Upper Arlington High School baseball coach Matt Middleton wished that his players could push a reset button and forget several hard-luck losses after winning only four of their first 12 games this spring.

Upper Arlington High School baseball coach Matt Middleton wished that his players could push a reset button and forget several hard-luck losses after winning only four of their first 12 games this spring.

If the means to that end included a week with no games because of bad weather, he was willing take it even though he would have preferred another option.

"Baseball is a game of rhythm. It's meant to be played every day," Middleton said. "You can't play football every day, and you maybe have two or three basketball games a week. We just haven't gotten into a rhythm yet, and if something bad has happened, we've struggled to get past it sometimes. Hopefully, that's going to change."

After a 3-6 start that included an 0-3 trip to the Knoxville (Tenn.) Farragut Invitational on April 4 and 5 and a 12-2, six-inning loss to Thomas Worthington in an OCC-Central Division game April 10, the Golden Bears lost to Olentangy Liberty 7-5 on April 13 in a league contest and defeated the Patriots 7-6 two days later in their second league matchup before having to sit for seven days because of rain, cold temperatures and poor field conditions.

"We were showing some signs of getting into a groove before the weather put a damper on things," Middleton said. "We were hitting the ball, but we weren't always getting hits at the right time. Instead of getting hits with guys on (base), we'd get them with two outs and nobody on. We're not a big-inning team. If we can score a run an inning, I think we'll usually be fine."

Through 11 games, junior shortstop Will Marable had a team-high .414 batting average and a team-high 12 hits, all of which were singles, and junior outfielder/pitcher Mathis Newman was batting .400 with 10 hits, including a double and a triple.

UA had only 12 extra-base hits through 11 games.

On the mound, Marable was 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA, four walks and 16 strikeouts in 14 innings and senior Sam Thompson was 2-0 with a 3.43 ERA, seven walks and 12 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings.

If everything goes according to plan this week, the Bears will have played seven games in six days by the end of a doubleheader against host Pickerington North on Saturday, April 27. A stretch of eight league games in 11 days will conclude May 3 at Westland.

"We split with two good teams in Thomas Worthington and Olentangy Liberty, but from here on we can't just keep splitting," said Middleton, whose team beat Thomas 6-2 on April 8. "We have (13) regular-season games left and we've had our opportunities to do more than we have. If we can put the ball in play and put some pressure on our opponents, we'll have a much better chance to succeed."

Boys tennis coachwants more effort

In a rematch of last season's Division I Ohio Tennis Coaches Association tournament final, the boys tennis team defeated visiting Springboro 3-2 on April 20.

The victory followed a 4-1 win over Perrysburg earlier that day and a 3-2 win over Toledo St. John's on April 19, but coach Amos Allison wasn't all that enthused.

"We're not playing very well," said Allison, whose team returned its top seven players from a year ago. "We have some courts that are going out and taking care of business, but overall I'm not very pleased with the way we're playing. I don't think the effort or execution has been there. We're relying too much on our name."

UA was 5-2 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Central before playing Hilliard Davidson on April 23. Senior Stu Little was 5-2 at first singles, but Allison continues to shuffle the rest the lineup. Seniors Brandon Griffin and Nate Wallace and junior Jeff Melvin have rotated between singles and doubles, as has freshmen Jackson McNair. Sophomore Aaron Yang entered the week with a 1-2 combined record at second and third singles.

Allison is hoping last week's competition spurs a run of stronger play, but he had hoped the same thing on a trip to southwest Ohio on April 13. There, the Bears lost to both Cincinnati Sycamore and Mason by a 3-2 score.

"Nate had a very good weekend," Allison said. "Jeffrey Melvin is playing some good tennis. Those three (Wallace, Melvin and Little) are doing what we want. Eric Hunter as a freshman has stepped in and done well in doubles. Some of the other guys are just not stepping up yet. We hope they do. If they don't, we'll finish the season as a mediocre team."

Girls track team fareswell at Bellefontaine

The girls track and field team won two events -- the distance medley (10 minutes, 21.28 seconds) and 3,200-meter relay (10:17.48) -- and was runner-up in three other events to score 74 points and tie for third in the nine-team Chieftain Relays on April 19 at Bellefontaine.

UA placed second in the 6,400 relay (23:08), shuttle hurdles relay (1:10.92) and 400 relay (53.5) to tie the host Chieftains for third behind champion Toledo Whitmer (91).

The boys team scored 43 points to place seventh in the same meet behind champion Whitmer (113).

The Bears' top finish was third, turned in by the 6,400 (20:30) and 3,200 (8:55.88) relays.

UA will compete in the Fulton Relays on Friday, April 26, at Lancaster before participating in the Gary Smith Invitational on May 4 at Thomas Worthington and playing host to the Larken-Crosten Invitational on May 10.