Athletic Comets start quickly
The Central Crossing High School baseball team got out to a strong start as it looks to have its best year since 2009, when the Comets went 17-9 for their only winning season.
Coach Scott Todd was not surprised his team was 7-1 overall after defeating Hilliard Davidson 8-7 in an OCC-Central Division game April 15.
"We know this team has potential," he said. "We like the players that are here. We feel like we're a very athletic team. You just like to see the kids grow and get better from day to day and that's what we're seeing right now."
Central Crossing battled windy and frigid conditions to defeat Briggs 6-4 and Hilliard Bradley 5-4 on April 13 at Bradley.
Against Briggs, sophomore Casey McManaway had two singles.
The Comets' first loss came against Olentangy Liberty 15-8 in a league game April 8 at home.
The second game against Liberty on April 10 was suspended because of bad weather with the Patriots leading 8-0 in the top of the fourth inning. That game was scheduled to be completed April 16.
Central Crossing's offense has been potent at times this season, including in a 14-0, five-inning win over Beechcroft on April 2 and a 20-0 win over Brookhaven on April 9.
"We are scoring some runs, but the one thing that I'm most impressed with ... is we've been able to execute," Todd said. "We're getting our bunts down whether it's just sacrificing over with runners on first and second or sometimes putting a little pressure on the defense when the third baseman is back and we have them dragging. We're trying to put pressure on teams. We're trying to be aggressive on the bases."
Although he was pleased with his team's start, Todd would like to see the Comets start competing in the league.
Last season, Central Crossing tied Westland for seventh (2-11) in the OCC-Central behind champion Thomas Worthington (11-3).
"That's why you play, to win an OCC championship and hopefully we're building something towards that," Todd said. "In order to win the OCC, you have to have pitching, and right now Liberty and Thomas Worthington are the top two teams as far as pitching depth to help them win a league championship."
With six games scheduled April 18-24, Todd expects his top three starting pitchers -- junior Marc Russell, sophomore Doug Smith and senior Shaun Seigneur -- to be challenged.
Through seven games, Russell was 2-1 with a 3.57 ERA and Seigneur was leading the team in batting average at.458, followed by Smith (.440), Russell (.389) and junior first baseman Connor Coup (.316). Seigneur had 11 RBI.
"We're not surprised by the start," Coup said. "We felt like coming into the season we had a solid team. Our pitchers have thrown real well in the games and have been able to get us some wins."
Greyhounds begin chase of league title
Grove City was off to a good start in its pursuit of a second consecutive OCC-Ohio title.
The Greyhounds were 4-0 in the league after defeating Groveport 1-0 on April 15 and before playing Newark on April 17.
Grove City won at Groveport 10-3 on April 12.
"One of our first goals is always the OCC title and our next goal is that district championship," said coach Ryan Alexander, whose team has won two consecutive Division I district titles en route to reaching the last two state tournaments.
Alexander hopes a challenging regular-season schedule helps his team prepare for the postseason.
The schedule has included games against Thomas (7-4 loss April 4) and Cleveland St. Ignatius (13-2 loss in five innings April 5) in the Paints Classic in Chillicothe.
Thomas won a district title last season.
Grove City also has games against Cincinnati Elder and Lakewood St. Edward on May 4 at home.