Posted on 5/22/2018 at 4:59 a.m.

Crusaders Streak At 15; Panthers Edge St. Xavier To Advance 

Moeller extended its winning streak to 15 with a 6-2 victory against Vandalia Butler in a district final of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I State Baseball Tournament Sunday afternoon at Hamilton High School.  Moeller will be joined in the regional semifinals by Greater Catholic League South Division colleague Elder, after the Panthers edged league rival St. Xavier, 5-4, at Princeton High School.  The result is a matchup between the two GCL South teams in Thursday’s regional semifinals.  First pitch is 2 p.m. at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium. 

The second semifinal is Mason (24-5), winner of eight straight games including a 13-3 victory over Northmont in the district final Sunday at Princeton High School, against Centerville at 5.  Centerville (17-10) defeated Loveland, 4-1, on Monday at Hamilton in a game that started on Sunday, was suspended because of inclement weather and resumed in the bottom of the fifth inning and Centerville ahead, 2-1.  The Elks extended the lead to earn their first back-to-back district championships in program history.  Centerville has won six consecutive games.  

The regional championships is set for 5 p.m. Friday at UC. 

The GCL South will be represented in the regional final; the question is which league team will advance.  Moeller (24-6), which has won 15 consecutive games after a 3-2 loss to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy back on April 20, is 3-0 against Elder this spring.  The Crusaders won the first meeting, 3-1, on April 11 as part of the Skyline Chili Reds Futures High School Showcase at UC.  The loss was Elder’s first of the season after opening 8-0.  Moeller then won 10-0 on April 30 and followed with a 9-2 victory on May 2, a victory that clinched the GCL South title outright for the Crusaders. 

Moeller trailed Butler 2-1 entering the fourth inning in its district final before scoring three times to take a 4-2 lead, adding another run in the fifth, and then plating an insurance run in the top of the seventh.  The Crusaders defeated a young Butler team that entered the game having won nine of its last 12, including an upset of No. 1 seed Springboro in the district semifinals. 

Elder (21-8) also lost two of three games to St. Xavier during the regular season and, after one-half inning, the Bombers appeared on their way to another win after taking a 4-0 lead.  But Elder battled back to score a pair of runs in both the bottom of the first and second innings to make it 4-4.  The score remained the same until the bottom of the fifth.  Elder’s TJ Kearns was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and Ryan Marr followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs.  St. Xavier’s Joe Auberger struck out the next two hitters before pinch hitter Miles Bush delivered what turned out to be the game-winning single to score Kearns. 

After allowing four runs in the top of the first, Elder starter and sophomore Colton Sandhas settled in to allow just two hits while striking out six through 5 2/3 innings.  With two outs in the top of the sixth, St. Xavier designated hitter Nathan Kappers singled and Mitchel Lutz was then hit by a pitch – putting two on with two outs.  Senior Danny Nieman relieved Sandhas and recorded the third out on a deep fly to left field and then set down the side in order in the top of the seventh – fanning two of the three hitters he faced – to preserve the sixth straight win for the Panthers, who won their first district title since 2012.

Posted on 5/20/2018 at 10:27 a.m.

GCL South Teams Post Victories, One Win Away From Region Final

Defending state champion Moeller and No. 1 seed St. Xavier resumed their suspended matches Saturday morning and recorded victories in the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Lacrosse Tournament to earn spots in the Division I, Region 4 semifinals Tuesday.  Moeller, which carried a 6-0 halftime advantage when its game against Mason was suspended because of inclement weather Friday night, finished with a 13-4 win over the Comets to advance.  St. Xavier, leading 2-0 in the first quarter against Lebanon when the match was suspended, went on to a 19-2 win against the Warriors to stay alive. 

Moeller (14-6)  will host Springboro in one semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Gerry Faust Athletic Complex on its Kenwood campus.  Springboro advanced with a 16-11 victory against Milford in the quarterfinals.  St. Xavier (15-3) faces Loveland, which defeated Lakota East, 18-9, in the semis, in the other semifinal at 6:30 p.m. at St. Xavier Stadium’s Ballaban Field.  If both Greater Catholic League South Division teams are victorious, they would play in the regional final next Friday at a site to be determined with a berth in the state semifinals on the line. 

In the quarterfinals, Moeller earned its second win this season against Mason.  Logan Dieball, Brendan Sigurdson and Griffin Horter each scored three goals for the Crusaders, who also defeated Mason, 8-5, on April 25 in the regular season.  Dieball also added three assists for a total of six points in the match.  Like Moeller, St. Xavier took command early in its match as senior John Holcomb scored four goals in the first quarter.  He had plenty of help from seniors Duke Alf and Johnny Morrocco, who turned in solid performances to help the Bombers build a 19-0 lead after three quarters.

Posted on 5/19/2018 at 5:08 p.m.

Three GCL South Teams Must Wait Additional Day To Play Again 

After attempting to move the Elder versus St. Xavier district final  back three hours, tournament officials decided that field conditions and intermittent rainfall was going to be too much to play the game today – opting instead to move the game to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Princeton High School.  The decision cane a few hours after organizers already had decided to move the Moeller-Vandalia Butler final scheduled for today to 2 p.m. tomorrow at Hamilton High School. 

The three Greater Catholic League South Division teams – which have a combined 60-21 record – are attempting to earn a spot in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Regional Tournament set for next Thursday and Friday at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  The regional semifinals will be played at 2 and 5 p.m. Thursday, followed by the Cincinnati Region final at 5 Friday.  St. Xavier made the regional final last spring, losing to Lakota West, 2-1.

Posted on 5/19/2018 at 11:47 a.m.

Moeller Game Postponed, Moved To 2 P.M. Sunday At Hamilton 

Tournament organizers have moved the start of today’s district final game between Greater Catholic South Division rivals Elder and St. Xavier back to 5 p.m. at Princeton High School to allow the field conditions to continue to improve.  First pitch was originally set for 2, with the winner advancing to next Thursday’s Division I regional semifinals in the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Baseball Tournament. 

Moeller, the third GCL South team playing in a district final today, is now slated for a 2 p.m. start against Vandalia Butler on Sunday at Hamilton High School.  The game was originally scheduled for 2 this afternoon, but was postponed because of field conditions and inclement weather.

Posted on 5/19/2018 at 8:05 a.m.

Crusaders Extend Winning Streak To 14 Straight With Win 

Moeller had to wait an extra day because of inclement weather, but the Crusaders joined Greater Catholic League South Division colleagues Elder and St. Xavier in advancing to the district finals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Baseball Tournament with a 5-1 victory against Kings on Friday evening at Foundation Field in Hamilton.  The victory extended Moeller’s winning streak to 14 games and earned the Crusaders a matchup with Vandalia Butler at 2 p.m. today at Hamilton High School in one of four Southwest District finals scheduled for today. 

Today’s Butler-Moeller final was originally scheduled for an 11 a.m. start, but the time was moved back to accommodate the game having to be played Friday night instead of Thursday, which would have given the winner an off day in between the district semifinals and final. 

League rivals Elder (20-8) and St. Xavier (17-9) will meet for the fourth time this spring at 2 p.m. at Princeton High School.  St. Xavier won two of three meetings during the regular season.  Loveland and Mason also have advanced to the district finals from Greater Cincinnati, but their games – originally scheduled for today – are on hold until the completion of two district semifinal games to determine their respective opponents.  The games between Beavercreek and Centerville and Northmont and Troy, postponed Friday, are scheduled to be played in a doubleheader tonight at Wright State University. 

The four district winners advance to the Division I Cincinnati Region semifinals set for next Thursday at 2 and 5 p.m. at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  The regional final is set for 5 p.m. next Friday at UC, with a berth on the line in the DI State Final Four to be played at Huntington Park in Columbus June 1-2. 

Moeller (23-6) got another outstanding performance from starter and winning pitcher Mo Schaffer, who upped his record to 8-0 by shutting down a strong Kings offense.  Moeller broke open a scoreless game by scoring three times in the bottom of the fourth inning and then added two more runs in the sixth.  Four players had two hits each for Moeller – Tyler McDonough (2-4), Taylor Hopkins (2-4), Cameron Swanger (2-3) and Michael Tennie (2-3, 4 RBI).  The game was suspended Thursday evening after heavy rain made the field unplayable at Elder’s Panther Athletic Complex with Moeller coming to bat in the bottom of the first.  The game was moved to Foundation Field.

Kings (22-8) entered play with a seven-game winning streak.

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