Chaminade Julienne baseball coach Mike Barhorst addresses the expectations of following up a D-II state runner-up in the 2017 season. Fenwick defeated CJ 10-6 at Howell All-Star Field in Dayton on Tue., May 1, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

CJ poised to make another deep baseball postseason run

That all changed when the Eagles began 0-3.

“We got a slow start and the weather was not cooperating with us,” veteran coach Mike Barhorst said. “Once we got the first win we got a lot of things going and we were playing really well.”

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Sure enough, CJ reverted to the Division II high school power it established last season by mounting an 11-game win streak. That came to an end on Tuesday when Fenwick hung a 10-6 defeat of CJ at Howell All-Star Field in Dayton’s Triangle Park.

CJ will likely be another tough out when the postseason begins next week. Tippecanoe (20-3) was awarded a No. 1 seed in the D-II sectional by coaches this past weekened and is positioned in the Dayton 1 upper bracket. CJ (11-4) earned a No. 2 seed and is in the Dayton 2 upper bracket.

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Both Tipp and CJ have first-round playoff byes. CJ hammered Tipp 11-1 in the regular season three weeks ago.

CJ twice had 10-game win streaks last season. Barhorst sees similarities in the two teams.

“Once we get on a roll we play pretty good ball and we’ve got a good shot to beat anybody,” he said. “We have quite a few returners. For the most part we have all our pitching back. We feel real confident.”

Chaminade Julienne catcher Ben Thomas beats pitcher Andrew Simones to the ball. Fenwick defeated CJ 10-6 in a high school baseball game at Howell All-Star Field in Dayton on Tue., May 1, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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The Eagles’ pitching rotation revolves around junior Nick Wissman (4-1), sophomore Sebastian Gongora (3-1) and senior Ryan Peltier (2-2). Peltier also is tops in hitting (.386), hits (17) and doubles (four). An outstanding three-year starter as CJ’s quarterback, Peltier has signed to play baseball at Ball State University.

The unruly spring weather affected baseball and softball the most. Fenwick (19-6) had its four-year streak of Greater Catholic League North Division titles snapped by CJ last season. The Falcons (11-2) lead the North and CJ is second (7-2). Postposed league games usually are made up between postseason contests.

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CJ defeated Steubenville 3-0 in a D-II state semifinal at Huntington Park in Columbus last season. Tallmadge shut down CJ 4-0 in the title game. That was the first time CJ had played in a state final four since 1975. As Chaminade, the Eagles won a big school Class AA state title in 1970.

Badin, of the GCL Central Division, lost to Defiance in the 2016 D-II state championship.

Fenwick was lumped in the D-II, Cincinnati 1 bracket and could do no better than a No. 5 seed. The Falcons had previously been anchored in Dayton-area sectionals.

“The GCL has always been tough,” Barhorst said. “Right now, we’re pretty much in lock-step again (with Fenwick). We’ve got a strong team and we’re poised to make another run.”

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• Tipp and Troy share the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North lead, both at 12-2. Tipp was the out-right leader until falling 3-2 at Butler on Tuesday. Both Tipp and Troy have one conference game remaining. Troy (14-6) is a No. 3 seed in the D-I sectional.

Xenia (18-6, 8-5) has secured an outright GWOC American South title with one game remaining. Springboro (15-7, 8-1) has done the same in the GWOC National West. Beavercreek (14-4, 8-3) split with Centerville (11-9, 7-4) this week and holds a one-game lead over the Elks with one GWOC National East game left.

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• Middletown Madison (18-2) completed a 12-0 run to win the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division title with a 4-1 defeat of Waynesville on Tuesday. The Mohawks are a No. 1 seed in the D-III, Dayton 1 sectional.

Oakwood (12-8, 8-3) defeated leader Monroe 12-6 on Tuesday to get back into SWBL Southwestern Division contention. Monroe (10-3, 6-2) still leads the division over the Lumberjacks and Brookville (10-6, 7-3).

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• The baseball and softball postseasons begin on Monday.

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