As his team was clearing out the dugout at Huntington Park after earning a blowout win in its state-tournament debut June 1, Olentangy Liberty High School baseball player Corbin Parrish wasn’t about to get hung up on the accomplishment.
“It’s great, but we’re not done yet,” Parrish said. “I’m not satisfied.”
That attitude, combined with how the Patriots have dominated their last two opponents, has them on the cusp of the first state championship in program history.
Liberty scored four runs before an out was recorded in the first inning and led 8-2 after three innings en route to a 13-2, five-inning win over Medina Highland in a Division I state semifinal.
The Patriots, who beat New Albany 8-1 in a regional final May 25, improved to 29-4 and will face Whitehouse Anthony Wayne in the state final at 4 p.m. June 2 at Huntington Park.
Jack Metzger, who is 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA in seven starts this season, is expected to start on the mound in the state final for the Patriots.
Mitch Milheim got the start against Highland, striking out four and giving up three hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings to improve to 10-0.
“I’m not used to pitching in the morning,” Milheim said. “I did what I can to get ready, but I don’t think I had my best stuff, especially my fastball. The last two innings, I threw about 75 percent sliders. I didn’t feel like I had everything today, but you don’t always need that.”
The offense took the pressure off Milheim early in the game.
Mitchell Okuley led off the game with a double, Carson Comer walked and Brennan Rowe singled to make it 1-0. After a single by Parrish loaded the bases, Comer scored on a passed ball and Corey Mayer followed with a two-run double to left field.
Highland, which finished 19-10, scored two runs in the second inning and had the bases loaded before Milheim averted any further damage by striking out Tyler Savron and getting Sam Zeleznik to ground out.
In the third, Rowe walked and moved to third on a hit-and-run single to left by Parrish.
Mayer drove in Rowe with a single, Craig Lutwen walked and Justin Nelson executed an RBI single on a suicide-squeeze bunt.
Milheim followed with a two-run single to make it 8-2, driving Highland starter Bryce Budzinski from the game.
Nelson and Milheim added RBI singles in the fourth. Then in the fifth, Mayer had a bases-loaded walk, Lutwen drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and Connor Osmond had an RBI single.
Mayer was excited that his team’s offense got it going early.
“That was nice,” Mayer said. “This team is fun. We’ve been playing a lot of close games and it was nice to finally (jump) on somebody. It took a lot of pressure off.”