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2022 OHSAA Baseball State Tournament Preview

June 6, 2022
2022 OHSAA Baseball State Tournament Preview
By Prep Baseball Report
Division I
By Dylan Hefflinger, Prep Baseball Report
SYLVANIA NORTHVIEW: The first trip to regionals in school history was a successful one for Northern Lakes League runner-up Northview, which will be participating at state for the initial time after a 3-1 win over Saint Ignatius behind a six-hit complete game from Blake Bradford. Brody Acres, a Walsh commit, had an RBI triple. Riley Ames produced a two-run single in a 5-1 regional semifinal victory over Anthony Wayne behind a Garrett Zimmermann four-hitter. The Wildcats, rated 24th by Prep Baseball Report and unranked by the OHSBCA, scored two in the bottom of the eighth to rally past Clay 2-1 in the district semis, then avenged two regular-season losses to NLL champion Perrysburg with a 3-2 win in the finals. Acres leads the way at the plate with a .415 average, eight doubles, four triples and four home runs. Alex Dupree is averaging .368 with four homers and Bradford .316 with five homers.
CHAGRIN FALLS KENSTON: A 17-seed entering the tournament, Kenston is now a state participant for the first time ever after stunning Walsh Jesuit 4-1 for a regional championship. Drew McKenna hit a two-run double and scored a run to back the six-hit pitching of Parker Munday. Jake Vasil, a Lake Erie College commit who leads the team with a .380 batting average, tossed a shutout in the regional semifinal win over North Royalton, to outduel Alabama signee Gavin Jones. McKenna hit a three-run walk-off homer in a four-run seventh to rally the 27th-ranked team in D-I by Prep Baseball Report past Western Reserve Conference foe Willoughby South 4-1 in the district finals behind a Munday three-hitter after scoring three runs in the seventh inning to beat Jackson 7-5 in the district semifinals. Munday is 6-0 with two saves and a 0.94 ERA
GROVE CITY: The Greyhounds, ranked 10th by Prep Baseball Report and 12th by the OHSBCA, will be making a state Final Four appearance for the first time since back-to-back appearances in 2011 and 2012 after knocking off defending state champion New Albany 2-0 in the regional finals behind a shutout performance from sophomore lefty Keegan Holmstrom, an Ohio State commit. Grove City scored its runs on a Jackson Ware sacrifice fly and an error. Zak Sigman blanked Hilliard Darby 2-0 in the regional semifinals and drove in the first run of the game. The Greyhounds reached the regionals for the first time since 2014 with a 2-0 eight-inning win over Lancaster in the district title game.

MASON: Brenden Garula fired a two-hitter and did not permit an earned run to lead second-ranked Mason past top-rated Moeller 4-1 in the regional finals. Sean Krueckeberg had three hits and Garula and Michael Murphy two apiece while Brady Bly, a Charleston commit, drove in a pair for Mason, headed to state for the third time overall and first since 2018. AJ Lefton, a Thomas Jefferson University commit, scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 11th to beat Lebanon 5-4 in the regional semis. Mason did not allow a run in the tournament up until regionals, highlighted by a Garula perfect game with 17 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over Western Brown in the sectional finals. Gerula, a Cincinnati signee, is 9-0 with a 1.92 ERA, and Murphy 5-1 with one save and 0.80 ERA, while Georgia Tech commit Noah Samol has a 1.40 ERA and a 6-1 record. Murphy is hitting .365 with 13 extra base hits while Jake Hanley, a sophomore committed to Indiana, is batting .340 with 11 extra base hits.
Division II
By Dylan Hefflinger, Prep Baseball Report
AKRON HOBAN: Defending D-II champion Hoban is back at state for the second year in a row after rallying past Tiffin Columbian 8-5 in nine innings, scoring once in the top of the seventh on a Zack Zimmerman RBI double to send the game into extra innings. It will be the sixth Final Four appearance for Hoban, which blanked Sandusky Perkins 8-0 in the regional semifinals behind the six-hit pitching of Caleb Kepler. Sophomore Parker Falkenstein, a Wright State recruit, had three hits and drove in two for Prep Baseball Report’s number nine D-II team and the 16th-rated squad by the OHSBCA. Shawn Parnell, a Cincinnati commit, hit a two-run inside-the-park homer to break a 4-4 tie in a 6-5 win over Bay Village Bay in the district semis and was the winning pitcher in the district finals against Norton. Parnell is batting .348 with 13 extra base hits. Michael Ciavolella is the top hitter with a .388 average while Nolan Homgren, a Marshall commit, is hitting .375 with 13 extra base hits. Vanderbilt commit Noah LaFine is 5-2 with one save and a 2.90 ERA while Kepler is 4-2 with a 1.93 ERA.
HAMILTON BADIN: A state semifinalist in 2021, Badin is back in Akron after an 11-1 win over Delaware Buckeye Valley. Rodney Rachel hit a two-run homer, his fourth of the year, and Diego DeCello an RBI triple with Lucas Moore, a junior committed to Kentucky, driving in three runs and Brycen Fox, who is hitting .471 on the season, producing three hits for the Rams, which won state in 1991 and 1995. Eric Rawlings threw six innings of one-hit ball to improve to 10-0 on the season with a 0.52 ERA. Nic Copenhaver, a junior commit to Washington State, had a four-hit shutout in the regional semifinals against Taylor, a game Badin won 6-0 with all the runs coming in the fifth. Copenhaver, who has a 1.95 ERA with a 4-2 record, threw a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 win over Tippecanoe in the district finals after Rawlings pitched in a 10-0 district semifinal victory over Wyoming. Landyn Vidourek, a Cincinnati signee, is averaging .391 with 18 stolen bases, Moore is batting .368 with 26 stolen bases and Jimmy Nugent, a Penn State commit, is at .307 with three home runs. This will be the 14th state appearance for Badin, ranked third by Prep Baseball Report and fourth by the OHSBCA.
COLUMBUS HARTLEY: Hartley defeated Steubenville 5-0 behind the four-hit pitching of Dimitri Boumis, a Chatham University signee, to make it to state for the first time since winning the Division IV title in 1996. Akron commit Emmett Gillies struck out 12 in a 5-2 win over Washington Court House in the regional semis. Gillies, who is 7-0 with a 1.41 ERA and 92 strikeouts, had a three-hit shutout in sectionals and a six-hitter in the district semis against Jonathan Alder. Hartley, ranked 20th by Prep Baseball Report and unranked by the OHSBCA, used a six-run fifth inning to knock off top-seeded Granville 12-5 in the district finals. Boumis is the top hitter at .438 with Gillies batting .389.

CHARDON: The last time Chardon was in the state tournament came in 1950. But a 7-3 victory over Louisville has the Hilltoppers, featuring seven underclassmen starters, in the state semifinals. Nolan Kirsh drove in two runs during a five-run fifth inning and fanned six in five innings of three-hit ball for the win. Christian Hall, an Alcorn State commit, allowed only four baserunners in a 4-1 victory over Chagrin Falls in the regional semis. With a .424 average, Hall is the top hitter for Chardon, ranked 21st by Prep Baseball Report and 24th by the OHSBCA. The Hilltoppers scored 25 runs in the districts with wins over Mogadore field, 15-6, and Niles McKinley, 10-0.
Division III
By Bruce Hefflinger, Prep Baseball Report
LIBERTY UNION: After coming up one game short of a state berth last season, losing to Archbold in the regional finals, Liberty Union has taken the next step behind the pitching of Jacob Miller, the top-rated player in the state. The Louisville commit, a potential first-round MLB Draft pick whose fastball has been clocked at 99, threw a two-hitter with 17 strikeouts in the sectionals, tossed a no-hitter with 14 Ks in districts and followed it up with a one-hitter while fanning 15 in the regional semifinals against Ridgewood. Miller has yet to allow an earned run in the tournament for the Lions, ranked fourth by Prep Baseball Report and fifth by the OHSBCA. Senior Jon Wheeler, who bats third and plays shortstop, threw six innings of shutout ball before allowing a run in the seventh in a 3-1 win over Fairland in the regional finals. 
APPLECREEK WAYNEDALE: Waynedale has won 23 straight after beating Hawken 8-2 behind the three-hit pitching of Otto Solarzano. Josiah Raber, a Tiffin football commit, had four hits, including two triples, for Waynedale, a D-III state runner-up in 2016. Waynedale pounded out 13 hits and stole six bases in beating Youngstown Ursuline 8-4 in the regional semis. Dylan Raber produced three hits and four RBIs. Waynedale, rated fourth by the OHSBCA and seventh by Prep Baseball Report, had a pair of 2-1 victories in the districts, with Trey Barkman, the winning pitcher against Ursuline, beating Gilmour Academy and Solorzano throwing a one-hitter versus Akron Manchester. Solorzano and Barkman are both 9-1, Solarzaon with a 1.17 ERA and Barkman 1.68.
ROGER BACON: A three-run top of the seventh gave Bacon a 6-3 win over Northeastern and with it a second trip to state in the past four years. The 23rd-rated team in D-III by Prep Baseball Report and unranked by the OHSBCA trailed 2-0 and 3-2 against Northeastern, which knocked off defending D-III state champion CHCA in the regional semis, before scoring the final four runs. Logan Huber had a single and triple in a 6-3 regional semifinal win over Reading, with southpaw Jake Tschida throwing five innings for the win against Northeastern before relief from Huber and Dylan Rolfert. Huber drove in two runs and picked up the save in a 4-2 win over Mechanicsburg in the district finals after earning the win on the mound in a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Madeira in the semis.

MILAN EDISON: The Chargers, ranked 10th by the OHSBCA and 22nd by Prep Baseball Report, are at state for the first time after edging Fredericktown 5-4 and Ottawa Hills 3-1 in regionals. Milan Edison, which lost to eventual state runners-up Archbold 3-2 in 11 innings in last year’s regional semifinals, got a four-hitter from Ben Bates in the regional finals versus Ottawa Hills after rallying from a 4-2 deficit to beat the Freddies in eight innings on an error that scored Brady Barker, who also had two RBIs in the win. A seven-run sixth-inning gave Milan Edison an 8-6 win over Bucyrus Wynford in the district semis before Bates threw a five-hitter shutout in the district finals. Xander Danner is the leading hitter for Milan Edison at .470. Thomas Simon is averaging .398 while producing a 7-1 record with a 1.57 ERA on the mound. Bates is 9-1 with two saves and a 1.14 ERA.
Division IV
By Bruce Hefflinger, Prep Baseball Report
RUSSIA: Xavier Phlipot pitched a complete game in leading Russia to a 7-1 win over three-time state champion Fort Loramie and with it a trip to the state tournament. Grant Saunders, a Walsh commit, fanned 10 in a 6-2 regional semifinal victory over Southeastern while adding a single, double and run scored. Brayden Monnin, Aiden Shappie and Jared Poling also had a pair of hits for Russia, the 17th-rated team in the state by Prep Baseball Report and OHSBCA. Freshman Braylon Cordonnier drove in five runs against Cincinnati Christian in the district finals. Saunders is the leading hitter at .471 while Hayden Quinter is at .410 and Cordonnier .393.
NEWARK CATHOLIC: Make it 17 trips to the Final Four for Newark Catholic after defeating Berlin Hiland 3-2 in the regional finals. Nate Ferrell and Grant Moore had run-scoring singles for the Green Wave, back at state for the first time since 2016. Eli Morris had three hits, two RBIs and picked up the win on the mound in a 6-1 win over top-ranked Lucasville Valley in the regional semis. Sam Muetzel, a Slippery Rock commit, is batting .406 and sophomore Bryan McAnally .411 with three home runs. Newark Catholic, ranked fourth by the OHSBCA and fifth by Prep Baseball Report, has won nine state championships, including seven under head coach John Cannizzaro. 
TIFFIN CALVERT: Falling behind has not been a problem for unranked Calvert, which rallied past Jeromesville Hillsdale 9-8 for a regional title after giving up five runs in the top of the first. Caden Otterbacher had a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh for Calvert, which stunned Norwalk St. Paul 6-5 with a four-run bottom of the seventh in the districts. Nick Palm, who is hitting .467 on the season, and Garrett Spaun each had three hits against Hillsdale. Spaun hit a two-run homer in a 5-3 win over Bristol in the regional semis. 

LINCOLNVIEW: Last year’s Division IV state runners-up are back for another go of it at state, two victories away from setting a school record for wins in a season. Senior left-hander Landon Price, an Ohio State commit, leads the way for the Lancers with four wins in the tournament, fanning 46 in 24 innings. Price took a no-hitter into the seventh in the regional finals against Antwerp in moving to 24-0 for his career. Junior right-hander Dane Ebel did not allow an earned run in an 8-1 win over Leipsic in the regional semifinals and has struck out 19 in 10.2 innings on the mound in the tournament for the second-rated team in Ohio by Prep Baseball Report and third by OHSBCA. Cole Binkley was 6-for-8 in the regionals for the Lancers, which scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Spencerville 2-1 in the sectional finals.

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