The St. Charles Preparatory School baseball team kept a couple of streaks alive when it defeated 14th-seeded and host Teays Valley 2-1 on May 9 in the second round of the Division I district tournament.

The 21st-seeded Cardinals not only won their fifth consecutive game, but they also continued a streak of reaching at least a district semifinal in even-numbered seasons starting in 2012.

St. Charles played second-seeded Hilliard Darby on May 14, aiming for its first district final since 2014.

"We have been getting great pitching," said coach Ray Benjamin, whose team entered the semifinal at 18-9. "Our goal every day is to put the ball in play and play good defense, and we have been doing that as well. As long as we do those three things, we feel we can do just about anything.

"It's clicking right now. If we get good pitching and take care of the baseball, don't kick it around, we give ourselves a chance to win."

The semifinal winner advanced to a district final May 16 against ninth-seeded Olentangy or 19th-seeded Pickerington Central. The district champion advanced to a regional semifinal May 24 at Dublin Coffman.

The Cardinals opened the postseason with a pair of superb pitching performances.

Keaton Stankowski not only pitched a perfect game in an 11-0, five-inning home victory over 41st-seeded Columbus West on May 7, he flirted with ultimate perfection.

Stankowski struck out the first 14 batters he faced and then induced a ground out to second to end the game.

The senior also threw 4 2/3 no-hit innings May 4 in a 6-0 win over Thomas Worthington. He threw 72 pitches with 10 strikeouts, one walk and two hit batters.

"We had a pitch count for him (against Thomas) because we knew we wanted to throw him against West and had to keep him under 75 pitches," Benjamin said. "We threw fastballs (against West) and that's all we threw. He had good location."

After the perfect game, Stankowski was 5-1 with a 1.46 ERA, 51 strikeouts and 11 walks in 33 2/3 innings.

Clayton Anderson threw a two-hitter against Teays Valley with seven strikeouts and no walks. A.J. Schlosser had three singles to lead the offense.

"The main thing was location and keeping the batters off-balance," Anderson said. "We're playing with a lot of confidence. Everyone is picking up after each other right now, and we're playing well right now."

Track team finishes second in CCL meet

The track and field team came up 12 points short in its title defense in the CCL meet May 8 and 10 at Hartley, finishing second (126 points) behind DeSales (138).

The host Hawks (113) were third, followed by Watterson (78) and Ready (33).

"Overall, I'm excited about where we are going into the postseason," said coach John Leskovich, whose team had won four of the past five league titles. "DeSales has a great team and a bunch of steady performers and they had a great meet.

"We had a lot of young guys who were competing for the first time in the spotlight. We're looking to get them some more big-meet experience (this) week at district against some of the big schools."

Will Susa won the shot put (42 feet, 4 1/2 inches) and Grant Shepardson was first in the long jump (21-3 1/2).

Iain Karas was runner-up the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 36.7 seconds), and Nick Schuler was second in the high jump (5-10). Anthony Akins was second in the 300 hurdles (41.63), and Ethan Encarnacion was runner-up in the 3,200 (10:13.34).

Nathan Meyer, Nick Rivera, Nicholas Welch and Joseph Rivera were on the second-place 800 relay (1:35.15).

The Cardinals began the Division I, district 3 meet May 16 at Darby.

The meet continues Thursday, May 17, and concludes Saturday, May 19. The top four finishers in each event advance to regional Wednesday, May 23, and May 25 at Pickerington North.

Volleyball team playing at high level

The volleyball team was second in last week's Division II state poll behind Kettering Alter and won 18 consecutive matches before losing to Centerville 25-21, 25-15 on May 12 at Middletown Fenwick.

"Jake Franz has been running the offense well and putting up good balls," said coach Ned Gruber, whose team is 19-4. "We are working on speeding up some of our sets, and Jake has been important in taking charge of that process.

"Alex McLane has had a great past two weeks. He is a consistent force on the outside and out of the back row. Jack Schumacher and Andrew Dilley have also stepped up in the middle to give our team nice balance."

The regional tournament draw was May 14 with play beginning Saturday, May 19.

The Cardinals close the regular season Thursday, May 17, at Beavercreek.

Five tennis players advance to district

Singles player Patrick O'Neil and both doubles teams advanced to the Division I district tennis tournament Thursday, May 17, at Hilliard Bradley and Saturday, May 19, at Upper Arlington.

The top-seeded team of Jack Dabek and Reese Yakubov and third-seeded Matt Morrison and Quyen Thai both reached the doubles final in a sectional held May 10 and 12 at Pickerington Central, with Dabek and Yakubov defeating their teammates 6-2, 6-0 for the title.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district, where the top four in singles and doubles advance to state May 25 and 26 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

O'Neil defeated Darby's Tom Ohler 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 on May 10 to reach a sectional semifinal, but he lost both second-day matches to finish fourth.

Brendan Finn and Ben Wolfe both went 1-1 in singles and did not advance.

The Cardinals fell to 9-6 overall by losing to Dublin Jerome 3-2 on May 8 in the Division I OTCA team tournament. They won their seventh consecutive CCL championship May 7 by defeating Ready 5-0 to finish 4-0 in the league.

Lacrosse team begins postseason

The fourth-seeded lacrosse team was 11-6 before playing 12th-seeded Centerville on May 15 in the second round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament.

The winner plays at third-seeded New Albany, 11th-seeded Pickerington Central or 18th-seeded Westerville South on Friday, May 18, in a quarterfinal. The Cardinals defeated South 18-1 on April 28 and lost to New Albany 10-4 on March 26.

The quarterfinal winner advances to a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 22, on the road. Second-seeded Worthington Kilbourne is the best-seeded possible opponent. St. Charles lost to the Wolves 13-4 on May 8 as Will Morrison scored three goals.

The regional final is May 25.

shennen@thisweeknews.com

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