After starting six freshmen last season and with just one senior on the roster this spring, the Grove City Christian School baseball team remains in a youth movement.

After starting six freshmen last season and with just one senior on the roster this spring, the Grove City Christian School baseball team remains in a youth movement.

The Eagles also have been affected by bad weather early this season, as they were 1-1 overall before playing Morral Ridgedale on April 12 and had yet to complete an MSL-Cardinal Division game before playing Millersport on April 13.

"I feel really positive things for us right now," third-year coach A.J. McCampbell said. "We're still incredibly young, but compared to how incredibly young we were last year, we're seeing definite improvement. It would be nice to play multiple games in a week."

McCampbell said senior Kurtis McKeon has emerged as the ace of the pitching staff. He was named honorable mention all-league last season and also plays shortstop.

Sophomore Alex Moore (C/OF/P) was one of the freshmen who started last season. He hit .379 with 14 RBI and was second-team all-league.

Other returning starters include sophomore Caleb Sullivan (OF/P/1B/3B), who hit .321 with 18 RBI and was honorable mention all-league, and sophomore Kendrick Beard (1B/3B/P), who hit .328 with 14 RBI.

The other returning starters are sophomores Cristian Gilkerson (OF), Trent Reed (OF/2B) and Luke Spegal (INF/P). Spegal missed part of last season with a back injury, but now is healthy, McCampbell said.

Also back is junior Dane Long (P/3B), who hit .333 with 11 RBI.

Other players are junior Donavan Garner (2B/OF) and freshmen Ethan Metsker (3B/OF), Gavin Robbins (C/INF/OF), Tom Suhayda (1B/OF) and Samuel Woods (1B/OF).

McCampbell said freshman Zion-Christopher Jackson (2B/OF) likely is out for the year with a broken leg.

"I think we're going to compete and hopefully we'll surprise some people because we are young, but a lot of our youth are returning varsity starters from last year," McCampbell said.

Grove City Christian was tied with visiting Fisher Catholic at 2 through eight innings April 4 when the game was suspended. Play will resume before the teams' second league meeting April 22 at Fisher Catholic.

"It would be great to go in there and get two (wins)," McCampbell said. "That would be huge, especially within the league."

Fisher Catholic won the MSL-Cardinal title last season at 9-1 and was led by sophomore pitcher Zach Saffell, who was league Player of the Year. Saffell was the starter against Grove City Christian in the league opener.

The Eagles went 4-6 in the league to finish fourth. They finished 7-14 overall.

After opening with a 14-8 loss at Madison Plains on March 29, Grove City Christian defeated visiting Gahanna Christian 14-0 in five innings April 5.

Kennedy leading softball team

The softball team has a new coach as Ron Kennedy has replaced Troy Tomlinson, who stepped down after four seasons because of family commitments.

Tomlinson guided the Eagles to their first Division IV district final last season. They lost to Danville 11-1 in five innings to finish 12-10 overall.

Grove City Christian also went 7-3 in the MSL-Cardinal to finish second behind Berne Union (9-1).

The Eagles were 0-5 overall before playing Madison Plains on April 12 and 0-1 in the league before playing Millersport on April 13.

"We have a long way to go," said Kennedy, who previously coached at the youth and middle school levels. "We're working hard and we intend on making some noise by the end of the year."

Senior Olivia Frank (P/SS) has replaced 2015 graduate Grace Tomlinson in the circle. Both were first-team all-league and second-team all-district last season.

Senior Andi Abbruzzese (SS/2B) was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, and senior Ashley Hatfield (P/1B) was second-team all-league.

Other returnees are seniors Tiffany Bowers (OF/3B), Allie Hatfield (2B/C), Kelly Mayhew (OF) and Alex Polentz (OF).

Also looking to contribute are seniors Olivia Carter (1B), Allison Jacobs (OF) and Olivia Nester (C), sophomore Alissa Collins (OF) and freshmen Megan McGrath (2B/OF) and Cheyanne Pierce (OF).

Track teams open season

Sophomore Dalina Phomphengchane is expected to lead the girls track and field team after placing fifth in the 100 meters (13.15 seconds) last season in the Division III district meet, one spot from a regional berth.

The Eagles opened April 4 by finishing fourth (25.5) against Columbus Academy (67.75), host Worthington Christian (66.75) and Grandview (55).

Freshman Calista Manns won the 100 hurdles (17.8).

Also on the roster are seniors Sophie Dausch, Meg Given, Makayla Harr and Nester, juniors Gwen Engler, Angelina Gibson and Jessica Mitchell, sophomores Cindy Forby, Kayla Keys and Kiara Morgan and freshmen Becca Bowman, Savannah Holland, Ashley McGill and Sarah Molina.

The boys team opened by finishing fourth (26) against Worthington Christian (85), Academy (57) and Grandview (52).

Senior Brady Holt just missed a regional berth last season, finishing fifth in the pole vault (10 feet) at district.

Senior Paul Rouch was eighth in the pole vault (9-0) at district.

Other athletes are seniors Brett Crabtree, Tony Grandison and Noboru Valenzuela, junior Luke Williams, sophomores Winston Linville and Logan McDonald and freshmen Brett Baker, Jake Brunney, Gabe Engler, Connor Maxwell, Will Mayhew and Brandon Rex.

"Our high school team is a good mix of experienced and inexperienced track members," third-year coach Sonya Baker said. "We are hoping to see some real growth with each athlete and even some school records reset."

The Eagles lost a key athlete to graduation in Tre Galloway-Roberts, who finished ninth in the 100 (11.19) at state last season.

Schedules

BASEBALL

March 29 -- at Madison Plains

March 31 -- at Fredericktown

April 1 -- vs. Granville Christian

*April 4 -- vs. Fisher Catholic

April 5 -- vs. Gahanna Christian

April 9 -- at Fairbanks (DH)

April 12 -- at Morral Ridgedale

*April 13 -- at Millersport

*April 14 -- at Harvest Prep

*April 15 -- at Berne Union

*April 18 -- vs. Fairfield Christian

*April 22 -- at Fisher Catholic

April 23 -- at Franklin Heights (DH)

*April 25 -- vs. Millersport

April 26 -- at Delaware Christian

*April 29 -- vs. Harvest Prep

April 30 -- vs. Grandview

*May 2 -- vs. Berne Union

May 3 -- at Granville Christian

*May 5 -- vs. Fairfield Christian

SOFTBALL

March 31 -- vs. London

April 1 -- at Briggs (DH)

April 2 -- at Bexley (DH)

*April 4 -- vs. Fisher Catholic

April 5 -- vs. Granville Christian

April 9 -vs. Delaware Christian

*April 11 -- at Harvest Prep

April 12 -- vs. Madison Plains

*April 13 -- at Millersport

*April 15 -- at Berne Union

April 16 -- vs. Independence (DH)

*April 18 -- vs. Fairfield Christian

April 19 -- vs. Northland

*April 22 -- at Fisher Catholic

April 23 -- at Licking Heights (DH)

*April 25 -- vs. Millersport

April 26 -- at Delaware Christian

*April 29 -- vs. Harvest Prep

*May 2 -- vs. Berne Union

May 3 -- at Granville Christian

*May 5 -- at Fairfield Christian

May 7 -- vs. Mount Gilead

TRACK & FIELD

April 4 -- at Worthington Christian with Columbus Academy and Grandview

April 12 -- at Berne Union with Corning Miller and Glouster Trimble

April 19 -- at Westland

April 23 -- South Charleston Southeastern Invitational

April 26 -- at Grove City with Franklin Heights

April 29 -- Millersport Invitational

May 3 -- at Central Crossing with Big Walnut and Columbus South

May 10, 13 -- MSL-Cardinal meet at Berne Union

*League contest