After winning Division I district titles each of the last two years, the Gahanna Lincoln High School baseball team had aspirations of advancing to the state tournament.

After winning Division I district titles each of the last two years, the Gahanna Lincoln High School baseball team had aspirations of advancing to the state tournament.

Those aspirations were crushed when the season came to an early end when the Lions lost 3-1 to Upper Arlington on May 19 in a district semifinal at Grove City.

"I think the long layoff hurt us a bit," assistant coach Brian Hull said. "We hadn't played since the previous Wednesday, and when you don't play and try to stay sharp it's difficult."

Upper Arlington scored its first two runs on consecutive fielder's choices in the top of the third. But then Gahanna answered in the bottom of the sixth when Brandon Berger scored on a fielding error by the third baseman.

The Lions ended up with runners on first and second, but hit into a fielder's choice to close out the inning.

UA then scored its third run in the top of the seventh. Gahanna defeated Upper Arlington 3-1 on May 6.

"We just didn't produce when we needed to," coach Mike Shade said. "We were one base hit away. We had them on the ropes in the sixth and if we get a base hit there, then it's a whole different ballgame."

Gahanna finished 21-8 overall. The Lions opened the tournament with an 8-3 win over Westerville Central in the second round on May 13.

The Lions tied Reynoldsburg for fourth (9-5) in the OCC-Ohio Division, behind Grove City (11-3), Pickerington Central (10-4) and Pickerington North (10-4), and ahead of Lancaster (5-9), Groveport (1-13) and Newark (1-13).

Gahanna loses senior Ben Bokor (P/1B), Josh Bokor (C), Brice Frentzel (OF), Jon Grooms (1B), Derek Johnson (P), Drew Majerus (3B/P) and Cody McKimmins (P/3B). Ben Bokor, an Ohio State recruit, and Josh Bokor, a Miami recruit, formed one of the better batteries in the area.

Players expected to return include Brandon Berger (OF), Shane DeFranco (3B), Vinny Galiardi (P), Cole Greisinger (OF), Drew Kessler (OF), Jarrod Moss (2B), Taylor Neville (P), Joey Tomko (SS) and Nick Van Keuren (P).

At a glance

•Record: 21-8 overall, 9-5 (tied for fourth) in OCC-Ohio Division

•Seniors lost: Ben Bokor, Josh Bokor, Brice Frentzel, Jon Grooms, Derek Johnson, Drew Majerus and Cody McKimmins

•Key returnees: Shane DeFranco, Vinny Galiardi, Drew Kessler, Jarrod Moss and Joey Tomko