Worthington Kilbourne High School baseball coach Mario Paliotto has been there since the beginning and admits he never has seen a season quite like this one.

Worthington Kilbourne High School baseball coach Mario Paliotto has been there since the beginning and admits he never has seen a season quite like this one.

At 6-12 overall and 2-4 in the OCC-Central Division after 10-5 victory over Westland last Monday, the Wolves are facing the prospect of the program's first losing season in 11 years.

"It's really become a confidence thing at this point," Paliotto said. "Once you lose that many games, it really starts to eat at you. We're starting, on average, four or five sophomores a game and we haven't put together a complete game yet when it comes to offense, defense and pitching."

But the offense had shown signs of making a comeback during a 12-10 loss to Dublin Scioto and a 12-5 victory over Dublin Jerome last Saturday.

Before last Monday, Kilbourne was batting .277 as a team and its top two starters, Aaron Kingcade and Marck Paliotto, hadn't earned a victory in eight starts. Paliotto, an Ohio University recruit, earned his first win last Monday to improve to 1-4.

The team ERA was 6.26.

Paliotto has been stronger at the plate where through 17 games he was leading the team in hitting .442 with three doubles, two triples, four home runs and 23 RBI. John Jacob was batting .426 with five doubles and seven RBI.

Kilbourne hoped to keep its bats hot against one of the OCC-Central leaders in Hilliard Davidson last Wednesday. After losing to visiting Central Crossing 14-1 on April 23, the Wolves get another shot at the Comets on Friday.

"Right now, we're going through that whole face of giving up the big inning and getting down early and then having to fight our way back," Kingcade said. "It's definitely in the back of our minds to not have a losing record, but we've got a lot of young guys out there and they're all pressing and sometimes that can get to you."

The Wolves will be playing for bragging rights Monday and Tuesday when they meet Thomas Worthington in league play for the first time. Cardinals coach Stephen Gussler watched his team fall to Dublin Coffman 10-8 last Monday to drop to 5-11 overall and 1-5 in the league.

The loss followed four consecutive one-run setbacks, including 9-8 in 14 innings to Jerome last Saturday. Thomas had the lead twice before the Celtics tied the game at 8 with three runs in the fourth. The Cardinals managed just two hits in a 12-0 loss to Scioto in the second game at Jerome.

"I know people talk about moral victories, but we really need to get that win (against Jerome)," Gussler said. "We've been able to compete with some of the best teams in the area and, hopefully, we can have an impact on the league race down the stretch."

Today and Friday, the Cardinals face Hilliard Darby, which was 6-2 in the league after a 6-4 loss last Monday to Upper Arlington. Davidson and Coffman were tied in the top stop with one loss each.

The Division I district tournament draw is Sunday.

"We still have some chances to get some big-time wins against some of the teams who are going to get the top seeds in the tournament," senior pitcher Dominic Porretta said. "We're competing, but we've just got to find ways to win."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Kilbourne and Thomas baseball teams:

KILBOURNE

*April 22 -- Lost to Hilliard Darby 3-0

*April 23 -- Lost to Central Crossing 14-1

*Last Friday -- Lost to Upper Arlington 7-0

Last Saturday -- Lost to Dublin Scioto 12-10; defeated Dublin Jerome 12-5

*Last Monday -- Def. Westland 12-5

*Last Wednesday -- Played Hilliard Davidson

*Friday -- At Central Crossing

Saturday -- At Bloom-Carroll

*Monday -- At Thomas

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Thomas

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Westland

Of note: The Wolves were 6-12 overall and 2-4 in the OCC-Central before last Wednesday.

THOMAS

*April 22 -- Lost to UA 5-4

*April 23 -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 6-5

*Last Friday -- Lost to Davidson 5-4

Last Saturday -- Lost to Jerome 9-8 in 14 innings; lost to Scioto 12-0

*Last Monday -- Lost to Coffman 10-8

*Last Tuesday -- Played Davidson

*Last Wednesday -- Played Westland

*Today -- Home vs. Darby

*Friday -- At Darby

Saturday -- At Olentangy Orange

*Monday -- Home vs. Kilbourne

*Tuesday -- At Kilbourne

Wednesday -- Home vs. Mount Vernon

Of note: The Cardinals were 5-11 overall and 1-5 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central game