OHSAA baseball: Olentangy Orange, Grove City to meet for Division I regional title

The fourth time was a charm for the Olentangy Orange baseball team against Olentangy Liberty.

After dropping three regular-season meetings to Liberty in OCC-Central Division play, Orange held on for a 7-6 win in a Division I regional semifinal Thursday at Grove City.

The Pioneers (21-10) will play Grove City in the regional final at 5 p.m. Friday on the Greyhounds' home field. Grove City beat Hilliard Darby 2-0 in the other semifinal.

Olentangy Orange's Charlie Scholvin (5), center, celebrates with teammates after scoring during a Division I regional semifinal Thursday at Grove City. The Pioneers beat Olentangy Liberty 7-6.

“We’ve played fast all year, but when we played Liberty, we kind of took a step back,” Orange coach Tom Marker said. “We kept talking to them about playing our game, just be ourselves and play baseball. That’s what we talked about all year.”

Cole Cahill went the first 6 2/3 innings to earn the win. He allowed eight hits while striking out six and walking one, and he helped his cause at the plate with a double, single and RBI.

“We came in confident,” Cahill said. “We didn’t think we were the underdog. We knew we were going to get the job done. We had a plan going into the game and it worked, and we got the job done.”

Cole Cahill pitched 6 2/3 innings to earn the win Thursday for Olentangy Orange.

Trailing 7-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh, Liberty (27-4) staged a comeback that included a Brock Amelung two-run single but ultimately fell short.

Jacob Tabor entered the game with two outs and his team leading 7-6. After walking Josh Stickel to load the bases, he struck out Noah Mathis to earn the save.

Tyler Fuller doubled and singled and Diego Astacio singled twice for Orange.

Anderson Gomez singled three times and Amelung singled twice for Liberty, while starting pitcher Colin Bester took the loss for the Patriots.

“Our guys are tough and stuck together,” Marker said. “They pour into each other so much. That’s what they do.”

Olentangy Liberty's Mason Onate takes a cut Thursday against Olentangy Orange.

The game marked the return of Orange shortstop Charlie Scholvin, who had been out since early April after suffering a broken collarbone and punctured lung in an on-field collision. Scholvin had a hit and scored a run in a three-run first inning.

“It felt amazing to get back out there,” Scholvin said. “It’s been the hardest six, seven weeks I’ve ever had. The boys got me here. I’m so grateful for being here. The energy carried over and it won us a game.”

Andrew Garner celebrates a run during Grove City's 2-0 win over Hilliard Darby in a Division I regional semifinal Thursday.

Grove City 2, Hilliard Darby 0

For the second consecutive season, Zak Sigman led Grove City over Darby in a regional semifinal.

Sigman pitched a complete game in last season’s 2-0 regional semifinal win over the Panthers. In the rematch, the senior allowed four hits while striking out 10 and walking four.

“It’s just all about your mindset when the game starts, no matter how good or bad the game is going,” Sigman said. “If you’re locked in, you’re locked in. At the start of the game, I was locked in.”

Grove City's Zak Sigman pitched a four-hitter in a Division I regional semifinal win.

Sigman also helped his cause at the plate with an RBI single in the fifth inning for a 2-0 lead.

“Sig has been special all year,” coach Ryan Alexander said. “This is win No. 7 for him on the season. He’s been big in these moments. He had a monster hit to give us a little bit of insurance.”

Grove City took a 1-0 lead in the second on Conor Hix’s RBI single.

Alexander said his team has grown accustomed to playing in tight postseason games. The Greyhounds lost in last year's state final.

“Our guys love it,” Alexander said. “They don’t get fazed in that moment anymore. We won a district semi 1-0 (over Teays Valley). We won a district final 4-3 (over Watterson). We won 2-0 now. Last year we won the exact same way all the way through, so our guys are used to it.”

Hilliard Darby's Cam Gilkerson delivers a pitch Thursday against Grove City.

Cam Gilkerson was the hard-luck losing pitcher for Darby, allowing five hits while striking out six and walking one. He also was the losing pitcher in last season’s meeting.

“That’s what Cam does every game,” Darby coach Chris Fugitt said. “He’s just a gamer. Give him the ball and his brother (Cooper) is the same way. Give him the ball and let him go compete.”

Darby left five on base. The Panthers loaded the bases in the second with none out but couldn’t score.

“We had lots of traffic, we just couldn’t get the big hit,” Fugitt said. “Obviously, (Sigman) is very good. We had a couple of base-running blunders and when you get in the tournament, and the bigger the game, that stuff comes back to haunt you. But I loved how our kids battled.”

Division III: Toledo Ottawa Hills 3, Columbus Academy 1

Academy saw its season end in a regional semifinal at Hamler Patrick Henry.

Ottawa Hills scored three runs on four hits in the top of the first, but was held to just two hits the rest of the way by Theo Falkenhain. He went the distance, allowing six hits while striking out five and walking none.

Academy (19-12) scored in the bottom of the seventh on Luke Boltz’s RBI fielder's choice with the bases loaded. The Vikings stranded runners on second and third to end the game.

“Credit to our guys, they didn’t panic,” Academy coach Todd Dunkle said. “Theo just kept throwing and kept us in the game. We had a shot. That’s all you can ask for.”

Dylan Ritzenthaler, Joey Gurwin and Peter Tsung each singled for Academy.

Jackson Snyder went the first six innings for Ottawa Hills (21-10), allowing three hits while striking out 10 and walking three to earn the win. Sebastian Stevens pitched the seventh to pick up the save.

Heath's Tannar Patterson pitches against Waynesville on Thursday in a Division III regional semifinal at Wright State.

Division III: Heath 9, Waynesville 0

Heath continued to dominate with pitching and defense, moving to within a win of the state tournament.

Sophomore right-hander Tannar Patterson threw a four-hitter, pitching the Bulldogs to victory at Wright State. Heath returns there to play Jamestown Greeneview at 5 p.m. Friday for the regional title.

Patterson struck out eight without a walk. The Bulldogs, who have allowed three runs in four postseason games, committed just one error behind him.

Patterson’s single and Kaden Green’s RBI groundout allowed Heath to take a 2-0 lead in the third. The Bulldogs added a run in the fourth when Jaiden Dansby reached on an error and later scored on a wild pitch.

Heath blew it open with a six-run sixth inning. Green and Hayden Woodward each hit two-run singles.

—Dave Weidig, Newark Advocate

Bloom-Carroll catcher Tyler Parks runs down a Washington Court House base-runner and tags him out during Thursday's regional semifinal.

Division II: Washington Court House 4, Bloom-Carroll 2

Bloom-Carroll had prepared for Washington Court House left-hander Titus Lotz for a week, and the Bulldogs felt like they had a read on him entering a regional semifinal at Ohio Dominican.

Lotz walked the first two batters he faced, but then left the game with an arm injury.

Pushed into relief duty in the first inning, senior Tanner Lemaster gave up a bloop single to Markus Roberson to allow two runs as the Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead. But Lemaster allowed only one hit over the next six innings and struck out nine.

“We prepared all week to face the lefty and we had him rattled in the first inning and then he comes out,” Bloom-Carroll coach Jason Vest said. “When that happened, I think it was a psychology change for our guys. (Lemaster) threw up in the zone and a slower breaking ball, and the other kid threw a harder breaking ball. We were just a little off.

“If you look at the balls we hit, we were lining out to people. I’m surprised we didn’t score more runs, but that happens sometimes in baseball when something doesn’t go the way you expect, you get a little off kilter.”

Bloom-Carroll (28-3) finished with only three hits. Owen Conrad went 2-for-3.

Roberson started and took the loss for the Bulldogs as he pitched two innings, giving up four hits and three earned runs. Andrew Hall pitched three innings, giving up two hits and one run, and Joey Dawson pitched the final two innings and didn’t allow a hit.

—Tom Wilson, Lancaster Eagle Gazette

Division II: Hamilton Badin 9, Lakewood 2

The upstart Lancers (12-16) saw their run end in a regional semifinal at Mason.

Lakewood scored twice to cut into a 6-0 deficit, but Badin (29-1) scored three runs in the top of the seventh to put the game away.

Lakewood senior left-hander Tyler Bebout allowed three runs apiece in the first and third innings, then threw three shutout innings. Bebout finished with six strikeouts and allowed eight hits and four earned runs.

“We didn't make a couple plays early that led to runs,” Lakewood coach Chuck Davis told The Cincinnati Enquirer. “We turn our double play and catch a pop up, and we get out of the inning. ... The guys, they played really, really hard. We played well; we just got beat today.”

Rodney Rachel homered and doubled, driving in three runs for the Rams. Chandler Taylor also had two hits and three RBIs.

—Kurt Snyder, Newark Advocate

Division IV: Russia 4, Berne Union 0 (8 inn.)

Berne Union took the defending state champions to the brink in a regional semifinal at Wittenberg.

The Rockets, who were making their first regional appearance since 1938, had their chances to score but could not come up with a clutch hit.

Berne Union (18-10) also committed three errors, which would prove costly.

The Raiders scored four times in the top of the eighth thanks to two errors and a two-run single. Berne Union went down in order in the bottom half of the eighth.

The Rockets managed only three hits, one each by Austin Snyder, Clayton Moore and Zach Hartman.

Senior Nate Nemeth started on the mound for Berne Union, allowing two hits and striking out four in five innings. Cade Pugh pitched two-plus innings and allowed four hits and four runs, but only two runs were earned.

—Tom Wilson, Lancaster Eagle Gazette


This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Olentangy Orange, Grove City win baseball regional semifinals