Baseball - District final roundup

Six-hit sixth rallies Liberty to program's first district title

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Six consecutive hits in the bottom of the sixth inning helped the Olentangy Liberty High School baseball team rally to defeat 15th-seeded Olentangy 5-3 in a Division I district championship May 23 at Ohio Dominican.

The second-seeded Patriots (24-5) won the program’s first district title and advanced to play Pickerington North at 5 p.m. May 29 in a regional final at Dublin Coffman.

“We were down 3-0, but the guys kept things in the right perspective,” Liberty coach Ty Brenning said. “They kept their heads and they know that there was no clock in baseball. They kept playing hard and made things happen.”

The Braves scored a two runs in the third on one hit and a pair of Liberty throwing errors. Drew Batt had a sacrifice fly scoring Connor Brett and Avery Moore scored the second run on an overthrow of the cut-off man.

Olentangy (15-12) took a 3-0 lead in the third on Joe McGuinness’ solo home run — his fifth of the season — to right field off Liberty starter Nick Newton.

The Patriots finally got to Olentangy stater Collin Hoffman in the sixth. With one out, Cameron Comer tripled to right-center field and scored on a single by Jacob Niggemeyer, who moved to third on a Nick Parr single.

A.J. Kullman singled home Niggemeyer with pinch-runner Nate Meeker moving to second. Matt Matthaes singled for a fifth consecutive hit to score Meeker and move Kullman to third. But Kullman was awarded home for a 4-3 Liberty lead as the home-plate umpire said the Olentangy third baseman interfered with the runner before he rounded the base.

Mitchell Griffiths singled to left-center to score pinch-runner Seth Oehler with an insurance run. Olentangy coach Ryan Lucas then brought in reliever Donal Baker.

“I stuck with Collin even when they were hitting the ball because he was still making pitches,” Lucas said. “Liberty did what a second-seeded team is supposed to do — they hit good pitches and made things happen.”

Niggemeyer relieved Newton with one out in the fourth. He had eight strikeouts with one walk, surrendering one hit to pick up the win. Newton struck out six with two walks.

Hoffman had four strikeouts and two walks.

Division II

Bloom-Carroll 7, Watterson 2

The Watterson baseball team lost to top-seeded Bloom-Carroll 7-2 in a Division II district final on May 23 at Lancaster’s Beavers Field.

Sam Bordner pitched a three-hitter with 14 strikeouts and Roger Danison hit a two-run double for the Bulldogs, who improved to 25-1 and captured their first Division II district title.

Avery Janning had two of Watterson’s three hits, as the Eagles finished 18-7 overall.

—Aaron Blankenship

Division III

Fredericktown 3, Columbus Academy 0

The top-seeded Columbus Academy baseball team lost to third-seeded Fredericktown 3-0 in a Division III title game May 23 at Beavers Field in Lancaster.

The game was postponed May 21 because of bad weather.

Kirk Manns pitched a no-hitter to lead the Freddies.

Columbus Academy pitchers Charlie Watters and Garrett Levine combined to allow just four hits.

Fredericktown’s Austin Hathaway had the big hit, a solo home run in the third to open the scoring. The Freddies added two runs in the sixth.

“We played great defense, but couldn’t get anything going at the plate,” Academy coach Jim Collis said.

The Vikings finished the season 21-6.

—Frank DiRenna

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