The Granville High School baseball team is a little younger than a year ago, and that trend is expected to continue at least into next season.

The Granville High School baseball team is a little younger than a year ago, and that trend is expected to continue at least into next season.

"We've got six seniors, four juniors and five sophomores, with some of the freshmen really pushing to join the mix," said second-year coach Vince Ghiloni, whose team will open Tuesday against Fairfield Union. "A lot depends on our maturity level. It's about how quickly these guys grow into becoming true varsity players."

Much of the infield returns intact, even though the Blue Aces lost 10 graduates. The seniors include first baseman Clint Howarth and second baseman Gino Ghiloni. Junior Ross Comisford is back at shortstop.

Another senior is Zach Lewis, who is the only returning letterwinner among the pitchers. The other seniors are center-fielder Drew Link, Adam Fink and Luke Bennett, who has been slowed with a shoulder injury. Link is expected to bat in the leadoff spot, with junior Caleb Brown, Howarth and sophomore Chad Kozman expected to drive in runs.

Replacing Russell Seidell's bat in the heart of the order is a top concern. The Bucknell recruit batted .592 with 32 RBI.

"We're a little banged up right now," said Ghiloni, whose team 17-10 overall last season after losing to eventual state-finalist Canal Winchester 7-2 in a Division II district semifinal. "Our guys are competitors, though. They'll be ready (this) week."

The starting pitchers are expected to include junior Loudan Kline, Brown, Comisford and sophomore Adam Hartness. Kline, who also will be the starting catcher, is nursing sore ribs but is expected to become the ace. Other top players include junior Nate Gaul and sophomores Ty Compton, Ta Compton and Austin Laymon, who is expected to start at third base.

"Our hitting really improved last year, and I think this team will hit pretty well, too," Ghiloni said. "Our defense has gotten better, too, but we're not quite there yet.

"We're younger, no question. We'll probably start two sophomores and maybe even three."