St. Xavier One Win From State Baseball Tournament


Posted on 5/26/2017 at 2:41 p.m. ET

Bombers To Face GMC Champ Lakota West In Today’s Final

Junior right-hander Nathan Kappers, voted the Greater Catholic League South Division Pitcher of the Year by league coaches following the regular season, has lived up to his accolades in the state playoffs and, as a result, St. Xavier is one win away from reaching the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Basketball Tournament in Columbus.

Kappers, who pitched the Bombers to an 11-2 win over Mason in last week’s sectional final, allowed seven hits, striking out two and allowing just one unearned run in a complete-game performance Thursday evening to help the Bombers to a 4-1 victory over Fairfield in the OHSAA Division I, Region 4 semifinals at University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  The win moves St. Xavier (22-4) into the regional final against Lakota West (24-5) at 5 p.m. today at UC.  Lakota West got past Centerville, 3-1, in nine innings in Thursday’s first game at UC.

St. Xavier is trying to win its first regional championship since 2003, when the Bombers went on to win the Division I state title.  St. Xavier last appeared in the regional title game in 2007, when it lost to eventual state champion Lakota West – which again stands in the way of the Bombers and a berth in the Final Four.

Kappers, now 8-1 this season, got the run support he would need in the top of the first inning.  Senior right-fielder Jon Brus smacked a two-out double to give the Bombers a 1-0 lead, and senior designated hitter Alex Markley followed with a two-run single to give coach Bob Sherlock’s team a 3-0 lead.  That is all Kappers would need, though he worked out of his share of trouble to move St. Xavier one step closer to the state tournament – which will be held next week at Huntington Park in downtown Columbus.

St. Xavier, which has won 11 of its last 12 games (the lone blemish a 6-5 setback to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in a regular-season game Monday), won the GCL South championship outright for the first time since 1999.  West won the always competitive Greater Miami Conference by one game over Fairfield, finishing with a 15-3 league mark.  The Firebirds have won five consecutive games, including a 7-3 win in the postseason against GCL member La Salle last week.