Moeller Advances To Baseball Regional Final


Posted on 5/29/2015 at 8:22 a.m.

La Salle’s Streak Ends At Eight In Division I Semifinals

Junior left-hander Nick Bennett tossed a complete game two-hitter, and Moeller scored four runs in the first inning, en route to a 5-0 victory over Lakota West in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Region 4 semifinals Thursday afternoon at University of Cincinnati Marge Schott Stadium – moving the Crusaders one win away from a fourth consecutive trip to the OHSAA State Tournament in Columbus.

Moeller (28-3), winner of eight straight games and two of the last three state championships, advances to meet Mason (23-7) in today’s 5 p.m. regional final at UC.  The Comets scored a run in the top of the seventh inning to snap a 1-1 tie and defeat La Salle, 2-1, in the second semifinal matching GCL South schools against members of the Greater Miami Conference.

The win by Mason avenged a 9-3 victory by La Salle during the regular season and ended the Lancers’ winning streak at eight games.  La Salle ends its impressive season at 24-7. La Salle was making its first regional appearance since 2010, when it also lost to Mason in the regional semifinals.

In the four-run first against GMC champion West (25-5), Moeller got doubles from seniors Josh Hollander and Grant Macciocchi, and a two-run single from senor Mitch Meece.  The Crusaders have now outscored the opposition, 66-5, during their winning streak – including 25-2 in four postseason victories.  Moeller has tossed five shutouts in that span – including a no-hitter by Macciocchi n the tournament opener against Middletown.

Macciocchi, who is 9-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 69 strikeouts this season, will likely be opposed by Mason senior Andy Marzheuser, who is 7-1, in today’s game.  Macciocchi leads the GCL South in both wins and strikeouts.  The same two teams met in last year’s regional final, with Moeller posting a 4-3 win to earn a berth to the state semifinals.

Pitching was on display in Mason’s semifinal win over La Salle, as senior right-hander Rodney Hutchison Jr. faced La Salle ace Ryan Ernst – who hurled a three-hit shutout in the Lancer’s 1-0 win over GCL South colleague Elder in the district final last week.  Hutchison allowed La Salle just four hits, striking out six, and contributed the game-winning sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh.  La Salle had won eight straight entering play Thursday.

Ernst also was impressive again in a complete-game performance.