Tyler Brown blasted the Olentangy Orange High School baseball team to its first regional championship.
The senior doubled off the top of the center-field fence in the bottom of the seventh inning to help the Pioneers rally from an early three-run deficit to defeat Gahanna 4-3 in a Division I regional final May 27 at Dublin Coffman.
Brown’s hit scored Jason Schutte from second base with the decisive run.
“I thought it was (a home run), but I took off running,” said Brown, who pitched a four-hitter in a 5-0 win over Hilliard Darby in a regional semifinal May 26. “Baseball can find ways to humble you. I didn’t want to cost us by standing there watching it.”
The Pioneers improved to 23-8 and will play Strongsville (22-8) in a state semifinal at 7 p.m. June 2 at Huntington Park. The Mustangs defeated Medina 3-2 in their regional final May 27 at Cuyahoga Community College.
Gahanna, which finished 15-8, jumped out to a 3-0 lead with two runs in the first inning and one in the third. Jarod White had an RBI groundout to score Mason Coleman and Josh Oddi’s RBI double scored Cael Baker to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.
“When they only scored two runs in the first inning, I felt pretty good about things,” Orange coach Phil Callaghan said. “They made it 3-0, but I knew we would still have some chances.”
After Oddi added an RBI groundout to score Baker to make it 3-0, Orange pitcher Matt Poole held the Lions at bay from that point. The right-hander finished with three strikeouts and one walk.
“Our pitching coach (Mike Weaver) was telling me to stay focused on every pitch and get outs,” Poole said. “I knew we could battle back.”
Orange’s Ben Miller singled to lead off the bottom of the third and later scored when Poole grounded into a double play, cutting the deficit to 3-1. The Pioneers then scored one unearned run in both the fifth and sixth.
Tyler Ross led off the fifth with a double to right and moved to third on a throwing error to the infield. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Miller.
In the sixth, Brown was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and was replaced by pinch-runner Robbie Dayhuff. Dayhuff moved to second on a single by Zach Stiteler and then scored on an errant throw on a bunt by Logan Moss.
“Defensively, we left it open for them,” Gahanna coach Mike Shade said. “You can’t make mistakes in a regional final, and that’s what we did.”Division II
Dayton Chaminade Julienne 4, DeSales 3
Garrett Wissman’s three RBI helped Chaminade Julienne hold off DeSales in a Division II regional final May 27 at Mason.
Wissman opened the scoring with a two-run home run off Chris McNally in the first inning, and singled in Mark Barhorst with what turned out to be the winning run in the sixth.
DeSales scored two runs in the fifth on a Drew McLuckie RBI single and an error, and drew within 4-3 in the seventh when Ryan Corkrean singled home Joey Velazquez.
The Stallions, who finished 19-12, also lost in a regional final at Mason last year.
Chaminade Julienne improved to 22-4 despite committing four errors and will play Athens or Steubenville in a state semifinal at 4 p.m. June 1 at Huntington Park.
—Dave PurpuraDivision IV
Russia 3, Newark Catholic 2
After winning back-to-back Division IV state titles, Newark Catholic lost to Russia in a Division IV regional final May 27 at Carlton Davidson Stadium in Springfield.
The Green Wave, who finished 10-18, scored two runs in the top of the first inning on RBI singles by Noah Fodor and Caleb Claggett, but gave up one run in the bottom of the inning and two in the third.
Russia improved to 24-6 and will play Dalton in a state semifinal at 1 p.m. June 2 at Huntington Park.