There are two weeks remaining in the regular season and the Division I district tournament draw is set for Sunday.

There are two weeks remaining in the regular season and the Division I district tournament draw is set for Sunday.

That means time is running out for the Reynoldsburg High School baseball team to develop some consistency.

The Raiders appeared to have turned the corner by defeating OCC-Buckeye Division-rival Westerville North on consecutive days (4-0 on April 22, 16-7 on April 23) to even their overall record at 8-8. But then they lost to Gahanna 11-10 last Friday and 12-1 last Saturday.

Coach Dave Starling said defense has been part of the problem.

"Before the season I thought defense would be a strong point, but we've been making too many mistakes, especially in the outfield," he said. "Not making the routine plays has caught up to us."

After last Saturday, Starling had plans to give two freshmen -- J.C. Gibson (LF) and Tommy Nobile (RF) -- their first starts of the season alongside center-fielder Ben Noble.

The Raiders will play host to Dublin Coffman on Monday and close out the OCC-Buckeye schedule Wednesday at Upper Arlington.

Offensively, the Raiders are getting production at the top of the batting order. Through 18 games, Reynoldsburg had five players batting .300 or better, led by Justin Marrero with a .529 batting average. Marrero also led the team with 26 RBI.

Ben Noble was next with a .400 batting average. Noble also had a 1.84 ERA.

Weston Weiss was batting .384. Dustin Reuter was batting .350 and in his limited time on the mound (12 1/3 innings) had a 2.27 ERA.

Senior Ryan Hedrick was batting .304.

"We've got to solidify the lineup before the tournament," Starling said after last Saturday. "We're sitting at 8-10 and it's always nice to get a top eight seed, but it doesn't look like that will happen this year. It would be nice to get some wins and turn some heads."

•FINALLY, SOME OCC WINS -- The victories over North were a relief to players and coaches alike. They hoped to use the wins to get their season jump-started.

The Raiders scored at least one run in six innings and had 15 hits in the 16-7 win.

In the five-run fifth inning, Noble hit a two-run home run to right field with one out. Four batters later Hedrick hit a three-run home run to left field with two outs.

"I was really happy to see the hitters come out," Starling said. "We've got to solidify our defense, but we got a nice pitching performance by freshman Halen Core and that was impressive."

Noble went 3-for-5 with four RBI and Hedrick was 4-for-5 with three RBI. Reuter and Marrero also had two hits and two RBI and Weiss had three hits and two RBI.

"I'd like to have a little more momentum," Noble said. "It's good to get the wins, but it's not a streak yet."

Reuter returned to the mound April 22 and pitched a three-hitter against North. He had missed most of the season with an oblique injury. His return, coupled with the bats returning, could be just what the doctor ordered for the last two weeks of the regular season.

"That win was really important. It could be the turning point of our season," Hedrick said. "Now we have to build on that and keep going."

At a glance

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

*April 22 -- Defeated Westerville North 4-0

*April 23 -- Def. Westerville North 16-7

Last Friday -- Lost to Gahanna 11-10

Last Saturday -- Lost to Gahanna 12-1

*Last Monday -- Lost to Hilliard Davidson 10-7

*Last Wednesday -- At Grove City

Saturday -- At Thomas Worthington vs. Thomas and Circleville

*Monday -- At Dublin Coffman. The Raiders lost the first meeting 6-1 on April 16.

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Upper Arlington. The Raiders lost the first meeting 5-4 on April 21.

Of note: The Raiders were 8-11 overall and 2-6 in the OCC-Buckeye before last Wednesday.

*OCC-Buckeye game