By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
The Greater Catholic League South Division is assured that one of its baseball teams will be playing for a berth in the state semifinals next week in Columbus; the question is will it be Elder or Moeller advancing to Friday’s Division I Cincinnati Region final at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium. That answer will be determined later this afternoon, following the fourth meeting this season between the league rivals. First pitch is 2 p.m. at UC, to be followed by Centerville versus Mason in the second semifinal at 5.
The winners meet at 5 p.m. Friday at UC.
Moeller (24-6) is the hottest team in Greater Cincinnati, having won 15 consecutive games following its 6-2 win against Vandalia Butler in the district final last Sunday. Elder (21-8) also is on a roll, having won six straight and seven of its last eight games – including a come-from-behind, 5-4 victory over GCL South member St. Xavier in the district final Sunday at Princeton. Moeller, however, has won all three meetings against Elder this season – starting with a 3-1 win on April 11 on this same field as part of the GCL South DH in the Skyline Chili Reds Futures High School Showcase.
The Crusaders, who have not lost since falling to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, 3-2, in April 20, won the final two meetings by scores of 10-0 and 9-2 on April 30 and May, 2, respectively, with the second victory earning Moeller the GCL South championship outright. Elder’s last loss is the last meeting with Moeller.
Both teams also have top-notch starting pitchers if they choose to have them start today’s game. Elder is led by junior right-hander Kyle Klingenbeck, who averages nearly a strikeout an inning and is coming off a complete-game performance in the Panthers’ 1-` win against West Clermont in last week’s district semifinals. Moeller could choose to counter with senior right-hander Mo Schaffer, who is a perfect 8-0 with a 0.49 ERA that includes five shutouts and 54 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings pitched.