Ashtabula Saints John & Paul sprinter Mary Mahoney steps up in Navarre in Division III regional track action while Indian Valley’s baseball team travels 3 ½ hours to dominate Division III regional teams in Chillicothe. Toss in a dominating pitching performance from Joe Collins of Garrettsville Garfield and it’s a great week in Northeast Ohio sports.
At a small school like Ashtabula Saints John & Paul, it’s tough to find Division I style talent but in Mary Mahoney, the Heralds have quite a sprinter.
While Gilmour Academy’s Candace Longino-Thomas seemingly has the regional locked up with her awesome times in the sprints, Mahoney is not far behind, even claiming the top qualifying time in the 400.
Heading into tonight’s regional finals, Mahoney has the second-best time in the 100 (12.53 to Longino-Thomas’ 12.13. She also is first in the 400 (56.88) and second in the 200 to Longino-Thomas (24.54 to 25.72).
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Joe Collins, Garrettsville Garfield Baseball: Collins, a senior for the G-Men, whirled a an outstanding game in the Division III regional semifinals over Canton Central Catholic as his team beat the defending state champions 5-0.
Collins struck out only six but walked none. Sixty-four of his 92 pitches went for strikes as he improved to 9-1 on the mound.
Collins also had three hits and two RBIs at the plate in leading the G-Men, who have seven of its starters who are sophomores or freshmen.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Indian Valley Baseball: The Braves from Gnadenhutten in Tuscarawas County pounded Proctorville Fairland 11-5 in a Division III regional semifinal on Thursday.
The Braves, who have now won 23-straight games after a 2-2 start to the season, jacked the ball all over the VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe. Placed into this difficult region nearly 3 ½ hours from home, the Braves have always excelled in the tournament. They will now face Wheelersburg at noon tomorrow.
In the win over Fairland, winning pitcher Johnny Iacobucci joined Bobby Hall, Alex Knecht and Matt Wheeler in collecting a double and single each. Logan Gray chipped in a single.
Indian Valley claimed the Principals’ Athletic Conference title this past season in its first year in the league that includes Akron Manchester, Tuscarawas Valley and Massillon Tuslaw.
Lower Lowers Wellington: Youngstown Ursuline pitcher Casey Lower allowed just four walks and had seven strikeouts as she led her team to a 2-1 win over Wellington in a Division III regional semifinal.
Baker Bakes: Canton Central Catholic junior Taylore Baker completed an outstanding run through the last three games of the season. While the Crusaders fell 5-0 to Garrettsville Garfield in the regional semifinals, Baker finished off a 3-game span where he went 8 for 9 at the plate with eight RBIs.
Amazing Addy: In a loaded pole vault regional at Fairless High in Division III, Newcomerstown’s Chase Addy took first. His vault of 14 feet, 6 inches topped defending regional champion Cody Marshall of East Canton, who has gone as high as 15 feet this year. Addy was fifth at state last year.
Perfect Pico: While she wasn’t perfect, Warren JFK pitcher Rachel Pico did dominate Windham in a 1-0 Division IV softball regional semifinal. Pico struck out 12 and also had a key single that eventually turned into the winning run when her pinch runner Adrian Ashdown scored on a double by Gabby Lee.
Great Green: Green beat Brecksville 5-2 in a Division I regional semifinal at Thurman Munson Stadium in Canton. Jake DeLuca had a key 2-run triple in the win.
Super Strasburg: Strasburg ended the year ranked first in Division IV in the state coach’s poll and now sits in the Division IV regional finals at Pickerington after beating defending champion Danville 3-0. Strasburg is 29-2 and was led by the pitching duo of Carly Clark and Kasey Gerber who combined for 13 strikeouts and a 2-hitter. Tiffany Herbert hit an RBI single and Emmy Hensel had two singles.
Not For New Philadelphia: After starting the season 6-11, New Philadelphia ended a magical run with a tough 10-9 loss to Canal Winchester in a Division II regional semifinal in Zanesville.
The Quakers finish the year 15-10 and nearly beat the Indians, a state finalist a year ago. The Quakers led 8-2 heading into the sixth inning but couldn’t hold on as the Indians rallied. Trent Bird had a double and two singles for the Quakers while Will McEwan had a triple and double and John Stephenson and Tanner Graham two hits each.
Gilmour Academy vs. Lake Center Christian, Division IV regional baseball semifinal at Pipe Yard in Lorain, Friday, 5 p.m.: Gilmour is the defending Division IV regional champion while Lake Center Christian has had an outstanding season coming out of Hartville, near Canton.
Walsh Jesuit vs. Bay Village, Division II regional baseball semifinal at Tiffin University, Friday, 5 p.m.: The defending champion Walsh team faces off against Cleveland-area rival Bay Village.
Regional Track Finals.: Head to any of a number of regional track sites in Northeast Ohio. The best competition may be at Fairless High for the Division III regional at Navarre.
Strasburg vs. Franklin Furnace Green/Portsmouth Clay, Division IV regional softball final at Pickerington, Saturday, noon: Strasburg, the top-ranked team in the final state coach’s poll, faces off against this Southeastern team. Strasburg knocked off defending champion Danville in the regional semifinals.