Similar to last year, the main goal for the Gahanna Post 797A American Legion baseball team is to get younger players experience in a varsity-style atmosphere.

Similar to last year, the main goal for the Gahanna Post 797A American Legion baseball team is to get younger players experience in a varsity-style atmosphere.

Most of players spent last spring on freshman or j.v. teams, and although Post 797A is improving it has been a rough start to the season.

On the Post 797A roster are Adam Armstrong (2B), Brandon Berger (SS), Kyle Beverly (3B), Brian Capriati (P/1B), Joel Clark (C), Kennedy Clark (CF), Jordan Ewing (P/1B), Derek Johnson (P), Cory Kanz (2B), Drew Kessler (OF), Albert Lavin (INF), James Male (OF), Jordan Ryan (P) and Chris Timko (INF). Berger, Joel Clark, Johnson and Kessler all received playing time with the Gahanna Lincoln varsity team last spring.

Post 797A won only two of its first 12 games.

"We're 2-10, but we've lost some close ones," coach Gayle Kanz said. "It's a good squad. Most of these kids have played together since U-12. So, as a team, we know what we've got."

The inexperience came into play June 18 as Gahanna fell 10-0 to Grove City Post 164 in five innings. Grove City, which features five players with collegiate experience, scored in every inning.

"We're young, and they've got some good baseball experience," coach Kanz said. "One nice thing about playing a team like that is you can see what it takes to be a successful baseball team. We still lack the maturity in regards to baseball."

One of the strengths for Post 797A is pitching. Capriati, Ewing, Johnson and Ryan all can be used in starting or relief roles.

"We've got four guys that can pitch well," Kanz said. "You look at Jordan Ryan, he's probably going to be the No. 2 at Columbus Academy next year. Jordan (Ewing) is probably going to pitch for the varsity at Lincoln next year, and he throws pretty hard. Derek's had some good outings for us as well."

However, the team has struggled offensively as adjusting to varsity-level pitching has proven difficult.

"We're still not hitting the ball well. We had four hits against Grove City, and two of those were bunts," coach Kanz said. "We've got a lot of guys taking called third strikes, and that's rough. You teach them since (youth) league that with two strikes you've got to swing the bat, so we're hoping that will change."

The ultimate goal for Post 797A this summer, along with getting all the players more experience, is to be playing well entering the District 12 tournament, which starts July 3. Kanz is hoping for a similar run last year, which saw Post 797A win two tournament games following and inconsistent regular season. During the district tournament, Post 797A also will play in the Buckeye Elite Tournament, which is July 9-12.

"Hopefully by then we'll be ready like we were last year," coach Kanz said. "We're going to continue to work on our hitting and bunt. I think we're coming along well."

•SCHEDULE, RESULTS -- On June 17, Post 797A lost 14-4 to Bexley (Hartley) Post 430 and also lost 10-0 in five innings to Grove City Post 164A on June 18.

Last Wednesday Post 797A played Post 430 and has the weekend off. It will play Monday at Hilliard (Davidson) Post 614A and Tuesday at Columbus (Watterson) Post 82.