Matthew McElligott and Luke Rawlins never would have foreseen how the Hartley High School baseball team’s Division II district final against DeSales would go May 17.
Usually a relief pitcher during the regular season, McElligott combined with Rawlins for a no-hitter as the sixth-seeded Hawks upset the second-seeded Stallions 1-0 at Blacklick Elementary School.
McElligott struck out three and walked three in five innings, and Rawlins worked around three walks in the seventh to earn the save for what Hawks coach Chris Sawyer believed was the program’s first district title since winning the Division III state championship season in 1996.
“I just tried to throw strikes. My job is to get through the lineup one time without them scoring and I just kept doing it,” McElligott said. “I just tried to throw it over the plate, let them make contact and let our defense make plays. It was a complete team win. Our defense came up huge.”
Rawlins’ first-inning single to left scored Phillip Cole with the game’s only run.
Hartley improved to 17-7 and will play Dayton Chaminade Julienne, Dayton Oakwood or New Richmond in a regional semifinal May 24 at Mason.
The Hawks and DeSales played two slugfests during the regular season and ultimately split the CCL championship, with the Stallions winning 10-0 in five innings on April 18 before a 14-10 Hawks win 12 days later.
“I never know what to expect going into games,” said DeSales coach Tom Neubert, whose team finished 19-10. “I certainly felt we could score runs and we didn’t score any. You can’t win games if you don’t score runs.”
Lakewood 2, Watterson 0
Eighth-seeded Watterson stranded runners on third in both the third and fifth innings in its loss to third-seeded Lakewood in a Division II district final May 17 at New Albany.
The Eagles, who finished 18-10, gave up one run in each of the first two innings and finished with just two hits.
In the bottom of the first, Christian Lothes doubled and scored on a double by Devon Middlemus to give Lakewood a 1-0 lead. In the second, Jacob Maynard doubled and scored on a single by Connor Vierstra to complete the scoring.
Watterson’s Adam Fallon doubled with one out in the third and moved to third on a groundout but was left stranded. In the fifth, the Eagles’ Sam Greiner singled, stole second and moved to third on an error but also didn’t score.
Drake McAninch pitched four scoreless innings of relief for Watterson, while Middlemus tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and picked up the win for Lakewood, which improved to 22-6.
—Jarrod UlreyDivision I
Olentangy Liberty 5, Marysville 4
Faced with the biggest game of his prep career up to this point, sophomore Brennan Rowe got it done on the mound and at the plate for top-seeded Liberty in a Division I district final May 17 at Dublin Coffman.
Rowe gave up two runs in both the third and fifth innings but went on to toss a complete game as the Patriots rallied to beat 16th-seeded Marysville.
With the game tied at 4 in the seventh, Mitchell Okuley led off with a walk, moved to third on a sacrifice by Carson Comer and scored on a single to left by Rowe.
“I was trying to have the same aggressiveness and didn’t want to overdue it,” Rowe said. “I was just looking for a pitch in the zone. … I just wanted to hit one hard.”
Liberty improved to 26-4 and will play Lancaster in a regional semifinal May 24 at Coffman.
Okuley finished 2-for-2 with two walks and three runs scored, Rowe went 2-for-4 with two RBI and Corbin Parrish, Corey Mayer and Justin Nelson also had one RBI apiece for the Patriots.
Marysville finished 17-10.
Lancaster 8, Upper Arlington 5
Ben Krimm homered twice, including a three-run shot in the sixth inning to bring fifth-seeded UA within a run, but the Golden Bears fell to eighth-seeded Lancaster in a Division I district final May 17 at Grove City.
UA, which finished 20-8, was seeking its first district championship since 2010.
Krimm finished 2-for-3 with five RBI. Tommy Dilz also was 2-for-3 for the Bears.
Jake Richards’ two-run double in the seventh gave the Golden Gales breathing room en route to their first district title since 1993.