In almost any season, John Mott would be content with his Grove City Post 164A baseball team opening the season by winning 16 of its first 21 games.

In almost any season, John Mott would be content with his Grove City Post 164A baseball team opening the season by winning 16 of its first 21 games.

This summer, with all that has gone on in Grove City, he is bordering on ecstatic with that type of start.

"If you would have talked to me earlier in the year, I probably would have said we didn't have very high expectations," Mott said. "But since we're into the season, we've been so successful that I really think, even though we haven't seen all the Legion teams yet, we probably have as a minimum goal to win the district."

Like Southway (Central Crossing) Post 144A, Grove City has not had access to the facilities at Grove City High School. Not only does that prevent the team from having home games -- which also cuts out the funding it would receive from concessions -- it also has kept players from taking much batting practice or practicing bunt coverages and base-running.

Despite that, Post 164A was 16-5 before playing Bexley (Hartley) Post 430A last Monday, Columbus (Watterson) Post 82 last Tuesday and Don Gentile (Westland) Post 532W last Wednesday. Grove City was 6-1 in District 12 before last Monday.

"We knew it was going to be tough," Grove City senior Joey Ford said. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy, not having a home field. But we have a lot of good players and we have a lot of confidence in ourselves now."

Last year, Grove City rebounded from a difficult 2007 season by going 29-8 overall and 14-2 in District 12.

Post 164A went 3-2 in the district tournament and was eliminated by Dublin (Coffman) Post 800C 13-8 in the loser's bracket final.

Post 164A has a veteran roster with four 2008 graduates, two 2009 graduates, 12 seniors and one junior. Although most players are from Grove City High School, the roster also features players from Ready, Grove City Christian, Central Crossing, Briggs, Westland and Teays Valley.

Grove City has been led by a versatile offense. Grove City senior Zack Maynard, 2008 Grove City graduate Kirby Ayers and Westland senior Chad Helsel have provided the speed, while 2008 Briggs graduate Tim Knezovich and 2008 Teays Valley graduate Andrew Cox have added power in the middle of the lineup. Knezovich and Cox both play at Ohio Wesleyan.

"Without question, we've been killing the ball on offense," Mott said. "We have at least three kids with extraordinary speed who can bunt their way on and hit the ball in the gap, and we've got two or three kids in the middle of the lineup who are just pounding the baseball."

Maynard, Ayers, Knezovich and Cox have been key members of the pitching staff as well, with Cox as the team's top starter. Also seeing action on the mound have been 2008 Ready graduate Robby Shane; 2009 Grove City graduates Trent Cornwell and Brian Senesac; Grove City seniors Matt Linville, Chris Johnson and Tyler Williams; Westland senior John Slagle; Grove City Christian senior Zack Snider; and Grove City junior Cody Bishop.

At catcher, Grove City junior Chris Siders returned as the starter, with Grove City Christian senior Dakota Buhrts as his backup.

Knezovich has started at first base, with Ford at second, Grove City senior Korey Ayers at shortstop and Snider at third. Also seeing action in the infield have been Bishop (SS), Senesac (1B) and Slagle (3B).

Kirby Ayers is starting in center for a third season, with Maynard in left field and either Helsel or 2008 Grove City graduate Dusty Wimer in right field. Bishop and Linville also have seen action in the outfield.

At a glance

•Coach: John Mott, 11th season

•Next game: Today at Worthington Post 239

•Key players: Kirby Ayers, Andrew Cox, Joey Ford, Chad Helsel, Tim Knezovich and Chris Siders