First-year Gahanna Christian Academy baseball coach Lamarr Fields is looking forward to a fresh start for his team.

First-year Gahanna Christian Academy baseball coach Lamarr Fields is looking forward to a fresh start for his team.

Fields replaced Robert Balawajder, who stepped down after two seasons because of family commitments but remains the school's athletics director.

Fields has coached at the recreational and travel levels, but is guiding his first high school team.

"I liked the potential from day one when we started," he said. "I have a lot of inexperienced players that haven't played since probably early middle school or elementary (school). I have a few returning players, so it's almost brand new."

The Eagles, who were 0-3 before playing Granville Christian on April 12, were hit hard by graduation, losing eight players.

Senior returnee Jaylon Fields (P/3B/OF), the coach's son, will be looked upon for leadership.

Also back are juniors Aaron Cline (OF/2B/P) and Aaron Mertz (SS/P) and sophomore Kyle Parsons (P/3B/C).

The remaining players are new to varsity. They are seniors Taiwann Anderson (OF/P), Ian McPherson (2B/P/OF), Mateo Naranjo (OF) and Ebenezer Tibebe (OF), juniors Garrett Downs (1B) and Skyler Murphy (OF/C) and freshmen Rob Maston (OF) and Dylan Smith (C).

"From where these players came in and the fundamentals and things that we've put in place, they have made a lot of progress," coach Fields said. "We just need a stretch of games and some nice weather to get some experience."

Last season, Gahanna Christian finished 5-16 overall and went 2-6 in the MOCAL to place fourth behind champion Tree of Life (8-0).

Key losses to graduation were Anthony Barnes (OF) and Eddie Dilts (P/1B/SS), who were named to the all-league team.

Softball team looks for improvement

The softball team hopes to rebound from a 0-15 finish a year ago.

"I like teaching kids how to play the game," said second-year coach David Gotschall, whose team opens Thursday, April 14, against Patriot Prep. "I do as much as I can. We have a year of experience under our belts that they didn't have last year and it's really showing in practices."

Gahanna Christian returns five players led by junior Arianna Wyant, who again should handle most of the pitching duties. Wyant, who was named to the all-MOCAL team last season, also will play in the infield.

Junior Talliah Mitchell (C/INF) joined Wyant on the all-league team.

Also back are juniors Alli Taylor (INF/OF) and Maddy Wright (OF/P) and sophomore Kate Kovach (INF/OF/P).

Other players are seniors Leah Seifu (2B) and Gwenny Trainor (SS), junior Katie Downing (1B), sophomores Gabby Boakye (OF/1B) and Caroline Deibel (OF/1B) and freshman Kenzie Welch (INF).

Last season, Gahanna Christian went 0-8 in the MOCAL to finish fifth behind champion Granville Christian (8-0).

*Gahanna Christian is not offering track and field this spring, according to Balawajder.

Schedules

BASEBALL

April 1 -- at Wellington

April 2 -- at Liberty Union

April 5 -- at Grove City Christian

*April 12 -- at Granville Christian

April 14 -- vs. Patriot Prep

*April 15 -- at Tree of Life

April 16 -- vs. Beechcroft

*April 18 -- vs. Delaware Christian

April 19 -- at Liberty Christian

*April 21 -- vs. Madison Christian

*April 22 -- vs. Madison Christian

April 23 -- at Columbus West

*April 25 -- at Granville Christian

April 26 -- at Wellington

*April 28 -- vs. Tree of Life

April 29 -- at Centerburg

April 30 -- vs. Cincinnati Trailblazers

May 2 -- at Shekinah Christian

May 3 -- at Independence

*May 5 -- at Delaware Christian

May 6 -- at Licking Heights

SOFTBALL

April 14 -- vs. Patriot Prep

*April 15 -- vs. Tree of Life

*April 18 -- vs. Delaware Christian

April 21 -- vs. Walnut Ridge

*April 22 -- vs. Granville Christian

*April 25 -- at Granville Christian

April 26 -- vs. Wellington

*April 28 -- at Tree of Life

May 3 -- vs. Linden-McKinley

*May 5 -- at Delaware Christian

May 6 -- vs. Africentric

*League contest