The top concern in the past for Wellington School baseball coach Craig Jones always was defense.

The top concern in the past for Wellington School baseball coach Craig Jones always was defense.

This year, it's hitting.

"We've spent a lot of time working on being aggressive at the plate and watching the pitching counts," said Jones, whose team will open Monday at Fairfield Union and Tuesday at Franklin Heights. "We want to be an offensive threat every time we're at the plate."

Wellington finished 12-14 last year after losing to third-seeded Fisher Catholic 7-1 in the second round of the Division IV district tournament.

The Jaguars earned their first tournament win in seven years, over Grove City Christian 2-1 in the first round.

Wellington returns a senior-laden pitching staff in Reed Case, Sam Maier and Ben Utz. Case was 3-4 with a 1.95 ERA and 51 strikeouts a year ago and Maier was 1-4 with a 5.70 ERA. Utz was primarily a relief pitcher.

"We have a pretty solid pitching staff," Jones said. "We have some other guys (junior Alex Hunnell and senior Harry Kent) who could pitch some, and freshman C.J. Hanson has shown some signs of potential."

Case, who batted .272 with 22 RBI and six doubles, also will play the outfield, Maier (.391, 22 RBI) will play shortstop and Utz and Hansen will share time at third.

Hunnell (.345, 10 RBI) will be at catcher and sophomore Tanner Zaas will play first base. Freshman Sam Zacher could see time at second, shortstop and catcher.

The Jaguars lost last year's starting outfield to graduation. Senior Ted Kent, who played second last year, and junior Gus Murphy will join Case in the outfield. Sophomores David Connell, Taiyo Scanlon Kimura and Kyle Stansell also are expected to see time in the outfield.

Sophomore Nick Bruno and freshmen Ryan Butler, Wilfred Denton and Austin Holland are utility players.

Wellington's schedule features 26 games, including contests against district finalist Worthington Christian and district semifinalist Fisher Catholic.

"The thing I remember about last year was how grueling the schedule was," Jones said. "But we were able to stay competitive with teams in our division and outside of it."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for Wellington baseball, boys lacrosse, boys tennis, girls lacrosse and softball teams:


Monday -- At Fairfield Union in opener

Tuesday -- At Franklin Heights

April 2 -- At Columbus Academy


Last Wednesday -- At Rome (Ga.) Darlington in opener. The Darlington coach is former Wellington coach Gordon Hight.

Today -- At Atlanta Pace

Saturday -- At Atlanta Etowah

April 2 -- Home vs. Pickerington


March 30 -- At Hartley in opener

April 1 -- At Pickerington Central

April 2 -- At St. Charles


Monday -- At Hartley in opener

April 2 -- At Worthington Kilbourne


Saturday -- At Fisher Catholic (doubleheader) in opener

Monday -- At Franklin Heights

Tuesday -- Home vs. Berne Union

Wednesday -- At Grandview

April 2 -- Home vs. Mifflin