Offense will be the name of the game for the Reynoldsburg High School baseball team this season.

Offense will be the name of the game for the Reynoldsburg High School baseball team this season.

The Raiders return nine letterwinners from a team that had a .389 batting average and scored almost eight runs per game last season.

Reynoldsburg finished 19-11, losing to Upper Arlington 12-5 in a district final.

The Raiders finished 9-5 in the OCC-Ohio Division to tie Gahanna for fourth as Grove City (11-3) won and and Pickerington Central and Pickerington North (both 10-4) tied for second. Lancaster (5-9) was sixth, followed by Groveport and Newark (both 1-13).

Junior first baseman Jeff Murray hit .489 with seven homers and 50 RBI last season, while senior outfielder Taylor Snare returns after batting .426, with three homers, 37 RBI and 38 runs.

Other returning seniors include third baseman Nick Analogue (.289, 2 homers, 11 RBI), shortstop Mike Castro (.286, 13 RBI), outfielder J.C. Gibson (.370, 2 homers, 24 RBI) and outfielder Drew Otani (.351, 11 RBI).

Sophomore Nick Hedrick (.396, 12 RBI, 34 runs) returns at catcher.

Senior Tommy Nobile and junior Jeremy Williams also are expected to contribute.

"I'm really excited. We have a lot of talent, returning letterwinners and we are senior-heavy," said second-year coach Rob Gravatt, whose team opens by playing four games in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., from March 28 to April 1.

Snare likes what he sees.

"We're looking good right now. The whole team can hit the ball," Snare said. "Opposing pitchers do not have anyone to pitch around."

The Raiders are without senior Weston Weiss, a first-team all-league, second-team all-district selection who would have been a four-year starter.

Weiss, who signed a letter of intent with Youngstown State last fall, had surgery last month on a torn labrum in his right arm and will miss the season.

"To replace someone like Weston is difficult," Gravatt said. "He hit over .400 for his career and has been our starting shortstop and a starting pitcher three years, so we'll have to make some adjustments."

Pitching will be a question, as the Raiders lost Craig Andrews, who went 4-1 last season, and starter/closer Dillon Gray to graduation. The Raiders also must replace 2010 graduate

Jonathan Hammond, an outfielder who batted .506 with 20 RBI.

Senior Halen Core is the only returning pitcher. The four-year starter went 4-3 last sea-son but missed the second half because of an emergency appendectomy.

Analogue, Gibson, Hedrick, Otani, junior Owen McCloskey and sophomore Jeremy Williams also will pitch.

"It's a concern, but the guys have worked hard and there are some other guys coming up," Murray said. "We'll give up more runs, but I have confidence our offense can put up more runs."