Dublin Coffman High School is not fielding an American Legion baseball team this summer and instead will have an 18-and-under squad.

Dublin Coffman High School is not fielding an American Legion baseball team this summer and instead will have an 18-and-under squad.

The Shamrocks were 9-2 before their game against the Columbus Sharks last Tuesday and will visit Chillicothe on Friday.

Coffman varsity coach Tim Saunders said his team dropped from American Legion status for a couple of reasons.

"Over the past couple of years there's been more teams getting in American Legion, but the caliber of play wasn't as strong as it had been in years past," he said. "I don't want to criticize anybody else as far as what they were trying to do with their program, but our kids have always been competitive over the summer with American Legion.

"We played 17 league games last year and we run-ruled 12 of those teams, so the main reason was I'm fine with people trying to do what we do and keep one high school team together and play in the league, but it just wasn't working out for us. We wanted to play teams that were more competitive for us and so far, so good."

The second reason, Saunders said, was that a shortened Legion schedule moved up the district tournament and caused scheduling conflicts.

The Shamrocks are coming off another impressive effort in the Decker Sports College World Series on June 17 through last Sunday in Omaha, Neb. Coffman was named co-champions of the 48-team event with three other quarterfinal winners. The semifinals and final were cancelled because of rain.

After dropping its first game June 17 to Boulder, Colo., 10-0, Coffman won its final five.

Last year, Coffman went 4-1 at the tournament.

"Our experience helped us get through this tournament," coach Scott Sutherland said. "We lost our first game 10-0. We were kind of jetlagged and came out lethargic, and then won five in a row."

Sutherland called a 6-5 win against Omaha Westside last Friday a highlight of the trip. Omaha won the Nebraska state title in the spring.

Other wins came against Ponderosa, Colo., 4-3 on June 18; Bismarck, N.D., 7-3 last Friday; Pittsburg, Kan., 7-0 last Saturday; and Lincoln Southwest, Neb., 9-5 last Sunday.

Sutherland noted that Zach Bott and Kyle Frazier were the top hitters at the event.

This year's squad features several experienced and talented players.

Graduated players Bott (2B/C), Jay Couger (OF), Drew Karabinos (SS), Victor Migliore (P/3B), Michael Sennet (DH); Bryan Vranic (OF) and Keenan White (P/1B) have been solid contributors, according to Sutherland.

Other key players are seniors Danny Buford (P/OF), Colton Caldwell (P/1B), Frazier (C), Alex Parker (P/3B), Jeff Walin (OF), John Wurm (1B/OF), Michael Young (SS) and Thomas Zigo (IF).

Juniors Adam Hall (P) and Austin Cousino (CF) also have contributed.

"Like our philosophy every summer, we want to get better for next spring," Sutherland said. "We want play as many games as we can. We want to get kids reps and see where we're at for next spring."

•The Coffman 17-and-under team was 4-5 before its game against Hilliard Darby last Monday.

The Shamrocks will play host to Olentangy LC today. Coffman is coming off a 3-0 loss to Worthington Kilbourne on June 18.

The Shamrocks defeated Westerville North 9-5 on June 4 and 16-4 on June 15 and Hilliard Bradley 12-2 on June 10 and 7-0 on June 11.

"I like these kids," coach Brian Blake said. "They've done everything I've asked of them. I've played them in many, many positions and they work hard.

"I try to make sure they understand what's expected of them and let them go from there."

Greg Fox (2B/3B/P) is the lone senior on the team.

Juniors are John Bingaman (OF), Matt Davis (OF/3B/P), Matt DiThomas (2b/SS/P), Adam Hall (SS/3B/P), Evan Hoitink (OF), Ryan Leffel (SS/3B/P), Thomas Ludwig (1B/3B/P), Steven Panchyshyn (C/3B/P), Jacob Plecki (OF/SS/P), Lucas Rose (2B/OF), Dan Stucky (OF/P) and Carman Terantino (2B/SS/P).

Sophomores are Ryan Davis (1B/OF/P) and Clayton Vranic (SS/OF/P).

"I like the intensity that the boys are bringing to the game," Blake said. "Even the games that we've gotten beaten, we've still competed through seven innings."