The D-II Southeast District Sectional Championship was on the line on Wednesday, May 17 as the Washington Blue Lion baseball team hosted the Fairfield Union Falcons.
Washington (22-1) was coming off of an 11-0 victory over Logan Elm in the Sectional Semifinals, while Fairfield Union (13-9) defeated New Lexington.
In the regular season, The Blue Lions defeated the Falcons 2-1 in eight innings on Thursday, April 6 with a walk-off single from Titus Lotz.
The Blue Lions went with senior Tanner Lemaster on the mound and the Falcons started Ronnie Rowley. Both pitchers would go the distance in the contest.
Washington scored a run in four of the first five innings, while the defense held Fairfield Union to just one run and won the Sectional Championship by a score of 4-1.
Lemaster pitched seven innings, allowing one run (his first earned run allowed this season) on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Rowley worked six innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
The Blue Lions got in the scoring column early, as John Wall led off the bottom of the first inning with a single to left field. After Wall stole second, Lotz reached on an error that moved Wall to third. A.J. Dallmayer then hit a sacrifice fly to score Wall. Washington was unable to add any more runs in the inning and took a 1-0 lead into the top of the second.
Another run was scored by the Blue Lions in the bottom of inning number two. R.J. Foose led off with a double, followed by a perfectly executed bunt single from Will Miller that moved Foose to third. Evan Lynch was next and he ripped a single to center field to score Foose and move Miller to second. Washington has runners on first and second with no outs but were unable to inflict any more damage as they went to the third inning up 2-0.
The third run for Washington came in the bottom of the third inning. Jonah Waters reached on and error and advanced to second on the same error. A balk by the Falcons pitcher moved Waters to third. Two batters later, Bryce Yeazel grounded out to score Waters. The next Blue Lion batter was retired to end the inning.
Fairfield Union scored their lone run of the game in the top of the fifth inning on a sacrifice bunt.
Washington would add another insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Lotz led off and was hit by a pitch. Dallmayer grounded into a fielder’s choice that retired Lotz at second base. Dallmayer stole second, followed by a single from Waters to move Dallmayer to third base. He would then score on an error from the Falcons to make it 4-1 which was the final.
Offensively for Washington, five players collected a hit for the team.
Lynch was 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Foose was 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored.
Wall was 1 for 3 with a run scored.
Waters was 1 for 3 with a run scored.
Miller was 1 for 3.
Yeazel and Dallmayer each had an RBI.
Dallmayer, Lemaster, Wall, Lynch and Collin Southworth each stole a base for the Blue Lions.
Washington (23-1, Ranked No. 6 in the D-II OHSBCA State Poll) plays on Monday, May 22 at 4 p.m. in the District Semifinals against Jackson (20-5) at Ohio University in Athens. Jackson defeated Miami Trace on Wednesday by a score of 7-0. The Blue Lions have defeated the Ironmen twice this season, including a 4-2 victory at home and a 5-2 victory at Jackson.
Blue Lion head coach Mark Schwartz spoke after the victory.
”It was great team win against a solid Fairfield Union team. Tanner didn’t have his best stuff tonight but he battled and our defense was great. Offensively, we were able to manufacture runs by stealing some bases, hitting behind runners and getting a key sacrifice fly from A.J. Dallmayer, an RBI ground out by Bryce Yeazel, and Evan Lynch got a RBI hit. We have stressed all year that we have to play great defense and play team baseball offensively and we did that tonight.”
In other games on Wednesday in the D-II Southeast District, Circleville (18-11) upset Sheridan (20-3, ranked No. 4 in the D-II OHSBCA State Poll) by a score of 8-1. Unioto (25-2, ranked No. 3 in the D-II OHSBCA State Poll) defeated Waverly (17-7) by a score of 6-2. Circleville will play Unioto at 6 p.m. in the District Semifinals on Monday, May 22 at Ohio University.