The Grove City baseball team has had a lot of success since Ryan Alexander took over as coach prior to the 2009 season.
The Greyhounds won Division I district titles in 2011, '12 and '14 and were state semifinalists in 2011 and '12. In addition, they won OCC-Ohio Division championships in 2010, '12, '14, '15 and '17.
Grove City finished 18-9 overall and 8-6 in the OCC-Ohio in 2018 but slipped to 12-16 and 5-9 last season. The Greyhounds were looking to have a bounce-back season this spring and contend for district and league titles behind their 13-member senior class.
However, the spring sports season was canceled April 20 because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"I hate it," Alexander said. "We're all out here bored out of our minds. We definitely didn't have our best year last season."
The Greyhounds' pitching staff from a year ago was nearly depleted by graduation. Among those who were expected to be key contributors on the mound this season were seniors Cole Schreck and Gavin Wolf.
Last season, Wolf appeared in 10 games, posting a 1-5 record with a 4.82 ERA, 12 strikeouts and 17 walks in 24 2/3 innings.
"My teammates and I worked really hard this offseason," Wolf said. "I pushed myself harder than I ever pushed myself before to make us a team better. It really sucks that we're not going to be able to play this year. Last season put fuel to the fire for most of our guys to push themselves harder than they did last year, try to change things around."
Wolf has committed to play for the University of Charleston, a Division II school.
"Charleston is a smaller college and it's a perfect fit," he said. "A bigger college, you don't get as much of the school part. You don't get as close with your counselors and I really like to be close with my teachers."
Schreck saw limited time on the mound last season, appearing in only four games.
"Not only did we change as a team (since last season), we changed as individuals as well," he said. "I know a lot of us took last year as a grain of salt. Last year wasn't the best year that we were hoping for, so we really pushed ourselves to be great. We pushed ourselves to change our bodies and change as a team as well."
Schreck has committed to play for Mount Vernon Nazarene, an NAIA school.
"Mount Vernon (Nazarene) appealed to me," he said. "It felt like it was in my best interest to go there, not only as a baseball player, but as a spiritual person and for my school as well. It was the best choice for me and my family."
Several other seniors are expected to play at the collegiate level, including Luke Perigo (P), who has committed to Otterbein.
"Gavin and Cole are great kids, great kids in the classroom. Same as Perigo," Alexander said.
Jake Burris (C) committed to play at Sinclair Community College, but reopened his recruitment when the college announced it was canceling athletics for the 2020-21 academic year because of the pandemic.
Tyler Russell (DH/1B), Brayden Quincel (INF/P) and Luke Smith (1B) also were planning to play in college.
"We were trying to give some guys a chance to be seen," Alexander said. "They needed that first half of their senior year for some coaches and some colleges to really take notice of the work ethic that they've put in."