After opening 9-0, the Dublin Jerome High School baseball team struggled and won only three of its next 10.

After opening 9-0, the Dublin Jerome High School baseball team struggled and won only three of its next 10.

"Obviously, we're mentally defeated right now," coach Chris Huesman said. "We've played some good teams and lost. Four or five of those games have been in extra innings, so we're just not getting it done. We're not getting that timely hit. We're finding ways to lose."

Jerome will return to action today when it visits OCC-Cardinal Division-rival Marysville. The teams will meet again Friday at Jerome.

Jerome and Scioto will play for the third time Monday at Scioto. The Irish won the first two games 4-3 on April 17 at Jerome and 11-0 in five innings April 18 in the Battle of Dublin at Scioto.

A pair of games in the Dublin/Worthington Clash last Saturday at Jerome epitomized the Celtics' struggles. After receiving a potential spark in a 9-8 14-inning win over Thomas Worthington, Jerome lost to Worthington Kilbourne 12-5. The Celtics led 5-1 in the fourth inning.

Alex Schillig singled twice and drove in a run, and Jared King doubled and scored three runs. Marck Paliotto's grand slam in the fourth inning sparked Kilbourne's comeback.

Against Thomas, the teams were tied at 8 in the fourth inning before the bullpens took over. Neil Johnson pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning and held the Cardinals in check for 7 1/3 innings to earn the win.

"I just go out there and try to do my best and do whatever it takes to get the job done," Johnson said. "I just kept thinking that there would be one more inning and my team would get a shot to score and eventually we would win."

"It's just the way Neil Johnson is," Huesman said. "He just comes ready to play, ready to compete. He keeps us in ballgames. He has the heart of a champ out there. The kids need to pay attention to him because he's the unsung quiet leader out there."

Brett Freiberg's pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 14th inning scored Nick Sobel with the winning run.

Brett Mosher singled three times, and King doubled, singled and drove in three runs.

Jerome's up-and-down stretch included a 3-0 win against Westerville North on April 22, a 9-4 loss to North on April 23 and a 5-4 eight-inning loss to Olentangy Liberty last Friday.

In the win over North, Johnson threw a four-hitter with seven strikeouts.

"We need to be more aggressive at the plate," Johnson said. "We have to get better hitting. We're trying to find out what lineup works to get ready for the tournament."

"It's not too late to turn it around," Huesman said. "The tournament is wide open. Anybody can win. I don't know if there is a team out there that has really taken charge and could roll through this whole entire thing. It could be whoever is getting hot at the end."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Jerome baseball team:

*April 22 -- Defeated Westerville North 3-0

*April 23 -- Lost to Westerville North 9-4

*Last Friday -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 5-4 in eight innings

Last Saturday -- Def. Thomas Worthington 9-8 in 14 innings; lost to Worthington Kilbourne 12-5

*Last Monday -- Def. Westerville South 10-2

*Last Wednesday -- Played Olentangy

*Today -- At Marysville

*Friday -- Home vs. Marysville

Saturday -- At Jonathan Alder vs. Jonathan Alder and Utica

*Monday -- At Scioto

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Westerville Central

Of note: The Celtics were 12-7 overall and 4-4 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Wednesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game