By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Elder, Moeller and St. Xavier all advanced in the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Baseball Tournament with victories last Thursday and, after playing a few more regular-season games to stay fresh the next few days, will attempt to move deeper into the postseason with games at three different venues Thursday. Elder will face West Clermont at Princeton High School, Moeller advances to meet Kings at Elder’s Panther Athletic Complex, while St. Xavier opposes Badin at Hamilton High School. First pitch of all three games is 5 p.m.
Moeller (21-6), which won the Greater Catholic League South Division championship outright, is the league’s hottest team – having won 12 consecutive games after a 7-0 victory at Bishop Fenwick earlier today. The Crusaders, who opened postseason play with an 11-1 win against Northwest, will play Ross on Tuesday before their next tournament game. Moeller and Kings (22-7) did not play this season, and the Crusaders have not lost since falling to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, 3-2 , on April 20. Kings, which has won seven straight, beat Lakota West, 11-5, in its last tournament game.
St. Xavier (16-8), which finished one game behind Moeller in the final GCL South standings, defeated Sycamore, 10-2, in its tournament opener. The Bombers now will face Badin (22-6), which moved up to the Division I level in baseball this year and is annually one of Greater Cincinnati’s top programs. The Rams, a member of the GCL Co-Ed Division, beat St. Xavier, 12-4, in the season’s first week back on April 6. Badin won the Co-Ed’s Central Division with a 12-2 record and has won nine of its last 10 games, including a 5-0 victory over Harrison in the tournament last Thursday.
Elder (18-8) is hoping to capture the same momentum in the second season as it did to begin the regular season – when the Panthers opened with eight straight wins and were 11-1 at one point. Elder went through a brief difficult stretch, dropping five of six games, but has since rebounded to win three in a row and four of five. The Panthers knocked off Anderson, 10-1, to advance and meet West Clermont (19-10) – which finished a game behind ECC co-champions Loveland and Milford in the regular season before posting a 7-4 win over Milford in the tournament. Elder is slated to face Taylor at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
If Elder and St. Xavier win, the schools will meet in the district championship. The game is scheduled for Saturday, May 19 at a site to be determined. Should Moeller advance, the Crusaders will meet either Vandalia Butler or Springboro In another district final on May 19. Elder and St. Xavier met three times during the GCL South season, with the Bombers taking the final two games, 5-0 and 5-3. Elder won the first matchup, 2-1, in extra innings.
La Salle (10-15) was the lone GCL South school not to win its postseason opener. The Lancers fell at Loveland, 2-1, last Thursday and were eliminated from postseason competition. La Salle – which graduated a plethora of talented seniors from last season’s team that finished 17-7, ended the season on a six-game losing streak and finished third in the GCL South at 3-6. La Salle is just two seasons removed from winning the GCL South title outright and advancing to the Division I state final, where the Lancers fell to Pickerington North, 2-1. La Salle posted a combined 40-15 record in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.