Please keep refreshing for updates on the Division II state baseball championship game
Walsh Jesuit vs. Plain City Jonathan Alder at Huntington Park, Columbus
Jonathan Alder defeats Walsh Jesuit 3-2.
Alder senior left-handed pitcher Zach Maynard earned the win and Walsh senior right-hander Greg Greve took the loss.
Walsh finished Division II state runner-up for the second consecutive year.
The loss caps a season in which the Warriors (30-2) were ranked No. 1 in the nation a month ago by MaxPreps Xcellent 25 and highly ranked by several other publications throughout the season.
The Pioneers (34-0) conclude the season undefeated.
Walsh vs. Alder Game Story Link: http://www.ohio.com/sports/95749514.html.
The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after senior Johnny Fasola hit a home run to straight away center field. Fasola's homer cleared the fence that is 400 feet away.
Walsh senior left fielder Patrick Ammar made a diving catch in left field to secure the final out of the second and quell a rally attempt by the Pioneers, who had a runner on second base.
Walsh senior pitcher Greg Greve fielded a hard-hit comebacker to the mound to record the final out of the third and squash another Alder rally attempt. The Pioneers had a runner on second base.
Alder tied the score at 1-1 in the fourth. Junior Graham Johnston hit a triple to right field and scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by sophomore Nate Squires.
Alder took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on an inbetween hop that Fasola could not handle at shortstop. Senior Sean Fleming hit the ball toward Fasola and it rolled into left field, allowing sophomore Wes Fauver to score. Fauver was pinch running for senior Vince Graber, who had singled to open the inning.
The Pioneers extended their lead to 3-1 in the sixth when Squires hit an RBI single to center that scored senior Vince Palmer. Palmer was pinch running for senior Tyler Miller, who reached base with a one-out single.
Warriors freshman Cassidy Brown hit an RBI single to center to score junior Joe Keller in the seventh. Keller was pinch running for senior Ryan Berry, who had walked to open the inning.
Senior Marco Caponi grounded out to Miller at first base to end the game.
Maynard (8-0) threw a complete game and earned the win. He struck out nine, walked three and allowed two earned runs and four hits.
Greve (8-1) worked 51/3 innings and allowed five hits and three earned runs. He struck out one and hit one batter before giving way to Fasola, who faced four batters and struck out two.
Walsh Jesuit baseball coach Chris Kaczmar
''It's been an amazing year,'' Kaczmar said after fighting back tears. ''I have said that a lot.''
''Tonight was a great high school baseball game. That team over there played fantastic. For any team to run the table, my hat is off to them.
''These seniors, truly from the bottom of my heart, have been like sons to me. I am going to miss them and love them, and time and distance is never going to change that.''
''Greg was outstanding. He has been outstanding all year. It came down to three or four plays. They made a lot of great plays, and a few things did not go our way. Two great teams played. It is too bad someone has to get beat.''
''Last year was equally as painful. These two seasons have been two of the best of my career.''
Walsh Jesuit senior Johnny Fasola
''When I first hit [the home run], I thought, this is just like last year, only this game will play out a little differently.''
''This game, unfortunately did play out like last year. I had a bad feeling, like deja vu, the whole game. We started off solid and then could not produce.''
''It stinks that we have to go out that way.''
Walsh Jesuit senior Greg Greve
''This was a heartbreaker. It was almost exactly like last year. It is scary how close this was. We got the home run in the first inning and held them for a few innings. Then we kind of went flat and could not push some runners home. We had some opportunities, but we could not get the clutch hits.''
''This is very frustrating.''
Walsh Jesuit senior Tyler Skulina
''We started off the season great. Our goal was to go undefeated, beNo. 1 in the country and win the state championship. We got one of those three goals, which isn't bad. We got the No. 1 ranking.''
''Overall, it was a great year. We had great chemistry, freshmen through seniors. Everyone on this team loves each other. It is too bad it had to end like this.''
-- Kaczmar guided Walsh to Division II state titles in 1999, 2004, 2006 and 2008.
-- The setback for Walsh is comparable to last season's 2-1 loss to Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin in the state final. Joe Pawlowski, a 2009 Walsh graduate, hit a home run to right field in the first, but ND-CL rallied to win.
-- Fasola, is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound Kansas State recruit.
-- Greve, is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound Ohio State recruit.
-- Skulina is a 6-foot-6, 240-pound University of Virginia recruit.
-- Caponi, Ammar, Fasola, Greve, Berry, Anthony Marotto, Tyler Springhetti and Zachary O'Driscoll each played their final game as Walsh seniors.
-- The Walsh seniors attended graduation Sunday morning at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron and then returned to Columbus.
-- Fasola, Greve and Skulina are expected to be selected in the the Major League Baseball first-year Amateur Draft, which starts today [Monday] and concludes Wednesday.