Paced by its best offensive performance of the season, the Gahanna Lincoln High School baseball team won its fourth Division I district championship in six seasons May 22 at Ohio Dominican University.
The fifth-seeded Lions scored five runs in the top of the first inning en route to a 15-8 win over second-seeded Olentangy Orange.
Gahanna improved to 20-9 and will play Thomas Worthington or Grove City in a regional semifinal May 30 at Dublin Coffman. The Cardinals and Greyhounds meet in a district final May 23.
Orange, which won its first district championship a year ago, finished 23-4.
“This was as well as we’ve hit the ball all year,” coach Mike Shade said.
Gahanna, which lost to Orange 8-0 on April 2, got five consecutive hits to begin the game by right fielder Zach Baumann, third baseman Christian Chiero, first baseman Evan White, designated hitter Alex Delp and shortstop Alec Tuohy, and all five scored.
It was a tough start for Pioneers pitcher Paul Trick, a senior who has committed to Gardner-Webb.
Gahanna added a run in the second inning to make it 6-0, but Orange answered with five runs in the bottom of the second to cut its deficit to 6-5. Pioneers third baseman Cody McCague hit a three-run home run in the inning off Lions starter Mason Daniels.
Gahanna scored three runs in the fifth inning to stretch its lead to 9-5 and added six runs in the sixth, with three coming on a triple by left fielder Peyton Ross.
Ross and White each finished with four RBI.
The Lions beat Orange despite not having Tuohy on the mound. Their No. 1 starter the last two seasons, he had a program-record 14 strikeouts during a 7-2 win over Upper Arlington in a district semifinal May 20.