Westland High School baseball coach Brent Shannon is looking forward to his first Division I district tournament.
He will attend his first tournament seeding meeting Sunday, May 5, in hopes of landing a favorable spot for his Cougars.
"I'm expecting a little respect," Shannon said. "We played most teams tough. I've heard a lot of good things from many coaches -- (including the) hall of famer at Dublin Coffman (Tim Saunders and) great coaches at Marysville -- and they all say we're tough, and I think we are. When we have our best out there, it's pretty hard to beat us. We hang in there with anyone."
The district tournament begins May 13.
Westland was 7-12 overall and 1-10 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Coffman on May 3.
After losing to Central Crossing 15-0 in five innings April 29, Westland was competitive in the rematch the next day, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Comets.
"We had multiple opportunities to win the (second) game," Shannon said. "We have potential. We have all the talent. It was just lack of preparation that first game."
Zach Mon went the distance on the mound in the second game, allowing three hits while striking out one and walking one.
Billy Holland had an RBI single in the seventh.
Westland led Marysville 1-0 in the first inning May 1 before the Monarchs scored three times in the bottom of the inning on their way to a 7-1 win in a game shortened to 5 1/2 innings because of bad weather.
Mon scored on a single by Franklin Ramirez for the Cougars' run.
Through 18 games, Mon was batting a team-high .408, followed by Holland (.357) and Ramirez (.346).
Ramirez led with 17 RBI, followed by Mon with 10, and they were tied for the team lead in doubles with four.
"When we put it together, we're a pretty good team," Shannon said. "We have a lot of momentum going into the tournament. We're playing good baseball. If we can get over the hump and score a few more runs for our pitchers, we can win a lot more games."
Softball team to visit Northland
The softball team is seeded 37th of 45 teams for the Division I district tournament and visits 36th-seeded Northland in the first round Monday, May 6.
The winner plays at fifth-seeded Marysville in the second round Wednesday, May 8, and that winner plays in a district semifinal May 13.
Westland lost to Marysville 15-0 on April 10 and 20-0 on April 22, both in five innings, in OCC-Central play.
The Cougars were 6-13 overall before playing Canal Winchester on May 2 and finished 0-10 in the OCC-Central. They closed league play with a 14-3 five-inning loss to Central Crossing on May 1.
Track teams prepare for league meet
The boys and girls track and field teams continue to prepare for the OCC-Central meet Thursday, May 9, and Saturday, May 11, at Hilliard Davidson.
The Cougars competed in the Tigers Invitational on May 3 at Columbus East after turning in solid efforts in the Anthony Wilson Invitational on April 27 at Franklin Heights.
Aja Nathans led the girls, winning the 3,200 meters (13 minutes, 18.38 seconds) and finishing second in the 1,600 (6:10.02). Nathans, Jordyn Anderson, Taylor Gullion and Lisette Sevilla were second in the 3,200 relay (11:43.3), and Anderson was fourth in the 1,600 (6:18.25) and 3,200 (14:16.79).
The girls finished sixth (44 points) of 11 teams behind champion Grove City (149).
Abi Aden was third in the long jump (19 feet, 3/4 inch), tied for third in the high jump (5-4) and placed fourth in the 300 hurdles (43.18) to help lead the boys. Caleb McManaway was third in the discus (121-2) and Bakar Dabo was third in the shot put (41-6).
The boys finished eighth (35) of 13 teams behind champion St. Charles (129).
"We have some inexperienced kids doing some inexperienced things, not behaviorally wise, just things they have to learn," coach Tim Eckard said. "It was a good experience for some of our younger kids. Overall, I'm definitely proud and I'm definitely happy with how the kids performed."
Below is the coming schedule for the Westland baseball team:
*May 6 -- Upper Arlington at Fred Beekman Park. The Cougars lost to the Golden Bears 14-0 in five innings April 15 and 8-0 on April 17.
*May 8 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson. The Cougars lost to the Wildcats 14-1 on April 22 and won 3-1 on April 24.
*May 10 -- At Central Crossing. The Cougars lost to the Comets 15-0 in five innings April 29 and 2-1 on April 30.