The Tree of Life Christian School baseball team's Division IV district semifinal against Grove City Christian on May 18 was typical of the Trojans.

The Tree of Life Christian School baseball team's Division IV district semifinal against Grove City Christian on May 18 was typical of the Trojans.

Tree of Life fell behind by nine runs in the fifth inning before its rally ended in a 9-7 loss.

The Trojans finished 19-8 overall and 6-2 in the MOCAL, behind Grove City Christian (7-1), and ahead of Gahanna Christian (3-5), Madison Christian (3-5) and Fairfield Christian (1-7).

Against Grove City Christian, sophomore Charles Collins hit a two-run home run, and juniors Gordon Coakley and Grant Pauley each had two-run singles to fuel the comeback.

Coakley was thrown out at the plate for the game's final out with the potential tying run on base.

"It was a great encouragement to me to see the kids come back and battle that way," coach Rick Parcher said. "They hit up a storm in the last couple of innings. We just couldn't seem to get off the ground in the early innings."

Tree of Life reached the district semifinal following a 5-2 win against Shekinah Christian on May 10 and a 12-2 win in five innings against Madison Christian on May 14.

Senior Mitch Shonkwiler batted .506 with four home runs and 42 RBI and was named MOCAL Player of the Year. On the mound, Shonkwiler was 6-3 with a 3.41 ERA and 60 strikeouts. He was the losing pitcher in the district semifinal.

"I earned the award," Shonkwiler said. "I had the stats. There were a lot of good players in the MOCAL, so it was real nice to get that."

Coakley, who batted .355, joined Shonkwiler on the MOCAL first team.

Pauley (.306) and sophomore Kyle O'Connell (.382) were second-team all-MOCAL, and junior Connor Zehr (.313) and sophomore Lucas Daugherty (.394) were honorable mention all-MOCAL.

Juniors Kyle Gibson, Wonsik Kim and Nick Paliobagis, sophomores Shane Frazier, Elliot Hagans and Josh Nowak and freshmen John Decker, Donnie Tong and Mark David Wright rounded out the team.

"It was a good season," Parcher said "Nineteen and eight is a nice record, especially when you have a basically young ball club. We have one great senior, but we only have one."

•The track and field teams completed their first season in the Division III district meet on May 18, 19 and last Saturday at Gahanna.

The boys team finished 25th (0.33 points), behind first-place Columbus Academy (98).

Senior Bryan Redic tied for eighth in the high jump (5 feet, 6 inches) to account for the Trojans' scoring. Tree of Life tied for second with Delaware Christian (34) at the MOCAL championships on April 27 at Grove City.

Tree of Life and Delaware Christian finished behind Grove City Christian (125), and ahead of Milford Christian (33), Fairfield Christian (14), Madison Christian (14) and Northside Christian (5).

The girls team finished 23rd (2) at district, behind first-place Grandview Heights (87).

Senior Taqueedia Patton took eighth in the 200 meters (28.98 seconds) and Patton, sophomore Corryne Shuler, freshman Charity Ellzey and freshman Kailah Sanders were eighth in the 800 relay (1:59.77).

"District was a learning experience for the kids," coach Nikki Steward said. "We're going off of raw natural talent, so a lot of these kids have never run track before and they did a good job."

The girls team won the MOCAL meet (73), finishing ahead of Delaware Christian (46), Grove City Christian (45), Fairfield Christian (35), Madison Christian (34), Northside Christian (5) and Milford Christian (1).

Other seniors on the team were Samuel Sheedy and Dannye Winkfield.

Sophomore Emma Russell and freshmen Jaylan Davis, Josiah Ebert, Benjamin Kincaid, Taylor Liggins, Tyler Pridgen, Denita Saunders and Richard Ugland also participated.

"I'm happy with the season and the kids' effort," Steward said.

At a glance


•Record: 19-8 overall, 6-2 (second) in MOCAL

•Senior lost: Mitch Shonkwiler

•Key returnees: Gordon Coakley, Lucas Daugherty, Grant Pauley and Connor Zehr


•Finishes: Boys - Tied for second (34 points) at MOCAL, 25th at district (0.33); Girls - First (73) at MOCAL, 23rd (2) at district

•Seniors lost: Boys - Bryan Redic, Samuel Sheedy and Dannye Winkfield; Girls - Taqueedia Patton

•Key returnees: Boys - Jaylan Davis; Girls - Charity Ellzey and Kailah Sanders