Cameron Chambers and Brandon Wolfe spent the last two seasons playing on varsity for the Marysville High School baseball team.

Cameron Chambers and Brandon Wolfe spent the last two seasons playing on varsity for the Marysville High School baseball team.

As sophomores, the duo had six wins. Last season, Chambers and Wolfe helped the Monarchs double their winning output as Marysville finished 12-15 after losing to 10th-seeded Delaware 5-4 in the second round of the Division I district tournament.

Chambers is planning to put the experience from the past two seasons to good use in his third and final season.

"We can't get very high or low emotionally," Chambers said. "We have to keep an even keel throughout the season. You're going to have slumps. You're going to have great games. You need to stay on the same level."

Third-year coach John Carder will rely on Chambers and Wolfe to lead the Monarchs on and off the field. Marysville has three seniors and 14 juniors on its 28-man roster.

"As a whole, the program is pretty young," said Carder, whose team opens April 5 at home against Olentangy Liberty. "For being so young, I'm pleased with the work ethic and progress the players made since we began practice."

Chambers, Wolf and Doug Dafler comprise the senior class. Wolfe leads the group of returning players with a .276 batting average and 14 runs scored last season.

"They have experience," Carder said. "We will also lean on some of the juniors who played a significant amount of time their sophomore year."

Carder was referring to juniors Matt Brown, Nate Hodnichak, Kyle Nelson and Jay Sperry. Sperry was 3-1 with a 4.25 ERA in 26 innings pitched last season.

Brown, Nelson and Sperry all pitched last season, but an ace has yet to emerge. Sperry is the hardest thrower, but Carder likes qualities his entire staff brings to the mound.

"We have a lot of guys who are consistent and comparable across the board," Carder said.

Marysville graduated seven players, led by pitchers Justin Hayes, Ian Hotham and Eric Spaulding. All three logged the majority of innings in conference play. In the OCC-Cardinal Division, Marysville tied Olentangy for fifth at 5-9, behind co-champions Dublin Scioto and Olentangy Liberty at 12-2.

"I wonder how well our pitchers are going to handle things under pressure," Carder said. "Can they throw strikes? We don't have any pitchers who pitched day in and day out in our conference games. While we have a strong defense, our pitchers cannot allow walks and put people on base."

Strong defense and team speed are two strengths that stood out to Carder during the preseason. Marysville does not have a powerful offensive lineup, so using that speed to manufacture runs will be important. The Monarchs lost their offensive leader in Spaulding, who was named second-team all-conference and honorable mention all-district. He led Marysville in batting average (.457), total hits (43) and runs scored (32).

"We may not score a boatload of runs or hit for a high slugging percentage," Carder said. "We're going to stay in most games with our speed and sound defense."

At a glance

•Coach: John Carder, third season

•Opener: April 5 vs. Olentangy Liberty

•Key players: Matt Brown, Cameron Chambers, Kyle Nelson, Jay Sperry and Brandon Wolfe

SCHEDULE

*April 5 vs. Olentangy Liberty

*April 7 at Olentangy

*April 9 at Westerville Central

*April 12 vs. Westerville South

*April 14 at Dublin Jerome

*April 16 at Westerville North

April 17 at Gahanna (DH)

*April 19 vs. Dublin Scioto

*April 21 at Olentangy Liberty

*April 23 vs. Olentangy

April 24 at Delaware's Hays/Hoehn Tournament

*April 26 vs. Westerville Central

*April 28 at Westerville South

*April 30 vs. Dublin Jerome

*May 3 vs. Westerville North

*May 5 at Dublin Scioto

May 6 at Jonathan Alder

May 8 at Ready (DH)

*MSL-Cardinal game