Summer is the time athletes are able to relax and not worry about the everyday drudgery of school and practice. For many baseball players, it's a time to enjoy the game they love.

Summer is the time athletes are able to relax and not worry about the everyday drudgery of school and practice. For many baseball players, it's a time to enjoy the game they love.

Adam Frazier was able to do that as a member of the Hilliard (Davidson) American Legion baseball team, which finished 16-10 after a 13-8 loss to Southway (Central Crossing) Post 144A on July 23 in the losers bracket of the District 12 tournament. The team had lost to top-seeded and eventual champion Worthington Post 239 12-2 a day earlier.

"Summer baseball is really a time to have a lot of fun playing, a lot like when you were a kid," said Frazier, a senior outfielder who batted .343 with two home runs, 16 runs and 14 RBI. "You don't have as many games that you don't have practices every day so it seems like you show up and play games, a lot like when you were a kid."

A mixture of veterans and youth combined to help Post 614A open 11-4, but team fell short of its goal of winning a district title.

"This year was a little different than teams have been in the past," said David DeWeese, who completed his seventh season as the manager. "We wanted to give the older guys a chance to go out and compete with a pretty good team and still be able to give the younger kids experience."

Frazier said competing against older players really helped his game.

"Some of the kids were from college and that really helps your skills a lot," Frazier said. "During the (high school) season (last spring) with the team we had, it was tough to get some time in the outfield. But in the summer I was able to improve my swing and become more comfortable at the plate against better pitching."

The roster for Post 614A included 2008 graduates Drew Dolder (1B; .563, 13 multi-hit games, 29 runs, 27 RBI, 19 walks, 9 stolen bases, 8 doubles, .653 on-base percentage), Jake Dougherty (2B; .420 OBP, 20 walks, 22 runs), Aaron Geis (LHP), Matt Hampp (C/INF; .357, 2 home runs, 30 RBI, 7 doubles), Matt Rine (INF; .386, 9 doubles, 20 RBI, 17 runs), Rob Tiefenthaler (RHP; 4-2, 3.09 ERA, 43 innings, 48 strikeouts, 22 walks) and Dan Winter (LHP; 5-2, 3.14 ERA, 42 1/3 innings, 31 strikeouts, 11 walks).

"We had a lot of leadership from the outgoing (varsity) and it helped us learn how to play as a team," said senior Bryan Gronski, an infielder and outfielder who batted .338 with 24 RBI and 17 runs. "We really had a lot of chemistry."

The seniors include Frazier, Grant Goodwin (SS; .444, .508 OBP, no strikeouts in 63 plate appearances), Gronski (RHP/utility), Takahito Kawakami (RHP) and A.J. Pope (OF). Junior Kyle Sant, a right-handed pitcher who can play third base and the outfield, rounded out the roster.

"A couple of young guys who have a chance to do some good things for the varsity next year are Bryan Gronski and Adam Frazier," DeWeese said. "Bryan can hit the ball really well and makes good contact. He struck out once the whole summer, which is pretty impressive.

"Adam has a lot of speed and plays defense pretty well. He should do pretty well in the outfield for the varsity next spring."

Gronski said the lessons learned in summer ball will be invaluable next spring.

"We played a lot of close games and we're able to learn what to do in certain game situations," he said. "We learned a lot from the competition we faced."