Junior Ben Myers has helped the Grove City High School baseball team position itself for another postseason run.
With Myers playing key roles in the outfield and on the mound, the Greyhounds are bidding for a third consecutive Division I state tournament berth.
Grove City also is seeking its second consecutive OCC-Ohio Division title. It entered play April 30 first in the league at 7-2, ahead of Gahanna (7-3), Pickerington North and Pickerington Central (both 6-2) and Lancaster (6-3).
"We have a lot of potential," Myers said. "We're similar to the teams before us, just hard workers and dirty dirt bags, meaning we do anything to get the job done. I think we can get it done this year."
After losing to Central 9-8 in eight innings April 22, Myers helped the Greyhounds get back on track, as he was the winning pitcher in an 11-2 win over Dublin Coffman on April 25 and drove in both runs in a 2-1 win over Gahanna on April 26.
"That was Grove City baseball," coach Ryan Alexander said of the Gahanna game. "We've been waiting for that performance. We haven't fielded it that well in close games and I thought our guys made some big-time plays in big-time situations."
Myers' sacrifice fly scored Nick Bowyer (C) in the third inning and his two-out bunt single scored Dominic Cooper (INF) with the go-ahead run in the fifth.
"Ben Myers (delivered) the big game-winning bunt with two outs," Alexander said. "That's his call. It was a testament to him. He saw the guy was back, made a great read and that was the only run that we needed."
Through 19 games, Myers was batting .500 with a team-high 20 stolen bases. He also led the Greyhounds in hits (33) and runs (21), and was tied with senior Dallas Allen (INF/P) for the team-lead in RBI with 16.
Myers, who bats and throws left-handed, anchors the team's outfield in center. On the mound, he entered the week 2-1 with a 1.72 ERA, 15 strikeouts and four walks in 20 1/3 innings.
"Ben is a gamer for us," Alexander said. "He's done everything we've wanted."
Junior Josh Schaffer, who was the winning pitcher against Gahanna, was 5-2 with a 0.77 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 19 walks in 27 1/3 innings.
Senior Drew Artrip (P/1B) was batting .434 with 15 RBI, senior Brandon Marczika (INF/OF) was batting .409 and senior Tyler Gaitten (OF) was at .407.
Last season, Myers got a taste of postseason play and was a late defensive replacement in right field against Cincinnati Moeller in a state semifinal. He made a diving catch in the Greyhounds' 3-2 loss to the eventual state champion.
"That play is in the back of my head," Myers said. "It's definitely one of my highlights."
Grove City closes the regular season with a two-game series against North. The Greyhounds play host to the Panthers on Monday, May 6, and visit North on Wednesday, May. 8.
Last season, Grove City defeated North 8-7 in the teams' only meeting. The Greyhounds went 11-0 in the league, winning the title with enough of a lead that they didn't need to complete three suspended games.
Grove City plays host to Cincinnati Elder and Lakewood St. Edward on Saturday, May 4.
"Our guys love it, our guys want it," Alexander said of the challenging schedule. "They look at that schedule all year. They like it."
Central Crossing ends losing streak
Central Crossing ended a four-game losing streak by sweeping host Whitehall 3-0 and 22-3 in five innings April 27.
"It was really important for us to get (those) two wins," coach Scott Todd said. "We had a rough week where we played well for the most part, but could not finish at the end of some of the games because of errors and not executing offensively. Getting the wins will continue to build confidence in our players and their abilities as we (prepared) for another tough week."
Through 17 games, Shaun Seigneur (P/1B/OF) was hitting .431, Will Bohne (2B/P) was at .390, Marc Russell (SS/P) was at .375 and Connor Coup (1B) was at .367.
Seigneur led in RBI with 17.
The Comets were 2-6 in the OCC-Central before playing Marysville on May 1.
"We have to continue to play hard, execute offensively and defensively, as well as maintain a positive attitude," Todd said. "It is not easy to win in the OCC, especially since we are short on pitching, but the players have to believe that we are going to win each time they take the field. That's what I like about this team. They play hard and fight to the end of each game."