Ernst, La Salle Advance To District Final With 1-0 Win


Posted on 5/23/2015 at 8:27 a.m.

Moeller Moves One Step Closer To State Tournament Return

Senior pitcher Ryan Ernst tossed a complete-game three-hitter, and senior outfielder Anthony Bell knocked in the game’s lone run with a hit in the third inning, to pace La Sale to a 1-0 victory over fellow GCL South member Elder in ah Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional  championship game Thursday at Hamilton High School.
The Lancers (23-6), who have now won seven straight games, advance to meet Hamilton (17-12) in the Cincinnati District 1 final at 3 p.m. Saturday at Western Hills High School.  Hamilton advanced with a 12-3 win Thursday over Colerain.  Elder, which finished second in the GCL South in the regular season, finishes its season at 21-8.

GCL South champion Moeller also advanced to the district final Thursday.  The Crusaders, vying to win their third Division I state title in four years and eighth overall, defeated Fairfield, 7-2, behind a two-out, three-run home run in the first inning from senior infielder Kyle Butz.  Senior pitcher Grant Macciocchi picked up the win, his GCL South-leading ninth of the season, to give Moeller its sixth consecutive win.

The Crusaders (26-6), ranked No. 1 in the state by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association, advance to play Beavercreek (18-10) in the Lebanon District 2 final at 11 a.m. Saturday at Lebanon Junior High School. Beavercreek advanced with an 8-5 win over Springfield in a sectional final Thursday.

The Elder-La Salle game was another classic pitcher’s duel between Ernst and Elder ace Shane Smith, who had started and won two previous matchups against Ernst and La Salle during the regular season, 3-2 and 3-2.  Smith was again outstanding this time in the fourth meeting between the two schools, allowing only four hits, but Ernst did not allow a Panthers’ baserunner to reach third base.

Both Ernst and Smith, who finished 6-1 this season, will pitch for Miami University next season.
Moeller, which advanced to the state semifinals last season after winning state titles in 2012 and 2013, got plenty of offensive support against Fairfield.  In addition to the clutch home run from Butz, senior Josh Hollander was 3-of-4 with a double and two RBI.  Senior Kyle Dockus also had two hits to help the Crusaders win for the ninth time in the last 10 games, the lone blemish a 5-2 loss at La Salle on April 29.