More times than not, Bryson Creed finds a way to get on base for the Hilliard Bradley High School baseball team.
The senior outfielder will work the count to draw a walk, get hit by a pitch or even get on base the old-fashioned way -- with a hit -- to help fuel the Jaguars' offense.Video •Watch an interview with Hilliard Bradley baseball player Bryson Creed.
Through 12 games, Creed led the team in on-base percentage (.568), walks (9), hit by pitch (7), stolen bases (11) and runs scored (12). He also had a .310 batting average in the No. 2 slot in the batting order.
"I'm not a home-run hitter by any sense, so I try to get on base and use my speed," said Creed, whose team was 7-6 overall and 3-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division after defeating Delaware 5-3 on April 17. "In big spots, I know I have to be getting on base and getting our team going."
In his previous five games before April 17, Creed drew four walks, was hit by pitch five times and had seven stolen bases.
"Bryson has always had some speed, but he has really grown up," coach Matt Gilkerson said. "He has matured both physically and in terms of playing the game.
"He has the ability to put the ball in play and also hit with some pop. He can hit line drives and get down the line."
After starting 1-5, Bradley won five consecutive games before losing to Fort Thomas (Kentucky) Highlands 3-2 on April 15.
"We had a rocky start in our first few games, but we have been able to hit the ball and we have been solid defensively," said Creed, who plans to attend Ohio State to study business. "The team energy is great and we're playing with a lot of confidence."
Creed is starting in center field after seeing time at the position last season when 2016 graduate Connor Davis was on the mound. Davis is now playing for Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.
Now Creed is one of the Jaguars' leaders on and off the field. The lone outfielder with much varsity experience, he is flanked by junior Tyler Stover in right field and a rotation of seniors Andrew Charley and Tommy Krai in left.
"I think a lot of (leadership) comes from when we were practicing in the gym and helping out," Creed said. "Once we got outside in the outfield, I have tried to help out with positioning according to the hitters and situations. It has worked well so far."
The Jaguars lost their first two OCC-Cardinal contests, falling to Thomas Worthington 9-0 on April 3 and 8-2 on April 4, before sweeping Worthington Kilbourne in league play, winning 2-0 on April 10 and 11-4 on April 12.
In the first game against Kilbourne, Jack Rasmussen hit a two-run home run and Tyler Lehman tossed a four-hitter with six strikeouts and no walks on 78 pitches.
Rasmussen added a three-run homer in the second game against the Wolves, and Louis Ozoa had a two-run double in a seven-run sixth inning as the Jaguars broke open a game in which the score had been tied at 4.
"We are playing with a lot of confidence right now," Gilkerson said. "They have bought into playing together as a group. We're playing different from the first part of the year."
Bryant leading way
for softball team
Jaiden Bryant has been leading the softball team in several offensive categories.
Through 13 games, the sophomore center fielder led the Jaguars in home runs (6), triples (3), RBI (18), slugging percentage (1.000) and stolen bases (9). She also was batting .372 with a .519 on-base percentage and was tied for the team lead in runs (18) with junior shortstop Lauren Renner.
Jen Nashalsky had a team-high .465 batting average for the Jaguars, who were 11-3 overall and 5-0 in the OCC-Cardinal after defeating Darby 9-2 on April 17. The senior first baseman also had seven doubles and 13 RBI and had scored five runs.
Renner was hitting .432 with a .551 on-base percentage and six doubles, senior catcher Jordan Pallay was batting .419 with two homers and nine RBI, senior right fielder Aimee Duckworth was hitting .415 with a .511 on-base percentage and six doubles and junior second baseman Heather Holly was batting .361.
Junior pitcher Lexie Hilling has been performing well at the plate and in the circle. She was batting .364 with two home runs, 13 RBI and eight runs and, in the circle, was 9-3 with 87 strikeouts, 18 walks and a 1.46 ERA in 77 innings.
Freshman Macie LoParo picked up her first varsity victory April 15 in a 12-2, five-inning win over Willow Wood Symmes Valley. The left-hander had not given up an earned run in nine innings with 10 strikeouts and one walk.
The Jaguars, who had a .343 team batting average through 13 games, lost to Central Crossing 2-1 in their season opener March 28 and had a nine-game winning streak snapped with an 8-7 loss to Middletown Madison on April 14.
In league action, Bradley defeated Delaware 5-1 on April 10, Dublin Jerome 15-2 on April 12 and Dublin Scioto 3-1 on April 13. The Jaguars scored eight runs in the top of the seventh inning against Jerome.
Tennis team to hold
The boys tennis team will play host to its inaugural Bradley Doubles Tournament on Saturday, April 21.
The Jaguars will be joined in the event by Big Walnut, Gahanna, Lancaster and Olentangy.
Bradley was 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal after losing to Darby 3-2 on April 17.
In league play, the Jaguars defeated Thomas 5-0 on March 30 and Delaware 3-2 on April 11 before losing to Jerome 4-1 on April 13.
Bradley has been led by senior Mitchell Thai, who was 7-0 before the match against Darby.
Louis Sartain was 5-2 at second singles, and the doubles team of Kevin Lee and Kiren Manoharan was 3-1.
On April 10, the Jaguars lost to Davidson 4-1 in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I team tournament.