When recalling the Gahanna Lincoln High School baseball team's 18-13 win over Pickerington Central on May 21 in a Division I district final, coach Mike Shade ran down a list of events that happened that led to the game being tied at 5 in the third inning.

When recalling the Gahanna Lincoln High School baseball team's 18-13 win over Pickerington Central on May 21 in a Division I district final, coach Mike Shade ran down a list of events that happened that led to the game being tied at 5 in the third inning.

He paused and said, "Then things got interesting."

It was that type of game on a windy day at Hilliard Davidson. In a way, though, it was fitting for a team that won its first district championship since 1994.

"Anytime you win a district championship, you're very proud of your players and team," Shade said. "It's very gratifying, especially for the kids. Really, it's their victory."

It was Shade's second district championship as a head coach but it was the third time he won one as a part of the Gahanna coaching staff. Shade was an assistant on the team that won a district championship in 1991.

"It feels great but I'm most happy for our guys," assistant coach Brian Hull said. "It's nice being able to sit back, watch them and see them have fun."

The Lions will be sure to cherish this title after losing in district finals to eventual state semifinalist Dublin Scioto in 1998 and eventual state champion Dublin Coffman in 2001.

The Lions took a 4-0 lead in the first on a three-run home run by Brock Trimbur. Central got two runs in the second and three in the third to tie the game at 5 heading into the fourth inning.

The Lions then got five runs in the fourth, helped by a two-run single by John Beatty. Beatty struck again an inning later with a two-run double in to help give the Lions a 12-5 lead going into the sixth.

The Lions got five more runs in the sixth inning, helped by a home run by Joey Tomko, to take a 17-5 lead. All Gahanna had to do was limit the Tigers to two or fewer runs to win the game by run-rule, but Central wasn't done yet. With two runners on, Central's Zach Boren connected on a home run that even Shade was able to appreciate.

"Boren, he hit a home run farther than anybody I've ever seen somebody hit one at the high-school level," Shade said. "It had to be at least 450 feet, it was just huge. Everybody just stood and admired it."

The Lions got one more in the seventh. The Tigers rallied for five but fell short as Ben Bokor struck out Blaine Burgess to end the game. Though he had a few bad innings, Shade stuck with starter Christian Lockett for six innings.

"Well, Christian still had his velocity and we had a 10-run lead going into that last inning," Shade said. "He said he wanted to finish it. We sent him out there but ended up bringing in Ben and that was a nice change of pace.

"You know, with two teams that are hitting the ball well, getting that third out was very difficult. When get that close, getting that third out is tough and things got a little crazy."

So while the game was a wild one and definitely nerve-wracking at times, in the end it was a good result for the Lions.

"It just means a lot to everybody, especially to the seniors," Shade said.

"I'm tickled for them. As freshmen, they won an OCC championship. We struggled a bit the last few years since then but turned it around this year. The second half of the season they really turned it around. Everybody has just put it all together. At times when we were down, it could've been easy to say, 'Well things aren't going our way.' But that didn't happen."