Briggs High School baseball coach Joe Krabill told people before this season that this could be the year his team sees its City League-South Division title streak come to an end.
It didn’t happen.
For the 11th consecutive season, the Bruins represented the City-South in the City final, which it lost May 24 to Whetstone 12-0 in five innings.
Briggs, which entered the game having lost 10 City finals in a row, including the last four under Krabill, beat Eastmoor Academy 16-5 on May 20 in a playoff to determine which team would represent the City-South in the City championship game.
Briggs and Eastmoor both went 13-1 in the league, and the Bruins finished 15-11 overall after the City final.
“We really only have two seniors that play, and the rest are underclassmen,” Krabill said. “This year as coaches, we’ve had to do a lot more teaching and a lot more positional instruction in how to get better.”
Briggs was the 40th seed for the Division I district tournament and opened with a 10-0 victory over 41st-seeded Northland on May 14. The Bruins then lost to fifth-seeded Lancaster 5-0 on May 15 in the second round.
Against Lancaster, freshman Tyler Lumbard pitched six innings, allowing six hits.
“He pitched six great innings when we lost to Lancaster, and they’re ranked No. 4 in the state,” Krabill said. “His next three years, he’s going to step up. Even though he’s at Briggs, a lot of these OCC schools would like to have a pitcher like him.”
The only key seniors for the Bruins were Jordan Lumbard (1B), who was one of the team’s top hitters, and Jordan Brobst (2B).
Juniors Caleb Shope and Zach Heston also were among the team’s top pitchers, with sophomore Luke Krafft at catcher.
When not on the mound, Tyler Lumbard and Heston split time at shortstop, and Heston and Shope split time at third base.
Other key players included junior Jayden Osborne (OF), sophomore Richie Davis (CF) and freshman Jace Osborne (RF).
“We hadn’t lost a league game since 2015 until we lost to Eastmoor this year, and Eastmoor is an improved team,” Krabill said. “We depend on a freshman pitcher who’s eating up a lot of innings for us. We’ve had no senior innings and a sophomore catcher. Next year, all of these guys will be older and better.”
Track athletes compete at regional
Athletes from the City League competed in the Division I regional meet at Pickerington North and the Division III regional at Fairfield Union on May 22 and 24, while those in Division II competed May 23 and 25 at Lexington.
The top four finishers in each regional event advanced to the state meet Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, at Ohio State.
On May 23 in Division II, Linden-McKinley’s Rayontae Wilder finished 10th (19 feet, 7 1/4 inches) in the boys long jump final.
All other finals involving City athletes in Divisions I, II and III were held during the second day of their respective regional meets.
Eastmoor softball team falls short
The Eastmoor softball team fell short in its bid to win a third consecutive City championship.
The host Warriors lost to Whetstone 8-7 in the City final May 21 to finish 17-7.
Eastmoor trailed 8-4 before scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Warriors had runners on second and third base when the game ended.
Eastmoor, which went 14-0 in the City League-South Division, had only three seniors, but one was Mallory Barnes (SS/OF), who batted .738 with eight home runs, 53 RBI and 51 runs scored through 23 games.
Her sisters, junior Paige Barnes (1B/OF/P) and freshman Brooke Barnes (P/C/INF), both hit around .500.
Senior Marysa Georges (1B/3B), juniors Maliyah Eiland-Johnson (OF) and Micaela Edwards (3B/C) and sophomore Tia Elder (CF/P/SS) also were key players.
Barnes finished 7-2, Elder went 7-4 and Paige Barnes was 3-1 while splitting time at pitcher.
Briggs volleyball team falls to Cards
The third-seeded Briggs boys volleyball team lost to defending state champion and top-seeded St. Charles 25-17, 25-19, 25-18 in a Division II East Region semifinal May 21 at Worthington Kilbourne.
The Bruins, who won the City title and finished 21-6, were led by senior right-side hitter Justin Sharfenaker. A Lincoln Memorial commit, Sharfenaker had more than 500 kills this season.
Senior outside hitter Quinten Johnson, who was second on the team in kills, and classmates Brian Haag (middle hitter/outside hitter), Alvin Lucky (middle hitter), Bryan Munoz (defensive special-ist/libero) and Solomon Overla (setter/outside hitter) also were key players.