The Reynoldsburg High School baseball team is doing its best to look on the bright side of its situation.
During the three games before they lost to Lancaster 9-2 on April 26, the Raiders lost a pair of one-run games and beat Liberty Union 9-6 on April 20.
That was a major improvement compared to Reynoldsburg's first six OCC-Ohio Division games, each of which ended in losses, including five by double digits.
"I think we're coming together as a team more," junior pitcher and outfielder Alex Core said. "We've just been hanging out more."
"I think our season is turning around," coach Rob Gravatt said. "There was a point when we were getting run-ruled every night. We're getting better and we're battling, but it's been tough."
The recent play of Core has helped.
After he struggled offensively during the team's trip to Fort Walton Beach, Fla., from April 1-5, Core hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning of an 8-7 loss to Pickerington North on April 22.
Also in that contest, Core made a diving catch that impressed Gravatt.
Core had 15 RBI and was batting .333 before April 26.
The Raiders' leading hitter has been senior catcher Nick Hedrick, who was hitting .436 before April 26. Other top hitters through that time were senior outfielder Tre' Rowe (.333), freshman pitcher and first baseman Shayne Lyons (.310) and freshman shortstop and pitcher Connor Richardson (.316).
Junior Joey Fee (3B/P) has been another key contributor.
Lyons (2.33 ERA), Hedrick (3.11) and junior Zach Ruschill (3.89) were the top pitchers before April 26.
During a 6-5 loss to Ready on April 20, the Raiders led 5-0 as Lyons began the game with six shutout innings.
"The errors haven't been as bad," Gravatt said. "Before, it was a thing where one error led to another. Alex Core has been really turning it on. When he was in Florida he was struggling a little bit, but he's doing a fabulous job with his bat and with his glove.
"The errors have been kind of well-distributed, but we're getting better. The kids have been battling through it. We (were 4-10) but we should (have been) 6-8."
Girls track season coming together
In the girls track and field area honor roll released last week, senior Diamond Gause was second in the 100 meters (12.06 seconds). Her time was the best among Division I athletes behind only Eastmoor Academy's Aaliyah Barnes (11.9), who competes in Division II.
Coach Richard Ladowitz also has been pleased with the consistency of Leah Wallace in distance races and the strides made by the 400 relay and Cherese Nimmons in the 400.
In the Dublin Classic on April 20 at Coffman, the Raiders were eighth (39) behind champion Brunswick (104.5) as 14 teams scored.
"I was pleased," Ladowitz said. "We got to see Diamond run in two individual events and score 18 points. She's looking really good in the 100. ... I've been impressed with our improvement in the (400 relay). They've knocked five seconds off their time."
On April 26, the Raiders competed in the Springboro Invitational. Gause won the 100 (12.66) and 200 (25.72) and Wallace was sixth in the 3,200 (11:31.98) in a field that included Lebanon's Jacquelyn Crow (third, 11:00.96), who won the state cross country meet last fall.
Competing on the 400 relay are freshmen Bryanna Barber, Gloria Opoku, Cymone Rogers and Kuziah Smith.
Junior Ramiah Thornhill and senior Kiara Chatman missed the Springboro Invitational with injuries but are expected back either for the Viking Invitational on May 11 at Teays Valley or for the OCC-Ohio meet May 16 and 18 at Newark.
Boys tennis team trying to stay in race
The boys tennis team's hopes of winning the OCC-Ohio took a hit when it lost to Pickerington North 4-1 on April 23.
Last season, the Raiders went 6-1 and finished second in the league with 60 points, behind North (63, 7-0) while Gahanna finished third (47, 5-2).
Reynoldsburg also lost to Gahanna 3-2 on April 18 and was 1-2 in the league before playing Lancaster on April 30.
Sophomore Cameron Raglin, who plays first singles, lost his first match this season when he fell to Gahanna senior Canyon Teague 6-0, 6-3.
Teague was a Division I state qualifier last season.
Raglin beat Worthington Christian's Joel Montgomery, a Division II state qualifier last season, 6-4, 6-2 on April 19 during a 5-0 win.
He was the Raiders' only player to win a match against Pickerington North when he defeated Brian Carr 5-7, 7-6, 6-4.