Notebook: Grove City Greyhounds baseball team on right track

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Dennis Ritlinger-Nirider has been one of the top contributors for Grove City, batting .414 through 19 games. The Greyhounds were 15-4 overall and 8-2 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Westerville Central on May 7.

The Grove City baseball team has its main objectives in front of it, as the Greyhounds are seeking their first league title since 2017 and first district title since 2014. 

Grove City was 15-4 overall and 8-2 in the OCC-Ohio Division before playing Westerville Central on May 7.

“Our first goal always is a district title, the second goal is the OCC title and then the third goal is always trying to get 20 wins,” said coach Ryan Alexander, whose team was first in the league before playing the Eagles.

Grove City is preparing for the Division I district tournament, which begins May 17. Alexander was expecting a favorable draw at the seeding meeting, which was held May 9. 

“I’m very pleased with how our guys are approaching every day and trying to get better every day at our weaknesses,” Alexander said. “Our philosophy is always trying to look for ways to get better. We preach it all the time.” 

Through 19 games, Ty Clifton was hitting .500, followed by Dennis Ritlinger-Nirider (.414) and Keegan Holmstrom (.400). 

Jackson Ware (17), Ritlinger-Nirider (14) and Holmstrom (13) led in RBI. 

On the mound, Ethan Conley was 4-1 and had a 2.02 ERA with 28 strikeouts and seven walks in 27 2/3 innings. 

Ware was 3-1 and had a 5.08 ERA with 12 strikeouts and 12 walks in 20 2/3 innings. 

Alexander said the team’s pitching staff will be a key to its postseason success. 

“We’re one of the teams that has three really good aces (in Conley, Holmstrom and Ware), and then we have a couple of really good relief pitchers who have been awesome for us this year,” Alexander said. “Our backbone is going to be getting a strong pitching start and we’ve had timely hitting. We’ve been able to play the style of baseball that we want to play to be successful.” 

•The Grove City boys and girls track and field teams are preparing for the Division I district meet.

The girls team is seeded 33rd and will compete in district 3 on May 19, 20 and 22 at Hilliard Darby. 

The boys team is seeded 36th and also will be in the district 3 meet. 

The top four finishers in each event advance to regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North. 

“We have an opportunity to get multiple kids out of district if they compete and do what they’re capable of doing,” coach Jane Taylor said. “It’s going to be hard on the girls side. There’s a lot of good competition. There is on the boys side, too.” 

Grove City prepared for the OCC-Ohio meet, which began May 12 and concludes May 15 at Thomas Worthington, by competing in the Anthony Wilson Invitational on May 1 at Franklin Heights. 

The girls finished first (182) ahead of runner-up Pickerington Central (124.5) as Brooke Armbrust and Mikayla Morgan each won a pair of individual events. 

Armbrust finished first in the 100 meters (13.09 seconds) and long jump (16 feet, 6 inches), and Morgan won the 100 hurdles (17.83) and 300 hurdles (51.63). 

Taylor also is looking for strong performances from Leah Boswell in the discus, Morgan in the pole vault and Morgan Waterman in the high jump. 

The boys finished fourth (77) behind champion Central (115) at Franklin Heights. 

Finishing second were Devin Dawson in the 800 (2:07.08), Tyson Evans in the 110 hurdles (16.79), A.J. Jones in the shot put (41-5) and Dawson, Dylan Boso, Tyler Lloyd and Bryan Ransburgh in the 3,200 relay (8:44.78). 

Taylor also expects strong efforts from Caden Gordon in the sprints and Evans in the pole vault during the postseason. 

—Frank DiRenna 

•The throwers led the Central Crossing boys and girls track teams during a home meet April 27 against St. Charles and Whetstone.

Abel Garantche won the shot put (39-3 1/2) and discus (111-9) for the boys team, which scored 125 points to finish ahead of runner-up St. Charles (109). Andrew Raucho was first in the 3,200 (12:07.83).

Also winning were the 400 relay (47.6) of Joshua Codjoe, Alec Boyd, Dominique Wilkins and Dylan Adams, the 800 relay (1:40.14) of Conner Hewlett, Justin Schailey, Xavier Valentine and A.J. Farmer and the 1,600 relay (3:55.92) of Jon Carroll, Jordan Niehaus, Matt Groom and Raucho. 

Amya Nelson was first in the discus (51-9) and shot put (26-10) for the girls, who scored 139 points to finish ahead of second-place Whetstone (111). Other individual winners were Iliana Men-Hartley in the 300 hurdles (58.04), Delaney Bell in the high jump (4-4) and Hannah Scoggin in the 800 (2:46.28) and 1,600 (6:08.01). 

Scoggin also was on the first-place 1,600 relay (4:44.82) with Rachel Sinyuk, Nevaeh Battle and Yvonni Ferguson.

—Scott Hennen

•The Central Crossing boys tennis team will compete in a Division I sectional May 13 and 15 at Hilliard Bradley.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district May 20 and 22 at Reynoldsburg.

Calvin Lim, Bogdan Semchishin and Max Shishlo will play singles, while Jeremy Pauquette and Andrew Semchishin and Jesse Nlemchi and Tre Tipton will make up the doubles teams.

The Comets finished 1-4 in the OCC-Buckeye by defeating Groveport 3-2 on April 27 behind victories from Bogdan Semchishin (first singles), Lim (second singles) and Andrew Semchishin (third singles).

Central Crossing was 1-6 overall before playing Beechcroft on May 6. 

—Scott Hennen

Bryanna Trout has helped lead the Grove City Christian girls track team in the sprints and hurdles.

•The Grove City Christian boys and girls track teams will compete in the Division III district meet May 18, 19 and 22 at Granville. 

The girls team will compete in the district 1 meet, while there is only one meet for boys. 

The top four finishers in each event advance to regional May 26 and 28 at Chillicothe Southeastern. 

The MSL-Cardinal meet began May 11 and will finish May 14 at Berne Union. 

“We’re having a good year,” coach Mindy Bankey said. “Our throwers are strong and continue to have good turnout — both boys and girls. Our runners are having a good year, too, and our relay teams are gaining momentum.” 

Bankey said Jaylin Walker (sprints, relays and long jump), Andrew Chalupa (sprint relays), Christian Lautenschleger (sprint relays), Collin May (sprint relays) and Jimmy Suhayda (sprint relays) have been key contributors for the boys team. 

Bryanna Trout has helped lead the girls team in the sprints and hurdles. 

—Frank DiRenna

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