The Thomas Worthington High School baseball team's pitching staff picked up where it left off last season.

The Cardinals posted a 1.84 team ERA last season when they finished 21-6 and lost in a Division I district semifinal.

The ace of the staff, junior Spencer Kiehl, threw a pair of no-hitters in his first two outings this spring and entered the week 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 16 innings.

"My velocity is up slightly this year and I'm hitting my locations," said Kiehl, who set a school record with 68 strikeouts last year. "I'm locating all my pitches better, including the curve, slider and changeup. It's been a pretty good start."

Kiehl didn't allow any hits and blasted a two-run home run in a 10-0, five-inning win over Teays Valley in the season opener March 25. In his next outing, he held Hilliard Bradley hitless in the Cardinals' 9-0 win on April 3.

"Spencer is our ace and he's been awesome, but we're getting great pitching every day and (seniors) Caleb Struewing and Trent Castle have been excellent," said coach Chris Olson, whose team was 9-1 overall before playing Big Walnut on April 18 and is 5-0 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.

"Spencer has an awesome fastball and you can't cheat on that because he commands all his pitches. If he sees you cheating, he'll hit his spot with a breaking pitch.

"Caleb is 6-foot-5 and deceptively quick because he's releasing the ball closer to home plate. He challenges the hitter and has a lower arm angle because he slings it. Trent is a combination of the two. He's aggressive, can control his breaking ball and fields his position very well."

Struewing, who had a 1.82 ERA last season, was 4-0 with a 0.55 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings after tossing a one-hitter in an 8-2 win over Seymour (Tennessee) on April 15.

"I'm just pounding the zone and I've been able to get ahead in the counts with first-pitch fastballs, but I can do that because I'm locating it very well right now," Struewing said. "My slider has been more effective this season than in the past. I've been living on the lower outside portion of the plate."

Castle was 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA entering the week, and the Cardinals had a 1.34 team ERA through eight contests.

"I'm not overpowering. I just mix in everything I have and try to locate to help the team," Castle said. "I think we're doing very well as a staff and I think our offensive production is much greater than last year when we struggled to put runs on the board.

"I also think we're a year older and a year better on defense. So when you're getting more offensive support and the defense is making plays, you're a lot more relaxed, comfortable and confident on the mound."

Castle was leading the Cardinals' offense through 10 games, hitting .600 (21-for-35) with two home runs, 15 runs scored and 21 RBI.

"Trent is a very good athlete who would succeed no matter where we put him," Olson said. "He's our best all-around hitter and really sparks things in the No. 3 hole (in the batting order)."

Senior shortstop Joey Pischel was hitting .412 with 16 runs, and Kiehl had two home runs.

"We're doing a much better job with our offensive approach this year," Olson said. "Instead of just relying heavily on our pitching, we're moving runners, hitting the ball up the middle and to the back side and pushing across more runs.

"I'm very happy with our start, but we have to remain focused and do what we do every day."

Girls lacrosse team
set for home event

The girls lacrosse team will play host to the annual Hannigan-Galipault Tournament on Saturday, April 22.

The Cardinals will face Medina at 10 a.m. and Shaker Heights at noon.

Thomas defeated Delaware 19-0 on April 6 to improve to 3-0 in the OCC-Cardinal and edged Columbus Academy 11-9 on April 17 to improve to 6-2 overall.

The Cardinals had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 16-7 loss to defending Division I state champion Upper Arlington on April 4. After losing to DeSales 8-7 in the season opener March 18, Thomas beat Dublin Scioto 24-3 on March 23, Olentangy 15-7 on March 28, Bradley 20-2 on March 30 and Cincinnati Ursuline Academy 21-2 on April 1.

Against UA, senior attackers Jenna Rao and Addison Hamilton scored four and three goals, respectively.

Boys track team
shines at Coffman

Arjun Jha, Kainnan Ramsey and Cade Richeson won individual titles to help the boys track and field team finish second (95 points) in the 16-team Dublin Classic on April 15 at Coffman, behind Pickerington Central (122).

Ramsey won the 100 meters (11.24 seconds), Jha won the 3,200 (9:26.87), Richeson won the discus (171 feet, 1 inch) and the 3,200 relay of Jha, Andrew Morgan, Joshua Allen and Ty Banks finished first (7:57.46).

Richeson placed second in the shot put (54-8 1/4), Zander Wigney was second in the 400 (51.25) and the 800 relay of Antoine Cole, Michael Bowen, James Gaiters and Curtez Garner was runner-up (1:32.04).

Placing third were Ramsey in the 200 (22.96) and Khalil Jones in both the 300 hurdles (40.29) and long jump (20-9 1/4).

The girls team placed sixth (45) in the Dublin Classic, behind champion Central (128).

Lauren Hitt placed second in the discus (116-9) and Gia Napoleon was second in the 1,600 (5:04.6).

Finishing fourth were Sarah Charley in the long jump (16-1/2), the 400 relay of Charley, Tylisha Ray, Stephanie Osafo and Curt'lynn Garner (50.99) and the 1,600 relay of Chris-tina Nash, Breanne Beatty, Sonia Mustric and Napoleon (4:08.38).

Finch, Montgomery
select colleges

Two senior student-athletes recently announced their college decisions.

Gabe Finch will compete in men's swimming at Iona in New York, and Jake Montgomery will play men's basketball at Saint Leo in Florida.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek