Moments after the Reynoldsburg High School baseball team's season ended with a 12-5 loss to 12th-seeded Upper Arlington in a Division I district final last Saturday at Grove City, the Raiders began looking ahead.

Moments after the Reynoldsburg High School baseball team's season ended with a 12-5 loss to 12th-seeded Upper Arlington in a Division I district final last Saturday at Grove City, the Raiders began looking ahead.

"We'll get the team together in the offseason and get in the weight room," sophomore first baseman Jeff Murray said. "We've got a lot of athletes coming back. Next year will be our year. We've got to play together as a family."

Reynoldsburg made major strides in 2010, finishing 19-11 overall and 9-5 in the OCC-Ohio Division, tying Gahanna for fourth behind Grove City (11-3), Pickerington Central (10-4) and Pickerington North (10-4) and ahead of Lancaster (5-9), Groveport (1-13) and Newark (1-13).

Last season, the Raiders finished 12-13 overall and 4-9 in the OCC-Ohio.

"This year has been a blessing," junior shortstop/pitcher Weston Weiss said. "We went all the way to the district final after finishing just .500 and going out in the second round the last two years. Next year will be different. Next year we'll win this district game."

Reynoldsburg opened the tournament with a 10-0, five-inning win over Independence on May 10. It then defeated St. Charles 13-8 in the second round May 13 and beat Hilliard Davidson 4-2 in a district semifinal May 19 to reach a district final for the first time in three years.

The Raiders last won a district championship in 2004.

Reynoldsburg, which had beaten UA 2-1 in the first round of the tournament last season, led 1-0 after the first inning and maintained that lead until the Golden Bears scored a run in the top of the fourth.

With the score tied at 2, UA scored four runs in the top of the sixth. The Raiders got one run back in the bottom of the inning, but the Bears added six runs in the top of the seventh to blow the game open.

"The sixth and seventh innings were kind of frustrating," Murray said. "We had opportunities, but a couple key plays killed us."

UA had 14 hits in the contest, but the Raiders helped the Bears by committing seven errors. In addition, Reynoldsburg's pitching staff surrendered four walks and hit three batters.

"You can't give an Upper Arlington four or five chances each inning because they will take advantage of them," coach Rob Gravatt said. "They're a great program and have a great coach."

UA, which won its first district title since winning back-to-back in 2002 and '03, improved to 23-8 and advanced to play Cincinnati Elder in a regional semifinal today at Dublin Coffman.

Reynoldsburg loses four seniors, including pitcher Craig Andrews, who had a 5-1 record, and left fielder Jonathan Hammond, who hit .519.

In addition to Murray and Weiss, expected to return are juniors Mike Castro (2B/SS), Halen Core (P), J.C. Gibson (RF/DH), Tommy Nobile (INF/OF), Drew Otani (OF/DH), Jon Sheline (3B) and Taylor Snare (CF) and freshman Nick Hedrick (C).

Core got the start against Davidson, going five innings to earn the win. It was his first outing since undergoing an emergency appendectomy April 23.

Reynoldsburg hit .409 as a team. Snare batted .450 with 36 RBI, Murray hit .481 with a team-high seven home runs and a program-record 50 RBI, Sheline hit five homers and Weiss batted .482 and went 5-5 on the mound.

"We have a great offensive team - our team batting average over .400 is outstanding - but good pitching will shut out good batting, so we have to improve our pitching and defense," Gravatt said. "We have to improve those things to be the champions I know these young men will be."