Coldwater defeated Ridgewood 1-0 to win a D-III high school state baseball championship at Canal Park in Akron on Sunday, June 9, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

D-III state baseball: Coldwater defeats Ridgewood to win championship

It was the last of four state finals on Sunday. Chaminade Julienne also was a repeat winner in D-II.

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Wenning, converted to a pitcher as a senior, snared a liner back to him, took several cautious steps toward second and flipped an underhand strike to shortstop Jake Hemmelgarn, who doubled up a Ridgewood runner to end the game. That set off a raucous midfield celebration by the Cavaliers and for good reason.

It was Coldwater’s seventh state baseball title and it came off a 2018 season in which Coldwater was defeated by Canfield South Range in the title game. The Cavaliers’ appearance in their 21st state final four is an all-time state high. It also was the Midwest Athletic Conference’s 132nd overall combined state championship in all boys and girls sports, another state best.

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Wenning allowed just four hits and struck out three for Coldwater (27-6), which entered the postseason on a three-game losing skid. He also scored the only run in the fourth inning after getting the first hit off losing pitcher Koleten Smith. Wenning raced home following Hemmelgarn’s two-out hit.

Coldwater was limited to just three hits by Smith.

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That limited offense resulted in the quickest of the 12 final four games, one hour and 11 minutes. In contrast, Cleveland St. Ignatius outlasted Hilliard Darby 4-3 in 13 innings in a D-I semifinal that lasted three hours and 42 minutes.

Ridgewood (24-10), located in Coshocton County and the town of West Lafayette, was making its first state final four appearance.

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