The regular season is like a puzzle that takes a little more than a month to solve for Worthington Christian High School baseball coach Tim Kraynak.

The regular season is like a puzzle that takes a little more than a month to solve for Worthington Christian High School baseball coach Tim Kraynak.

The Warriors will become members of the Mid-State League-Ohio Division in the 2013-14 school year, but they're currently in their second year of what will be a three-year stint as an independent.

With no league title to chase, Worthington Christian has the entire regular season to experiment with its lineup and solidify its pitching rotation while placing extra effort into games that will prepare it for the Division IV district tournament.

The tournament draw is April 29, so putting together a good record over the coming week-and-a-half also could be crucial to the postseason.

The Warriors have lost in the second round of the Division III district tournament the past two seasons after being a district semifinalist in Division IV in 2009.

"For us, we have to pick the games out where we're going to be most competitive and throw our best pitchers," Kraynak said. "The most important thing is looking at our top three pitchers and figuring out if they can get the job done."

Senior Zach Ackerman, juniors Frankie Myers and Caleb Penney and sophomore Casey Hamrick have emerged as candidates to take on key pitching roles. Senior J.C. Ackerman, who had offseason shoulder surgery, also has seen some action on the mound.

Zach Ackerman picked up the win in an 8-7 victory over Amanda-Clearcreek on April 7 and gave up one earned run in 4 2/3 innings in a 7-6 loss to Ready on April 12.

Through seven games, Hamrick was 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 11 innings and Myers appeared in five games in relief and was 1-1 in 7 2/3 innings, including three appearances in which he didn't allow a run.

Freshman Austin Pooley is another pitcher who could contribute.

The Warriors have been getting consistent offensive contributions from Alec Motter (.583 batting average through seven games) and J.C. Ackerman (.429) but have struggled defensively.

Through seven games, Worthington Christian had committed 19 errors, including five in a 20-0 loss to Westerville North on April 10.

"We're still trying to establish our identity," Kraynak said. "Defense has been a real question mark, and I thought that would be the one thing that would be there every game."

Boys tennis squad off to strong start

Bad weather forced the postponement of one of boys tennis coach Alex Schmidt's favorite annual matches.

Worthington Christian was to have played April 14 against Wauseon, where Schmidt's father, Stan, has been the coach since 2003.

Schmidt, who played three seasons at Wauseon before graduating in 2005, is in his fifth season as the Warriors' coach.

"My dad started coaching me my sophomore year," said Schmidt, whose team was 7-0 after beating DeSales 3-2 on April 16. "I played a little No. 1 singles, but I was more of a doubles specialist. I'm a much better coach than I was player. I really just started playing tennis right before high school, but it's always nice to have that connection with your dad."

Through six matches, sophomore first singles player Joel Montgomery was 4-0. Senior Reid Smith has been at second singles, with senior Alex Lombardo seeing significant action at third singles.

Senior Jonathan Myer and junior Luke Howard are at first doubles, with juniors Ryan Billman and Jason Boucouras at second doubles.

"Everybody has been improving a lot," Schmidt said. "Everybody worked hard in the offseason. It's just a good bunch of kids, which has made for an easy season. I'm really liking the way my first doubles team has looked. They've both started to get some good chemistry going and are playing well. (Lombardo) is just a good athlete."