At the halfway mark of the high school baseball season, the Sussex Central Golden Knights find themselves in the hunt at the top of the Henlopen Conference.

The Golden Knights began the season hot, cooled down a bit, but seem to be heating up once again, thanks to some solid pitching and timely hitting at the plate. Central started the year winning their first four games before dropping three straight, only to go on to win their next two games.

Throughout the season, the Golden Knight’s pitching staff has come up large, with three seniors carrying the weight in Trevor Collins, Robbie Hollenbeck and Jake Brewington.

“We have a lot of our pitching back from last year,” said Sussex Central Head Coach Todd Brock. “[That] should be a strong area for our club.”

So far, the staff has allowed an average of just four runs a game. And in their last four games, they’ve kept each opponent below that average, allowing a combined eight runs in games against Dover, Seaford, Lake Forest and Laurel.

Collins has been the ace of the staff, but Brock says others have and will be counted on the rest of the way.

“Trevor, returning to the starting rotation is a big help after losing Trey Toppin to graduation,” Brock said. “Jake, Robbie, Dorin Emerick and Andrew Kelley are four other seniors that will be seeing a lot of innings, Kyle Briggs and Jarod Adkins are two juniors that will see some innings on the hill as well.”

While the pitchers have impacted the team positively, the team’s work at the plate is also a reason why the Golden Knights remain contenders in the Henlopen North.

Central hasn’t lit up the scoreboard, averaging just over five runs a game. However, after coming up large in big spots earlier in the season, they’ve exploded recently, scoring 31 runs over their last three games.

Collins not only leads the pitching staff, but also bats in the middle of Central’s lineup, adding a big punch to a solid group which includes lead-off hitter Vonny Toppin, all-conference catcher Ethan Watkinson, along with Emerick, Blaine Hansen, and Cade Keeler.

While they jockey for position in the Henlopen North Division with Caesar Rodney, Cape Henlopen and Dover, the Golden Knights will face some tough opponents down the stretch.

Finishing up the backend of their schedule, Central will face-off against out-of-conference opponents James M. Bennett (Md.), Caravel Academy and Salesianum in a playoff rematch, along with conference matchups against Smyrna, Milford, Woodbridge, Indian River and Polytech.