The Beechcroft High School baseball team has no seniors, but there's no questioning who the leader is.

The Beechcroft High School baseball team has no seniors, but there's no questioning who the leader is.

Junior Zach Davis, who was hitting better than .600 and also is the No. 1 pitcher, is the player an improved team has leaned on throughout the first half of the season. After going 9-14 last year, Beechcroft split its first 10 games and was just two games behind City League-North Division leader Whetstone.

"(Davis) doesn't look at this team as if it has no seniors," coach Matt Bell said. "They will absolutely follow him through the wall. We've got four juniors and they're all leaders, but he's the leader."

Through nine games, Davis was 13-for-21 with 10 RBI and was 2-1 with 22 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched. He plays third base when he's not on the mound.

Juniors Ron Burrell and Rahim Jones were the busiest pitchers other than Davis through nine games, and Burrell also was among the team leaders in hitting at .462. Anthony Barnes was hitting .600 through eight games.

Davis missed one game with a hamstring injury.

"We're making progress," he said. "We're not losing anybody (from this team), so we'll get a lot better next year. For a young team, we're doing well. We have a lot of new kids that haven't played before.

"This is my third year on the team, so I think it's easy to take on a leadership role. I've been playing baseball since I was 6 years old. I guess I'm really just seeing the ball well. I've been to the batting cages a lot."

An example of the progress Beechcroft knows it still needs to make came April 21, when it led Centennial 5-4 in the third inning before allowing 16 runs in the fourth in a 20-5 loss.

"Centennial, Whetstone and Northland are all solid baseball teams, and I don't think all three of them would be last place in every OCC league," Bell said. "I want to see us make a lot of improvements, and so far I'm not super pleased with some of the improvements I've seen from our young (players). With these young kids, we hit them fly ball after fly ball and I'd like to see the lights go on. But we're talking about first-year players in a lot of cases. They're all athletic, and they'll go 1-for-4 but it's only out of their athleticism."

•Staying consistent has been the biggest struggle for the softball team, according to coach Bruce Ward.

The Cougars were tied with defending City-North champion Centennial at 4 before giving up two runs in the fifth and seven in the sixth of a 13-4 loss April 21. Beechcroft committed six errors.

Then the Cougars fell behind 5-2 after three innings and made four errors in an 11-5 loss to Linden on April 23 to lose for the third time in four games.

"We're real inconsistent," Ward said. "We can't afford to take a day off at all. We've just got some players who are making bad decisions with their base-running, and we've just been inconsistent from inning to inning. We were hanging in there with Centennial and then we almost get run-ruled by them."

Pitcher Kirsten Martin, third baseman Brittany Bohanan and second baseman Domonique Hillmon have led the way thus far. The Cougars also have gotten a surprising contribution from sophomore left-fielder Fabioly Malidor, who played at Northland last year.

"(Malidor) has probably been our most consistent hitter," Ward said. "We're young. We only have three starters returning from last year and have just got a lot of sophomores and freshmen playing."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Beechcroft baseball, softball, boys tennis and boys and girls track and field teams:

BASEBALL

*April 8 -- Defeated Mifflin 15-1

*April 9 -- Def. East 21-5

April 16 -- Lost to Harvest Prep 16-0

April 18 -- Lost to Eastmoor 8-4; lost to Ready 13-3

*April 21 -- Lost to Centennial 20-5

*April 22 -- Def. Brookhaven 19-5

*April 23 -- Def. Linden-McKinley 10-9

*Last Monday -- Lost to Northland 10-0

*Last Wednesday -- Played Centennial

*Friday -- Home vs. East

*Monday -- At Mifflin

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Whetstone

Of note: The Cougars were 5-6 overall and 5-3 in the City-North before last Wednesday.

SOFTBALL

*April 8 -- Def. Mifflin 8-5

*April 9 -- Def. East 10-0

April 19 -- Lost to Wellington 1-0; lost to Wellington 6-3

*April 21 -- Lost to Centennial 13-4

*April 22 -- Def. Brookhaven 16-3

*April 23 -- Lost to Linden 11-5

*Last Monday -- Def. Northland 7-5

*Last Wednesday -- Played Centennial

*Friday -- Home vs. East

*Monday -- At Mifflin

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Whetstone

Of note: The Cougars were 5-6 overall and 5-2 in the City-North before last Wednesday.

TENNIS

*April 8 -- Def. East 4-1 in opener

*April 23 -- Lost to Whetstone 4-1

*Last Monday -- Def. Brookhaven 5-0

Last Tuesday -- Played Eastmoor

*Last Wednesday -- Played Northland

*Today -- Home vs. Centennial

Monday, Wednesday -- At City League Coaches Tournament at Whetstone Park of Roses

TRACK & FIELD

April 15 -- Boys: Finished third (33) behind Mount Vernon (81) and Delaware (42); Girls: Finished third (27) behind Mount Vernon (76) and Delaware (46)

April 22 -- Boys: Finished first (71) ahead of Academy (46) and Whitehall (46); Girls: Finished first (86) ahead of Academy (58) and Whitehall (10)

Last Wednesday -- Competed in Braves Invitational at Whetstone

Saturday -- At Gary Smith Invitational at Thomas Worthington

Wednesday -- At Red Devil Relays

*City-North contest