Aidan Rice threw well enough to win, but the senior pitcher for the St. Charles Preparatory School baseball team was on the losing end of a 2-1 decision to Hartley on April 15 in CCL play.

It wasn’t what he wanted from the game, but Rice chalked it up as a learning experience. He accepts the fact that in baseball, a game sometimes doesn’t go according to plan.

“It’s the unforgiving part about baseball is that you can be ‘on’ that day and lose the game even if you thought you pitched your best,” said Rice, who was 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA, 25 strikeouts and seven walks in 33 2/3 innings through 14 games. “Sometimes it’s difficult working in situations where you give up a lot of hits and you are trying to work out of it. It can seem never-ending when you’re out there and the hits just keep coming. It’s hard to control because there are a lot of things going on at once.”

Against the Hawks, Rice allowed seven hits in seven innings with five strikeouts and one walk. He threw first-pitch strikes on 22 of 28 batters and 62 of his 88 pitches were strikes. The right-hander also induced 13 groundball outs.

Coach Ray Benjamin said Rice’s ability to wiggle out of tough situations comes from him loving the experience.

“Aidan brings a lot to the team,” Benjamin said. “He’s baseball kid. He can pitch one day and go to shortstop the next and can even (be a designated hitter) for us. You can put him at third or wherever you want to.

“Aidan is not going to blow it by anybody. He uses all of the plate and nothing he throws is really straight. He’s a competitor. He knows how to pitch, and he’s just a baseball player. When he’s on the field, we have an opportunity to win.”

Rice said he throws a fastball, slider, curveball, changeup and cut-fastball and tries to stay one step ahead of the batter.

“I throw at about 80 (mph), so I don’t throw really hard, I just locate it,” he said. “I like pitching a lot more because there is more control. I like to run the game and be in charge. I like to have the pressure on me if we are going to win or lose the game. I can sway that more so as a pitcher than at other positions.”

Rice also is one of the Cardinals’ top hitters, batting .343 with nine runs, three RBI, four stolen bases and a .425 on-base percentage.

“I swing at the first pitch that I like,” he said. “I like to get the first fastball I see, no matter where it is on the plate. Coach likes that first-pitch approach.”

The Cardinals were 7-7 overall before playing Dublin Scioto on April 23 and 0-2 in the CCL before playing Watterson on April 24.

“When Aidan’s going right, he’s as good as we have,” Benjamin said. “Like a lot of our guys, we need to get quality at-bats. We have to hit line drives.

“We have had some tough luck. Every game with the exception of Westerville Central (10-5 loss April 11) and DeSales (8-4 loss April 17) has been decided by one or two runs. We’re getting there and I like what we’re doing.”

Rice plans to attend the College of Mount St. Vincent in the Bronx, New York. He expects to study communications and writing and also play baseball.

Until then, he’s savoring his time with the Cardinals, especially the CCL contests.

“You have to play with a different attitude in CCL games,” he said. “You have to have the whole team in it, which sounds cliché, but it’s amazing when you get the whole team – the whole dugout – into it. I can remember the emotion in those games as a freshman or sophomore. You can just feel the energy is different.”

Sprinters lead track team to early success

The track and field team has started quickly by winning three meet titles and finishing highly in a fourth.

The Cardinals won the 16-team Newark Invitational on March 30, the 19-team Lexington Invitational on April 6 and the six-team Russ Owen Bexley Relays on April 12. They were seventh (41 points) of 22 teams in the Mansfield Mehock Relays on April 13 behind champion Grand Rapids (Michigan) East Kentwood (104.2) with only a small group of sprinters competing, according to coach John Leskovich.

“The guys are going well,” Leskovich said. “We’re really excited about what we have been doing, especially at Newark, Lexington, Bexley and Mansfield.”

Isaiah Yarngo, Ethan Simpson, Donavan Allen and Roland Rowe had record-breaking performances in two sprint relays at Bexley. They set meet and program records in both the 400-meter relay (42.5 seconds) and 800 relay (1:29.8).

“The boys are really doing well and it has been pretty exciting,” Leskovich said. “We have a young sprint corps that is juniors and sophomores and they have performed great for us.”

Franz, Lancia leading way in volleyball

Jake Franz and Nathan Lancia have been leading the volleyball team, which was 11-3 overall before playing Olentangy on April 24 and is 3-0 in the CCL.

The defending Division II state champion Cardinals also were the top-ranked team in last week’s state poll.

Franz was averaging 12.5 assists and 2.8 digs per set and had 19 aces through 14 matches, and Lancia was averaging 4.8 kills and 3.2 digs and had 18 aces. Alex McLane was averaging 3.9 kills, 3.5 digs and had 22 aces, and Ted Hofmeister was averaging 5.4 digs and had 15 aces.

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the St. Charles baseball, lacrosse, tennis, track & field and volleyball teams:

BASEBALL

*April 26- At Ready

April 27- At Hilliard Darby

April 30 – Home vs. Dublin Jerome

*May 1 – At Hartley. The Cardinals lost to the Hawks 2-1 on April 15.

LACROSSE

April 25 – Home vs. Columbus Academy

April 26 – At Bexley

April 27 – Home vs. McMurray (Pa.) Peters Township

TENNIS

April 25 – At Olentangy

April 27 – Worthington Cup at Kilbourne

April 29 – At Olentangy Orange

*April 30 – Home vs. Watterson

TRACK & FIELD

April 27 – Anthony Wilson Invitational at Franklin Heights

VOLLEYBALL

*April 26 – Home vs. DeSales. The Cardinals defeated the Stallions 25-22, 25-8, 25-18 on April 9.

April 29 – Home vs. Dublin Coffman

*League contest