Specializing in winning: Coldwater, Walsh Jesuit headline state baseball tournament


State Baseball Tournament

Who says you have to specialize to be successful at a sport. The only
thing kids in Coldwater specialize in is being successful in all sports. The Cavs appearred in thier third regional final this school year Saturday and punched a return ticket to the state baseball tournament. They and 15 other teams invade Columbus’s Huntington Park this week in search of state championships.

Who says you have to specialize to be successful at a sport. The only thing kids in Coldwater specialize in is being successful in all sports.

Especially this current crop of Cavaliers.

Saturday Coldwater beat Richwood North Union 5-0 in the Division III Elida regional final to punch its second straight trip to the state baseball Final Four.

The regional final was Coldwater’s third straight this school year by a boys team. The Cavs lost to Kettering Alter in the D-IV, Region 16 football final and lost to Defiance Tinora in the D-III, Bowling Green boys basketball regional final.

Fittingly, this group of kids gets a chance to cap their high school careers (and add to them) the same way they started this tenacious two-year run – with a state title.

Overall, there are nine players on the Coldwater baseball roster who either played football or basketball and four – seniors Tony Harlamert and Zach Siefring and juniors Keith Wenning and Adam Rammel – who play all three sports.

These now seniors and juniors, starred as juniors and sophomores in the Cavs shocking 28-27 win over heavily favored and nationally ranked Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in the 2007 D-IV state football final in Massillon.

Last year the Cavs lost to eventual state champion Canton Central Catholic in the state baseball semis.

They hope another parochial school doesn’t end their season again.

Thursday at 1 p.m. at Huntington Park in Columbus, the Cavaliers tangle with Hamilton Badin in the D-III state semifinals. Badin is ranked No. 1 in the state and Coldwater is No. 2.

The Rams lost to CCC in last year’s state final.

The game is a match up between the Midwest Athletic Conference (Coldwater) and the Greater Catholic League (Badin), which are the state’s top two athletic affiliations.

Coldwater is making its 18th appearance in the state tournament and looking for its sixth title. Badin is making its ninth trip to state and looking for its third championship. Combined the Rams and Cavs have been in the state final 14 times. One of them will be again.

Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit might be competing in the Division II state baseball tournament this week, but don’t think the Warriors aren’t Division I material. In the latest ESPN Rise Fab 50 national rankings, Walsh is the highest ranked Ohio team at No. 19.

The Warriors are making their sixth trip to state and fourth in the last six years. Walsh is the defending D-II state champion and also won titles in 2006 and 2004. The only thing the Warriors haven’t done in their history is win back-to-back titles, which they’re on the verge of this weekend.

Currently 27-3, Walsh is led by a talented group of hurlers and hitters.

In the regional final, junior Greg Greve, a preseason Under Armour All-American, tossed a no-hitter as the Warriors beat Lima Shawnee 10-0 in five innings. Greve is 7-0 on the season.

It was the second Walsh postseason no-hitter. Earlier in the tournament, junior Tyler Skulina, a Virginia recruit and another preseason All-American, no-hit Akron Hoban. Skulina pitched the Warriors to a win over Bay Village Bay in the regional semifinals. Greve got the save.

At the plate, Walsh is powered by junior Ryan Berry who belted two home runs against Shawnee and has hit four round-trippers in the postseason. He has six on the season.
University of Buffalo and CRBC Player of the Year Matt Pollock and fellow seniors Matt Keller (Ohio), Joe Pawlowski, James Toland (Ohio Wesleyan), John Mastronicolas (Marietta) and Anthony Pucci (Eckerd College) and juniors Johnny Fasola and Marco Caponi help complete an intimidating batting order.

From the OHSAA

The 82nd Annual OHSAA State Baseball Tournaments take place June 4-6 at Huntington Park in Columbus.


10 a.m. – Division III semifinals – Garrettsville Garfield (20-5) vs. Gnadenhutten Indian Valley (25-2)
1 p.m. – Division III semifinals – Coldwater (30-2) vs. Hamilton Badin (28-2)
4 p.m. – Division II semifinals – Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (21-5) vs. Canal Winchester (28-4)
7 p.m. – Division II semifinals – Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (25-3) vs. Columbus St. Francis DeSales (22-8)

10 a.m. – Division IV semifinals – New Middletown Springfield (28-4) vs. Newark Catholic (20-10)
1 p.m. – Division IV semifinals – Hamler Patrick Henry (23-4) vs. Reading (24-3)
4 p.m. – Division I semifinals – Cleveland St. Ignatius (25-7) vs. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (22-5)
7 p.m. – Division I semifinals – Green (25-3) vs. Pickerington North (29-3)

10 a.m. – Division III finals
1 p.m. – Division II finals
4 p.m. – Division IV finals
7 p.m. – Division I finals

Complete statewide brackets for all divisions — beginning at the sectional tournament level — are available on the OHSAA Web site (www.ohsaa.org) by going to “Sports” followed by “Baseball.” The site will also include score updates the day following each game. State pairings will be available at the same location on the site on Sunday, May 31, provided there are no weather delays.

TOP-RANKED TEAMS (State Coaches Association Final Poll):
Division I: Strongsville (lost in regional semifinals)
Division II: Sandusky Perkins (lost in district finals)
Division III: Hamilton Badin (advanced to state semifinals)
Division IV: Toronto (lost in regional finals)

$8 per day.

This is the fourth straight year that all state semifinals and finals will be held at one site since the OHSAA expanded to four divisions in baseball in 1991. Cooper Stadium hosted all four divisions each of the past three years.


The 2009 state baseball field includes eight teams that played in Columbus last spring, two defending state champions, and a combined 31 championships amongst the 16 qualifiers.

Division I
features a rematch from last year’s semifinal round, as Cleveland St. Ignatius takes on Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller. St. Ignatius rallied for a 7-5 win in that game but fell in the cham¬pionship game to rival Lakewood St. Edward. The other semifinal has two newcomers to the state tournament, as Green faces off with second-ranked Pickerington North.

The Division II field also showcases a rematch from the 2008 state tournament, as Canal Winchester will meet up with Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin in the first semifinal. The Indians de¬feated NDCL 6-5 in an eight-inning affair last year. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, the defending state champions that is ranked 19th in the ESPN Rise Fab 50 poll, takes on Columbus St. Francis De¬Sales in the second semifinal. The Stallions look to capture their first state title in 30 years.

In Division III, Garrettsville Garfield – unranked and playing in its first state tournament – will take on Gnadenhutten Indian Val¬ley in the first semifinal. The other semifinal features the top-two teams in Division III, with Coldwater and Hamilton Badin matching up. Coldwater is making its 18th state tournament appearance, the most of any school in the field, while Badin has appeared in the tournament nine times.

In Division IV six-time state champion Newark Catholic faces New Middletown Springfield in one semifinal. Newark Catholic’s 10 losses are the most of any team in the field, but only one other team has won as many titles as it has: Reading, which squares off with defending state champion Hamler Patrick Henry in the other semifinal. Reading is making its first appearance in the tournament since 1980.


Division I: Exactly 10 years after winning its first state title, un¬ranked Lakewood St. Edward (25-6) defeated arch rival Cleveland St. Ignatius (28-6) in the state championship game. The Eagles led 3-2 entering the top of the seventh and added three insurance runs. St. Edward’s senior Mike Nieberding, sophomore Stetson Al¬lie and senior Michael Fox had two hits, respectively. Junior Frank DiSeco and seniors Joe Dorocak and Kirby Becker had two hits each for the Wildcats. Junior Nick Slogik earned the win and Allie picked up the save for the Eagles.

In the semifinals, St. Edward knocked off defending state cham¬pion West Chester Lakota West (26-2), 6-3. The Eagles pulled away in the fifth inning with an RBI double by junior right fielder Brian Boland and an RBI triple by junior center fielder Vince Marquard, his second of the game. St. Ignatius stopped seventh-ranked Cin¬cinnati Archbishop Moeller (25-7) in its semifinal game. After strug¬gling through the early innings against Crusader pitcher Greg Wil¬liams, the Wildcats were able to pull out the 7-5 win. Relief pitcher Mike Konya held Moeller scoreless over the final 2 1/3 innings and sophomore Jesse Franklin sealed the deal for the Wildcats with a diving catch in right field to end the game.

Division II:
Winning its fourth state title since 1999, third-ranked Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (30-3) shut out unranked Canal Winchester (22-13), 6-0. Senior David Starn pitched a six-hitter with nine strikeouts and two walks. Six Warriors knocked in single runs, helping Walsh close its season with a 14-game winning streak. The Indians made their first state tournament ap¬pearance since 1949.

After three hours and nine innings, the Warriors bested un¬ranked Springfield Kenton Ridge (21-7) 2-1 in their semifinal game. Junior Matt Pollock led the Warriors with three of the team’s seven hits, scoring junior Matt Keller for the winning – and only earned – run of the game. Canal Winchester faced No. 16 Chardon Notre Dame Cathedral Latin (22-5) in its semifinal and rallied for a 6-5 victory. The Lions led 5-3 entering the seventh, but the Indians came back with two runs to tie it and another run in the eighth for the victory.

Division III:
Ranked No. 15 in the state coaches poll, Canton Central Catholic (30-4) won its first championship after shutting out No. 13 Hamilton Badin (26-7), 8-0. The Crusaders snapped the Rams’ 20-game winning streak largely with the strength of a five-run third inning, which put them in front 6-0. Sophomore pitcher Taylore Baker tossed a three-hitter and also hit a home run in the second and an RBI single in the third.

In the semifinals, Hamilton Badin rode an early lead to defeat the third-ranked Pirates of Wheelersburg (29-2), 7-2. Rams ju¬nior Corey Van Natta and senior Nate Jackson each tripled in the first inning and junior Tony Cassano produced four RBIs in the victory. Canton Central Catholic faced No. 14 Coldwater (27-4) in its semifinal, winning 5-4. Senior pitcher Grant McCoury hit a pair of two-run homers and pitched six innings for the Crusaders. He held the Cavaliers to three hits, with seven strikeouts and six walks.

Division IV:
No. 1 Patrick Henry (28-3) took the crown, de¬feating Berlin Hiland (28-4) 10-0 in just five innings. Senior Kyle Reese threw a one-hitter while fanning five and also added two hits and two RBIs for the Patriots. Senior Brandon Wengerd had Hiland’s only hit with a single in the fourth.

In the semifinals, Hiland rallied in the seventh to pull out a 5-4 win against No. 5 Gates Mills Gilmour Academy (25-6) in its first state tournament appearance. Gilmour starting pitcher Cody Os¬burn gave up two runs in the first inning after Tony Yoder’s two-run triple, but held Hiland to one hit over a span of five innings, retiring 10 batters in a row at one point. Wengard’s two-run single in the seventh won it for Hiland. In its semifinal game, Patrick Henry de¬feated returning state champion and No. 13 Fort Loramie (21-12), 9-2. Four Patriots had multi-hit efforts on the day as Patrick Henry broke open a 4-2 game with three runs in the fifth and two runs in the sixth.

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