Friday, May 21, 1999

Moeller, CCD win district baseball titles

Enquirer contributor

        The similarities are many and the four baseball players who were on Moeller's state championship basketball team believe history could repeat itself.

        “We have a player suspended like the basketball team and also have come-from-behind in several games,” senior Chris Welsch said.

        “Maybe we can go on and win the (Division I) state championship like in basketball. The four basketball players think we can do it.”

        The Crusaders moved to within four victories of a fourth state baseball championship, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seven inning to defeat Colerain 4-3 for the Division I district title at Midland.

        Moeller advances to the re gional semifinals — for the fourth time — May 28, at Wright State University.

        It didn't look promising for a Crusader team that trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh.

        But, sophomore Justin McNeeley led off with an infield single off Colerain relief pitcher Shawn Niehaus.

        Another sophomore, Tyler Tabler, son of former major leaguer, Pat, put down a sacrifice bunt that moved McNeeley to second. Welsch doubled to left-center field, scoring McNeeley with the tying run.

        Pitcher Mark Harris was intentionally walked and Chris Hildebrant reached base on an error. On a 3-2 count with the bases loaded, Jason Ranz drove in Welsch with a sacrifice fly to right field.

        “Getting to the top of the order in the seventh was important,” Moeller coach Mike Cameron said. “We're hitting .368 as a team and the kids have been producing.”

        Cameron thought about replacing Harris, who threw back-to-back no-hitters during the season, during the third inning when Colerain scored three runs to take a 3-1 lead.

        “Mark was off early,” Cameron said. “We thought he was throwing too hard and told him to soften up on the pitches. We had several pitchers warming up, but Mark settled down.”

        Harris said he did struggle early.

        “I didn't have good stuff during the first three innings,” he said. “But I got into a rhythm and started throwing pretty well.”

        Moeller's defense turned three double plays, thwarting possible Cardinal rallies in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

        Colerain ....... 030  000  0—3  9  1

        Moeller ....... 101  000  2—4  7  1

        WP—Harris (7-1). LP—Niehaus (2-1). Hitting leaders: C—Klotz 2-4; Dorrmann 2-3, 2B; J. Funk 2-3. M—Welsch 3-4, 2 RS, 2B; Harris 2-3. Records: C 21-7, Moeller 21-6.

Other District championships

        • Cincinnati Country Day 10, Russia 6, Division IV District at Covington — The Indians took a 6-1 lead after two innings and went on to capture the title.

        Sophomore Noah Allen pitched five inning to pick up the victory with Chris Torlone's two-run double the biggest hit in the four-run fourth inning.

        Russia ....... 100  005  0— 6  5  3

        CCD ....... 240  400  x—10  9  1

        WP—Allen. LP—Grogran. Hitting leaders: R—McMin 2B. C—J. Smith 2-2, 2RBI; Maundrell 2-3, 2RBI; Torlone 2B, 2RBI. Records: C 22-6, R 12-12.

        • Versailles 9, Middletown Madison 2, Division III District at Bellefontaine H.S. — Taking advantage of five Madison errors, Versailles scored seven unearned runs.

        Versailles ....... 003  111  2—9  12  0

        Madison ....... 000  000  2—2  5  5

        WP—Mescher (6 K's). LP—Evick (7 K's, 9-1). Hitting leaders: V—Monnin 3-4; Shardo 2-5, 3 RBI; B. Mescher HR, J. Mescher 2-5. Records: MM 16-9, V 11-14.


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