Licking County News

Watkins Memorial Roundup

Baseball team swept out of OCC title chase


The Watkins Memorial High School baseball team lost two games against Olentangy Orange in the final week of the regular season and, consequently, had to settle for being runner-up in the OCC-Capital Division.

The Warriors had two chances to win the league title but lost to the Pioneers 5-2 on May 6 at Orange and 3-2 on May 8 at home. Watkins Memorial finished 11-3 in the OCC-Capital, one game behind champion Orange (12-2).

"The thing is that the kids understand that if you play great teams, (those teams) will capitalize on your mistakes," coach Don Schone said. "That's what (Orange) did over there (May 6) and they did that here (May 8)."

On May 8, pitcher Dan Sexton allowed six hits and two walks and had eight strikeouts. The Warriors were led at the plate by infielder Charlie Schmidt, who had three singles and an RBI, and infielder Jordan Miller, who had an RBI single.

"Dan pitched well. ... All three of their runs were unearned," Schone said. "It was just a great baseball game, and it helps us to get ready for tournament play."

Watkins Memorial, which fell to 20-5 overall after the losses to Orange, is seeded third of 41 teams, behind Pickerington North and Orange, in the Division I district tournament and has a first-round bye. The Warriors will play host to 40th-seeded Logan in the second round Wednesday, May 15.

Logan entered last week 5-17.

"I don't have a clue about Logan and I don't think that's a problem," Schone said. "I'm not a big scout guy because you could waste a lot of time going and not see the same pitching you might see in the tournament. I want to take care of us, the things we can do.

"Baseball isn't that difficult. If you hit, field and pitch well, you're going to win most of the time. The reality of it is, to this point, there's only been one game we've lost because (our opponent) was that much better than us."

The game to which Schone was referring was a 6-1 loss to Lake Orion (Mich.) on April 5.

"We had four errors in every other loss," he said.

The second-round winner will play eighth-seeded Olentangy Liberty, 25th-seeded New Albany or 36th-seeded Groveport in a district semifinal May 21 at Pickerington North.

Watkins Memorial swept New Albany in OCC-Capital play, winning 7-1 on May 1 and 5-1 on May 3. The Warriors have not played Liberty or Groveport this season.

"New Albany is a very good team and Olentangy Liberty has a great pitcher," Schone said, referring to Jacob Niggemeyer, a junior who has committed to Ohio State. "That could be a great game."

If Watkins Memorial advances to a district final May 23 at Ohio Dominican, it would face 10th-seeded St. Charles, 14th-seeded Marysville, 19th-seeded Westerville Central, 20th-seeded Westerville North or 21st-seeded Dublin Scioto.

The Warriors lost to Westerville Central 7-2 on May 4 but have not played any of the other potential opponents this season.

Softball team opens tourney at Groveport

The softball team is seeded 37th of 42 teams in the Division I district tournament and will play at 13th-seeded Groveport in the first round Tuesday, May 14.

The winner will play 16th-seeded Thomas Worthington or 34th-seeded Whetstone in the second round Thursday, May 16, at the higher seed.

Watkins Memorial fell to 4-22 overall and finished 2-12 in the OCC-Capital with an 8-6 loss to Orange on May 8. The Warriors have not played Groveport, which entered last week 12-8, or Thomas this season but split a doubleheader against Whetstone on April 20, winning 6-4 and losing 10-6.

The second-round winner will face second-seeded Grove City, 26th-seeded Dublin Coffman or 31st-seeded Franklin Heights in a district semifinal May 21 at Pickerington North.

Watkins Memorial split its two OCC-Capital games against Franklin Heights, winning 15-5 on April 15 and losing 11-3 on May 1. The Warriors have not played Grove City or Coffman this season.

If Watkins Memorial advances to a district final May 25 at Pickerington Central, it would face seventh-seeded Worthington Kilbourne, eighth-seeded Watterson, 18th-seeded Hilliard Davidson, 19th-seeded Westerville North, 29th-seeded Newark, 32nd-seeded Hilliard Darby or 41st-seeded Westland.

The Warriors lost to Kilbourne 17-0 on April 2 and lost to Newark 12-4 on April 16 but have not played any of the other potential opponents this season.

Tennis team getting set for sectional

The boys tennis team will play a non-league match Tuesday, May 14, at Westerville North before preparing for the Division I sectional tournament Thursday, May 16, and Saturday, May 18, at Reynoldsburg.

At sectional, seniors Dylan Clear, Max Nader and Austin Williams will compete in singles, junior Andy Lyons and sophomore Derek Clear will comprise one doubles team and senior Jordan Parks and junior Ryan Cash will comprise the other.

In the first round in singles, Clear will play Dublin Jerome's Tyler Stohr, Nader will face Reynoldsburg's Brandon Person and Williams will play Lancaster's Ben Triplett.

In the opening round in doubles, Lyons and Clear will face Lancaster's Ian Elick and Seth Quay and Parks and Cash will play Pickerington North's Ben Keen and Blain Carr.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the district tournament May 24 and 25 at Davidson.

Watkins Memorial, which did not have any district qualifiers last season, beat Fisher Catholic 4-1 on May 8 to improve to 11-6 overall. The Warriors competed in the OCC-Capital tournament May 11 at Olentangy.

Track teams prepare for OCC-Capital meet

The track and field teams will compete in the OCC-Capital meet Thursday, May 16, and Saturday, May 18, at Hilliard Bradley.

Last season in the league meet, the boys team finished third (117 points) behind New Albany (186) and Bradley (117.5) and ahead of Orange (69), Mount Vernon (54), Big Walnut (53.5), Franklin Heights (43) and Delaware (22), and the girls team placed second (109) behind New Albany (161.5) and ahead of Bradley (85.25), Big Walnut (84), Orange (76.75), Franklin Heights (61), Delaware (44) and Mount Vernon (40.5).

Entering last season, the boys team had won four consecutive OCC-Capital championships and the girls team had won three league titles in a row.

Bradley has moved to the OCC-Cardinal and was replaced by Olentangy.

After the league meet, Watkins Memorial will prepare for the Division I district meet at Darby.

The boys team will compete in district 2 on May 21, 22 and 25 and the girls will compete in district 3 on May 22, 23 and 25. The top four finishers in each event advance to regional May 29 and 31 at Pickerington North.