Coach Chris Fugitt is anticipating a lower-scoring game when his Hilliard Darby High School baseball team plays Olentangy Orange in a Division I regional semifinal at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 25, at Dublin Coffman.
"I think it will resemble more of (Orange's district final) win than our (district final) win," Fugitt said.Videos •Hilliard Darby's Cory Brooks scores on a close play to tie a Division I district final against Pickerington Central at 10 on May 17 at Grove City. •Hilliard Darby celebrates after Brice Stultz scores on a two-out hit from Ben Gbur to beat Pickerington Central 11-10 in a Division I district final May 17 at Grove City.
The second-seeded Panthers rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat sixth-seeded Pickerington Central 11-10 in a district final May 17 at Grove City. They are 26-3 entering regional.
Orange was seeded 11th in the district and edged fourth-seeded Thomas Worthington 1-0 in its final May 17 at Upper Arlington. The Pioneers are 20-8.
The semifinal winner will play Gahanna (16-7) or Big Walnut (23-5) in the regional final Friday, May 26, at Coffman, with the regional champion advancing to a state semifinal June 2 at Huntington Park.
"Orange has a pitcher, Tyler Brown, who throws 92 to 95 (mph) and is expected to be drafted in the top 10 rounds (of this year's Major League Baseball draft)," Fugitt said. "He's also supposed to have a good curveball or slider, which makes it more difficult to time up the fastball. He's the real deal.
"We're going to have to continue to be disciplined at the plate like we have been all season. We're going to have to battle like heck to make things happen. In reverse, because we're not going to be able to score a lot of runs, we have to be extremely sharp with our pitching and defense to not allow much."
Against Central, the Panthers led 5-3 after five innings, but the Tigers scored six runs on seven hits and a Darby error in the top of the sixth to take a 9-5 lead.
Clay Strausbaugh hit a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth to pull Darby within 9-7, but Central tacked on a run in the top of the seventh.
"We hurt ourselves by leaving the bases loaded in the second and fifth innings, but we gave ourselves a chance by getting back to 9-7," Fugitt said. "Then we gave up another and you just wondered. But it's baseball and you never give up. You just keep playing and battling."
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Tyler Chumita singled and Justin Fugitt and Cory Brooks both drew walks to load the bases before Central brought starting pitcher Jacob Lott back into the game. Lott, who allowed five runs in four innings before the Tigers used three relievers, allowed a two-run double by Brice Stultz. Strausbaugh followed with a sacrifice fly on which Brooks scored the tying run on a close play at the plate.
Ben Gbur then hit a sharp line drive to Central second baseman Matt Walters, who leaped to snag the ball, only to have it fall out of his glove. Walters picked up the ball and threw home late, as Stultz scored from second base to end the game.
"I was looking for a good pitch to hit and was able to hit the left-center field gap and I knew at that point we were going to win," Stultz said. "After we tied it and Ben hit the ball, (coach Fugitt) was yelling at me to keep motoring and, by the time I got home, he was right beside me. I think he ran it faster than I did."
Girls track team
places second at district
Emma Kowalski, Stacia Rispress and Maliyah Ellis won titles to help the girls track and field team finish second in the home Division I, district 3 meet that concluded May 20.
Kowalski won the discus (125 feet, 1 inch), Rispress finished first the high jump (5-3) and Ellis won the long jump (16-10 3/4).
The top four finishers in each district event advanced to the regional meet that began May 24 and concludes Friday, May 26, at Pickerington North. At regional, the top four in each event qualify for the state meet June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
At district, Kowalski also was second in the shot put (37-5 1/2) and Jillian Simpson was runner-up in the 400 meters (58.19 seconds).
Also finishing second were the 800 relay of Zayna Hampton, Naomi Walters, Simpson and Rispress (1:43.27), the 1,600 relay of Simpson, Tia McLaughlin, Abby Kunze and Sydney Wyngarden (3:59.25) and the 3,200 relay of Abby Cannon, McLaughlin, Daniella Santos and Wyngarden (9:28.42).
Finishing third were Santos in the 1,600 (5:17.08), Wyngarden in the 800 (2:17.03), Walters in the long jump (16-9 1/2) and Lauren Iosue in the discus (107-10).
Kiera Toliver was fourth in the 100 hurdles (16.3).
The Panthers scored 130 points to finish behind Pickerington Central (161) in the 16-team field.
Malachi McGill led the boys team, winning the 800 (1:53.69) and joining Eric Ingram, Josh Baldridge and Carter Williams on the winning 3,200 relay (8:06.45).
Placing second were Andrew Black in the 100 hurdles (15.18) and long jump (21-8 1/2), Williams in the 300 hurdles (38.82), Ellis Farson in the 3,200 (9:55.44), Chris Burkhart in the discus (144-9) and the 1,600 relay of Williams, Jared Butler, McGill and Ingram (3:21.85).
Placing fourth were Ingram in the 300 hurdles (39.98), Clint Barnett in the 100 (11.48), Cesar Chamorro in the 400 (51.04), Owen Martin in the 3,200 (10:07.11) and the 800 relay of Williams, Black, Barnett and Malcolm Mock (1:30.36).
Darby finished third (112) of 14 teams, behind Central (154.5) and Westerville South (115).
Boys volleyball team
wins tourney opener
The boys volleyball team was 21-4 before playing host to eighth-seeded Pickerington Central in a Division I East Region semifinal May 23.
The winner plays fifth-seeded Olentangy Liberty or seventh-seeded Dublin Jerome in a regional final Friday, May 26, at Westerville Central. The regional champion advances to a state quarterfinal June 3 at Capital University.
Darby is the top seed in the East Region and defeated 15th-seeded Delaware 25-8, 25-14, 25-10 in the first round May 19.
Last season, the Panthers reached a state semifinal before losing to Cincinnati Moeller 22-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-23, 15-11.
Tennis team ends
season at district
Junior Tom Ohler of the boys tennis team lost his first-round singles match and senior Adam Schrock and junior Krishna Revur lost their first-round doubles match in the Division I district tournament May 18 at Davidson.
Ohler lost to Mount Vernon's Benjamin Camara 6-3, 6-3, while Schrock and Revur lost to Orange's Alex Heiden and Jordan Phelps 6-0, 6-1.
Seeded third in the sectional May 11 and 13 at Davidson, Ohler finished second, losing to Bradley's Mitchell Thai 6-0, 6-0 in the final.
Unseeded, Schrock and Revur won their first two sectional matches before losing to top-seeded Evan Yakubov and Jack Dabek of St. Charles 6-0, 6-1 in a semifinal. They then fell to second-seeded Chris Codogni and Noah Elliott of Davidson 6-0, 6-4 in the third-place match.
"Tom finished above seed at sectionals and Adam and Krishna upset the third seed at sectional," coach Scott Nickel said. "All three of them played their best tennis of the year in the postseason. They peaked at the right time."
Also in the sectional lineup were seniors Chris Long and Sean Hollowell in singles and seniors Yash Somani and Justin Knueppel in doubles.
The Panthers finished 8-7 overall, including 5-1 in the OCC-Cardinal to place second, behind Jerome (6-0) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (3-3), Bradley, Thomas and Worthington Kilbourne (all 2-4) and Delaware (1-5).
In addition to Ohler and Revur, sophomore Shyan Pandya is expected to return.
Girls lacrosse team
ousted by Cardinals
The girls lacrosse team finished 12-7 overall after losing to second-seeded Thomas 19-3 in a Division I, Region 3 quarterfinal May 19.
Darby, seeded seventh of 15 teams, defeated eighth-seeded Gahanna 13-11 in the first round May 15 as senior Miranda Large scored four goals, senior Tori Schmeling scored three and senior Alli Rhoads made 13 saves.
Against Thomas, freshman Carli Rigel scored two goals and senior Hailey Scott made four saves.
The Panthers finished 3-3 in the OCC-Cardinal to place fourth, behind Thomas (6-0), Jerome (5-1) and Kilbourne (4-2) and ahead of Bradley (2-4), Scioto (1-5) and Delaware (0-6).
Darby is losing nine seniors in Large, Rhoads, Schmeling, Scott, Grace Drake, Ryan Hullinger, Ashley Johnson, Ashley Parker and Michaela Roys.
Among the expected returnees are Rigel and juniors Zoe Hartman, Colleen Hissom, Cassie Jenkins, Hallie Reinhard, Taryn Rogers and Lexi VanCleef.
Boys lacrosse team
losing five seniors
The boys lacrosse team finished 2-16 overall after losing to third-seeded Jerome 17-5 in the second round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 17.
The Panthers, seeded 14th of 18 teams, defeated 15th-seeded Gahanna 16-5 in the first round May 15.
Darby went 0-6 in the OCC-Cardinal to place seventh, behind Jerome (6-0), Delaware (5-1), Kilbourne (4-2), Thomas (3-3), Scioto (2-4) and Bradley (1-5).
The Panthers are losing five seniors in Josh Boyle, Cade Campbell, Jacob Huff, Max Schneck and Lee Workman.
Among the expected returnees are juniors Jack Conley, Jackson Kane, Jon Kane and Neel Patel and sophomores Dominic Iosue, Blake Robertson, Nathan Sprott and Nick Wile.