Bennett Pitches Moeller Into State Baseball Final

06/05/2015

Posted on 6/5/2015 at 6:44 a.m.

Crusaders One Win From Third Title In Four Years

Junior Nick Bennett  went the distance, allowing just four hits and striking out five, to lead Moeller to a 6-1 victory over Aurora Thursday afternoon in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Baseball State Tournament at Huntington Park in Columbus. The victory moves the Crusaders one win away from their third state championship in the last four years, the fourth under coach Tim Held, and the eighth in the school’s baseball history.

Moeller (30-3), which has won 10 straight games, advances to meet Westerville Central (26-6) in the state final at 10 a.m. Saturday at Huntington Park.  Westerville Central was a 10-5 winner over Cleveland St. Ignatius in Thursday’s first semifinal.  GCL South colleague La Salle, a regional semifinalist, played and defeated Westerville Central twice during the regular season – winning 2-1 and 5-4 on May 9.

Moeller held a slim 2-1 lead against Aurora entering the bottom of the fifth inning, before the Crusaders scored three times to give Bennett some breathing room.  From there, the left-hander did not allow any more runs and ended the game on a double play.  Bennett, who has committed to the University of Louisville, improves to 7-1 this season.  Bennett was the winner in Moeller’s victory over Lakota West in the regional semifinals.

The Crusaders, winners of 30 games for the first time since going 32-2 in its state championship season in 2013, will give the ball to senior Grant Macciocchi in Saturday’s final.  Macciochi - undefeated this season - leads the GCL South in both wins (9) and strikeouts (72), while ranking fifth in ERA at 1.05.  Macciochi has signed to play next spring at the University of Missouri.