Muggy weather also brought intense competition over the past week in
central Ohio as area baseball, softball, track and tennis teams
contended for district championships. This week, baseball, softball and
track advance to regional competition, while the top boys tennis
players from across the state will be at Ohio State University on
Friday and Saturday for the state tennis tournament.
Muggy weather also brought intense competition over the past week in central Ohio as area baseball, softball, track and tennis teams contended for district championships. This week, baseball, softball and track advance to regional competition, while the top boys tennis players from across the state will be at Ohio State University on Friday and Saturday for the state tennis tournament.
Some of central Ohio’s best chances to nab state berths for baseball and softball will come at Division I and II. Southwest District champion Lebanon has a tough field to navigate at Ohio State University in Division I softball as they’ll meet Teays Valley, which defeated last year’s OSU regional champ, Grove City in a Central District final. If Lebanon gets past TV, they’ll have to contend with Pickerington Central or Hilliard Darby for the state berth.
Division I baseball also has a 75 percent chance of getting a state berth as Hilliard Davidson takes on Southwest District champ Harrison. If Harrison wins its first test, either Pickerington North or Gahanna will be waiting in the regional title game.
In Division II, Canal Winchester looks to be the favorite in the Zanesville baseball regional field, while the Pickerington Central regional softball field includes area programs Canal Winchester and Logan Elm.
Division IV could yield a pair of upsets, at least based on record.
Don’t overlook Newark Catholic baseball, 18-10. The Green Wave didn’t bring in the prettiest record to the tournament with a strong schedule, but NC should be considered a favorite in the Lancaster regional with semifinal opponent Southern from the Southeast District. In the event of a win, NC would then play East District champ Toronto or Southeast district champ Symmes Valley.
Defending state champ Danville is also back in the Division IV regional after finishing below .500 during the regular-season. They have to contend with Strasburg-Franklin in the regional semifinal, then Portsmouth Clay or Furnace Green for a potential repeat trip to Akron.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Reynoldsburg girls track: The Raiders dominated a Division I Central District meet at Dublin Coffman, defeating runner-up Watkins Memorial 157-98. Reynoldsburg won 11 individual titles, including sweeping all four relay races.
Faith Washington had a big week for the Raiders, winning the 100m and 300m hurdles, and also was part of two of the relay wins. Melissa Dodaro also stood out for Reynoldsburg, winning the discus and shot put.
Reynoldsburg came close to pulling off a sweep at Coffman as the boys finished as runner-up to Big Walnut.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Brad Liston, Circleville boys track: Liston helped the Circleville Tigers to three first-place finishes at a Division II Southeast District meet at Washington Court House. The Tigers defeated district runner-up Chillicothe and 14 other teams to take a district title. Liston won the 1600m run in 4:22.57 and came back later on a muggy Saturday to win the 3200m run in 10:09.15. Liston also was part of the winning 4x8m relay team.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS
Hilliard on top: Hilliard’s two high schools split the top of a Division I Central District track meet, as Davidson won the girls and Darby took the boys title. Two Davidson athletes each won a pair of district titles as Brittany Cheese took the 100m and 300m hurdles, and Tori Brink won the 800m and 1600m run.
Darby’s Jordan Rispress pulled a hurdles sweep in the 110m and 300m events. Jay McKenna also added a 1600m run title.
Down to the end: Big Walnut and Granville battled for a Division II Central District track meet championship came down to closing events, the most notable being the girls 4x4m relay. After Granville won the preliminaries over Big Walnut, the Golden Eagles flipped around the final for the finals as Chelsey Abrams, Chelsea DeLay, Julia Evans and Brea Medlock defeated Granville by over seven seconds. The two-point advantage between first and second came in handy for Big Walnut, which defeated Granville 144-142 to win the district gold.
Another close finish: Mount Gilead literally had zero room for error as they held off Berne Union 104-103 for a Division III Central District boys track title.
Colton Johnson pulled off the long distance sweep, winning the 1600m and 3200m run. Mount Gilead was also strong in the high jump as Daniel Ernst finished first and Matt Scott took second after falling in a jump-off.
Wagner advances: Wellington’s Ian Wagner continued his dominating play, clinching a district title with a 6-0 and 6-1 win over Columbus Academy’s John Hendrix. Wagner lost only two games during his four district matches.
First for Pickerington North: The Pickerington North baseball team won its first district title in school history, defeating Olentangy Liberty 10-4 in a tournament game. North was led by Jacob Isabel with four RBI. Isabel and Alex Borgan connected on back-to-back home runs to break a one-run contest wide open.
Kyle Price threw four shutout innings to earn the win.
Canal takes two: Canal Winchester rolled to Division II Central District championships in both baseball and softball over the past week.
The softball team trailed Big Walnut 5-0, but rallied for two runs in each the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to advance.
Emily Hall started the rally with a two-run double in the fourth, and Emily Wynkoop doubled in the sixth to knock in the run to send the Indians to the regional.
The baseball team held off a late charge against Licking Valley to take an 8-6 Division II Central District crown for the second consecutive year.
Michael Romanowski scored three runs and had a double for the Indians. Drew Rosch added a triple.
Normally a small ball team, the six of Canal’s nine hits came from the extra-base hit category.
Third time not the charm: Logan Elm made sure the third time was not the charm for archrival Circleville as the Lady Braves defeated Circleville 6-4 in the Division II Southeast District softball championship game.
Paige Gardner smacked a double to score Rebecca Lucas for the winning run.
Lucas’ stellar play at the plate and in the field was a big ingredient to the title for the Lady Braves. Lucas had two hits and a pair of RBI. In the field, Lucas nearly turned a triple play in the first inning and robbed Circleville of two hits with her sharp fielding in the hole.
Old Cardinal rivals square off: A Division IV Central District baseball title game provided an opportunity for old Mid-State League Cardinal Division rivals Fisher Catholic and Newark Catholic (who moved to the MSL-Ohio) to square off. Newark Catholic starter Garrett Clark settled down after allowing two early runs and led the NC past the Irish 11-2. Six runs were unearned by Newark Catholic.
Teays Valley vs. Lebanon in Division I softball regional semifinal, Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Ohio State University: These two teams met earlier this season in the Centennial Stellar Classic as Lebanon emerged with a 2-1 victory.
Pickerington Central vs. Hilliard Darby in Division I softball regional semifinal, Thursday at 5 p.m. at Ohio State University: Darby tries to keep its Cinderella run going against a tough Pickerington Central team.
Marion Pleasant vs. Badin in Division III baseball regional semifinal, Thursday at 5 p.m. at Wright State University: Pleasant advanced to the round by beating traditional Central District power Heath 10-4 in a Central District title game.
North Union vs. Edison in Division III baseball regional semifinal, Thursday at 2 p.m. at Elida Middle School: North Union has the bats smoking, outscoring its last two opponents 22-3.
Boys state tennis tournament, Friday and Saturday at Ohio State University:
The defending state champion Bishop Watterson doubles team of Phillip and Chris Diaz is back after a 6-3, 4-6 and 11-9 marathon win over Kevin Metka and Jonny Price of Worthington Kilbourne.