State baseball: CJ, Coldwater, Fort Loramie seek championships

Chaminade Julienne’s A.J. Solomon slides into second base against Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in a Division II regional final on Friday, May 25, 2018, at Mason High School. David Jablonski/Staff
Chaminade Julienne’s A.J. Solomon slides into second base against Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in a Division II regional final on Friday, May 25, 2018, at Mason High School. David Jablonski/Staff

Play begins Thursday at Huntington Park

One year ago this week, after a 4-0 loss to Tallmadge in the state championship game, senior shortstop Mark Barhost wrote the first paragraph in the story of the 2018 Chaminade Julienne baseball team.

“I think this is a good place for this program to grow from,” Barhorst said. “We always knew we had the talent. We got here. Now for the people in the future — I’m a senior; I’m not going to be able to do this anymore — but those underclassmen can get over that step. They’re right there. They can do it.”

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Those thoughts will prove prophetic if the Eagles win the Division II state championship this week at Huntington Park in Columbus. Just getting back to state is a huge accomplishment, said Chaminade Julienne coach Mike Barhorst on Friday after a 5-4 victory against Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

“We worked so hard last year, just got on a roll and made it all the way,” Barhorst said. “We were disappointed in how it finished, but we were just excited to be there. Everyone wanted to get back. Obviously, they all loved the atmosphere and the time they had out there, the experience of doing it.”

Here’s a glance at Chaminade Julienne and the other Division II semifinalists and the other divisions featuring area teams:

Division II

Schedule: No. 1 Wapakoneta (23-1) vs. Circleville (19-10), 4 p.m. Friday; No. 17 Tallmadge (19-11) vs. Chaminade Julienne (22-5), 7 p.m. Friday. Championship: 7 p.m. Saturday.

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Chaminade Julienne notes: Ball State recruit Ryan Peltier, a senior, started the regional semifinal game against Columbus Bishop Hartley. He's 6-2 with a 2.36 ERA. He also leads the team in batting average (.370) and RBIs (26). … Sophomore Sebastian Gongora had the game-winning hit against Hartley and started the regional final on the mound. He's 6-1 with a 1.47 ERA. … The Eagles have won 10 games in a row.

Favorite: Tallmadge is the defending champion. Its record is deceiving because it started 3-8 against a schedule full of out-of-state powers. … Tallmadge has five Division I recruits, including Jared Burick (Wright State). He pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings against Chaminade Julienne last season in the state championship game. … Zach Boyd, who allowed one run on five hits in the state semifinals year ago, also returns. … The Blue Devils have allowed one run in five tournament games.


State history: Chaminade Julienne will make its fifth state appearance. It played in the state tournament in 1964, won the championship in 1970 and returned to state in 1975. The 2017 team ended a 42-year drought, and the 2018 team made history by winning its second straight regional title. … Tallmadge will play in the final four for the seventh time. It won the championship in 2002 and 2017. … Wapakoneta made its only previous state appearance in 2012, losing 3-2 to Columbus St. Francis DeSales in the state championship game. … This is Circleville's first state appearance.

Division III

Schedule: No. 6 Coldwater (25-6) vs. No. 12 Minford (24-2), 4 p.m. Thursday; Cincinnati Madeira (21-6) vs. Canfield South Range (16-15), 7 p.m. Thursday. Championship: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Coldwater notes: Junior Cole Frilling pitched a complete-game three-hitter in the regional finals as Coldwater beat Columbus Academy 7-2. … In the regional semifinals, senior Brad Giere started and didn't allow a run until the seventh inning, and senior Sam Broering hit a walk-off single in a 2-1 victory against Milan Edison. … Coach Brian Harlamert is a member of the Dayton Flyers Hall of Fame. He remains the school's all-time leader in games played (230) and ranks second in home runs (38).

Favorite: Coldwater is the highest-ranked team in the D-III final four and comes from the Midwest Athletic Conference, which has produced six state champions since 1999.

State history: This will be Coldwater's 20th state appearance and first since it won the championship in 2014. It also won titles in 1992, 1990, 1987, 1984 and 1983. … Madeira will make its fifth appearance and first since 2011. It won the championship in 1999. … Minford and Canfield South Range earned their first state berths.

Division IV

Schedule: Garfield Heights Trinity (22-3) vs. No. 15 Fort Loramie (25-6), 10 a.m. Thursday; No. 9 Hicksville (20-5) vs. No. 1 Mowrystown Whiteoak (28-2), 1 p.m. Thursday. Championship: 10 a.m. Saturday.

Fort Loramie notes: The Redskins overcame a 6-1 deficit in the regional final to beat Cincinnati Christian 8-7. Junior C.J. Billing went 3-for-4 with seven RBIs. He hit a grand slam and added a bases-loaded single to break a 6-6 tie in the sixth. Fort Loramie beat defending state champion Minster 7-5 in the regional semifinals. … This is the first season for head coach Jeff Sanders, a 1989 Fort Loramie graduate who played four seasons at the University of Dayton. He was an assistant coach last season under longtime head coach Bill Sturwold, who was 471-219 in 19 seasons.

Favorite: Whiteoak earned the No. 1 ranking in the state for the first time this season. It rose as high as sixth in 2000 and 2004, according to the Highland County Press. It has been coached by Chris Veidt for 27 years.

State history: Fort Loramie will make its sixth appearance. It won championships in 2007 and 2010. … Garfield Heights earned its third state berth and first since 1970. … Hicksville will make its fourth appearance and first since 2015. It won the state title in 1978. … This is Whiteoak's first state berth.

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