Rivals during the spring season, players from Dublin Jerome and Dublin Scioto high schools have joined forces this summer to form an American Legion baseball team.

Rivals during the spring season, players from Dublin Jerome and Dublin Scioto high schools have joined forces this summer to form an American Legion baseball team.

Mike Kula, a former player and 2005 graduate of Scioto, is coaching the team. Kula guided Scioto's 800S team the previous two summers.

Post 800D was 4-8 overall and 3-4 in District 12 before playing Hilliard Post 614A (Davidson) last Monday.

"We have great kids from both schools," Kula said. "They're a lot of fun to work with. They come with a good attitude every day. They're willing to play hard, and they're willing to learn. They've really combined well with each other and they work well with each other. By this point in the summer, it's not like we have the Scioto kids and then we have the Jerome kids. It's really all one team right now and that's been really good to see."

Kula also said that Scioto and Jerome combined teams because in previous yearsScioto players were required to play legion baseball instead of on summer travel teams. That no longer is the case, and the pool of players now is limited.

"We wanted to field a more competitive team with the rest of the league by taking the top seven to nine guys from each school as opposed to the top 16 from one. If you did that, once you got down past the first seven or eight, the rest of the guys from each program that would be available to play legion ball wouldn't be ready for it," Kula said.

Post 800D will return to action this weekend when it competes in the Worthington Wood Bat Tournament. Post 800D will host games Friday and Saturday.

"It's going to be a new experience for our guys," Kula said of the Worthington tournament. "It's going to be a good experience getting good competition because we're in the 18-and-under division and most of our guys with the exception of two or three are 16-and-under."

Post 800D opened with wins against Westerville Post 171C (Central) 11-8 on June 2 and Grove City Post 164 13-8 on June 4 before dropping seven of eight. Post 800D's other wins have come against Ohio Elite 6-5 on June 9 and Post 144 (Central Crossing) 8-2 on June 17.

"Our problem so far is we really haven't gotten the pitching in order to hold the other team in check," Kula said. "Our defense has improved gradually throughout the season and it's in a pretty good spot right now, but we haven't gotten the pitching that we need."

Post 800D will conclude its season by competing in the District 12 Tournament on July 5-8 and the Buckeye Elite Tournament July 9-12.

"Our record doesn't show it, but if we come to play we can be competitive with anybody," Scioto senior outfielder Nick Gastaldo said. "If we put everything together, we can make it happen. We're one of the better teams out there."

Jerome's Mike Adolph, an outfielder, is the lone graduated player on the team.

Other players from Jerome include seniors Ryan Longbrake (2B/P) and Nick Streck (OF); and juniors Christian Briggs (P), Garrett Couche (OF/P), Alex Mark (OF) and Shane McMahon (1B).

Other players from Scioto are seniors Thomas Hayes (2B/P), Robert Janice (1B/P), Zach Kivior (OF) and Brandon Marker (C); juniors Dom Rosso (utility/P) and Christian Stamets (3B); and sophomores Austin Mooney (C/P) and Kris Simonton (SS/P).

"From Jerome we have talented players like Adolph and Couche and from Scioto we have talented players like Gastaldo and Marker and then we have enough talent and enough competitive desire in the rest of the team to fill the rest of the lineup with role players," Kula said. "It's just a matter of getting everybody to be here consistently, especially our better players because we haven't had Adolph and Marker there consistently. Couche has spent some time with basketball. It's going to be about getting the better players here consistently."