After earning the top seed in the Division I district tournament last season but losing to Hilliard Davidson 4-1 in the second round, the Grove City High School baseball team wanted to advance past the second round this season and contend for a district title.

After earning the top seed in the Division I district tournament last season but losing to Hilliard Davidson 4-1 in the second round, the Grove City High School baseball team wanted to advance past the second round this season and contend for a district title.

The Greyhounds ended up topping those goals by rallying to beat Worthington Kilbourne 5-2 in a district final May 20 at Davidson. It was their first district title since they won back-to-back championships in 1999 and 2000.

The game began May 19 and was scoreless in the fifth inning when it was suspended because of bad weather.

When play resumed, the ninth-seeded Greyhounds opened the scoring in the fifth when Ken Reichle raced home on Ryan Belmonte's pop fly to shortstop Brian Hanks in shallow left field.

Kilbourne, the 22nd seed, took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. Will Meador hit an RBI single.

Down to the final out and final strike in the top of the seventh, Mitchell Stephens lined Jacob Niggemeyer's 2-2 pitch into left-center for a single that scored Drew Nankivell with the tying run. Belmonte followed with a single that scored Stephens with the go-ahead run. Tyler Kent then hit an RBI double and Jimmy Gravett added an RBI single.

"You can't ask for a bigger hit than what Mitch got," said coach Ryan Alexander, whose team improved to 19-10.

"I knew I had to get a hit and help my team out," Stephens said. "It could have been the last game of the year, and I didn't want it to be."

Stephens, who relieved starter Drew Artrip when play resumed, pitched out of a seventh-inning jam and was the winning pitcher.

"We have these guys working 12 months out of the year, and they love it and play with that desire," Alexander said. "I knew anything was possible. It was just putting those things together that we talked about at the beginning of the year."

Grove City plays West Chester Lakota West in a regional semifinal at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at Dublin Coffman.

Lakota West improved to 17-11 by beating Cincinnati Glen Este 5-1 in a district final May 21. Lakota West was seeded eighth in its district.

Against Glen Este, junior Zack Farmer was the winning pitcher, and he helped his cause with a double and single.

"Lakota West is always a strong program coming from the Cincinnati area," Alexander said. "We saw them play when they beat Glen Este 5-1. They look like they have some great team speed and are very solid up the middle. If we play Grove City baseball like we know we can, this is a team we can definitely play with. It's going to come down to getting those timely hits and hits with two outs."

The winner plays Gahanna or Westerville Central in a regional title game at 5 p.m. Friday, May 27, at Coffman.

Gahanna defeated Coffman 5-1 and Central beat Reynoldsburg 12-7 in district title games May 21.

The regional champion advances to a state semifinal on June 2 at Huntington Park in Columbus.

ĽA highlight of Central Crossing's season was beating Marion-Franklin 8-0 in the first round of the Division I district tournament on May 10 at home behind junior Jason Dickey's no-hitter. He struck out 15 and walked one.

The Comets lost to fifth-seeded Gahanna 7-6 in the second round May 11 when the host Lions rallied from a 6-3 deficit.

Central Crossing finished 8-17 overall and 2-12 in the OCC-Central Division, seventh in the league behind Coffman (13-1), Hilliard Davidson and Kilbourne (10-4), Thomas Worthington and Hilliard Darby (7-7) and Upper Arlington (6-8), and ahead of Westland (1-13).

Central Crossing swept the season series with Westland, winning 10-0 in five innings May 6 and 5-4 May 16.

Freshman Marc Russell was second-team all-OCC-Central and honorable mention all-district. Sophomore Will Bohne was honorable mention all-league.

Outfielder and pitcher Jordan Keaton was the team's lone senior.

"Jordan is a great competitor who brought a lot of leadership to a young team," coach Scott Todd said.

Bohne led the team in hitting at .389 followed by junior Zak Ogilbee (.380), Russell (.367), freshman Connor Coup (.351) and junior Devin Doudna (.316).

Coup led in RBI with 18 followed by Bohne and Ogilbee with 17 apiece.