Posted on 06/01/2014 at 9:00am

A day after hitting a two-run double to help lead Moeller over Beavercreek in the regional semifinals, junior Joe Vranesic was at it again Saturday against Mason in the Division I, Region 4 championship played at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.

Vranesic, a junior designated hitter, snapped a scoreless tie with a run-scoring single in the top of the fourth inning, was later hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth to produce what turned out to be the winning run, and then recorded the save by getting the final three outs in the bottom of the inning to help Moeller to a 4-3 victory in nine innings and a third straight berth in the state baseball tournament .

Moeller (25-4), winners of seven games in a row, advances to meet Massillon Jackson (24-5) in the state semifinals at 1 p.m. Friday at Huntington Park in Columbus. Gahanna Lincoln (17-12) will oppose North Royalton (21-7) in Friday’s first semifinal, at 10 a.m.  The state championships game is 4 p.m. Saturday at Huntington Park.

Coach Tim Held’s Crusaders are vying to win their third consecutive Division I state crown, fourth in the last six seasons and eighth overall – the first coming back in 1973.  But it wasn’t easy against Mason, which ends its season at 25-5 after falling for the first time in May.  The Comets, who tied the game at 3 with a run in the bottom of the seventh, entered the game riding a 14-game winning streak, including a perfect 13-0 record in May.

Sophomore Kyle Butz, sophomore Bryan Soth and senior Cole Proia each collected two of Moeller’s 10 hits Saturday en route to winning the regional crown for the 11th time in school history.  Sophomore Nick Bennett picked up the victory in relief, moving his record to 4-2 this season.

Posted on 05/31/2014 at 10:07am

Senior Zach Logue allowed just three hits and struck out eight to remain perfect this season, lifting Moeller to a 3-0 victory over Beavercreek in the Division I, Region 4 semifinals Friday night at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  The win moves coach Tim Held’s Crusaders one step closer to winning the state baseball championship for the third consecutive year.

Logan (8-0), who entered the game with a GCL South-leading 55 strikeouts and an earned run average of 1.03, received all the run support he would need in the bottom of the second inning – which junior designated hitter Joe Vranesic smacked a two-run double to left center field to give Moeller an early 2-0 lead.  Logue also was recently named the GCL South co-player of the year along with Shane Smith of Elder.

The victory moves Moeller (23-4), winners of six straight games, into today’s regional final against Mason (25-4), which defeated Troy, 5-0, in Friday’s first regional semifinal.  The Comets are trying to close out May with a perfect record, having won all 13 of its games this month and 14 straight overall.  Mason’s last loss was to Sycamore, 1-0, on April 25.

First pitch is 5 p.m. at UC’s Marge Schott Stadium.

The two schools have not played since the 2010 postseason, when Moeller defeated Mason, 11-1, in the regional final.  The Crusaders then lost to rival GCL South member Elder, 1-0, to end a 27-game winning streak and finish the season at 29-2.   This postseason, though, Mason pitching has allowed just seven runs in five games – including only four in the last four games with two shutouts.

Posted on 05/25/2014 at 8:30am

The GCL South will be well represented in today’s Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association State Championships, with both Elder and Moeller advancing to the Division I semifinals with victories Saturday morning at Hamilton High School.  Elder knocked off Lakota East in straight games to keep its state title hopes alive, while St. Xavier defeated Clayton Northmont in four games to also move into today’s Final Four.

The Bombers (20-1), ranked No. 1 in The Enquirer’s coaches poll, will play Hilliard Darby in the first semifinal at 10 a.m. today.  Darby knocked off Cleveland St. Ignatius in Saturday’s third semifinal in straight games.  No. 3 seed Elder (22-5), which has won 10 consecutive matches, will oppose Hilliard Davidson in the second semifinal at 11:45 this morning.  Darby advanced with a win over Lakewood St. Edward.

The state championship match will be played at 4 today at Hamilton.

Posted on 8/25/2014 at 8:32am

Junior infielder Josh Hollander’s two-out single in the eighth inning propelled Moeller to a 2-1 victory over Centerville in the Ohio Division I district championship Saturday at Western Hills High School, keeping the Crusaders’ quest for a state title three-peat alive with a berth in the Division I, Region 4 state semifinals.  It was the second straight 2-1 win for Moeller, which beat Loveland by that same score in Thursday’s district semifinals.

Moeller (22-4), which has now won five games in a row, advances to meet Beavercreek in the regional semifinals at 5 p.m. Thursday at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  Beavercreek (23-7), which has won 10 of its last 11 games, advanced to the regional semis with a 1-0 win over Lakota East Saturday at Centerville High School.

Coach Tim Held’s Crusaders got outstanding pitching again, from both starter Joe Vranesic - who gave up just one run over four innings - and sophomore Nick Bennett, who relieved Vranesic and did not allow a run to pick up the victory.  Junior catcher Bailey Montoya started Moeller’s winning rally with a one-out double and then gave way to pinch runner Patrick Birrer, who scored the game winner on Hollander’s walk-off hit.

Posted 05/23/2014 at 10:00pm

Moeller, the two-time defending Ohio Division I state baseball champions, look to take another step toward a three-peat Saturday when the Crusaders play Centerville in the Centerville I District Championship at 4 p.m. at Arch McCartney Stadium at Western Hills High School.

The game was originally scheduled to be played at 11 a.m., but the time was changed to accommodate Centerville’s graduation – which also is Saturday morning.

Both teams advanced with 2-1 victories in the district semifinals, with No. 2-seed Moeller (21-4) winning its fourth straight game by getting past Loveland, 2-1, Thursday at Sycamore High School, and Centerville knocking off the No. 1 seed Springboro by that same score at Fairborn.

The winner advances to meet either Beavercreek or Lakota East in the Cincinnati regional semifinals at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.

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