Thirteen games in 13 days is a tough schedule for any baseball team, but it's something the Delaware Cows expect just about every year in the Great Lakes collegiate wooden-bat league.

Thirteen games in 13 days is a tough schedule for any baseball team, but it's something the Delaware Cows expect just about every year in the Great Lakes collegiate wooden-bat league.

The only comfort for coach Dave Koblentz is that it comes at the right time on the calendar.

"There will come a point around the Fourth of July where the guys will hit a wall, and you've really got to push them," he said. "We play a 40-game season in such a short amount of time, but I think once our pitchers gain some experience you're going to be looking at a pretty good baseball team."

Delaware, which was 4-4 before playing Lima last Sunday, wrapped up the long stretch of games last Tuesday against Southern Ohio before earning a three-day break.

Included in the busy stretch was a game against Xenia last Saturday that was called because of rain in the top of the 15th inning with the scored tied at 4.

The Cows won their first three games, sweeping Grand Lake 2-1 and 8-5 on June 14 and Lake Erie 5-3 on June 15. After losing to Lima 4-3 on June 16, they beat Stark County 5-4 the following day.

A three-game losing streak followed (5-3 to Columbus on June 18, 4-1 to Licking County on June 19 and 8-3 to Cincinnati last Friday).

It was a grueling way to open the season, especially for a team that has 16 freshmen on its roster. Twelve of them are pitchers.

Familiar faces include Olentangy graduates Ryan Meade (Ohio State) and Nick Karow (Furman), who both helped lead the Braves to the Division I championship game in 2006 when they were state runner-up. Meade will see time at first and third, while the hard-throwing Karow has become an asset in the bullpen.

Other notable local players include Ohio State infielder Cory Kovanda (Worthington Kilbourne), Cincinnati outfielder Jamel Scott (Dublin Scioto) and North Carolina-Greensboro catcher Ed Jayjack (Dublin Coffman).

Both Kovanda and Scott played for the Cows last summer.

Kovanda started in 53 games for the Buckeyes, who finished at 30-26 overall, and batted .324 with five doubles, a home run and 20 RBI.

For the Bearcats, Scott hit .311 with eight doubles, a triple, a home run and 38 RBI in 56 starts. He had three hits in the 4-3 loss at Lima on June 16.

"Position-wise we're somewhat young, but there are some freshmen who have some experience," said Koblentz, who has helped countless young pitchers reach the big leagues. "We have a lot more depth than we've had in the past to make moves with. Our pitching is young, but I think we have some prospects down the road."

The summer is for building arms, not overusing them so Koblentz keeps his pitchers on a strict pitch count, especially early in the season.

Most of the pitchers saw no more than 10-15 innings in the spring.

"I've told them they're here to work on their weakest point and nothing more," Koblentz said.

At the plate, freshman infielder Logan Williams (Mississippi) has been hot at .429 with a double, a home run and two RBI. His slugging percentage is .619.

Delaware expects to return to the playoffs in August where the season ended a year ago to Columbus 6-1 in the championship game.

The Cows last summer finished the regular season at 25-14.

Koblentz expects to have a more experienced team in July.

"So far they've meshed well with each other and they're doing it right with the game," he said.