Posted on 5/28/2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Kaiser Tosses Three-Hitter To Help La Salle Earn Trip To Columbus

Senior right-hander Jacob Kaiser continued his postseason stinginess, limiting a talent-laden Milford offense to just three hits in a complete-game performance to help La Salle to a 7-1 victory Friday evening in the Ohio High School Athletic Association regional championship at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  The victory earns La Salle (24-7) its first berth in the Division I state semifinals since 1995.  The Lancers meet Solon at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 2 at Huntington Park in Columbus.

Kaiser is now 9-1 this season and 4-0 in the postseason, having allowed just two runs in 27 innings.  The University of Charleston commit, who was named the Greater Catholic League South Division Pitcher of the Year this season, again had solid defense behind him against a Milford offense that put up 19 runs in a regional semifinal win over Bellefontaine one day earlier.  The Lancers turned three double plays Friday and, in the process, snapped Milford’s 11-game winning streak.

The game was tied 1-1 into the fifth inning, when La Salle junior shortstop Tyler Wardwell connected on a two-run double to put the Lancers up 3-1.  La Salle got a two-out bases-clearing double from sophomore infielder Griffin Merritt in the sixth to extend the margin to 6-1.  That was good enough for coach Joe Voegele’s team to notch its sixth consecutive victory, having outscored opponents, 29-3, in five postseason games.  

La Salle certainly is celebrating its 50-year baseball anniversary in style this season.  The Lancers won the GCL South Division championship outright, finishing with an impressive 7-2 league record – one game ahead of defending state champion Moeller.  The Lancers, in fact, are vying to give the GCL South back-to-back state titles and five in the last six seasons.  Moeller also won state crowns in 2012 and 2013.

The win over Milford (28-3) by La Salle also avenged a 1-0 loss to the Eagles in the season opener back on March 26.

Posted on 5/27/2016 at 10:02 a.m.

Lancers Defeat Northmont, Earn Rematch With Talented Milford

La Salle continued its postseason run Thursday night, combining another good pitching performance with solid defense and timely offense to defeat Clayton Northmont, 8-1, in an Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I regional semifinal game at University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  The win, La Salle’s fifth in a row, earns coach Joe Voegele’s team a matchup with Milford in the regional final at 5 p.m. today at UC.  The winner earns a trip to the OHSAA State Final Four that begins next Thursday in Columbus.

The game is a rematch of the season opener for both teams, a game Milford won 1-0 way back on March 26 on its home field.  The Eagles advanced to the regional final with a 19-9 win in five innings over Bellfontaine in the first game at UC Thursday.  The Eagles took an early 10-0 lead, only to have to wait through a 75-minute delay caused by lightning and rain, before ending the game after scoring seven runs with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.  Milford (28-2) enters today’s reginal final having won 11 consecutive games.

Against Northmont, La Salle (23-7) got a complete-game performance from junior Micah Allen – who ook a shutout into the seventh inning before Northmont scored its lone run.  The Lancers’ offense, which has now scored 18 runs in its last two games, was led by sophomore Griffin Merritt, who went 2-for-3 with three RBI, and junior Tyler Wardwell, who was 2-of-3 and drove in two runs.  La Salle has now outscored its postseason opponents, 22-2, and has not allowed more than one run in the four games.

The regional final is a matchup of two of Grater Cincinnati top pitchers in senior Jacob Kaiser of La Salle and senor Kyle Ruehlman of Milford.  Both take 8-1 records into today’s game and are coming off outstanding performances in the postseason.  Kaiser, who is 3-0 in three playoff starts and has allowed only one run, went the distance in La Salle’s 10-0 win over Hamilton in Monday’s district final.  Ruehlman tossed a complete-game, five-hitter in Milford’s 3-1 win over Springboro – the state’s No.-3 ranked Division I team, in the district final.

Posted on 5/24/2016 at 11:52 a.m.

Lancers Defeat Hamilton Behind Kaiser, Explosive Offense

Senior right-hander Jacob Kaiser, coming off a complete-game shutout in La Salle’s 2-0 win over Kings in a sectional final last Thursday, was equally as impressive Monday – allowing just two hits in six innings of the Lancers’ 10-0 win over Hamilton in a Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District final at Western Hills High School.  La Salle beat Hamilton, 5-4, in nine innings in last year’s district title game.

The victory moves La Salle (22-7), the regular-season Greater Catholic League South Division champion, into the Division I regional semifinals against Clayton Northmont (17-13) at 5 p.m. Thursday at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  Northmont defeated Harrison, 5-2, on Monday at Centerville to advance to the regional semifinals.

Milford (27-2), which knocked off Springboro, 3-1, Monday at Elder’s Panther Athletic Complex, will play Bellfontaine (23-8) in Thursday’s first regional semifinal at 2 at UC.  Bellefontaine ended the postseason run by Loveland with a 3-1 victory Monday at Kettering Fairmont High School. The winners will play in the regional final at 5 p.m. Friday at UC, with the champion advancing to the OHSAA State Baseball Tournament in Columbus.

All four district finals were scheduled for last Saturday, but were postponed because of inclement.  For La Salle, the extra two days enabled coach Joe Voegele to give the ball again to Kaiser – who upped his record to 8-1 this season and is a perfect 3-0 in the postseason.  Kaiser, too, received plenty of support from the Lancers’ offense, who got three hits and two RBI from seniors Kevin Browne and Tim Casey, the GCL South Player of the Year.

Posted on 5/23/2016 at 12:44 p.m.

GCL South Baseball Champion Lancers Vying For Regional Berth

La Salle, which won the Greater Catholic League South Division baseball championship outright this season, looks to represent the league in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Regional Tournament when it faces Hamilton in the Cincinnati I District title game at 5 p.m. today at Western Hills High School.  The winner advances to the regional semifinals against either Harrison or Clayton Northmont at 5 p.m. next Thursday at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.

The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but soggy field conditions forced the game to be rescheduled.

Today’s district final is a rematch of last season, when La Salle defeated Hamilton, 5-4, in nine innings to advance to regionals.  In that game, Lancers’ infielder Kevin Browne capped a rally in the bottom of the inning with a game-winning single as La Salle erased a one-run deficit by scoring two times in its final at-bat.  La Salle then lost to Mason, 2-1, in the regional semifinals.

The Lancers (21-7), who advanced with a 2-0 victory over Kings in Thursday’s Cincinnati I sectional final, are looking to become the second straight GCL South team in as many years – and fourth in the last five years – to capture the Division I state crown.  Moeller won the title last spring and also in 2012 and 2013.  La Sale kept its state title hopes alive behind senior right-hander Jacob Kaiser, a first-team all-GCL South selection who struck out eight in a complete-game performance against Kings.

Hamilton (18-9) ended Moeller’s state title defense with a 1-0 victory in last Thursday’s Cincinnati 4 sectional final to advance to today’s district final.  Moeller entered the game having won eight of its last nine games, but Big Blue senior left-hander Korren Thompson shut the Crusaders down on just one hit – outdueling Moeller senior left-hander and University of Louisville commit Nick Bennet, who struck out 11 in the loss.  Hamilton has won 10 of its last 12 games.

Elder (14-16) was the third GCL South team to advance to a sectional final.  The Panthers lost to Harrison, 4-2, on Thursday.

The other three Southwest Ohio Division I District finals also are today:  Milford vs. Springboro, 5 p.m. at Elder’s Panther Athletic Complex; Harrison vs. Clayton Northmont, 5 p.m. at Centerville High School; and Loveland vs. Bellefontaine, 5 p.m. at Kettering Fairmont High School.

Posted on 5/19/2016 at 9:59 a.m.

GCL South Teams To Play Today For Berth in District Tourney

Greater Catholic League South Division members Elder, La Salle and Moeller are one win away from advancing to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Baseball Tournament, with each school scheduled to play a sectional final Thursday afternoon at neutral sites around Greater Cincinnati. 

Elder (14-15), which defeated Fairfield, 2-1, last Thursday in the Cincinnati 3 Sectional, will face Harrison (20-7) in the sectional final at 5 p.m. today at Hamilton High School.  Harrison also advanced with a one-run victory, defeating Lebanon, 3-2, last Friday.  Elder enters the game riding a five-game winning streak that started with a 5-2 victory over Harrison on May 7 at Harrison.  The Wildcats won the Southwest Ohio Conference championship with an 11-1 league record during the regullar season.

La Salle (20-7), the outright GCL South champion this spring, will play Kings (17-11) in the Cincinnati 1 Sectional final at 4:30 p.m. today at Elder’s Panther Athletic Complex.  La Salle has won four of its last five games (the lone blemish during that stretch a 5-4 setback to sectional finalist Mason), and the Lancers are led by senior Tim Casey, the GCL South Player of the Year.  La Salle edged Turpin, 2-1, last Thursday in the semifinals.  Kings, a member of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference, advanced with a 5-3 win over GCL South member St. Xavier that same day.

Moeller (20-8), the defending Division I state champion, meets Hamilton (17-9) in the Cincinnati 4 Sectional final at 5 p.m. today at Lakota East High School.  The Crusaders have won three straight games and eight of their last nine, the lone loss to then undefeated Vandalia Butler, 12-5, on May 6.  Moeller is vying for its second straight state title and fourth in the last five years.  Coach Tim Held’s team won Division I state crowns in 2012, 2013 and 2015 – advancing to the state semifinals in 2014 before losing to Massillon Jackson, 4-2.

If victorious, the three GCL South schools advance to their respective district finals at noon Saturday.  If La Salle and Moeller win, the GCL rivals will meet for a fourth time this season.  La Salle won two of the three games in the regular season, winning 12-2 at Moeller on April 6 and 8-6 at home on April 18.  Two days later, Moeller won the third and final meeting, 5-4, on its home field.  La Salle finished  atop the GCL South with a 7-2 league record, with Moeller one game behind at 6-3.

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