The Thomas Worthington High School baseball team gave up two runs and made no errors during three victories that produced a Division I district championship.

The Thomas Worthington High School baseball team gave up two runs and made no errors during three victories that produced a Division I district championship.

The OCC-Central Division-champion Cardinals clearly like their chances entering the regional tournament. They'll play Olentangy Orange in a semifinal at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at Dublin Coffman.

"Our pitching is everything," senior Drew Taylor said after fifth-seeded Thomas defeated 12th-seeded Westerville Central 5-0 in a district final May 17 at Ohio Dominican to improve to 22-7 overall. "We play small-ball. We get guys on, over and in. Pitching and defense are our staples."

Orange, the OCC-Capital runner-up, is 26-3 after defeating Pickerington Central 3-1 on May 17 to capture its first district title. The Pioneers didn't play the Cardinals during the regular season.

"They're a great team," coach Stephen Gussler said of the Pioneers, who were ranked 10th in the final state poll led by Grove City. "(Orange) coach (Phil) Callaghan and I locked horns a few times when he was at (Dublin) Scioto. We've got a few days to prepare. We'll be ready to go."

The other regional semifinal has Grove City, which advanced to a state semifinal last year, playing Olentangy, which won its first district title since 2006. The Greyhounds defeated Hilliard Davidson 12-6 to win their district title May 16, improving to 23-2. The Braves are 18-8 following a 5-3 victory over Gahanna in another district final May 16.

Thomas also did not play either of those teams during the regular season. The semifinal winners meet in the regional final at 5 p.m. Friday, May 25, at Coffman. The state tournament is May 31 and June 2 at Huntington Park.

"Playing in the regional, you know you're going to see a great team no matter what," Grove City coach Ryan Alexander said. "It's going to be a great two days of baseball."

Taylor pitched into the seventh inning in the district final and scattered seven hits to post the win. The Warhawks, who finished 17-12, did not advance a runner past second base until the top of the seventh.

The Cardinals, who were playing in their first district final since 2004, gave Taylor a lead to work with when Dylan Holmes tripled home Wes Lindenmuth in the first. They got another run in the second on Sean Lima's RBI single and added three more in the fifth on Holmes' RBI double and a two-run single by Ben Miller.

Thomas also defeated Watkins Memorial 2-0 on May 9 and Marysville 4-2 in a semifinal May 15.

"That was huge; it means everything," Taylor said of the early run support he got in the district final. "We're not done, either. We keep saying 'Huntington' because we want to keep playing until we get there."

Wolves again fall to Grove City

Kilbourne's 5-3 loss to Grove City in a district semifinal May 14 at Coffman was a lot like the 5-2 loss it had against the Greyhounds in a district final last season.

"It was a repeat of what happened last year," third-year coach Jeff Boulware said after the Wolves finished 13-11 overall. "We got the lead, and we had scoring opportunities in almost every inning."

The Wolves, who stranded seven baserunners, led 3-2 before the Greyhounds scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth on Drew Artrip's bases-loaded single and a two-base error in the outfield.

"Grove City took full advantage of their opportunities," Boulware said. "Give them credit."

The Wolves, who defeated Hilliard Bradley 6-1 in a second-round tournament game May 9, went 8-6 to tie Upper Arlington for third place in the OCC-Central behind Thomas (11-3) and Hilliard Darby (10-4) and ahead of Coffman (7-7), Davidson (7-7), Central Crossing (2-11) and Westland (2-11). The Comets and Cougars did not complete their league finale.

Junior Brian Sommers (P/INF) made first-team all-league while senior Brian Hanks (SS) and sophomore Jake Niggemeyer (P/1B), who has made a verbal commitment to play at Ohio State, both were second team. Sophomore Hayden Shenefield (P/2B) made special mention all-league and junior Tom Scantland (C) was honorable mention.

Sommers also made second-team all-district while Hanks was honorable mention.

Shenefield batted .333 with 13 RBI and Sommers hit .400 with 13 RBI. Scantland batted .294 with six doubles and shared the RBI lead with 13. Hanks batted .296 and scored 17 runs.

Sommers was 5-1 with a 1.43 ERA and Niggemeyer was 3-4 with a 1.65 ERA. Shenefield was 1-2 with a 3.77 ERA, and he converted all three of his save opportunities. Sophomore Charlie Foster was 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA.

"We'll return quite a bit of experience next year," Boulware said. "But with that experience comes higher goals and expectations."