty and Cummings have been running the 400. Cummings has been getting back into shape after suffering a knee injury while playing volleyball last fall.

Among the distance runners, Jamie Barnum and Jane Turner have been the top scorers.

"Right now we're ahead of where we wanted to be with our relays," Coffman said. "The core group of our scorers is really good. Our (1,600 relay) which we were fifth at the regional last year is way ahead of where they were last year at this time. That group of girls accounts for most of our points."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Whetstone baseball, softball, boys tennis, boys and girls track and field and boys volleyball teams:

BASEBALL

*April 16 -- Defeated Brookhaven 22-2

*April 18 -- Def. Mifflin 20-0

April 19 -- Def. Worthington Christian 5-0; lost to Bloom-Carroll 17-11

*April 21 -- Def. East 19-0

*April 23 -- Def. Centennial 15-7

*Last Friday -- Lost to Northland 5-3

*Last Wednesday -- Played Linden-McKinley

*Friday -- At Beechcroft. Whetstone won 18-0 on April 11.

Saturday -- At Eastmoor (doubleheader)

*Monday -- Home vs. Brookhaven

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Mifflin

Of note: The Braves were 11-3 overall and 7-1 in the City-North before last Wednesday.

SOFTBALL

*April 16 -- Def. Brookhaven 13-3

*April 18 -- Def. Mifflin 12-6

April 19 -- Lost to Westerville North 12-2

*April 21 -- Def. East 19-0

*April 23 -- Lost to Centennial 6-3

*April 24 -- Def. Northland 16-8

Last Saturday -- Lost to Groveport5-3; lost to Logan Elm 16-2

Last Tuesday -- Played Bexley

*Last Wednesday -- Played Linden

*Today -- At Beechcroft. Whetstone won 15-5 on April 11.

*Monday -- Home vs. Brookhaven

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Mifflin

Of note: The Braves were 7-9 overall before last Tuesday and 7-1 in the City-North before last Wednesday.

TENNIS

*April 15 -- Def. Beechcroft 3-2

*April 17 -- Def. East 3-2

*April 21 -- Lost to Northland 3-2

April 22 -- Lost to Teays Valley 5-0

*Last Monday -- Def. Brookhaven 5-0

Last Tuesday -- Played Circleville

*Last Wednesday -- Played Centennial

Monday, Wednesday -- At City League Coaches Tournament at Westgate Park and Whetstone Park of Roses

Of note: The Braves were 5-5 overall before last Tuesday and 3-1 in the City-North before last Wednesday.

TRACK & FIELD

April 19 -- Boys: Finished fourth (50.5) in 20-team Dublin Coffman Classic behind champion Hilliard Darby (64); Girls: Finished 13th (16) in 19-team Coffman Classic behind champion Darby (106.5)

Last Saturday -- Boys: Finished first (158) in seven-team Bloom-Carroll Invitational; Girls: Finished third (87) in seven-team Bloom-Carroll Invitational behind Ready (147) and Fisher Catholic (132)

Last Wednesday -- Competed in Braves Invitational

Saturday -- At Gary Smith Invitational at Thomas Worthington

Wednesday -- At Red Devil Relays at Marion-Franklin

VOLLEYBALL

April 22 -- Lost to Thomas Worthington 25-17, 25-20, 18-25, 27-25

April 24 -- Def. Gahanna Christian 25-17, 25-6, 14-25, 28-26

Last Saturday -- Lost to Watterson 25-10, 25-17; def. Westerville South 25-21, 25-18; def. Gahanna Christian 25-17, 10-25, 25-23

Today -- At Gahanna Christian

Of note: The Braves are 4-3.

*City-North game