Runs have proven hard to come by for the Central Crossing High School baseball team.

Runs have proven hard to come by for the Central Crossing High School baseball team.

That's why coach Scott Todd took at least some solace in a 13-8 home loss April 11 in an OCC-Central Division game against Hilliard Darby. The Comets collected 11 hits and made a game of it after falling behind 9-2.

"We got production from every spot in the (batting) order," Todd said. "We came back and gave ourselves a chance in the seventh inning."

Errors, on the other hand, have not been in short supply and contributed to the team's slow start. The Comets were 3-9 overall and 0-5 in the OCC-Central before playing Hilliard Davidson on April 16 in the second game of that series. The Wildcats won the first game 9-3 on April 13.

"It's just repetition," said Todd, whose team started 2-0 overall but didn't get a third win until defeating Marion-Franklin 12-2 on April 10 as Devin Doudna earned the victory.

"We have to keep drilling the kids on ground balls. Confidence plays into it at some point. The guys have to believe in themselves."

Todd has been pleased with the way the Comets have pitched. Doudna and Marc Russell have been among the top starters, and Jason Dickey just recently rejoined the staff after being involved in a car accident earlier in the spring.

Offensively, the top players have been those at the top of the order: Russell, Will Bohne, Zak Ogilbee, Connor Coup and Doudna.

"The thing is, we've got to get production one through nine," Todd said. "Our pitching has kept us in some games, but we're only batting about .200 (through 12 games). It's hard to win when you're not scoring and giving runs away on errors.

"I think the guys are starting to maybe press a little bit."

Greyhounds return home with momentum intact

After winning all seven games it played before departing for Vero Beach, Fla., Grove City carried its strong start through spring break. A 10-0 victory in five innings April 13 against Central Valley (N.Y.) Monroe-Woodbury gave the Greyhounds a 4-1 record on the trip.

The pitching staff allowed just five runs in Florida, and Kyle Bennett threw a two-hitter to defeat London (Ky.) North Laurel 2-0 on April 9. Mitchell Stephens pitched a complete game the following day in a 4-1 victory over Louisville (Ky.) Christian. Entering those games, North Laurel was 9-1 and Louisville Christian was 8-2.

Stephens was 3-0 when the team arrived back in central Ohio on April 14, while Brandon Gooch was 2-0 and Drew Artip 2-1. Seven pitchers had recorded victories, and the Greyhounds were 12-1 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Newark on April 18.

"We relied on our pitching (during the trip)," said Gooch, a senior who also plays third and second base. "It was a lot of fun, definitely."

The task now is to sustain that momentum. The Greyhounds will play host to the second game in the Newark series Friday, April 20. The next OCC-Ohio series begins Monday, April 23, at Gahanna.

The Lions, who won four of the six games they played in Vero Beach late last month, are among the top contenders for the OCC-Ohio title despite a roster overhaul following last year's Division I district championship. That was Gahanna's third district title in four seasons. They are led by center fielder Cole Griesinger, who has signed with Ball State.

"For the seniors, especially, the OCC title has been our goal since the start of the season," Gooch said. "I don't really see us having any letdown now that we're back from Florida."