Two things quickly come to mind when reviewing the Granville High School baseball team's 2009 season.

Two things quickly come to mind when reviewing the Granville High School baseball team's 2009 season.

One was the loss of shortstop Ross Comisford, who was hitting .560 over 25 at-bats, to a season-ending shoulder injury in the sixth game. The other was how well the young pitchers performed as the Blue Aces eventually finished 18-7 overall, compiling their highest win total since the 2003 team went 19-9.

"That's a pretty good summary," said coach Vince Ghiloni, who has a 35-17 record as his third season begins Wednesday at Johnstown. "Unfortunately, the injury bug has hit us again. We've got four kids battling injuries, and we're expecting three of them to be starters. On the plus side, I think all those young pitchers will be even better."

Comisford, a senior, is chasing a fourth varsity letter as he deals with a nagging hamstring injury. He's likely moving to second base as well, which frees up junior Ty Compton to remain at short after he replaced

Comisford a year ago as Granville went 9-5 in the MSL-Ohio Division to share second place with Licking Valley. Newark Catholic (11-3) topped the final standings. The Blue Aces graduated first-team all-district second baseman Gino Ghiloni, who batted .580 with three home runs and 31 RBI. Compton hit .396 and also belted three homers last spring for the Blue Aces, who lost 5-3 against New Albany in a Division II sectional final.

Senior Michael Bridges, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound first baseman, has the most significant injury and could miss this week with a broken finger. Sophomore outfielder Zack Lilly, a left-handed hitter and probable leadoff batter, has a hip flexor while senior utility player Jay Skaggs is slowed by a bad ankle.

"We do have some depth, and we feel good about that," coach Ghiloni said. "Our defense is better and our pitching's better, but we need to be more consistent (offensively) all the way through the lineup."

The seven returning letterwinners include sophomore pitcher Michael Steensen, who went 4-3 with a 1.88 ERA, and senior Loudon Klein, the catcher and No. 2 starting pitcher who batted .440 a year ago. Klein posted a 2-2 pitching record while junior Ta Compton went 2-0 and classmate Adam Hartness 1-0. Hartness is the hardest thrower on the staff but is trying to improve his control. Twelve of the 15 players can pitch, and junior Seth

Yoho could have a key role as well. Senior Caleb Brown, a left-hander, went 3-2 with a 3.87 ERA.

Also returning are juniors Chad Kozman in right field and Austin Laymon at third base, although Laymon could move if injuries continue to be a problem.

"We're putting pressure on the guys. We told them it's been 10 years since Granville won an MSL title," said coach Ghiloni, whose team opens the league schedule Thursday against Whitehall and plays Saturday at Teays Valley.

"It should be a four- or five-team race, so we have to be on our toes every day."