DeSales High School baseball coach Tom Neubert and a few players took a trip to Kettering Fairmont last Friday to watch the Division II district final between Bellbrook and Batavia.

DeSales High School baseball coach Tom Neubert and a few players took a trip to Kettering Fairmont last Friday to watch the Division II district final between Bellbrook and Batavia.

The Stallions had wrapped up their district title the day before with a 7-6 win over Watterson, and Neubert thought it would be nice for a few of the players to watch a game between potential opponents. But it wasn't necessarily a scouting trip for the players involved.

"I don't get them too involved in that aspect of it," said Neubert, whose team is 26-2. "I just want them to go and be able to watch some baseball a little bit. I just let them sit back and watch a game instead of being into it like that. They're sitting there watching the game, but at the same time they might get a feeling."

They watched Batavia defeat Bellbrook 7-3 to improve to 17-7 to set up a regional semifinal at 2 p.m. today at Wittenberg between DeSales and Batavia. DeSales will be the home team. The winner will play at 2 p.m. Friday at Wittenberg as the home team in a regional final against Cincinnati McNicholas or Springfield Kenton Ridge.

Both teams should have the ace pitchers available to go, and for DeSales this season that has been sophomore Andrew Pariese, who is 9-0 with a 1.32 ERA. Batavia will counter with Ryan Beard, who was injured in the beginning of the season but has come back to have a 1.47 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 19 innings. He threw a no-hitter May 5 in a 10-0 win over Wilmington.

"(Beard) looked good (against Bellbrook)," Neubert said. "He threw a good game for them, but like I said all along, the bottom line for us is we have to take care of our business. That's something we talk about on a daily basis. Not worrying about anyone but ourselves."

After opening 4-0, Batavia closed April with inconsistent performances, going 8-6. In May they are 5-1, and it's the offense that has been carrying the Bulldogs. The have averaged 12 runs per game during that span.

"Earlier in the season we were hitting the ball right at people," Batavia coach Brian Lyons said. "Now they're starting to find the gaps. Our offense has been carrying us. Our top five are hitting better than .400. Whatever we get from the bottom of our lineup is icing on the cake."

Kris Hecktor, who is also Batavia's No. 2 pitcher, is batting .452 followed by Eric Roberts (.443), leadoff hitter J.D. Little (.436), Jake Florez (.421) and Ryan Anstaett (.400).

The Stallions have four players batting better than .400 -- Ryan Clark (.475), Thomas Gentile (.475), Ryan Curl (.434) and Mike Miller (.429).

McNicholas is 20-10 and Kenton Ridge is 18-6. McNicholas has won seven of its last eight games, including 2-0 over Benjamin Logan last Saturday in a district final. Their offensive leader is senior first baseman Kyle Massa, who is hitting .447 with one home run and 26 RBI, and they also have Brandon Heffernan, a pitcher who also hits .404.

Kenton Ridge, which won the state title last season, beat Dayton Chaminade-Julienne 2-1 in a district final last Saturday. The Cougars were held to two hits, both by Derek Todavine. The second hit won the game. Senior pitcher Matt Palmer gave up six hits and senior Juan Martinez closed the game for the Cougars.

•DISTRICT FINAL -- DeSales defeated Watterson for the third time this season to win its second district championship in three years. The Stallions had beaten Watterson 1-0 on April 18 and 12-2 on April 30.

DeSales led 7-1 before Watterson rallied to cut the deficit to 7-6 in the sixth inning. Watterson had the tying run on first in the top of the seventh inning before Mark Sherman turned a game-ending double play.