Midway through the season, the Reynoldsburg High School baseball team is in an unfamiliar position.

Midway through the season, the Reynoldsburg High School baseball team is in an unfamiliar position.

The Raiders, who haven't had a losing season since 2001, were just 6-8 overall after splitting a doubleheader at Pickerington North last Saturday and losing to Upper Arlington 5-4 last Monday, also dropping to 0-4 in the OCC-Buckeye Division.

Control -- or lack of control -- continued to plague the Raiders in their three league games.

Reynoldsburg pitchers have averaged one walk per inning. Hit batters and errors also plagued the Raiders. The had committed 30 errors in the 14 games.

Although they defeated North 10-8 in the opening game last Saturday to end a three-game slide, the Raiders lost the second game 19-4 in five innings. In the first game, all eight runs the Panthers scored were unearned. In the second game, the Raiders just flat ran out of pitchers.

Dustin Reuter was expected to make his return to the mound this week. He went 6-1 last season and threw a no-hitter in a Division I district semifinal. He's been battling an oblique injury all season and hasn't been able to pitch since a short stint on the mound during a game in Florida on April 8.

After a 7-5 loss to Grove City on April 17 he wanted to pitch again, but didn't know when he would.

"My side has been feeling better and I hope I can pitch again soon, I might have to pitch again soon," he said.

Coach Dave Starling is ready for that to happen.

"Dustin should be back in it this week," he said before last Monday. "I still say he has one of the best arms in the Central District."

Because of the injury, young players have had to pitch and play key innings for Reynoldsburg.

Freshmen Drew Otani, Weston Weiss and Halen Core and sophomores Adam Gilmore and Dylan Gray have seen time on the mound and there have been growing pains.

Young players have also been playing in the field.

"I've never had this many freshmen and sophomores," said Starling, who is in his 26th season. "There have been times this season when we've had four and five in the starting lineup. They've earned the right to be here but we've never dealt with this kind of youth.

Starling said with the combination of youth and injuries, players have been playing out of position. The staff also still is trying to solidify the infield.

"We've had to put people in positions they haven't played," Starling said. We've got to get people comfortable in positions, but it's hard to get people comfortable without practices."

After the Raiders lost to Grove City on April 17, players were not thinking about youth and adjusting, they just wanted to start winning.

"We've got to turn our attitudes around, Ben Noble said. "There's no desire to win, people are just showing up to the field and teams are jumping on us."

Ryan Hedrick said the team still is searching for a way out of the situation.

"We've got to pull ourselves together and find a way to win," he said. "We fell apart (against Grove City)."

Last season, the Raiders rebounded from an 0-3 league start to win their final seven games and finish second in the OCC-Buckeye.

"We'll try to keep them motivated and turn it around like last year," Hedrick said. "We could do it this year."

There is some light at the end of the tunnel.

"We've been competitive," he said. "If we get Dustin back in the starting rotation we can kick it in gear and do some damage. We could catch fire and do something."

At a glance

Below are recent results and coming schedule for the Reynoldsburg baseball team:

*April 15 -- Lost to Hilliard Davidson 7-6

*April 16 -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 6-1

*April 17 -- Lost to Grove City 7-5

Last Saturday -- Defeated Pickerington North 10-8; lost to Pickerington North 19-4

*Last Monday -- Lost to Upper Arlington 5-4

*Last Tuesday -- Played Westerville North

*Last Wednesday -- Played Westerville North

Friday -- At Gahanna

Saturday -- Home for four-team Raider Classic

*Monday -- Home vs. Davidson

*Wednesday -- At Grove City

Of note: The Raiders were 6-8 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Buckeye before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Buckeye game