After opening 9-0, things were looking good for the Dublin Jerome High School baseball team.

After opening 9-0, things were looking good for the Dublin Jerome High School baseball team.

But the Celtics struggled in the middle of the season before eventually getting back on course. Jerome managed to finish 20-10 overall, but coach Chris Huesman and his players realize the outcome could have been better.

"Overall, I believe we underachieved," senior Mike Adolph said. "I believe coach Huesman and most of the seniors feel the same way because coming into the season we started out 9-0 and we knew that was something special, but it's extremely disappointing to only get to the district semifinal game and lose."

Jerome lost to eventual district champion Hilliard Davidson 5-2 in a Division I district semifinal May 19. The Celtics finished third in the OCC-Cardinal Division at 8-6 behind Olentangy Liberty (12-2) and Dublin Scioto (12-2) and ahead of Marysville (5-9), Olentangy (5-9), Westerville North (6-8), Westerville Central (4-10) and Westerville South (4-10).

Jerome beat Brookhaven 15-0 on May 11 and Hilliard Darby 2-1 on May 14 in the first two rounds of the district tournament.

"We learned a lot," Huesman said. "We started 9-0 and then lost some heartbreakers. We learned how to lose, and when you learn how to lose that teaches you how to win. All the championship teams have to experience defeat before they can experience championships. Unfortunately, we just didn't get it done in the district semis."

Juniors Jared King and Nick Sobel were first-team all-OCC and seniors Matt Boothe and Brett Mosher were named to the second team. Senior Neil Johnson received honorable mention and senior Premal Bhatt was the team's scholar-athlete.

King and junior Alex Schillig were first-team all-district, Sobel was named to the second team and Mosher received honorable mention.

Jerome will lose 11 seniors.

"That's a big group to leave," Huesman said. "It's definitely tough to say goodbye to the seniors, but that's what it's all about. Those guys have greener pastures to move onto. We're excited to see them play in college somewhere."

King led the team in hitting at .462 followed by Schillig (.383), Boothe (.378), Mosher (.366) and Adolph (.311). Schillig led in RBI with 32 followed by King (30), Boothe (27) and Adolph (21). Schillig and King had a team-leading seven doubles and Adolph had six.

Johnson and Sobel were 6-1 and Boothe was 4-1.

King, Schillig and Sobel are expected to lead the team next season.

Other players expected to return include juniors Tanner Cabbage, Ryan Longbrake, Nick Streck, Drew Whitson and Tyler Williams, sophomores Trevor Burch, Garrett Couche, Zach Martin, Tim Noe and Michael Parente and freshmen Chase Compton and Aaron Huesman.

"It was a very successful season," Huesman said. "Anytime you get 20 wins in Division I, especially playing in the OCC, you're always happy. I'd like to think we're one of the top programs around and well-respected. We play the game hard and respect the game. I think we'll be back and contend next year."

At a glance

•Record: 20-10 overall, 8-6 (third) in OCC-Cardinal

•Seniors lost: Mike Adolph, Premal Bhatt, Matt Boothe, Matt Curran, Brett Freiberg, Nick Inutsuka, Neil Johnson, Josh Lento, Brett Mosher, Jason Pollo and Alex Ring

•Key returnees: Jared King, Alex Schillig, Nick Sobel and Tyler Williams