La Salle Two Wins Away From State Baseball Title


Posted on 6/2/2016 at 10:12 a.m.

Lancers To Face Solon In Division I Semifinals This Afternoon

La Salle looks to continue its postseason dominance when it meets Solon in the semifinals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Baseball Tournament at 4 p.m. today at Huntington Park in Columbus.  The Lancers are riding a six-game winning streak, including victories over five teams in the playoffs by a combined score of 29-3, heading into their first Final Four appearance since 1995.

Coach Joe Voegele’s team, celebrating the school’s 50-year anniversary of its baseball program this season, has combined outstanding starting pitchers, solid defense and a timely offense into one of the best seasons in school history.  The Lancers captured the Greater Catholic League South Division championship outright and now can keep the state title trophy in the league for the second straight year and fourth time in five years.

GCL South rival Moeller won state titles in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

Senior right-hander Jacob Kaiser is one reason the Lancers have a legitimate shot at state.  Kaiser is 9-1 this season after going a perfect 4-0 in the postseason – having only allowed two runs in 27 innings.  Kaiser, who is 14-1 in his varsity career, shut down Milford’s talent-laden offense in La Salle’s 7-1 win over the Eagles in the regional final last Friday at the University of Cincinnati.

Offensively, La Salle (24-7) boasts two of the top three hitters in the GCL South in Tim Casey (.457 average ranks second), named the GCL South Player of the Year, and Tyler Wardwell (.416, which is third).  Kevin Browne and Griffin Merritt are in the top two spots in the league for RBI, with 28 and 26, respectively.  Micah Allen, the Lancers’ No. 2 starting pitcher behind Kaiser with four victories, was fifth in RBI with 21.

Solon (25-4) won the Canton regional with a 10-0 victory over Stow in the final last Friday.  Cleveland St. Ignatius (22-10) meets Pickerington North (21-9) in today’s second semifinal, at 7 p.m.  The winners will play for the state championship at 1 p.m. Saturday.  Tickets to today’s game are $8 and are available at the Huntington Park Box Office.  There is no pre-sale for the state tournament.