CJ baseball advances to regional final

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

MASON — Somebody mentioned to Chaminade Julienne baseball coach Todd Barhorst after Thursday’s Division II regional semifinal at Mason that it wasn’t the prettiest game he’d watched.

“I know,” Barhorst agreed.

The thing was, he could say it with a smile as his Eagles came away with a 5-1 win over Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy – also nicknamed the Eagles – to earn a berth in Friday’s 5 p.m. regional final at Mason against Badin.

Friday’s winner advances to a 10 a.m. state semifinal on June 9 at Canal Park in Akron.

Chaminade Julienne, the 2019 Division II state champion, is on a five-game winning streak and had won 18 of 19 since a three-game losing streak.

Barhorst figured his Eagles would face a stiff challenge from CHCA 19-11, which plays in the Miami Valley Conference. Chaminade Julienne beat the 2021 Division III state champions, 8-2, in this season’s opener.

“They held us close, despite the score,” Barhorst said. “That’s how it is in the playoffs.”

Junior right-hander Jackson Frasure went six innings, allowing five hits and four walks with six strikeouts. Timely strikeouts, a key double play and a batter’s interference call helped get through five without giving up a run before CHCA scored in the sixth.

“It was sticking to basic training, sticking to what we worked on in the off-season and throwing strikes,” Frasure (9-2) said.

By then, Chaminade Julienne had scored five runs. The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on sophomore Charlie Hoagland’s leadoff single, senior Patrick Gonter-Dray’s sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch and junior Christian Gongora’s sacrifice fly. They broke the game open by sending nine batter’s to the plate in a four-run rally sparked by Frasure’s leadoff single. Gonter-Day contributed a two-run single and freshman Isaac Sullivan capped the flurry with an RBI single.

Frasure walked the bases loaded in the fourth but kept CHCA off the board with three strikeouts. CHCA got a runner to third in the fifth, but shortstop J.P. Peltier started an inning-ending double play.

“Our guys want the ball hit to them,” Barhorst said.

CHCA thought it had scored run earlier in the game on junior catcher Julian Eversole’s throwing error as a runner was stealing third, but the plate umpire ruled batter interference and sent the runner back to second.

Barhorst said the left-handed Hoagland (6-1) will start the regional final. He warmed up by getting the final out on Thursday with help from sophomore third baseman Colin Kadel, who made a diving stop of a sharp grounder and threw out the batter-runner.

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