Whetstone Roundup: Braves baseball team gets out to solid start

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Whetstone's Alex Hurd pitches during a scrimmage at Watterson on March 24. Through 10 games, Hurd was batting .310 (9-for-29) and had scored 13 runs, helping the Braves to a 7-3 start.

The Whetstone baseball team got out to a strong start this season, winning its first six games. 

Coach Tim Broskie saw the Braves dominate fellow City League programs and teams from non-OCC schools. 

“The senior leadership was outstanding in those games,” he said. “Everybody understood their roles, and the captains did a really good job rallying the troops and everything.”

But the Braves encountered a small skid since then and were 7-3 before facing DeSales on April 14. 

Against OCC competition, the Braves dropped three games, falling 7-6 at Hilliard Bradley on April 5, 10-0 at Westerville Central on April 6 and 7-4 at Dublin Scioto on April 10. 

“Spring break was a little bit disappointing, but the competition went up big time,” Broskie said. 

Broskie said Whetstone has to play flawless baseball to compete with OCC teams. Against Scioto, he said the Braves left nine runners on base and had two runners picked off. 

“When you make a mistake, things get magnified,” he said. “We know we can compete with some of these OCC teams, but we have to get some wins when we’re given the opportunity. We’re beyond moral victories. Those years are over.” 

Charlie Burleson has been among the standouts at the plate, batting .414 (12-for-29) through 10 games with 12 RBI and nine runs scored. Zach Casto was hitting .429 (12-for-28).

Drew Burleson and Michael Newell-Dimoff both were hitting .455 (10-for-22). Drew Burleson had 11 RBI and 16 runs, and Newell-Dimoff had three doubles and 11 runs. 

John Longar was 2-2 on the mound with a 3.60 ERA, 18 strikeouts and six walks. He also was hitting .400 (10-for-25) with 16 RBI and three doubles.

Alex Hurd was batting .310 (9-for-29) and had scored 13 runs.

The Braves play at Westerville North, another OCC opponent, on April 22. 

Softball team growing

with tough competition 

The softball team was 3-3 before playing at Northland on April 14 – a record coach Larry Peck wishes could be better. However, he said he has no doubts its a record the Braves will improve on in the weeks ahead. 

One of those losses came against Hilliard Davidson on April 13, as Whetstone fell 16-1. 

But Peck said playing teams such as Davidson will prepare the Braves for tough competition in the weeks ahead.

“When I schedule Hilliard Davidson, there’s a specific reason I’m scheduling Hilliard Davidson,” Peck said. “It’s a great measuring stick of who we want to be and where we actually are.

“We know where we’re at, and we know where we want to be. I wish we were better than 3-3, but as a coach, we’re where I would like to be.” 

Peck said the Braves still have several areas to iron out, but one area where they’re excelling is at the plate. 

Through six games, the Braves had four players hitting .500 or better in Elizabeth Absalom (.548), Larae Portis (.500), Gretchen Moss (.500) and Ellen Edwards (.500). Amelia Morris and Allie Renshaw were both hitting .400. 

“We are truly a work in progress,” Peck said. “We are hitting the ball well (and) we are playing better defense. We’re still finding our way as far as pitching goes, (and) we are figuring some things out defensively.”

Peck said he would like to see better baserunning in the weeks ahead. 

“We’re being kind of aggressive ... and that’s something we can get fixed,” he said. “There’s nothing we can’t get fixed.” 

The Braves play at Beechcroft on April 23. 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve