Gahanna Lincoln Roundup: Zach Marzetz playing lead role for Lions baseball team

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Zach Marzetz has been the No. 1 pitcher for Gahanna this season, earning victories in each of his first three starts. He also is the only Lions player returning from the 2019 team that went 19-8 and was a Division I district runner-up.

By the end of his sophomore season in 2019, Zach Marzetz had moved into such a prominent role for the Gahanna Lincoln baseball team that he started its Division I district semifinal. 

That doesn’t mean it’s been easy to transition into being the team’s No. 1 pitcher and a leader now that he’s a senior and the only player returning from the team that went 19-8 and was a district runner-up in 2019. 

“It’s definitely different, to say the least,” Marzetz said. “I’m used to being the one that’s picked on, and I’m the big kid now. It's a little pressure, but I’ve been waiting for it for my whole life and I love this team.” 

The Lions were 5-5 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Ohio Division after splitting their two games with New Albany, winning 5-2 on April 16 as senior Carter Barnes picked up the win in relief, and losing 8-1 on April 19. 

They were scheduled to face Westerville Central on April 22 in league play. 

Marzetz earned victories in each of his first three starts, including in a 12-0, five-inning win over Westland on April 13 in which he threw just 70 pitches. 

He suffered a minor wrist injury while at the plate in that game but returned to start the second game against New Albany. The score was tied at 1 heading into the bottom of the sixth when the Eagles put together a seven-run inning. 

Marzetz had been considering the University of Charleston and Marietta before deciding April 21 to commit to Marietta. Charleston is a Division II program that can offer scholarship money while Marietta is a Division III school that cannot, but the cost is similar because of the academic aid he can receive from Marietta. 

"If I’m able to (pitch at) my pace, I’m very comfortable,” Marzetz said. “Once the pandemic started, my dad and I came (to Gahanna’s baseball field) at least six times a (week), hitting in the cage, doing long toss, some short toss. It’s paying off hitting-wise and pitching-wise.” 

Marzetz has been batting third in the lineup, with senior center fielder Jordan Daniels usually batting leadoff and junior second baseman Brady Reed hitting second. 

Senior Cameron Lewis has been the regular third baseman and cleanup hitter. 

“The one really swinging it for us is Cam Lewis,” coach Mike Shade said. “His bat is in the zone and he’s squaring the ball up consistently. 

“There’s been a lot of unknowns. We only had one coming back and that was Zach, and he’s got (our first) three wins on the mound and (gave) up one earned run (through his first three starts). He’s one of our captains, and offensively he’s done a good job of timely hitting.” 

Lewis played for the junior varsity B team as a freshman and then lost his sophomore season because of an elbow injury that took place while he was pitching. 

Despite that loss of time combined with not having a season last spring, Lewis believed he was ready to take on a key hitting role in addition to joining an infield that also has featured senior Trey Burger at shortstop, junior Garrett Helsel at first base and senior Bryan Von Moegen and junior Brady Broshar as the primary catchers. 

“I feel like we’re starting to get momentum,” Lewis said. “Once our bats get started, we start to roll and we all feel good. I’ve been putting in the time in the offseason and in summer ball and that’s helped me adjust to the varsity season so far.” 

Girls lacrosse team 

works during break 

After losing 17-9 to Granville on April 10, the girls lacrosse team was scheduled to play Pickerington North on April 13, but the game was postponed because the Panthers had a COVID-19 quarantine. 

The Lions ended up with 10 days between their loss to Granville and their next game, a 17-3 setback to New Albany on April 20 in an OCC-Ohio contest. That dropped Gahanna to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in the league. 

“We’ve definitely been working on everything we need for our next game, but we need to build some more team chemistry and with COVID, that’s been hard to do,” coach Stephanie Belz said. “We’re making sure we don’t get down on each other in games. We were competitive against Granville and (in an 11-4 loss) to (Hilliard) Darby (on April 8).” 

The Lions played the first seven games without senior attacker Kenzie Streby after she was hurt during the team’s second scrimmage in mid-March. Streby was the leading returning scorer from 2019, when she had 36 goals. 

Senior attacker Anna Linnabary, senior midfielder Gabbi D’Alberto and junior defender Kendall Barker have led their respective units, according to Belz, with freshman midfielder Addy Haines serving as the team’s leader in draw controls. 

Freshmen Olivia Hall (midfielder) and Lili Stancev (attacker) also have been key contributors. 

“Kenzie Streby fell on her hand in the second scrimmage and had a minor fracture in her wrist, so hopefully we get her back soon because that would be a big (help),” Belz said. “We have three freshmen in Addy Haines, Olivia Hall and Lili Stancey who have definitely gotten more playing time than was expected at the beginning of the season.” 

Kirnan Bailey and a young Gahanna softball team have been working to improve. "I kind of expected it to take us a while to jell. We’re getting a little bit better each game," coach Jim Campolo said.

Young softball 

team growing 

The softball team found out shortly before leaving for the Wendy’s Spring Classic, which was held April 16 and 17 at Brookside Park, that it was being quarantined because of a COVID-19 issue. 

The Lions, who also had to postpone their game April 19 against New Albany, were 5-3 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Ohio after beating Westland 13-0 on April 15. 

Against Westland, sophomore pitcher Ella Esterby struck out seven and threw a no-hitter, sophomore shortstop Kirnan Bailey went 2-for-4 with four runs scored, senior center fielder Kelsey Cripe was 3-for-3 with seven RBI and junior outfielder Lindsey Linker was 3-for-3 with two RBI. 

“I got the word that we were shut down (April 16),” coach Jim Campolo said. “It’s like last year all over again, but it’s a little bit different because we’re getting to play a few games. 

“We’re young. We play well at certain times and have mental lapses that cost us. I kind of expected it to take us a while to jell. We’re getting a little bit better each game. A couple of the games we’ve lost, we had chances but just didn’t get it done.” 

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek