By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Moeller had to wait an extra day because of inclement weather, but the Crusaders joined Greater Catholic League South Division colleagues Elder and St. Xavier in advancing to the district finals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Baseball Tournament with a 5-1 victory against Kings on Friday evening at Foundation Field in Hamilton. The victory extended Moeller’s winning streak to 14 games and earned the Crusaders a matchup with Vandalia Butler at 2 p.m. today at Hamilton High School in one of four Southwest District finals scheduled for today.
Today’s Butler-Moeller final was originally scheduled for an 11 a.m. start, but the time was moved back to accommodate the game having to be played Friday night instead of Thursday, which would have given the winner an off day in between the district semifinals and final.
League rivals Elder (20-8) and St. Xavier (17-9) will meet for the fourth time this spring at 2 p.m. at Princeton High School. St. Xavier won two of three meetings during the regular season. Loveland and Mason also have advanced to the district finals from Greater Cincinnati, but their games – originally scheduled for today – are on hold until the completion of two district semifinal games to determine their respective opponents. The games between Beavercreek and Centerville and Northmont and Troy, postponed Friday, are scheduled to be played in a doubleheader tonight at Wright State University.
The four district winners advance to the Division I Cincinnati Region semifinals set for next Thursday at 2 and 5 p.m. at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium. The regional final is set for 5 p.m. next Friday at UC, with a berth on the line in the DI State Final Four to be played at Huntington Park in Columbus June 1-2.
Moeller (23-6) got another outstanding performance from starter and winning pitcher Mo Schaffer, who upped his record to 8-0 by shutting down a strong Kings offense. Moeller broke open a scoreless game by scoring three times in the bottom of the fourth inning and then added two more runs in the sixth. Four players had two hits each for Moeller – Tyler McDonough (2-4), Taylor Hopkins (2-4), Cameron Swanger (2-3) and Michael Tennie (2-3, 4 RBI). The game was suspended Thursday evening after heavy rain made the field unplayable at Elder’s Panther Athletic Complex with Moeller coming to bat in the bottom of the first. The game was moved to Foundation Field.
Kings (22-8) entered play with a seven-game winning streak.