St. Xavier Falls To Lakota West, 2-1, In Region Final

05/27/2017

Posted on 5/27/2017 at 7:00 a.m.

Bombers End Memorable Season with Stellar 22-5 Record

Lakota West sophomore Max Kiker allowed just six hits, striking out two, in recording his first complete game of the season to help Lakota West edge St. Xavier, 2-1, in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I, Region 4 championship game Friday evening at University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium.  The victory earned the Firebirds a berth in the state tournament.  West, the Greater Miami Conference winner this spring, last won the state baseball championship back in 2007.

The one-run loss ends St. Xavier’s outstanding season in the regional final, where the Bombers also lost to West, 4-2, in 2007.  St. Xavier (22-5) was vying for its first berth in the state semifinals since 2003 – when the Bombers won their last state baseball title.  It wasn’t to be, however, as West managed to score single runs in the first and third innings and – behind solid defense and Kiker – was able to limit the Bombers’ strong offense on this day.  Kiker retired the final nine hitters he faced in order.

The victory moves West (25-5), winner of six straight games, into the semifinals where the Firebirds will face either Massillon Jackson or Mentor at 4 [p.m. next Friday at Huntington Park in downtown Columbus.  Sam Kendall was the tough-luck loser for St. Xavier, suffering his first defeat of the season in seven decisions despite allowing just four hits.  Michael Cleary and Pete Fisher each had two hits for St. Xavier, with Cleary driving in the Bombers’ lone run.

Coach Bob Sherlock’s team wrapped up a season to remember that included St. Xavier’s first outright Greater Catholic League South Division championship since 1999, sectional and district championships, and an appearance in the regional final.  Sherlock was voted the GCL South Coach of the Year by his peers, while junior right-hander Nathan Kappers was named the league’s Pitcher of the Year after turning in an outstanding regular season.