Brai Beckel hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Olentangy Orange High School baseball team to a 7-6 victory over Thomas Worthington in a Division I regional semifinal May 24 at Dublin Coffman.

Brai Beckel hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Olentangy Orange High School baseball team to a 7-6 victory over Thomas Worthington in a Division I regional semifinal May 24 at Dublin Coffman.

The Pioneers improved to 27-3 and advanced to play Grove City in a regional final at 5 p.m. May 25 at Coffman. The Cardinals finished 22-8.

Trailing 6-4, Cole McCurry led off the seventh by reaching on an error. Brad Harris followed with a double to left field, where Jeremy Niklos just missed a diving catch. With runners on second and third base, Thomas pitcher Ben Miller struck out Paul Trick to bring Beckel to the plate.

Ahead 3-1 in the count, Beckel pulled a fastball over the left-field fence.

"I knew we had two guys on and I needed a hit," he said. "He kept throwing outside, but he left that one out over the plate.

"I knew it was over (Niklos') head, and I was just hoping and praying it'd make it out. This is just amazing."

McCurry hit a solo home run in the first and added an RBI single in the third for a 2-0 lead.

The Cardinals scored once in the fourth on Drew Taylor's RBI double before adding four unearned runs in the fifth, which included a two-run triple by Miller, for a 5-2 lead. Orange closed to within 5-4 on Beckel's two-run single in the bottom of the inning, but Thomas scored again in the top of the seventh when Wes Lindenmuth came home on a throwing error following a force out at second base.

"That was a great high school baseball game," Thomas coach Stephen Gussler said. "It had everything that epitomizes what high school baseball is all about."