The Whitehall-Yearling High School baseball team is looking to gain momentum heading into the Division II district tournament.
The Rams were 4-11 overall and 2-8 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Worthington Christian on May 5.
"It's nice that we're going to get to play so much (this) week, gearing up for the tournament and getting things set where we want them," coach Bill Welsh said. "Hopefully, we'll go into the tournament on a winning streak."
With postponements a problem all season because of bad weather, Whitehall was scheduled to play six games this week in preparation for the district tournament, which the eighth-seeded Rams begin Tuesday, May 13, at home against ninth-seeded Independence. The winner plays at seventh-seeded Watterson in the second round May 15.
After facing Worthington Christian, the Rams played leagues games against London on May 6 and Grandview on May 7. They also play a league game at Madison Plains on Friday, May 9, and play host to Walnut Ridge in a doubleheader Saturday, May 10.
The Rams challenged league-contender West Jefferson in both meetings this season, with the latest an 8-7 loss at West Jefferson on April 30. Whitehall led 4-0 in the third inning and 6-4 in the fifth before the Roughriders rallied, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
Cameron Barker had four hits and five RBI for the Rams, and Braden Barker had three hits. Paul Goldsmith added two hits.
"We're very close," Welsh said. "We're (doing) a couple small things here and there that change the game a lot. We made a couple mental mistakes that took us out of the game, which is frustrating, but at the same time it's good to know that we're that close. Those are fixable things."
The Rams lost to West Jefferson 6-4 on April 11 at home. The Roughriders also rallied in that game, erasing a 4-2 deficit with a run in the sixth and three in the seventh.
Through 14 games, Nick Wright was hitting a team-best .439 with 10 RBI and Myles Russell was hitting .381. Cameron Barker was hitting .378 with 19 RBI, Goldsmith was hitting .364 and Nick Sang was hitting .357.
"We're definitely improving," Wright said. "We became more of a team over the past few weeks and we've definitely come together a lot."
Softball team has busy stretch
The softball team also was busy this week, as the Rams were scheduled to play seven games.
Whitehall was 4-12 overall and 2-5 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Worthington Christian on May 5.
The Rams also had league games scheduled this week against London (May 6), Grandview (May 7), West Jefferson (Thursday, May 8) and Madison Plains (Friday, May 9) and visit Reynoldsburg for a doubleheader Saturday, May 10.
Whitehall is seeded 13th in the Division II district tournament and plays host to 14th-seeeded Independence in the first round Monday, May 12. The winner plays at top-seeded Licking Valley in the second round Wednesday, May 14.
The Rams lost a league game at Bexley 8-1 on April 29.
Coach Brian Anderson said Madison Pharo pitched well in defeat while allowing nine hits. She struck out two and walked two.
Pharo led the team offensively with two hits and a walk.
"We're still trying to get in the upper half of the league," Anderson said. "We have a couple league wins already and still five league games (this) week. We'd like to at least get up in the middle of the pack of our league. We're continuing to get better every day."
Through 16 games, Pharo was 4-8 with a 6.59 ERA, 32 strikeouts and 17 walks in 75 1/3 innings.
Brooklyn Rayburn was hitting .375 with two home runs, 18 RBI and 12 runs. Pharo was hitting .327 with six RBI, and Mira Daugherty was hitting .311 with eight RBI and eight runs.
"It's been a very quick season, especially with all the rainouts and now we're almost done," Anderson said. "You just deal with it. It's the nature of the sport. You can't control Mother Nature. You just have to adapt and make your game plan every day."
Tennis team preps for postseason
The boys tennis team is preparing for a Division I sectional tournament, which will be held May 15 and 17 at a site to be determined.
The Rams finished 2-4 in the MSL-Ohio with a 5-0 loss at Grandview on April 29.
Columbus Academy went 6-0 in the league and won the league tournament (14 points) on April 26 at London.
Whitehall, which was fifth in the league tournament with two points, was 6-5 overall before playing Hamilton Township on May 5.
"We have faced more difficult competition recently, but our players have competed well and played hard," coach Ben White said. "(As of May 5), we still have six matches to go and our goal is to be better than .500 at the end of the year."
Track teams set for Africentric Classic
The track and field teams will close the regular season Friday, May 9, in the Africentric Classic.
The Rams then will compete in the MSL-Ohio meet Tuesday, May 13, and May 16 at home.
Last season, the boys team finished fifth (74) behind champion Granville (166) and the girls team was sixth (39) behind champion Granville (172.5).
Granville moved to the Licking County League with Heath, Lakewood, Licking Valley and Newark Catholic.
"Both teams are looking forward to the league meet ... and being able to put together some good results in front of the home crowd," coach Zach Wright said. "The big meet part of the season is quickly approaching and both teams need to pick up the practice intensity and get focused on the league and district meets in order to have a successful season."