Matt Gilkerson was happy that his Hilliard Bradley High School baseball team had gone a step further in the postseason, but disappointed by the outcome.

Matt Gilkerson was happy that his Hilliard Bradley High School baseball team had gone a step further in the postseason, but disappointed by the outcome.

The Jaguars lost to second-seeded Jonathan Alder 7-3 on May 21 in a Division II district final at Grove City. A year ago, Bradley lost 12-2 in six innings in a district semifinal against Jonathan Alder, which went on to win a state title.

"We started slow (trailing 5-0 after two innings), but we settled down and played pretty well after that," said Gilkerson, whose team finished 13-16 overall. "The kids kept battling all of the way through."

Graham Johnston pitched a two-hitter for Jonathan Alder, striking out 11 with four walks. Tanner Young had a pinch-hit single in the fifth for Bradley's first hit, and Tyler Armstrong had an RBI single in the sixth.

Bradley finished 6-8 in the OCC-Capital Division to tie Big Walnut for sixth behind champion New Albany (11-3), Mount Vernon (10-4), Olentangy Orange (9-5) and Delaware and Watkins Memorial (both 7-7). Franklin Heights (0-14) was last.

A high point for the Jaguars was defeating top-seeded Olentangy 4-1 on May 19 in a district semifinal at Worthington Kilbourne. Conor Driscoll threw a one-hitter with three strikeouts and no walks, although the right-hander hit five batters.

Bradley pitchers allowed only one hit and no earned runs in their first two tournament games. Jackson Everman threw a no-hitter in a 12-0 win over Centennial in the second round on May 12.

"I could have thrown better; I could always throw better," Driscoll said. "I needed more rotation on my ball, but I pitched well enough.

"We made it one game further than we did last year and that gives us more confidence going into next year. It will make us a better team."

The Jaguars had two seniors in infielder/outfielder Evan Parris and shortstop/pitcher Luke Simeon.

"Evan and Luke have been great leaders," said Gilkerson, the only coach in the program's two seasons. "To have two great kids like that come through to start the program was great. They were players the younger kids looked up to. They set the standard for other kids to live up to in the coming years."

Starters expected to return include juniors Armstrong (OF), Driscoll, Spencer Gates (C), Dray Hall (1B), Zak Lucente (OF) and Trey Welch (OF), as well as sophomores Everman, Jacob Miller (DH/OF), Matt Reynolds (INF) and Young (DH).

Also expected back are juniors Connor Heanszel (INF/OF), Chad Reep (OF) and Dalton Warner (OF) and sophomores Reily Butz (INF/OF), Austin Hatcher (INF/OF) and Ryan Johnson (INF/OF).

"We definitely have some big shoes to fill with Luke at shortstop and Evan played second, third and the outfield for us," Gilkerson said.