La Salle, Moeller Win District Baseball Championships

05/24/2015

Posted on 5/24/2015 at 8:50 a.m.

GCL South Members Advance To Thursday’s Regional Semis

Junior Kevin Browne’s two-out hit in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a comeback for La Salle and gave the Lancers a 5-4 victory over Hamilton Saturday in the Cincinnati I district championship game at Western Hills High School, earning La Salle its eighth consecutive victory and a berth in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Region 4 (Cincinnati) semifinals Thursday at the University of Cincinnati.

Moeller – the state’s top-ranked Division I team – will join La Salle in the regional semifinals after notching a 6-0 victory over Beavercreek Saturday at Lebanon Junior High School to win the Lebanon 2 district title.  The win was the seventh straight for Moeller, which is vying for a return to the OHSAA Baseball State Tournament after winning state titles in 2012 and 2013 and advancing to the state semis last year.

La Salle (24-6) will face Mason (22-7) in the regional semis at 5 p.m. Thursday at UC’s Marge Schott Stadium.  Mason defeated Troy, 10-2, in Saturday’s district final.  Moeller will play Lakota West (25-4), the Greater Miami Conference regular-season champion, in the first game that day at 2.  Lakota West advanced with a 2-1 victory over Clayton Northmont in a district final Saturday.

Coach Joe Voegele’s Lancers, which fell behind, 4-3, in the top of the ninth, mounted a rally in the bottom of the inning with one out.  Senior outfielder Anthony Bell singled and later scored on an infield single by senior infielder Eric Greene to tie the game.   Sophomore speedster Ben Brabender came in to pinch run for Greene, and scored on Browne’s game-winning hit into the right-field corner.

The win was the second straight one-run decision for La Salle, which defeated GCL colleague Elder, 1-0, behind senior pitcher Ryan Ernst in Thursday’s sectional championship.  Junior Dana Reeves picked up the win Saturday in relief for the Lancers, who also got two RBI from senior catcher Nigel Williams and a pair of hits from senior outfielder Alec Lane.  Bell finished 3-of-5 with two runs scored.

Moeller continued its dominating late-season run by shutting out Beavercreek behind junior Nick Bennett, who is now 5-1.  The Crusaders also beat Beavercreek, 3-0, last season in the regional finals to advance to Columbus.  Senior infielder Josh Hollander went 3-of-4, his second straight three-hit game, while junior outfielder Kyle Butz added a pair of RBI for Moeller – which has outscored its opponents, 61-5, during its seven-game streak.

During that stretch, coach Tim Held’s team has hurled four shutouts and allowed the opposition to score more than one run just once.  Should La Salle and Moeller both win Thursday, the GCL South member schools would then play each other in Friday’s 5 p.m. regional championship at UC with a berth to the OHSAA State Tournament on the line.  The state tournament is June 4-6 at Huntington Park in downtown Columbus.