ASHVILLE — The Washington Blue Lion baseball team made its first appearance in the Division II Regional tournament since 2007 Thursday, June 2 when they took on Columbus Bishop Hartley in a Regional semifinal game held at Teays Valley High School.
Bishop Hartley struck first with two runs in the top of the third and went on to post a 5-2 victory.
Hartley will turn right around and face Steubenville today in the Regional finals for a spot in the State final four. Steubenville defeated New Philadelphia Thursday, 6-3.
Washington (18-6) ends a season that saw them finish as co-champions (with Jackson) of the Frontier Athletic Conference.
The Blue Lions began the Sectional tournament with a 7-5 win over the McClain Tigers and followed that with a 10-1 Sectional championship victory over New Lexington.
Then it was on to Athens, where the Blue Lions beat Circleville, 2-1 in the District semifinals. Washington captured the seventh District championship in school history with a 3-0 win over Sheridan.
Thursday it was probably too much of Hartley’s starting pitcher, Emmett Gillies, who is going to play his college baseball at Akron.
Gillies pitched a complete game, giving up six hits and two runs (both earned). He walked only one batter and struck out 12.
He even stayed in the game after getting drilled by a line drive that came right back at him in the latter stages of the game.
Titus Lotz started and took the loss for the Blue Lions. He pitched four innings with five hits and four runs (two earned) with five walks and three strikeouts.
A.J. Dallmayer pitched the final three innings for Washington, with one hit, one run (earned), one walk and four strikeouts.
Hartley threatened right from the start, getting two hits in the first inning.
The Hawks stranded those two runners as Washington got a fly ball out to center and a pitcher unassisted tag of a runner who hit the ball right back to Lotz.
Washington went out in order in the first inning.
Hartley stranded two more runners in the top of the second inning.
With two out in the bottom of the second, Jonah Waters got Washington’s first hit, a deep fly to left, over the fielder’s head for a double.
The next batter was retired for the Blue Lions.
Hartley kept the pressure on and made a breakthrough in the third.
With one out, a walk and steal of second was followed by a single.
With runners at the corners, a balk was called, allowing the first run to score.
A wild pitch moved the base-runner over to third from where he scored on a fielder’s choice.
Karson Runk had a two-out single for Washington in the third, but he was left on.
The Hawks sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth and scored twice more to take a 4-0 lead.
The Blue Lions had what turned out to be their only scoring inning of the game in the bottom of the fourth.
Dallmayer led off with a walk and Lemaster hit into a fielder’s choice.
Tyler Tackage singled to right field and after the second out, John Wall reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases.
Up stepped Bryce Yeazel and he lined a single to right, scoring Lemaster and Tackage to make it 4-2, Hartley.
The next Blue Lion batter was retired to end the inning.
Hartley got one of those runs back in the top of the fifth on a walk, a balk, a wild pitch and a single that made it 5-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Lotz had an infield hit off the pitcher, Gillies, who was able to stay in the game.
However, the next two batters were retired for Washington.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Hartley went out in order in the top of the seventh.
Unfortunately for the Blue Lions, they, too, were set down in order in the seventh, sealing the win for the Hawks.
“I thought Titus and A.J. pitched good tonight,” Washington head coach Mark Schwartz said. “We just made some uncharacteristic mistakes on defense. We had a couple balks and a couple of errors. You can’t do that against a very good team at this level and against a pitcher like that.
“(Gillies) threw strikes and had a very good curve ball,” Schwartz said. “He kept us off-balance there at times. You tip your cap to him. He pitched a great game.”
Washington says thank you and good-bye to four seniors: Karson Runk, Tyler Tackage, Jack Mead and Cal Wightman.
“I thank those guys for putting in the four years,” Schwartz said. “Their leadership — a couple of those guys battled injuries this year and fought their way back to be able to play. They were not always the most vocal leaders, but they led by example. Those are four quality young men right there who are going to go on and do great things. I thank them for all they did for the program.
“Obviously, those four and the rest of the guys are going to go down as one of the best teams to ever play at this school,” Schwartz said. “On our banner in the school it says the first District championship was won in 1941. So, we’ve won seven District titles in 81 years.
“It’s sad that our season is over,” Schwartz said. “But, these guys did everything we asked of them all year. They played as a team. And we had a great following tonight. That was amazing and I can’t thank them enough. Not just tonight, but, the whole year we’ve had great crowds. Tonight there were former baseball players here and former coaches; parents, fans, family members. I can’t thank them enough. I appreciate everybody coming over here and cheering these guys on.”
BH 002 210 0 — 5 6 0
W 000 200 0 — 2 6 2
Offensively for Washington: Karson Runk, 1-4; Titus Lotz, 1-4; A.J. Dallmayer, 0-2, 1 bb; Tanner Lemaster, 0-3, 1 run; Tyler Tackage, 2-3, 1 run; Jonah Waters, 1-3; R.J. Foose, 0-0; John Wall, 0-2; Collin Southworth, 0-1; Bryce Yeazel, 1-3, 2 RBI; Evan Lynch, 0-3. LOB: 6.
Offensively for Bishop Hartley: Emmett Gillies, 1-4, 1 RBI; Alex Blain, 1-3, 1 run, 1 bb; Peyton Underwood, 1-3, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 bb; Dimitri Boumis, 0-3, 1 bb; Gavin Feeney, 0-0; Lukas Graham, 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 bb; Donovan Tucker, 2-3, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 sb; Brendan Laret, 0-4; DuShaun Tucker, 0-0, 1 run; Landen Paulus, 0-1, 1 run, 1 bb; Warren Markwood, 0-1; Alex Ramicone, 1-2, 1 bb. LOB: 7.