The Westerville Central High School baseball team is a contender in the competitive OCC-Buckeye Division.
The Warhawks were 9-4 overall and 3-2 in the league before playing Olentangy on April 17. They lost to the Braves 13-7 on April 15.
"All four of our league games (before April 15) have been decided by two runs or (fewer)," coach Jeff Keifer said. "This is a wide-open league. There are the rivalry games with the (other) two Westerville schools and all three Olentangys are really talented, so it's going to be a grind."
Central is seeking its first league title since 2015 when it shared the OCC-Cardinal championship with Hilliard Darby at 12-2. The Warhawks went on to reach the Division I state final, losing to Cincinnati Moeller 16-0 in five innings.
Central rebounded from its first league loss by rallying past host Olentangy Orange 6-4 on April 12. The game was moved to Orange because of unplayable field conditions at Central.
Trailing 4-2, the Warhawks tied the game with a pair of runs in the fifth inning and then took the lead with two runs in the sixth. Camron Hubble doubled and scored on Ryan Raybould's single, and Niko George followed with a run-scoring triple.
Hubble pitched out of a jam in the seventh to earn the save, as Central turned a game-ending double play.
Despite the strong start, Keifer realizes his team still can improve.
"It sometimes gets frustrating because we do so many good things and then we make a couple bonehead mistakes and that's high school baseball," he said. "If we tighten those up, we can get even better."
The Warhawks also lost at Orange 8-7 on April 10 and will play host to the Pioneers on May 3.
Central opened league play by defeating North 7-5 on April 5 and 9-8 on April 8. Hubble had a two-run home run in the second game.
Orange was 4-1 in the league before playing South on April 17, and Olentangy and Olentangy Liberty each entered play April 17 at 3-2 in the league. The Patriots are the defending state champions.
Through 12 games, Hubble was batting .465, followed by George (.444), Raybould (.438) and Justin Fleetwood (.414).
Jake Yaussy was 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA, 10 strikeouts and 10 walks in 16 2/3 innings. Hubble had a team-high two saves.
Boys lacrosse team has winning record
The boys lacrosse team was 6-4 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing North on April 16.
Central bounced back from an 11-9 loss to Olentangy on April 9 to defeat Big Walnut 13-7 on April 11 and Olentangy Berlin 14-6 on April 13.
Dawson Kindall had four goals, Jack Lammert, Mitchell Bury and Cole Peck each scored two and Avery Kuhr, Jake Schorling and Zach Rush added one apiece against Big Walnut. Logan Moore had 12 saves.
Against Berlin, Kindall scored seven goals, Lammert had four, Schorling had two and Jon Gentil added one. Moore had seven saves.
"The team is playing at a very competitive level," coach Jeremy Schocken said. "Our last two games (before April 16) have seen double-digit scores. Our four losses are by a combined seven goals. We have been in a lot of close games and I think that will help us down the stretch. (Our) team chemistry is solid. It's a great group to be around."
Boys tennis coach likes team's progress
The boys tennis team was 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Olentangy on April 16.
Central defeated North 4-1 on April 9. Winners for the Warhawks were Dipendra Kami 6-2, 6-1 at second singles, Will Arnett 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 at third singles, Lakshan Suthanthira and Krish Nair 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and Nick Buehler and Michael Weiler 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.
"We're steadily improving as a team," coach Brian Arnett said. "We've played some very good teams and have competed hard. We need to reduce unforced errors."