Although it wasn't the ending the Marysville High School baseball team had planned, the Monarchs took pride in their accomplishments following a 10-1 loss to Gahanna in a Division I regional semifinal May 30 at Dublin Coffman.
A week earlier, Marysville celebrated its first district title in a little more than two decades after defeating Watkins Memorial 7-2 on May 23 at Ohio Dominican University.
Marysville, which also defeated Bloom-Carroll 12-5 in a regular-season game May 28, finished 22-8.
"The score (against Gahanna) might not have come out the way we liked it, but we definitely got to our goals," senior left fielder Kyle Hites said. "We won a district championship like we wanted to do in preseason. We definitely had a good season."
The Monarchs' last district title came in 1992, when they defeated Briggs 6-5 for a championship in Division II.
Marysville hadn't played in a district final since 2003, when it lost to Upper Arlington 11-5 in Division I.
The Monarchs had a chance to take an early lead against Gahanna, but they left the bases loaded in the top of the first inning.
"We needed a couple big hits with guys on," coach John Carder said. "It might have changed the momentum here in the dugout, but we didn't get those hits and left a couple guys stranded and that deflated the sails a little bit."
Gahanna opened the scoring on pitcher Alec Tuohy's home run to left field to lead off the second. The Lions made it 4-0 in the third, capped by Tuohy's sacrifice fly.
Tuohy, who will play at the University at Buffalo, also singled in the fifth and sixth innings.
He pitched six innings, allowing seven hits, striking out six and walking one.
Marysville scored in the sixth when center fielder Matt Mulholland singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on right fielder Matt McCoy's double.
Hites singled twice and sophomore pitcher Aron Mowery took the loss. He went four innings, allowing five runs on five hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
"Gahanna hit the ball pretty well," Carder said. "They hit the fastball pretty well and we made a couple mistake pitches, and we didn't help out defensively very well either. All around, it's just unfortunate to play a bad game coming in here in a venue like this, but a lot of it is a game factor that we haven't been in before."
Gahanna played Hilliard Darby in a regional final May 31 at Coffman. Darby defeated Thomas Worthington 15-13 in the other regional semifinal there May 30.
The winner plays in a state semifinal Friday, June 7, at Huntington Park, with the state final the next day at the same site.
Against Watkins Memorial, Mowery went the distance, allowing six hits, striking out 12 and walking none.
The Monarchs scored single runs in the first and fourth and added five in the sixth for a 7-0 lead.
Hites' two-run double was the key hit in the sixth, and Mulholland and catcher Nick Ciotola each had two hits.
Mowery got the decision in each of his team's four postseason games. He was the winner in relief in a 4-3 victory over Westerville North in a district semifinal May 21 and went the distance in a 3-0 win over Westerville Central in the second round May 15.