The Whetstone High School baseball team hoped to have the City League-North Division title wrapped up before its league finale Thursday, May 4, at home against Centennial.
However, that wouldn't diminish the importance of the game, especially for the Braves' six seniors.
"It's senior night and it's against our rival, so it's an important game for those reasons alone," coach Tim Broskie said. "It's also a big week for us because we've got a very good Northland team on (May 1) and they gave us our toughest league contest this year (5-4 win on April 5). If we beat them and East (May 3), we'll clinch before the Centennial game.
"But we want to go unbeaten in the league and take that momentum into the (Division I district tournament) and then try to win our sixth straight City League championship."
The district tournament draw was April 30. The Braves are seeded 27th of 46 teams and will play host to 36th-seeded Marion Harding in the first round Monday, May 8, with the winner playing at second-seeded Hilliard Darby in the second round Wednesday, May 10. Whetstone has not played either team this season.
The Braves were 16-5 overall and 9-0 in the City-North before playing Northland on May 1. Entering the week, Centennial was second in the league at 7-2.
Whetstone went 2-2 last week, beating Linden-McKinley 19-0 on April 24 and Beechcroft 14-0 on April 28 in league games and losing to Granville 10-4 on April 25 and Lancaster 15-1 on April 27.
"Our four senior starters -- Jack Staggs, Michael Ray, Connor Flanagan and Justin McDaniel -- have done a wonderful job with the leadership this year," Broskie said. "They don't want to fool around and be the ones to break this streak. They're bringing their 'A' game every day because they know the history of this program and they realize how hard everyone in the league is coming after us."
Through 21 games, McDaniel led the Braves in batting average (.463), runs scored (29), home runs (2) and RBI (25) and had six doubles. On the mound, he was 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 18 innings.
Other offensive leaders included Cameron Bragg (.451, 21 runs, 12 RBI), Jacob Hochstetler (.429, 6 doubles, 19 runs, 17 RBI), Dalton Daugherty (.354, 2 triples, 14 RBI), Staggs (.351, 2 triples, 25 runs, 20 RBI), Flanagan (.333) and Ray (.317, 21 runs, 15 RBI) and Evan Cossin (14 RBI).
On the mound, Jacob Price was 3-0 with a save and a 0.00 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 19 innings, Seth Bragg was 3-1 with a save, a 1.75 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 24 innings and Davis Kleen was 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings.
Softball team set for
showdown with Stars
The softball team was 14-6 overall and 9-1 in the City-North before playing Northland on May 1 and East on May 3.
With wins over the Vikings and Tigers, the Braves would be in position to play for first place in the league Thursday, May 4, at home against Centennial.
The Stars entered the week 9-0 in league play. Both Whetstone and Centennial also have to make up a league game. If the Braves and Stars end up tied for first in the City-North, they would have a playoff game to determine the league champion. The champion would represent the division in the City championship game.
"In order to have that possibility, we have to win those three league games and then reschedule a makeup with International and (Centennial has) a makeup with East," coach Larry Peck said. "We got in this situation because we blew a 7-0 lead to (the Stars) at their place (April 10) and lost 10-9. I'm still shaking my head about that one. I look back at it and we were one strike or two mental errors away from winning, but we didn't get that done and (Centennial) scored seven runs in the fifth inning."
The Braves went 4-1 last week, beating Linden 18-5 on April 24, International 18-2 on April 26 and Beechcroft 20-0 on April 28 in league play and defeating Franklin Heights 11-5 on April 25. They lost to West Jefferson 7-0 on April 27.
"We played well against West Jefferson except for one bad inning again," Peck said. "It was a scoreless game until the fifth when we made four errors and they scored six runs. We've had four very bad innings this year, but we've generally played pretty well with the exception of those bad innings."
Through 16 games, pitcher Bailey Waitkus led the Braves with a .700 batting average, followed by third baseman Gwyn Armstrong (.571), second baseman/outfielder Jolie Mason (.545), outfielder Heaven McWilliams (.515), shortstop Roz Hannah (.470) and first baseman Lexi Spiropoulos (.400).
The Division I district tournament draw was April 30. The Braves are seeded 32nd of 46 teams and will play at 20th-seeded Westerville North in the first round Monday, May 8, with the winner playing at 13th-seeded Westerville Central in the second round Wednesday, May 10. Whetstone has not played either team this season.
girls track team
Jamie Bossenbroek finished first in the 300-meter hurdles in 47.8 seconds to lead the girls track and field team in the home Braves Invitational on April 26.Slideshow •View photos from the Braves Invitational on April 26.
Whetstone totaled 48 points to place sixth behind champion Watterson (93.5) as 14 teams scored.
Bossenbroek joined Sofia McLemore, Arielle Swinehart and Mariyanna Lacy on the second-place 1,600 relay (4:24.94). The distance medley relay of Callie Umbarger, Sabrina Vedovato, Adrien Delapp and Bryn Van Dommelen also placed second (15:24.55).
Finishing third were McLemore in the 100 (12.62) and Lacy in the 800 (2:37.13).
The boys team placed fifth (51) in the Braves Invitational behind champion Walnut Ridge (92) as 14 teams scored.
Whetstone did not have any winners. Placing second were Ibrahim Sesay in the long jump (20 feet, 9 3/4 inches), Will Gibson in the shot put (43-9 1/2) and the distance medley relay of Francisco Soto, Hassan Sesay, Pak McCollum and Sam Khoury (11:47.19).
The 1,600 relay of Adreon Barrett, Ephrayim Robinson, Andrew Pierce and Ibrahim Sesay was third (3:29.19).