Jeromesville Hillsdale senior pitcher Jay Luikart, a Wright State University signee, beat Minster junior Austin Brown 1-0 in a Division IV high school baseball state semifinal at Canal Park on Friday.
Hillsdale (28-2) advances to Sunday’s D-IV state championship against the other semifinal winner between Antwerp (19-5) and Toronto (26-5). That was the last of four Friday games.
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Brown allowed just three hits and struck out five. Hillsdale nicked him for a run in the second inning and made it hold up in its first state final four.
Luikart, a lefty, was even better. He allowed just two singles by Noah Enneking and Jacob Niemeyer and struck out nine. Luikart (11-0) had a 0.68 ERA entering the contest.
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With Minster’s elimination, it’s on Midwest Athletic Conference rival Coldwater to bring home a title. Coldwater (25-6) plays Cincinnati Roger Bacon (18-9) in a D-III state semi at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Also on Saturday, it’s defending D-II state champ Chaminade Julienne (25-2) vs. Van Wert (27-2) at 1 p.m.
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In Thursday’s other D-I semifinals, Springboro lost 4-0 to Mentor and Cleveland St. Ignatius outlasted Hilliard Darby 4-3 in 13 innings. That was the longest state final four game in the 92-year history of Ohio’s postseason.
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