Hilliard Davidson High School baseball coach Justin Swallie believes his team still can be a threat in the coming Division I district tournament despite its record.
The Wildcats were 3-11 overall before playing Worthington Kilbourne on April 23 and 2-5 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Westland on April 24. They defeated the Cougars 14-1 on April 22.
"I guarantee we're one of the better (3-11) teams around," Swallie said. "We're a team that nobody wants to play. We want to win the second half of the season because we still have 14 regular-season games (before April 22) and the tournament. There's still a lot of baseball and that's what we keep telling our guys. We're not packing it in. The boys are excited."
Davidson snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 7-4 victory over visiting Central Crossing on April 15, but the Comets avenged that loss with a 4-2 home win over the Wildcats two days later.
"Anytime you can get the win, that's what we're looking for. But it did feel good because obviously we were reeling there for a little bit," Swallie said. "Anytime you get the win, you get that monkey off your back."
Davidson begins the third round of league play Wednesday, May 1, at Dublin Coffman, looking to gain momentum heading into the district tournament, which begins May 13.
The Wildcats have been competitive in most of their games, losing by three runs or fewer in seven of their 11 losses.
"We sit and look at our record and it's not where it has been, but we've been very competitive," Swallie said. "We've been in a lot of games. We had a great game against Lancaster (a 2-1 loss on March 30), who's one of the top teams in the district. We went to extra innings with Olentangy (a 5-4, eight-inning loss April 13). We're right on that cusp. We just have to find ways to win games instead of finding ways to lose games."
Through 13 games, Drew Yoder was batting .500, followed by Alex Painter (.375), Ryan Mayr (.333), Nick Dymek (.326), Grant Cowan (.324), Christian Sweet (.318) and Cameron Curry (.300).
Sweet led the team with nine RBI and Dymek had a team-high five doubles.
Nick Sands and Joey Sheets each earned a win on the mound.
Swallie expects Austin Conrad to lead the pitching staff heading into the postseason. He was 0-1 with a 1.82 ERA, seven strikeouts and five walks in 15 1/3 innings.
Davidson is facing its first losing season since 2016 when it finished 11-16.
"We need to figure things out," Swallie said. "It's tough because it's not the season we expected, but the boys are still working hard. It's a great group of guys and we'll get it turned around. It's just going out and getting repetitions, getting that experience and getting in those game-like situations."
Softball coach earns milestone victory
Softball coach Katie Speakman earned her 100th win with her team's 13-0, five-inning victory over Whetstone on April 13.
Davidson was 8-8 overall before playing Licking Heights on April 23 and 2-4 in the OCC-Central before playing Upper Arlington on April 24. The Wildcats lost to Coffman 8-1 on April 22.
"The team is progressing very well," Speakman said. "What impresses me most about where we were from the beginning of the season to now is that we compete every single game. We have come from behind to win a few games this season. The players have fight in them, they don't quit. They want to win, they want to compete and they work hard for one another as well."
Through 15 games, CiCi Keidel was batting .464 with 19 RBI, 24 runs scored, five doubles, 10 triples and one home run.
Natalie Myers was hitting .395 with eight extra-base hits, 11 RBI and 13 runs, Abby Mullins was batting .396 with 13 RBI, Erin Hennessy was batting .375 and Carlie Champion was hitting .370 with 18 runs.
Track teams finish second at Liberty
The boys and girls track and field teams both finished second of seven teams in the rain-shortened Freedom Relays on April 19 at Olentangy Liberty.
The boys scored 57 points to finish behind Liberty (63), as Josiah Ezirim won both the discus (131 feet, 4 inches) and shot put (48-1 1/2) and Christian Gillilan won the high jump (5-8).
The girls also totaled 57 points to finish behind the host Patriots (76), as the 6,400-meter relay (22 minutes, 15.97 seconds) and the distance medley relay (13:22.61) both finished first, Emilee Fecht won the discus (99-5) and was runner-up in the shot put (33-3) and Whitney Ho placed second in the discus (97-5).
Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis, track & field and boys volleyball teams:
*April 26 -- Home vs. Marysville
*April 29 -- At Marysville
May 1 -- At Dublin Coffman. The Wildcats lost to the Shamrocks 2-1 on April 5 and 11-4 on April 8.
April 26 -- Home vs. Hudson
*April 30 -- At Marysville
May 2 -- Home vs. Thomas Worth-ington
*April 30 -- Home vs. Marysville
May 2 -- At Dublin Scioto
*April 25 -- At Central Crossing. The Wildcats defeated the Comets 12-9 on April 15.
April 27 -- Home vs. Westerville North and Thomas
*April 29 -- Home vs. Westland. The Wildcats defeated the Cougars 11-1 on April 17.
April 30 -- Home vs. Scioto
*May 1 -- At Marysville. The Wildcats lost to the Monarchs 11-4 on April 18.
April 25 -- At Bradley
April 27 -- Worthington Cup at Worthington Kilbourne
April 30 -- Home vs. Westerville Central
May 1 -- Home vs. Pickerington North
TRACK & FIELD
April 25 -- Wildcat Premier at home
April 30 -- At Bradley with Darby
*April 25 -- At Coffman. The Wildcats lost to the Shamrocks 25-9, 25-22, 25-18 on April 8.
*April 30 -- Home vs. Pickerington North. The Wildcats defeated the Panthers 25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 24-26, 15-13 on April 9.