COLUMBUS — It was a dominant performance both offensively and defensively for the Blue Lion baseball team as they threw a combined no-hitter and run-ruled Cambridge 10-0 on Friday, June 2 to win the Regional Championship and advance to the State Semifinals.
Sophomore Will Miller got the start on the mound for Washington and had Cambridge off-balance at the plate from the start. He pitched five innings and did not allow a single hit. He struck out six and two runners reached base via a walk and an error.
Senior A.J. Dallmayer pitched the final inning for the Blue Lions and retired the side in order with one strikeout.
The Bobcats started Carpenter on the mound, who was the losing pitcher in the contest. He pitched four and one-third innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
Geese pitched one inning in relief, allowing six runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Moore pitched the final one-third of an inning, allowing a hit and striking out one.
After Miller struck out the side in the top of the first, The Blue Lion offense plated three runs in the bottom half. John Wall started the inning hitting a sharp ground ball to the Bobcats’ shortstop and slipped in the batters box on the way to first base as Cambridge recorded the first out of the inning. Titus Lotz was next and ripped a single to center field. Dallmayer followed with a hard grounder that found the hole between third base and the short stop for a single. Jonah Waters was walked and then Tanner Lemaster smacked a two RBI single to right-center field that scored Lotz and Dallmayer. Bryce Yeazel drew a walk to load the bases and then R.J. Foose hit a single to shallow center field to score Waters. Washington tried and failed on a sacrifice squeeze bunt to force Lemaster out at home plate, and the next batter was retired to end the inning.
Miller faced just four batters in the top of the second inning, Walking one, striking out one, and forcing a ground out and pop out to get out of the inning.
Carpenter would also face four batters in the bottom half of the inning. After striking out the first batter, he walked Wall who was later thrown out attempting to steal second base. He then walked Lotz before striking out the next batter to end the inning.
Miller would retire the side in order in the top half of the third inning.
The Blue Lions had two runners on with two outs in the bottom of the third after Yeazel singled and Foose drew a walk, but they were unable to extend the lead.
Cambridge looked to get something going in the top of the fourth inning after Miller hit the first batter. The next batter hit a screaming ground ball deep that Wall stopped with a diving effort and in turn threw the lead runner out at second base to bring the Blue Lion fans to their feet. After the next batter lined out, the following batter reached on an error to put two on with two away. Miller was able to strike out the next batter to get out of the inning unscathed.
Junior Evan Lynch led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a triple on a deep fly ball to right-center field, which was very similar to the lead-off triple he hit in the fifth inning of the District Championship game on May 24. Wall was next and he blasted a ball to deep center field that the defender caught at the wall, allowing Lynch to easily score from third. The next two batters were retired as the Blue Lions made it a four-run game.
Miller retired the side in the top of the fifth inning in what would be his final inning on the mound.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Lemaster had his second hit of the game with a single to left field. Yeazel drew a walk to put two runners on, but the next two batters were retired to send the game to the sixth inning.
Dallmayer came into the game for Washington and made quick work of the top of the Bobcats lineup, retiring the side in order on just eleven pitches.
The Blue Lion offense decided to end the game an inning early by scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure the run-rule, 10-0. After the first batter was retired, Wall and Lotz singled and Dallmayer was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Waters hit an RBI single to score Wall, and Lemaster was hit by a pitch which scored Lotz. Yeazel redeemed himself after an unsuccessful sacrifice squeeze bunt in the Regional Semifinal by perfectly executing the squeeze to score Dallmayer. Foose was hit by a pitch to score Waters and keep the bases loaded. The next batter was retired for the second out of the inning. With an 8-0 lead and Lynch at the plate, he crushed another ball into the gap in right-center field to score two runs and end the game.
Offensively for Washington, Lemaster led the way going 2 for 3 with three RBI and a run scored.
Lynch was 2 for 4 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored.
Yeazel was 2 for 2 with an RBI and two walks.
Lotz was 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.
Foose was 1 for 2 with two RBI and a walk.
Wall was 1 for 2 with an RBI, a walk and a run scored.
Waters was 1 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Dallmayer was 1 for 3 with two runs scored.
The Blue Lions had a total of 12 hits on the day.
Washington Head Coach Mark Schwartz was visibly emotional after the victory and spoke about the performance of his team.
“First off, you gotta give credit to Will Miller. He probably didn’t think he was gonna pitch this week because we figured we could get by with Titus, Tanner and A.J. We had one-hundred percent confidence in Will and we knew he could pitch like he did tonight. He came out and just pitched like Will does. He did pretty much what he’s been doing the first two years of his varsity career, and then obviously, we’ve got A.J. who came in and closed it up for us, not thinking we would get six runs in the sixth. Again, it goes back to our pitching, our defense, and timely hitting, and we had all three of them tonight. These guys are just on a different level, mentally and physically. They were focused as soon as we left town.”
He finished, “Tanner had two big hits tonight with three RBI, Jonah got a big hit. John made a great play at shortstop, Bryce made a great play at second base, Evan got a big hit, the list goes on and on. This was a great team win and I’m very proud of these young men.”
Washington (27-1) will play on Friday, June 9 at 1 p.m. at Canal Park in Akron. The Blue Lions will take on the Ontario (16-14) who defeated Defiance 7-3 on Friday. The winner of that game will play the winner of Kenston and Chaminade Julienne on Saturday, June 10 at 4 p.m. in the State Championship game.