The Big Walnut High School baseball team appears to have turned around its season after a slow start.
The Golden Eagles lost four of their first five games but won seven of their next 10.
"I think we're maturing," said coach Chris Holly, whose team was 3-5 in the OCC-Capital after losing to Mount Vernon 8-1 on April 25. "We've got a fairly young team with not a lot of varsity experience. We're getting used to the (varsity) play and what we're all supposed to be doing."
Through 14 games, junior pitcher Kyle Duncan was 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA and a save and senior Cole Harbin was 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA.
"(Duncan has) been at his best," Holly said. "Cole, too."
Sophomore second baseman Matt Tarney was among the team's offensive leaders through 14 games with a .351 batting average and four runs. Freshman outfielder Nick Moser was batting .326 with 10 runs and seven stolen bases and Duncan and Tarney were tied for the team lead with eight RBI apiece.
"We need to be a little more aggressive at the plate," Holly said. "We've had some good, quality at-bats the last couple games, but one bad inning can cost us a game."
The Golden Eagles have a busy week ahead of them. They are scheduled to play six games, including OCC-Capital Division contests Monday, April 29, at home against New Albany, Wednesday, May 1, at home against Olentangy Orange and Friday, May 3, at Orange.
"We've got six games in six days," Holly said. "That's the best way these guys can play and get better."
Softball team finishes 1st round of OCC play
The softball team won 10 of its first 16 games and went 4-3 in the first round of OCC-Capital play. The Eagles opened the second round of play with a 4-1 loss to Olentangy on April 25.
"We've had a little bit of an up-and-down start," coach Jeff Hatfield said. "At times, we look really good. Then there's times we're making mental mistakes. We feel a little content right now, but we've got a lot of positives."
The Golden Eagles have three OCC-Capital games this week. They will play host to Watkins Memorial on Monday, April 29, travel to Mount Vernon on Wednesday, May 1, and play host to New Albany on Friday, May 3.
"It's going to be a very tight race," Hatfield said of the league. "Our goal is to try to finish as strong as we can. I think we're still within striking distance."
Through 14 games, junior outfielder Shaye Kuhlman was among the team's offensive leaders with a .489 batting average, 11 RBI and 15 runs. Junior outfielder Brooke Hatfield was hitting .419 with 13 RBI and seven runs and junior shortstop Shelbie Borchers was batting .392 with seven RBI and 13 runs.
"We're hitting the ball pretty well," coach Hatfield said. "You can never score enough runs."
In the circle through 14 games, senior Allie Walker was 6-2 with a 3.65 ERA and freshman Kate Petty was 3-3 with a 2.34 ERA.
"Like I tell the girls, it's one game at a time," coach Hatfield said. "Hopefully, we can finish strong and make a run in the (Division II district) tournament."
Boys tennis team continues to improve
The boys tennis team was 4-6 overall before losing to Westerville South 4-1 on April 25.
"We're playing better every day," coach Ryan Balaz said. "I think our record doesn't show the improvement a lot of the guys have made. We've played some tough teams and we've played some teams that traditionally we're competitive against. We've had a lot of close (matches)."
The Golden Eagles lost by a 3-2 score to Thomas Worthington on April 3, Olentangy on April 5 in an OCC-Capital match and Marysville on April 22.
Balaz has been particularly pleased with the play of senior Jeff Tribble, who was 7-2 at third singles through nine matches, and senior Sean Tribble, who was 3-6 at second singles.
"They're playing really competitive matches," Balaz said of the Tribble brothers. "I feel like anyone we're playing against, we've got a chance to win those two courts. They're really smart players."
Big Walnut has OCC-Capital matches Monday, April 29, at Franklin Heights, Tuesday, April 30, at defending league champion New Albany and Thursday, May 2, at home against Orange.
"We'll keep playing well and keep getting better," Balaz said. "We're focusing on doubles, as far as knowing the game and getting aggressive."