Jerome earns outright OCC title
The Dublin Jerome High School baseball team briefly celebrated its first outright OCC title after defeating Hilliard Bradley 5-0 on May 11 at home.
The Celtics then focused their attention on the Division I district tournament.
Ninth-seeded Jerome had a first-round bye and played 24th-seeded Whetstone in the second round May 15. The Celtics entered the tournament 18-7 overall.
The winner plays fourth-seeded Thomas Worthington or 38th-seeded Columbus West in a semifinal Tuesday, May 21, at Hilliard Davidson, with that winner playing in a district final May 23 at Otterbein against fifth-seeded Olentangy, seventh-seeded Grove City, 29th-seeded Coffman or 31st-seeded Teays Valley.
Jerome shared the OCC-Cardinal Division title with Scioto and Olentangy Liberty in 2010 after each team finished 10-4.
The Celtics earned their first outright OCC-Cardinal championship after defeating Bradley in a game that was suspended April 10 because of bad weather with Jerome leading 1-0 after six innings.
The game was scheduled to resume at Bradley, but was moved to Jerome because of unplayable field conditions.
"It was very important to us to get the outright (title) because it's the first time we've done it in Jerome history," pitcher/first baseman Jason Johnson said. "That's what we've been going for, that's been our goal since the beginning of the year. Now our goal is to win district and see where that goes from there."
The Celtics added four runs in the top of the seventh and Johnson retired the Jaguars in order in the bottom of the inning.
Tom Coon (3B/P), who had an RBI single in the first inning April 10, added a two-run double in the seventh.
Masashi Sakamoto (SS/P) went the first six innings to earn the win. He allowed five hits, struck out four and walked none.
The Celtics went 12-2 in the league to finish ahead of Hilliard Darby (11-3), Westerville South (8-6), Westerville North (7-7), Scioto (5-8), Bradley (5-9), Westerville Central (4-9) and Worthington Kilbourne (3-11). Scioto and Central did not complete their final league game.
Jerome scored two runs in the sixth inning and two in the seventh to rally past visiting Liberty 4-3 in its regular-season finale May 13.
Coffman enters tourney on high note
Coffman entered the district tournament on a five-game winning streak, which included two wins over Upper Arlington (3-2 in eight innings May 6 and 3-0 on May 8) and one over Newark (4-3 on May 13).
In the 3-0 win over UA, senior Andrew Dugal pitched a two-hitter. He stuck out two and walked none.
In the 3-2 win over UA, outfielder Dominic Tiberi's single in the bottom of eighth scored shortstop Brett Griffey with the winning run.
The Shamrocks went 8-6 in the OCC-Central to tie UA for fourth behind Thomas Worthington (11-3), Liberty (9-5) and Marysville (9-5) and ahead of Davidson (6-8), Central Crossing (5-9) and Westland (0-14).
"When the kids are doing stuff the way they're supposed to and playing well and have some enthusiasm, you don't have to coach as much," coach Tim Saunders said. "You don't have to coach every pitch and teach every pitch. We're just seeing kids do what we expect from day one from them. It just took us a while."
The Shamrocks were 13-12 overall before playing Olentangy in the second round of the district tournament May 15. Both teams had a first-round bye.
The winner faces Grove City or Teays Valley in a semifinal Tuesday, May 21, at Darby, with that winner facing Jerome, Thomas, West or Whetstone in a district final May 23 at Otterbein.
"We've been hitting well and the bats are starting to come around," said freshman infielder C.J. Saunders, the coach's son. "We realize what enthusiasm and energy can do for our team."
Scioto loses in first round
Scioto lost its district tournament opener 9-3 at 20th-seeded Westerville North on May 13.
Scioto, which was seeded 21st, finished 14-14.
The Irish tied the game at 2 in the fourth inning on left fielder Matt Vogel's two-run single.
Starting pitcher Aaron Strausbaugh's RBI single in the fifth tied the game at 3.
North scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning and added five runs in the sixth.
"We played hard every single game," coach Ken Carpenter said. "Things just didn't go our way today."
On May 9, Scioto scored four runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to rally past visiting Jonathan Alder 9-8.
Vogel's two-run double in the sixth proved to be the decisive hit.
The Irish also defeated visiting Columbus Academy 11-4 on May 11.