Klaiber dominates on the mound as Badin thumps Oakwood 8-1

The regular season was a rocky road for Badin High School’s baseball team. But it’s fading in the rear-view mirror.

The Rams, Division II state runners-up in 2016, have won their first two sectional games by a combined 37-1 total and rolled past host Oakwood 8-1 on Thursday at Chuck Ely Field.

“I think it’s taken us 28 games to kind of sort things out,” said Badin coach Brion Treadway, whose squad improved to 15-13. “We haven’t run the same lineup out there very often this year, so guys have played varsity-level baseball all year and I believe at a high level with our schedule. So the guys are ready. They’ve just got to take care of their business.”

Junior Seth Klaiber brought the heat against the fourth-seeded Lumberjacks (20-6), firing a five-hitter with 10 strikeouts.

Tenth-seeded Badin advanced to a sectional final against Greater Catholic League Coed Division rival Chaminade Julienne on Thursday, May 18, at Miamisburg. The Eagles, seeded second, beat the Rams 5-3 and 6-3 during the league season.

“Everybody always says around town that this is when our actual season starts,” Klaiber said. “Our regular season, we just figure stuff out. When the postseason comes along, we’re ready to get there. When we play our game, we don’t have to worry about the other team.”

Said Treadway of facing CJ for the third time, “I’m glad the GCL is doing well.”

Badin put Oakwood in a 2-0 hole in the first inning when Zac Wilson’s two-out, two-run single into short left field eluded the hosts’ gloves.

The Rams tacked on six runs in the last two innings and got a two-run homer from Kaden Kimbrell.

“We knew they were good coming in and we knew we’d get their best shot, so I’m very proud of the guys for coming into somebody else’s house and taking care of business,” Treadway said. “I can’t remember the last time we played away at somebody else’s home field in the tournament.

“Our defense was clean today, we handled some adversity, and Seth did a tremendous job on the mound. He was really just attacking the zone and keeping them on the defensive.”

Wilson was 3-for-4, Kimbrell had two hits and Daunte DeCello plated two runs for Badin. Drew Holderbach and Tyler Hargrove added RBIs.

Klaiber, a right-hander, was popping Wilson’s catcher’s mitt all day and struck out the last three batters of the game. He issued two walks.

“Seth’s a big guy that works really hard and gets after it on the mound,” Treadway said. “Today was a huge step in his progression. He didn’t pitch in any of the tournament games last year. This was his first tournament experience in that atmosphere of do or die, and I thought he handled that pressure very well and just stayed in his comfort zone.”

“I felt good,” Klaiber said. “I went out there focusing on command and throwing strikes. The fastball had pop on it. Later in the game, I started getting my offspeed going good, and I just went from there.”

The Rams got hit by a pitch seven times between Oakwood pitchers Kaes Drumheller and Alec Barhorst.

“That’s a lot of hit batters in a game,” Lumberjacks coach Chuck Freeman said. “When we hit like the fifth guy, I’m like, ‘Man, what is going on here? Are they standing on top of the plate?’ I don’t know what it was.

“Obviously you’re stepping up when you’re playing a GCL team as far as talent level and hard-nosed kids. I don’t think we were intimidated. I just think sometimes it might be better to play a first-round game as opposed to getting a bye and then playing like we did today.”

Badin leadoff hitter Mitchell Ahr was 1-for-2 and thrice got plunked by pitches.

“I didn’t know the number today, but we’ve gotten hit by pitches a lot,” Treadway said. “Gavin Matthews might have the school record at this point. I like that. I think that shows grittiness and toughness and staying in there no matter if they come inside or not.”

Brock Gorman had two hits for Oakwood. Brian Erbe walked and scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.

“We knew runs were going to be at a premium today, and we had our chances,” Freeman said. “Badin got some timely hitting. That’s what this game’s all about.”

He said the Lumberjacks’ 20 wins are believed to be a single-season program record and their Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division title is their first outright league crown since 1955.

Oakwood will host Versailles for a regular-season game Monday.

Badin 200-004-2—8-11-0

Oakwood 000-001-0—1-5-0

WP — Seth Klaiber (4-0); LP — Kaes Drumheller (3-3); HR — B: Kaden Kimbrell. Records: B 15-13, O 20-6

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