2023 Baseball State Tournament Preview June 5, 2023 Division I By Dylan Hefflinger, Prep Baseball Report CINCINNATI MOELLER: Moeller is at the state tournament for the first time since 2015 after a 7-6 win over Greater Catholic League rival Elder in the regional finals. Winners of 15 straight since losing to Elder back on April 24, the top-ranked team in Ohio by Prep Baseball Report and the OHSBCA won thanks to three hits and three RBIs from Wright State commit Nathan Manley, two hits and three runs from George Mason signee Toby Hueber and a pair of RBIs each from Ohio State recruit Clay Burdette and Wright State recruit Conlan Daniel. Carson Marsh, a Cincinnati signee who has not given up an earned run this season, pitched two shutout innings for the save. Manley had a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth to break a 4-4 deadlock in a 10-4 victory over West Clermont in the regionals semis. A team loaded with college commits in the lineup including Carter Christenson (West Virginia), Connor Christenson (Air Force), Kellan Klosterman (Notre Dame), Charlie Niehaus (Cincinnati), CJ Richard (Ohio State) and Zion Theophilus (LSU) had not given up a tournament run until regionals. Moeller has won eight state championships, third most in OHSAA history. WALSH JESUIT: Drew Erdmann threw a five-inning no-hitter to send Walsh Jesuit and first-year head coach Joe Bowers past University School 10-0 in the regional finals. A week prior, Erdmann, a Cincinnati commit, had a perfect game against Louisville. Xavier recruit Ryan Piech, who fired a one-hitter earlier in the tournament, tossed a four-hitter in the regional semifinals against Wadsworth for the Warriors, which have not given up a run in the tournament. The fourth-ranked team in the state by Prep Baseball Report and the sixth by OHSBCA, which features a lineup including Alex Covas (Youngstown State) in center, Joey Canzoni (Cincinnati) at shortstop, Mason Eckelman (Ohio State) at catcher, John Simecek (Saint Xavier) at second, is in search of the school’s fifth state title (1999, 2004, 2006, 2008). OLENTANGY ORANGE: Tom Marker’s squad earned the school’s second state tournament berth the hard way, knocking off rival Olentangy Liberty 7-6 in the regional semifinals before topping last year’s state runners-up Grove City and Ohio State commit Keegan Holmstrom 6-1 in the finals. Jacob Tabor, a Toledo recruit, was the winning pitcher against Grove City and Diego Astacio, an Olivet Nazarene signee, picked up the save, helped out by a five-run fourth inning featuring a two-run single by Casey Covert and two-run double from Toledo commit Charlie Scholvin, who was playing in just his second game since an injury on April 10. Tabor was needed in relief in the semifinals after Liberty rallied from a 7-1 deficit to pull within one in the seventh. The Pioneers, rated 25th by Prep Baseball Report and unranked by the OHSBCA, had lost to Liberty three times during the regular season, finished third in the Ohio Capital Conference Central Division and came into the tournament a seven seed. Toledo commit Cole Cahill is one of the standouts for Orange. ANTHONY WAYNE: The Northern Lakes League is looking for its second straight Division I state title after Jack Behnfeldt hit a walk-off bases-loaded single with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally Anthony Wayne past Medina for a 3-2 victory. A year ago Northview from the NLL won the D-I state championship. Bryce Anderson had a two-out RBI single in the fifth to tie the game at 2-2 for the fifth-ranked team in the state by Prep Baseball Report and 10th by the OHSBCA, which will be making its first state appearance under second-year head coach Ryan Donley. It marked the second dramatic win in the regionals for Anthony Wayne, which beat Toledo St. John’s when Mitch Harder scored on an error in the last of the seventh. Harder, the winning pitcher with one shutout inning of relief against Medina, had a two-run single in a five-run first for the Generals and gunned down a potential go-ahead run from the outfield in the bottom of the fifth with the game tied at 5-5. Toledo commit Dom Carlson pitched two shutout innings of relief for the win for AW, which advanced to regionals for the second year in a row when Tommy Ling hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 6-5 victory over Springfield. The Generals trailed 5-3 before scoring two in the last of the seventh, the second on a wild pitch with two outs. Brayden Weis, a Findlay recruit, threw a one-hitter in the district semifinals and is 10-0 on the season while Harder is 6-0 for Anthony Wayne, making its second state appearance ever, the other in 2018. Division II By Dylan Hefflinger, Prep Baseball Report CHAMINADE-JULIENNE: C-J scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, the game-winner on a bases-loaded walk on a full-count pitch to freshman Isaac Sullivan to stun top-ranked Badin 2-1 in the regional finals, sending the Eagles to state for the fourth time in the last six tournaments. C-J, which did not get its first hit until the sixth inning, had lost to Badin, the Greater Catholic League Co-ed rival 3-0 twice during the regular season. Charlie Hoagland threw a four-hitter for the victory, fanning seven. Patrick Gonter-Dray had a two-run single in a four-run sixth inning to lift the fifth-rated team in the state by Prep Baseball Report and seventh by the OHSBCA past CHCA 6-1 in the regional semis. Hoagland scored two runs and Jackson Frasure went six innings to pick up the win, improving to 6-0 on the season. The Eagles, which feature senior standouts JP Peltier, a Wright State commit, and Jacob Brunner, a Bluffton signee, has given up just three runs in five tournament games. C-J, which won state in 2018 and 2019, is seeking its fourth state title. CHAGRIN FALLS KENSTON: A return trip to state is a reality for Kenston, which a year ago was a Division I participant after beating Walsh Jesuit 4-1 for a regional championship. This time around, the Bombers are headed to Canal Park in Division II following a 4-2 win over NDCL in the regional finals. Nikko Georgiou threw a complete game for the win while hitting a double and triple to go along with two RBIs for the 19th-ranked team in the state by Prep Baseball Report and unranked by the OHSBCA, seeking its first state championship in school history. Parker Munday struck out 14 in a three-hit outing in the regional semis, a 4-2 victory over Gilmour Academy. Munday, an Akron commit, also had a hit and scored two runs while Georgiou and Drew McKenna had two hits apiece. WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE: Will Miller and A.J. Dallmayer, a Lake Erie College signee, combined on a no-hitter, facing just 19 batters in a six-inning 10-0 win over Cambridge in the regional finals to help Court House reach state for the first time since 2000. The second-ranked team in the state by Prep Baseball Report and fifth by the OHSBCA scored three runs on four hits in the first inning and cruised to its 26th consecutive victory. It was far from easy in the regional semis, with starting pitcher Titus Lotz, a Bowling Green commit, forced to leave the mound after an arm injury two batters into the game. After giving up a two-run bloop single, Tanner Lemaster got out of a bases-loaded jam and went on to throw blanks in a 4-2 defeat of Bloom-Carroll. Lemaster finished allowing three hits and four walks while striking out nine in his seven innings of work. Jonah Waters had an RBI single in the first and two-run base hit in the third. ONTARIO: Surprising Ontario is headed to state for the first time in 29 years after sweeping a pair of Western Buckeye League opponents in the regionals. Peyton Dzugan tossed a four-hitter, hit two singles and scored a run while Carter Walters drove in a pair in a 7-3 win over Defiance in the regional finals while Carter Weaver had a pair of singles, a double and four RBIs in a 12-6 victory over St. Marys in the semis. Once 3-9 on the season, the unranked Warriors are now 16-14, including a 6-5 nine-inning win over Sandusky Perkins in the district semifinals. The only other appearance at state for Ontario came in 1994 when the Warriors brought home a championship. Division III By Bruce Hefflinger, Prep Baseball Report APPLE CREEK WAYNEDALE: Last year’s D-III state champions batted around in a four-run first inning en route to a 14-1 win over South Range in the regional finals, a day after the Bears scored six runs in the first inning against Independence en route to an 8-2 win in the regional semifinals. Southpaw Otto Solorzano, the winning pitcher in the 2022 state championship game 2-1 win over Milan Edison, struck out nine in a five-inning one-hitter for Waynedale, which has five returning starters from a year ago. Trey Barkman, an Ohio University recruit who outdueled Ohio Player of the Year Jacob Miller of Liberty Union in the state semifinals last year, came up big in the districts, shutting out Chagrin Falls in the finals after producing a walk-off RBI double in a 4-3 win over Beachwood in the semifinals for Waynedale, rated 13th by Prep Baseball Report and unranked by the OHSBCA. This will be the third state appearance for Waynedale. OTTAWA HILLS: Junior left-hander Sebastian Stevens allowed two runs in 8.2 innings and pounded out two doubles to lead Ottawa Hills to a 3-2 regional final win over Milan Edison, last year’s D-III state runners-up. Nash Barnes singled in Jackson Snyder with the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth for Ottawa Hills and long-time head coach Chris Hardman, back at state for ninth time but the first since 2010. Edison had beaten Ottawa Hills 3-1 in the 2022 regional finals. Stevens fanned 15 in the district finals against Archbold. Snyder, a sophomore right-hander, was the winning pitcher in a 3-1 victory over Columbus Academy in the regional semis. Ottawa Hills, rated 16th by Prep Baseball Report and unranked by the OHSBCA, has won state once in 1986 and finished second in 2001, 1996 and 1992. HEATH: Riley Baum, who was sick and missed the districts, allowed just one earned run in 6.1 innings of a 6-2 win over Greeneview in the regional finals. Just 6-20 two years ago and 10-13 last season, Heath is headed to state for the first time since 2007, thanks to three RBIs from sophomore Connor Corbett. Sophomore Tannar Patterson fanned eight and allowed four hits and no walks in a 9-0 victory over Waynesville in the regional semis. Patterson threw a three-hitter in a 3-1 win over Fredericktown in the districts for the 20th-rated team in the state by Prep Baseball Report and the OHSBCA, which has surrendered only five runs in five tournament games. HARRISON CENTRAL: The Huskies rallied from a 7-0 deficit to beat Wheelersburg 8-7 in the regional championship, sending Harrison Central to its fourth state tournament appearance in school history. A two-run single by freshman Braden Cook highlighted a four-run sixth inning and Tucker Snyder, the third Harrison pitcher, gave up just one run in 5.1 innings of relief to pick up the victory with Kaden Jurosko picking up the save. Treston Nemeth, a Dayton commit, had three hits, including an RBI single in the sixth, scored the tying run and had a big defensive play behind the plate in the fifth inning for the 26th-ranked team in Ohio by Prep Baseball Report. This will mark the first state trip for the Huskies since 2013, with the other appearances in 1986 and 1982. Division IV By Bruce Hefflinger, Prep Baseball Report RUSSIA: The defending state champions are back at Akron after scoring three runs in the fifth to beat South Charleston Southeastern 4-1 in the regional finals. Sophomore Braylon Cordonnier did not give up an earned run in a seven-hitter with nine strikeouts. Brayden Monnin had a run-scoring single and Hayden Quinter a two-run single in the fifth inning for the fifth-rated team in Ohio by Prep Baseball Report and the OHSBCA. Quinter broke up a scoreless battle in the top of the eighth with Berne Union in the regional semis with a single to plate two, making a winner of Xavier Phlipot who surrendered just three hits in an eight inning complete game. Phlipot was the winning pitcher in last year’s state championship game 10-4 win over Lincolnview. This marks the fifth state appearance for Russia, with state titles in 1971 and 2022. ST. HENRY: A five-run first inning propelled St. Henry past Delphos St. John’s 8-5 and with it a trip to Canal Park for the state tournament. The Midwest Athletic Conference champions, which have beaten three league foes on the tourney trail and are rated fourth in Ohio by Prep Baseball Report and the OHSBCA, received two hits apiece from Bryce Brookhart, Hayden Boeckman, Drew Schwieterman and winning pitcher Devin Delzeith. Lucas Clune pitched five innings of three-hit baseball in the regional semifinal 5-1 win over North Central. This will mark the second state appearance ever for the Redskins, the other coming in 2011. TIFFIN CALVERT: A pair of 4-2 regional wins propelled the Senecas back to state for the second year in a row. Calvert, which had never reached the Final Four until last season, knocked off Warren JFK in the regional finals after beating Lake Center Christian in the semifinals. Mason Johnson allowed two runs on three hits in six innings for the win against JFK before Nick Palm earned the save. The second-rated team in Ohio by Prep Baseball Report and third by the OHSBCA rallied from a 2-0 deficit with a four-spot in the top of the fifth a day earlier. Johnson had a two-run double and Harrison Shultz an RBI single to make a winner of Blake Coleman, who drove in what proved to be the winning run with a sac fly in the fifth. Coleman, a sophomore who is 10-1 on the season, fanned five in the complete game performance. Johnson, who is 7-0 on the year, had not given up an earned run until JFK scored two in the regional finals. BERLIN HILAND: The Hawks have outscored the opposition 71-3 in six tournament victories, including an 8-0 win over Whiteoak in the regional finals. The No. 1 team in the state by Prep Baseball Report and the OHSBCA scored seven runs in the top of the seventh in a 13-1 triumph over South Webster in the semis. Will Schlabach, a Mt. Vernon Nazarene recruit, fanned 11 in five innings of one-hit pitching for the win to improve to 7-0 on the year while Connor Beachy produced three hits and Colin Coblentz drove in two versus Whiteoak. Brady Yoder had four hits and Coblentz, while Nolan Yoder drove in three and was the winning pitcher, not allowing an earned run in six innings of four-hit pitching with seven Ks against South Webster to improve to 10-0. Nolan Yoder threw a no-hitter in sectionals and two-hitter in districts while Schlabach and Caden Coblentz combined on a no-hitter in the sectional semifinals for Hiland, which will be making its fifth state appearance and has never lost in the state semis.