The DeSales High School baseball team is turning to its pitching to help make up for the loss of 11 graduates from of a team that finished 28-3 last year after losing to Springfield Kenton Ridge 17-7 in a Division II regional final.

The DeSales High School baseball team is turning to its pitching to help make up for the loss of 11 graduates from of a team that finished 28-3 last year after losing to Springfield Kenton Ridge 17-7 in a Division II regional final.

The Stallions return their top two pitchers in senior Thomas Gentile, a Cincinnati recruit, and junior Andrew Parise. Both were 9-1 last year. Gentile had a 1.85 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 53 innings. Parise had a 2.19 ERA.

"Having those guys returning with that experience, and big-game experience as well, is a good situation," said coach Tom Neubert, whose team opens Monday at Liberty Union. "In this program there's always going to be a good senior class that you're going to have to replace year in and year out."

The Stallions lost several bats in their lineup, but Neubert said he doesn't expect that to change his philosophy. Last year, even with an offense that ended up having four players hitting better than .400, the Stallions still had cold streaks.

They won the CCL at 10-0 ahead of Hartley (7-3), Watterson (5-5), St. Charles (3-7), Worthington Christian (3-7) and Ready (2-8), but the offense was held down in their first meetings with Hartley (2-1 win) and Watterson (1-0 win).

"Even through we had so many offensive weapons last year, our focus was pitching and defense," Neubert said. "(The offense is) just not as consistent as a pitch is going to be."

Also on the team are seniors Paul Biancone, Jon Herrick, Corey Kuskowski, Colt Mieskoski, Mike Miller and Evan Nieto, juniors Mitch Herbert, Ryan Kelly, Sean Lynskey, Joe Riley, Dylan Tate and Sean Vollenweider and sophomore Nick Gentile.

The Stallions won their third district title since 2002 last year, defeating Watterson 7-6 in a district final. They beat Batavia 2-1 in a regional semifinal.

•Having to make up for the loss of 13 graduates, the softball team last year made it to a Division II district final before losing to Canal Winchester 6-4.

The Stallions, who were 10-16 overall and 3-5 in the CCL, look to capitalize on what was an overachieving rebuilding year.

"They understand the amount of work that it takes to get to the district final," said coach Julie Barber, whose team opens Tuesday at New Albany and plays Wednesday at home against Big Walnut.

"They also understand that just because they made it there last year, it doesn't mean it is guaranteed for this season. It is something they will need to work even harder for this season."

Leading the Stallions will be sophomore Amanda Herron, who was first-team all-district last year. She is expected to see time at catcher and first base and possibly in the middle infield.

Sophomore Courtney Somers also returns after being named honorable mention all-district last year. She's expected to play shortstop or second base.

Sophomore Mary Wickert was the starting catcher last year and could see time in the outfield when Herron goes behind the plate.

Sophomore Kelsey Seeds is expected to be the primary pitcher. Barber said she has seen an improvement in Seeds' speed and movement.

Also returning are juniors Alayna Reis and Olivia Stranges and sophomores Aly McGinnis and Alysha Vafaee.

Barber said last Monday those eight players were expected to play varsity, but she still was choosing among six to eight more players to fill the roster.

"We are still focusing on sharpening skills and strategy," she said. "It is very important that this year does not focus on individual game results, but instead focuses on the process. We want to be sure that we are improving every day, and every game so that we peak in the postseason when it counts most."