As the Dublin Scioto High School baseball team spent practice time indoors for a second consecutive day April 21, it had a good feeling about what had transpired to that point.

As the Dublin Scioto High School baseball team spent practice time indoors for a second consecutive day April 21, it had a good feeling about what had transpired to that point.

The three-year building process coach Scott Marple started in 2007 was reaping benefits both on and off the field. The Irish were 9-0 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Cardinal Division at that point and the players were spending the practice working on their swings the gym, using tees and golf ball-sized Whiffle balls. Even without Marple there, the practice had energy as players moved from the tees to the batting cage.

"We like being around here," outfielder David McKinley said. "That makes us want to do everything we can to help the team win."

Earlier in the day a list of area leaders was released, and shortstop Eric Stamets was atop the batting list with a .663 (19-of-30) average. Seth Eller had made the pitching list for his 3-0 start.

Joshua Neace, who has provided some clutch hitting, gave Stamets five for his individual accomplishment. The Irish were winning and team chemistry was better than it had been. Stamets furthered that thinking by saying that the individual accomplishments held little value.

"You can't worry about the stats right now," he said.

The Irish were looking for more. They are seeking their first OCC title since 2006. Finishing as the top team in the league could give them a favorable Division I district tournament draw, which would help set them up for another shot at a district title.

After the last OCC title, the team lost nine graduates, including six starters, and a rebuilding process began with the idea in mind that Scioto would be among the area's most seasoned teams this year.

Going into this season, the core group of juniors and seniors had played 115 games together, a span that includes both the 2007 and 2008 regular seasons and the Dublin American Legion Post 800S seasons from those years as well. The Irish have lost just three seniors during that time.

"It's given us a lot of experience," said Stamets, the lone starter remaining from the last OCC title team. "It has put us in a lot of situations that we have already been in."

That's one reason why Scioto has been able to come out on top in extra-inning games this year, a trend that began last year in the postseason. In last year's district tournament, the unseeded Irish defeated fourth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 5-4 in 12 innings in the second-round and Teays Valley 8-7 in eight innings in a district semifinal.

Scioto defeated Jerome 4-3 in eight innings April 17 as Joshua Neace singled with two outs to score Nick Gastaldo and David McKinley. The next day Brandon Marker singled in the eight inning to score Eller in a 5-4 win over Coffman. The Coffman game also marked the first time that the Irish had trailed this season.

"Everyone has banded together," Neace said. "It's a different mindset this year. There's no selfishness. We're all just going in there with a positive attitude. I'm sure if anyone would have gotten up there (against Jerome), they would have done the same thing."

Stamets gave credit to Neace and other pitchers for helping the Irish start fast. Neace threw a complete game in a 16-0 win over Groveport in the opener March 30, and the next day in a 10-0 win over Westerville Central, Seth Eller threw five innings before giving way to Korey Cooper. The day after that, Mike Henderson pitched a complete game in a 17-2 win over Centerburg.

"Early in the season we had guys pitching late into games," Stamets said. "Some of those teams weren't the strongest teams, but they helped us save some arms for later."

Saving arms will be a focal point for the rest of the season as the Irish continue to makeup games missed because of bad weather. Starting with an 11-7 win over Olentangy on April 22, the Irish had 12 games scheduled in 10 days.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Scioto baseball team:

*April 22 -- Defeated Olentangy 11-7

*April 23 -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 5-3

*Last Friday -- Def. Westerville South 8-4

Last Saturday -- Def. Kilbourne 12-10; def. Thomas 12-0

*Last Monday -- Def. Westerville North 8-5

*Last Tuesday -- Played Olentangy

*Last Wednesday -- Played Westerville Central

*Today -- Home vs. Westerville South

*Friday -- At Liberty

Saturday -- Home vs. Watkins Memorial (doubleheader). The teams split last year, with the Irish winning 8-1 and losing 2-1.

*Monday -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome. The Irish won 4-3 on April 17 in a league game and 11-0 in a non-leage game a day later.

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Marysville.

Of note: The Irish were 14-1 overall and 6-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game