Patriots, Barons win district semis


After edging 35th-seeded Marion Harding 2-0 with a pair of sixth-inning runs in last week’s sectional final, the fifth-seeded Olentangy Liberty baseball team notched a much more convincing win in Tuesday’s Division I district semifinal against 23rd-seeded Gahanna Lincoln.

The Patriots jumped out to a 9-0 lead through five — getting more than half of their runs in the second inning alone — on the way to a dominant 9-4 win over the visiting Lions.

Brock Amelung was steady on the mound, allowing just one hit in four scoreless innings of work on the way to the win.

He got plenty of help from the dish, too, as Brady Schnierer, Mason Onate, David Dielman and Connor Bourn all finished with two hits.

Liberty, which improved to 22-6 and advanced to Thursday’s district final against 11th-seeded Hilliard Darby with the win, scored all the runs it would need in the second. Anderson Gomez reached on an error before Bourn singled to drive him home with the game’s first run. Bourn then scored on a fielder’s choice before Josh Bercaw came around to score on a single off the bat of Onate.

Onate then scored on a Gahanna error before Dielman singled home Nick Metzger with the fifth and final run of the frame.

The Lions added three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to smooth out the scoring summary.

Onate finished with a team-best two RBI in the win while Bourn scored twice.

Braden Reed led Gahanna from the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with a run and two knocked in.

Buckeye Valley 2, Highland 1

Mason Kurtz fouled off eight straight pitches before connecting on a two-out double on an 0-2 count to bring home Noah Huss and lift the second-seeded Barons to a walk-off win over the sixth-seeded Fighting Scots in a Division II district semifinal Tuesday night in Delaware.

The win sets up a showdown with fifth-seeded Johnstown, which won its semifinal against Bishop Watterson by a 2-1 margin as well, in Thursday’s district final.

Kurtz’s heroics from the plate won the game, but BV (18-5) managed just four hits. Starting and winning pitcher Mike Choe’s effort on the mound was a major reason the Barons were in position to win.

Choe allowed an unearned run on eight hits. He struck out nine and walked just two in the complete-game win. The Scots were able to get on base, but he stranded 10 runners.

He routinely worked out of trouble, including in the sixth, when Highland got a runner in scoring position with one out before a ground out and pop out ended the inning and set the stage for BV’s late-inning rally.

The Scots scored their lone run in the third before the Barons plated the equalizer in the fourth, when Cole Raile came home on an error.

Huss set the stage for the walk-off, working a walk after coming in to pinch hit for Bryson Shumate in the seventh. Ted Akas moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before Kurtz punched the Barons’ ticket to the upcoming district title game.

Kurtz, Jaxson Stried, Raile and Zach Church had BV’s hits while Zach Pinkerton finished 2-for-3 to lead the Scots.

Hilliard Darby 4, Olentangy 1

The top-seeded Braves (24-4) opened the scoring summary with a run in the first, but didn’t score again as the 11th-seeded Panthers pulled in front and stayed in front on the way to a Division I district semifinal win Tuesday night in Lewis Center.

Cooper Gilkerson, who took over on the mound for Max Mullen in the second, tossed 5.2 innings of four-hit ball. He struck out three and walked just one.

Darby made its move in the third, taking a 2-1 lead when Casey Maruniak doubled home Brody Van Dyke and Travis Yankovich. The Panthers added two more in the fifth to seal the deal.

Van Dyke finished a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs while Maruniak had the big two-run double.

Brandon Hire, Nathan Holycross and Aiden O’Brien had the Braves’ hits.


Olentangy Liberty 17, Olentangy 7.

Olentangy Liberty’s Connor Bourn slides into home for a run during Tuesday’s Division I district semifinal against visiting Gahanna Lincoln. Liberty’s Connor Bourn slides into home for a run during Tuesday’s Division I district semifinal against visiting Gahanna Lincoln. Ben Stroup | The Gazette

By Ben Stroup

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