A combined eight errors helped keep a Division I regional final between the New Albany and Olentangy Liberty high school baseball teams close for a while May 25, but well-timed small-ball helped the dam burst and send the Patriots to their first state tournament.

Carson Comer, Corbin Parrish and Brennan Rowe each had two hits and Jack Metzger pitched a complete game, allowing just three hits while striking out five and walking one, as Liberty pulled away for an 8-1 win.

“Our guys are good at being in the moment. They’ve always been able to be mature about breaking the game down into single pitches,” Patriots coach Ty Brenning said. “We have such depth that no one guy has to do it on their own. The wins we’ve had, it's been a little different recipe every single time. Nobody ever has to go it alone.”

Liberty improved to 28-4 and will play Medina Highland in a state semifinal at 10 a.m. June 1 at Huntington Park.

Justin Nelson scored what turned out to be the winning run on a wild pitch in the fourth inning to make it 2-1, and Metzger followed with an RBI single for a 3-1 lead.

The Patriots blew it open with a four-run fifth inning. Corbin Parrish had an RBI double, Craig Lutwen bunted home a run and two Eagles errors plated the other runs.

A bases-loaded walk by Spencer Tammaro in the fourth brought in Michael Bohman with New Albany’s only run.

The Eagles, who finished 20-9, were seeking their first state tournament berth since winning the Division III championship in 2004.

Each team committed four errors.

“We just didn’t get the hit we needed to get to give us a little bit of a cushion,” New Albany coach Dave Starling said. “To keep them off the scoreboard was virtually impossible. They are too good, but you can’t give them the number of outs we gave them.”

Division III

Coldwater 7, Columbus Academy 2

Academy’s state title hopes ended against Coldwater in a Division III regional final May 25 at Elida Middle School.

The Vikings, who rallied to defeat Archbold 4-3 in a regional semifinal May 24 in Elida, fell behind Coldwater 3-0 in the fourth inning and could not recover.

Academy finished 18-14.

“Every time we hit the ball, we hit it right to somebody,” Vikings senior Matthew Saling said. “We just couldn’t find a hole. … Everyone was a little disappointed. There were a lot of tears rolling, but coach (Todd Dunkle) told us to keep our heads up. To where we came from to where we are now, it’s a shock to the world that we made it to the regional final. There’s a lot to be proud of.”

The Vikings were seeking their first state tournament berth since 2003.

Coldwater improved to 25-6 and advanced to a state semifinal May 31 at Huntington Park.

—Frank DiRenna

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