With a rebuilt infield and a junior-dominated lineup surrounding him, senior Chris Secore of the Gahanna Lincoln High School baseball team is aware that the perception of his squad has changed this season.

With a rebuilt infield and a junior-dominated lineup surrounding him, senior Chris Secore of the Gahanna Lincoln High School baseball team is aware that the perception of his squad has changed this season.

But the Lions, who have won Division I district championships three of the past four seasons, aren't listening to the predictions of their demise.

"Before the season started, nobody expected us to do much because of our inexperience," Secore said. "I feel like a lot of teams aren't going to take us as seriously as last year because we don't have guys like (2011 graduate) Joey Tomko anymore.

"I think our hitting has surprised everybody the most, and just the fact that we've been able to score runs. We've had a couple shaky games on defense, but other than that we've been strong."

Secore's emergence at third base and on the mound, as well as in the area of leadership, have been key factors in the Lions' strong start.
Gahanna was 14-5 overall and 6-3 in the OCC-Ohio Division before playing Grove City on April 25.

Secore has been used mostly out of the bullpen and had allowed just one earned run over his first 21 2/3 innings and eight appearances. He had struck out 21 and walked nine.

The Lions committed three errors and gave up eight runs in the sixth inning in a 12-3 loss to Pickerington North on April 18 but bounced back with an 8-4 win over the Panthers two days later.

In the rematch, Secore pitched a complete game, giving up seven hits.

"Last year I didn't throw a whole lot, maybe one or two innings," he said. "We had a lot of pitchers last year. I've been working with my pitching coach a lot over the winter."

Secore has worked the past few years with Mike Greenhouse, who pitched for University of Evansville and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2005. Greenhouse played in the minor leagues before his professional career ended in 2007.

"He's helped me with the fundamentals of my breaking pitches," Secore said. "I have a good fastball, but I still need to keep working."
Secore, who has signed to play for West Liberty University in West Virginia, was hitting .400 over his first 15 at-bats this season but found out last week that he has a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He isn't expecting to hit the rest of the season.

A right-hander, Secore first felt pain in his shoulder in late March while the Lions were on their spring-break trip to Florida. After spending as much time as possible resting the injury, he felt a "pop" in his shoulder April 16 against Pickerington Central and had it checked out two days later.

"It won't affect my pitching," he said. "I'll probably have to have surgery once the season is over."
Secore had been batting in the middle of the lineup. Alex Delp and Brock Frentzel have been among those seeing increased at-bats with Secore not in the lineup.

•BY THE NUMBERS – Through 16 games, Evan White (.450), Dakota Cararo (.444) and Alec Tuohy (.442) all were off to strong starts at the plate. Trent Champlin was leading the team with 19 RBI and 20 runs and was hitting .350.

White was the team's most consistent pitcher through 16 games with a 2.21 ERA and a 2-1 record and Tuohy was 3-2 with a 3.45 ERA in 28 1/3 innings. Tuohy allowed four runs in the loss to North.

"We just fell apart (in the loss to North)," coach Mike Shade said. "They had a chopper here, a chopper there, and it just fell apart.

"With the amount of inexperience we have, sure (we're happy overall). It's one of those things where you're playing well, but a game like (the North loss) happens and it makes you reassess things."