Grove City Record

Baseball

'Hounds enter tourney on roll

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The Grove City High School baseball team entered the Division I district tournament with plenty of momentum.

The Greyhounds had won 16 consecutive games and were 19-5 overall before playing Watkins Memorial in a regular-season game May 13.

Grove City earned the program's third OCC-Ohio Division title in six seasons after winning at Pickerington North 12-0 in five innings May 7 behind pitcher Ben Myers.

Robbie Jobe had two hits and three RBI, and Myers, Tyler Cowles and Dakota Hawkins each added two hits.

Grove City's second game against North was postponed May 10 because of bad weather and will be played Thursday, May 15. The Panthers are 9-4 in the league and finished second.

"We couldn't be swinging it any better right now," coach Ryan Alexander said.

"We finally have our defense as close to fixed as it can get and our pitching has absolutely been unreal."

The Greyhounds are 12-1 in the league, with the loss coming at Reynoldsburg 8-0 on April 9. That also was the last loss for Grove City before playing Watkins Memorial.

Seeded third in the district tournament, Grove City played host to 40th-seeded Licking Heights in the second round May 14. The Greyhounds had a first-round bye.

The winner plays 10th-seeded Hilliard Darby or 28th-seeded Reynoldsburg in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 20, at Olentangy.

Grove City defeated Rey-noldsburg 9-4 on April 8.

The district final is May 22 at Ohio Dominican.

"We don't want to stop with a league title," Alexander said. "That's usually the last of our worries. Our goal every year is a district title. That's our first and foremost goal every year."

Through 23 games, Cowles was hitting .562, followed by Myers (.432) and Jobe (.380).

Jake Norbut had 23 RBI, Cowles had 21 RBI with three home runs and Blake Griffith had 16 RBI.

Myers was 6-1 with a 2.22 ERA, 37 strikeouts and 10 walks in 41 innings. Josh Schaffer was 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA, 25 strikeouts and 23 walks in 33 2/3 innings, and Chase Antle was 4-1 with a 1.66 ERA, 38 strikeouts and 24 walks in 38 innings.

"This is probably the most exciting time of the year for baseball," Schaffer said.

"The whole community will be out there watching us doing our best and trying to make it far in the tournament."

Central Crossing sweeps Westland

Central Crossing closed OCC-Central play by sweeping Westland, winning 11-0 in five innings May 7 and 19-2 in five innings May 9.

The Comets were 11-12 overall after defeating 41st-seeded Columbus West 22-2 in five innings in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 12.

The 30th-seeded Comets played 11th-seeded Gahanna on May 14, with that winner playing fourth-seeded Olentangy Orange or 32nd-seeded Dublin Scioto in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 20, at Dublin Coffman.

The district final is May 22 at Otterbein.

The Comets finished seventh in the OCC-Central at 4-10, behind champion Olentangy Liberty (12-2).

In the first game against Westland, Marc Russell pitched a complete game, allowing one hit, striking out five and walking none. Caleb Jones had two hits and three RBI, and Russell, Doug Smith, Ethan Swank and Jared Wilson each had two hits.

Swank and Casey McManaway each had four hits in the second game against Westland, and Jones and Russell homered.

Through 23 games, Swank was hitting .406, followed by Smith (.359), Russell (.347) and Jones (.345). Smith had 24 RBI.

Smith also was 4-4 with a 2.74 ERA, 43 strikeouts and 16 walks in 46 innings.

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