Despite entering the district tournament as the 11th seed, the Gahanna Lincoln High School baseball team scored twice in the top of the ninth and upset seventh-seeded St. Charles 5-3 in a Division I district championship game May 22 at Otterbein University.
The win improved the Lions to 15-12 overall and gave them their third district title in four years.
In the top of the ninth, Brayden Callihan reached on a two-out walk and scored on a double to deep right by Zach Baumann. Bradley Hull then singled to right-center to score Baumann.
In the bottom of the inning, St. Charles’ Nick Pappa opened with a single but Lions pitcher Mason Daniels retired the next three batters to pick up the relief win.
“They don’t get rattled,” Lions coach Mike Shade said of his team. “They make mistakes but they do it by playing hard. (St. Charles) is a great baseball team.”
The Cardinals, who finished 23-6, fell behind 2-1 in the top of the seventh when Gahanna’s Jake Hendricks walked, stole second base, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. Baumann singled, stole second and scored on a single by Hull to make it 3-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Cardinals’ Trey Willard reached on an infield single and Jacob Moehrman hit one through the legs of the third baseman. Pappa then attempted a sacrifice bunt, but pitcher Boomer Lowe got the lead runner out at third.
Lowe, who pitched the first 6 1/3 innings, then was replaced by Daniels.
St. Charles’ Matt Martin reached on an infield single to load the bases. Jacob Weikert then hit one to Callihan at second, and he threw to Hull for the second out as Moehrman scored. Hull’s throw to first on the attempted double play, however, got past the first baseman to score Pappa.
Pappa pitched 8 2/3 innings for the Cardinals.
Grove City 3, Westerville Central 0
Chase Antle pitched a two-hitter and the Grove City High School baseball team scored three runs in the sixth inning on its way to a 3-0 win over Westerville Central in a Division I district final May 22 at Ohio Dominican University.
The Greyhounds, who have won 20 consecutive games, improved to 23-5 and will play Gahanna in a regional semifinal Thursday, May 29, at Dublin Coffman.
It is Grove City’s third district title in the past four seasons.
Antle and Central’s Nick Buchanan hooked up in a pitchers’ duel before Grove City broke through in the sixth.
Robbie Jobe reached on an infield single, stole second and moved to third on Dakota Hawkins’ single.
Jobe scored the eventual winning run when Blake Griffith struck out against reliever Austin Sherry, but reached first on Central catcher Austin Kondratick’s throwing error to first on strike three in the dirt.
Jake Faught’s two-run single accounted for the final runs.
Antle went the distance, striking out five and walking two.
“I had faith in my team,” Antle said “We’ve been battling all season.”
Jonathan Alder 5, Bexley 1
The Bexley High School baseball team came up short of winning its first district title since 1998, as the Lions lost to Jonathan Alder 5-1 in a Division II district final May 22 at Beavers Field in Lancaster.
Casey Graber and Luke Nees each had a hit and an RBI and Mitchell Eye pitched a complete game for the Pioneers. Second-seeded Jonathan Alder, who improved to 24-4, advanced to a regional semifinal May 29 at Wright State against New Richmond or Bellefontaine.
Last season, Jonathan Alder defeated Bexley in a district semifinal en route to a runner-up finish in Division II.
Josh Shapiro drove in Bexley’s run with a two-out double in the third-inning to make it 3-1 and Will Davis had two hits. The Lions, who were plagued by four errors, finished 21-8.
Eye allowed one earned run on six hits with two walks and three strike outs. Marshall Drewry suffered the loss for third-seeded Bexley, as he gave up three earned runs on seven hits with six walks in 4 2/3 innings pitched.