Whetstone Roundup: Braves baseball, softball teams win City League titles
The Whetstone baseball and softball teams found themselves in a familiar position after both played visiting Briggs for City League championships May 24.
The baseball team won 10-0 in five innings behind a strong outing from pitcher Jack Longar and finished 18-8 overall, while the softball team earned a 13-3, five-inning victory to finish 19-6 overall.
Both teams expect to win City titles, but accomplishing that goal never gets old.
“Tonight was huge,” baseball coach Tim Broskie said. “Goal No. 1 was to win the North Division (and) goal No. 2 is to win the City. I think we earned a lot of respect, a lot of the players did from everybody throughout the league. And to continue to play well at home, which was huge – that’s big. We just did a nice job.”
After last season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the baseball team won the City-North at 10-0 and earned its ninth consecutive City championship.
After a scoreless first two innings, the Braves scored three runs in the third, five in the fourth and two in the fifth. Zach Casto and Michael Newell-Dimoff both went 2-for-3 as the Braves had seven hits, but Broskie said Longar’s performance made the difference.
Longar threw 63 pitches over five innings. He struck out seven and allowed only three hits.
“I can’t say enough good things about him,” Broskie said. “Man, he gave us some great innings this year. He pitched his butt off. He just did everything. In all my time at Whetstone, this was one of the top senior performances of a pitcher (that I’ve seen).”
After winning its first City championship in six years in 2019 with an 8-7 victory over Eastmoor Academy, the softball team used a 13-hit attack to defend its title.
After a scoreless first inning, the Braves scored twice in the second and three times in the third to take a 5-0 lead. The Bruins scored three runs and had five of their six hits in the fourth.
Whetstone shut out Briggs the rest of the game while adding five runs in the bottom of the fourth and another three in the fifth.
“This game shows that hard work and learning the game of softball (pays off),” said softball coach Larry Peck, whose team won the City-North at 14-0. “We want to be a smart team and we showed it tonight (with) the way we ran the bases (and) our clutch hitting.
“Winning the City championship is always our primary goal, and to achieve that goal speaks volumes to the effort of the young ladies on this team because they worked hard all year.”
Allie Renshaw went 4-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and a stolen base. Lydia Pratt went 3-for-4 with a stolen base and Megan Harrison went 2-for-3 with five RBI.
Track teams finish
season at district
The boys and girls track and field teams finished the season in the Division I, district 3 meet that concluded May 22 at Hilliard Darby, as the boys placed 14th (7) behind champion Pickerington Central (104) and the girls did not score.
Senior Thaine Nederveld placed fifth in the boys 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 26.93 seconds) and sixth in the 3,200 (9:59.76) as he narrowly missed qualifying for the regional meet in both. The top four finishers in each event advanced to regional May 26 and 28 Pickerington North.
The 3,200 relay of senior Jake Winters, sophomores Maitland Neff and Wyatt Starkie and freshman Joshua Conroy placed 10th (9:05.62).
The girls 3,200 relay of seniors Marisa Tayal and Jane Carney, sophomore Anouk Moritz and freshman Ava Feller finished 10th (11:34.88).
Both teams did well in the City meet, as the boys tied Independence for second (91) behind Eastmoor (137) and the girls placed third (73) behind champion Northland (125).
TRACK & FIELD
•City League standings: Boys – Eastmoor (137), Independence (91), Whetstone (91), Africentric (71), Linden-McKinley (58), Beechcroft (44), Walnut Ridge (39), Centennial (23), East (19), Northland (18), South (16), Marion-Franklin (8), Mifflin (2) International (1), Briggs (1); Girls – Northland (125), Eastmoor (122), Whetstone (73), Walnut Ridge (69), Independence (58), Africentric (49), Beechcroft (45), South (43), Centennial (8), East (8), Marion-Franklin (7), Mifflin (6), Briggs (1)
•Seniors lost: Boys – Matthew Conroy, Brack Dillon, Malikahi Dudley, Thaine Nederveld, Abdourahman Sallah and Jake Winters; Girls – Jane Carney and Marisa Tayal
•Key returnees: Boys – Maitland Neff, Ishmael Obas and Wyatt Starkie; Girls – Summer Dush, Haley Harkins and Anouk Moritz
•Postseason: Boys – 14th (7) at district behind champion Pickerington Central (104); Girls – Did not score at district