Westerville South High School baseball coach Tim Bates hopes his team's bats are getting hot at the perfect time.
The Wildcats entered their game May 6 against Olentangy Orange coming off a combined 26 hits in their previous two contests, wins over Westerville Central (10-7 on April 30) and Olentangy (11-10 on May 2).
With a 7-6 loss to the Pioneers, South slipped to 8-10 overall and 4-8 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Olentangy Liberty on May 7.
"The three guys who got hot last week were Jake Llaneza, Matthew Bame and Jack Lovell," Bates said. "The team had 26 hits in two games, so it just goes to show that hitting is contagious."
South closes the regular season with league games against Westerville North on Thursday, May 9, and Central on Friday, May 10.
The Wildcats split two previous games with North, winning 3-1 on April 22 and losing 8-1 on April 24. They also lost to Central 8-6 on April 29.
South is seeded 29th of 48 teams in the Division I district tournament and visits 24th-seeded Whetstone in the first round Monday, May 13. The winner plays at seventh-seeded Upper Arlington in the second round Wednesday, May 15.
"We're gearing up for the tournament," Bates said. "People are getting healthy. Everybody is coming back and we have (a few more days) to prepare for the tournament."
Through 17 games, Llaneza was batting a team-high .409, followed by Bame (.345), Michael Dailey (.340), Lovell (.324), Nick McConnell (.310) and Keyton Kowalski (.300).
Dailey (17), Llaneza (16), McConnell (13) and Brayden White (13) led in RBI, Bame (14) and Llaneza (14) led in runs, Dailey (5) led in doubles and White had the team's lone home run.
On the mound, White was 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA, 18 strikeouts and 18 walks in 21 2/3 innings.
Track and field teams compete at Otterbein
The boys and girls track and field teams competed in the Warhawk Invitational on May 3 at Otterbein.
Maria Hayes won the 300-meter hurdles (48.94 seconds), Makayla Roberts was second in the discus (107 feet, 3 inches) and Josephine Appiah was second in the high jump (5-0) to lead the girls, who finished fourth (71 points) of 16 teams behind champion Central (158).
Ibukunoluwa Alfred was third in the 200 (22.65) and 110 hurdles (15.38) and Cole Koehler was third in the 2,000 steeplechase (6:41.39) to lead the boys, who finished ninth (45) of 16 teams behind champion Canal Winchester (113).
Both teams are competing in the OCC-Buckeye meet, which began May 8 at North and concludes Saturday, May 11, at Hilliard Davidson.
The Wildcats then will compete in the Division I, district 3 meet Wednesday, May 15, May 16 and May 18 at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advance to regional May 22 and 24 at Pickerington North.
Softball team falls in postseason opener
The 39th-seeded softball team finished coach Emily Swank-Kavanaugh's second season 5-17 overall, losing 9-5 at 29th-seeded Reynoldsburg in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 6.
The Wildcats closed OCC-Buckeye play with a 10-5 loss at Central on May 1. They finished 0-10 in the league to place sixth behind the champion Warhawks (10-0).
Below are the coming schedules for the South boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse and boys tennis teams:
May 11 -- Home vs. 17th-seeded North in Division I, Region 1 play-in game. The Wildcats lost to the Warriors 13-6 on May 4. Winner plays at top-seeded Dublin Coffman in first round May 14. The Wildcats are seeded 16th of 18 teams.
May 14 -- At fifth-seeded Medina in first round of Division I, Region 1 tournament. Winner plays sixth-seeded Strongsville or 10th-seeded Bruns-wick in quarterfinal May 17. The Wildcats are seeded 13th of 15 teams.
May 9, 11 -- Division I sectional at Pickerington Central. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district May 16 and 18 at Reynoldsburg.