La Salle One Win Away From State Baseball Title

06/03/2016

Posted 6/3/2016 at 10:22 a.m.

Lancers Rally To Beat Solon In Seventh, Earn Berth In Saturday’s Final

La Salle continued its celebration of 50 years of baseball at the school in grand style Thursday, rallying from a 4-2 deficit in the fifth inning to tie the game in the sixth and then to score the game’s winning run on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 5-4 victory over Solon in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I state semifinals at Huntington Park in Columbus.

The victory moves La Salle one win away from the school’s first state baseball championship.  The Lancers (25-7), who have now won seven straight games, advance to meet Pickerington North (22-9) in the title game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Huntington Park.  Pickerington North scored a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning to defeat Cleveland St. Ignatius, 5-3, in Thursday’s second semifinal.

Earlier this school year, La Salle successfully defended its Division II state football championship.  The Lancers last appeared in the state baseball final back in 1995, losing to Canton GlenOak, 9-4, in the state title game.  La Salle, coached by Willy Corbett that year, finished with a 23-9 record and defeated Toledo Start, 2-1, in the state semifinals.

Senior right-hander Jacob Kaiser gave La Salle another strong performance, going the distance and allowing five hits and striking out sixth to improve his record to 10-1 this season and 15-1 in his varsity career.  The University of Charleston commit, named Greater Catholic League South Division Pitcher of the Year, is now 5-0 in the postseason – having allowed just six runs in 34 innings.

Before facing La Salle, Solon (25-5) had allowed only one postseason run.

La Salle tied the game in the sixth on a successful suicide squeeze bunt from senior Tim Casey, the GCL South Player of the Year.  In the bottom of the seventh, junior Brady Reynolds and senior Kevin Browne each drew walks to start the inning.  Junior Micah Allen sacrificed the two into scoring position and, with senior catcher Jon Hambrick at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Reynolds to score the game-winning run.

Allen will likely get the ball for the Lancers against Pickerington North.  Allen, La Salle’s No. 2 starter, was solid in his last outing – pitching La Salle to an 8-1 victory over Northmont.  Voegele said the complete-game performance was Allen’s best outing of the season, which also included a pair of wins over GCL South competition during the regular season.  Allen is 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA on the season.

Tickets to the state final are $8 and available at the Huntington Park Box Office.  There is no pre-sale for games in the state baseball tournament.  La Salle is vying to give the GCL South its second straight state crown and fourth in the last five years.  Moeller won state titles in 2012, 20-13 and 2015.  Hamilton Badin (22-10), a member of the GCL Co-Ed Division, plays for the Division II state crown against Defiance (28-2) at 10 a.m. Saturday.