St. Xavier Baseball Rolls Into Regional Semis

05/22/2017

Posted on 5/22/2017 at 9:12 a.m.

Baseball Bombers Put 10-Game Winning Streak On Line

The St. Xavier baseball team takes a 10-game winning streak, a 21-3 overall record and plenty of postseason momentum into Thursday’s regional semifinal matchup against Fairfield (22-6).  First pitch is 5 p.m. at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  Centerville (16-9) plays Lakota West (23-5) in the day’s first semifinal at 2, with the winners scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. Friday at UC with a berth in next week’s Ohio High School Athletic Association State Baseball Tournament on the line.

Coach Bob Sherlock’s Bombers, who haven’t lost since falling to Greater Catholic League South rival Moeller, 6-5, back on April 26 at Schuler Park, have won their three postseason games by a combined 23-3 score.  The latest victory came Saturday at Western Hills, when St. Xavier defeated Lebanon, 6-0, to win its first district championship since 2008 behind senior Sam Kendall – who scattered five hits and struck out six in coming within one out of a complete game to run his record to 6-0 this season.

The Bombers’ offense was the story last Thursday, scoring eight times in the third and fourth innings to back a complete-game effort from junior Nathan Kappers – the GCL South Pitcher of the Year.  St. Xavier seniors Jon Brus, Trevor Kuncl and Alex Markley each went 2-of-4 for St. Xavier, which also won the league championship outright this season for the first time since 1999.   Kappers settled in after allowing single runs in the first two innings.

Fairfield, which finished one-half game behind Lakota West in the final GMC standings, rallied to beat Kings, 8-7, last Thursday in its sectional final and then posted a 7-0 shutout over Vandalia Butler in the district final Saturday at Centerville to earn the Indians’ first district title since 2002.  Senior right-hander Andrew Sams tossed a complete game three-hitter, striking out six, against Butler to keep Fairfield’s postseason hopes alive.

The regional champion advances to the OHSAA State Baseball Tournament to be played June 1-3 at Huntington Park in downtown Columbus.  The Region 4 winner advances to the state semifinals to play at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 2.  The regional champion will oppose the winner of Region 1, which is the Canton Regional.  The four teams playing in that region are Aurora, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, Massillon Jackson and Mentor.

St. Xavier is vying to become the third GCL South team to advance to the state title game in as many years.  Last season, La Salle made it to the Division I state title game before falling to Pickerington North, 2-1, in the championship.  The postseason run capped a 25-8 year for the Lancers, that included a 7-2 GCL South record and outright title.  A year earlier, Moeller ended its season with 11 consecutive victories – including seven in the postseason – to win the school’s eighth state baseball crown.

The Bombers won their lone baseball title in 2003.