HUDSON: The bunt single continued to be a valuable part of the Tallmadge offense Saturday afternoon at the Ball Park at Hudson.

Tallmadge coach Kenny Linn is not one to shy away from using some strategy on the diamond, and for the second day in a row, he called for a Blue Devils junior to lay down a bunt with a runner on third base.

Zach Boyd executed the squeeze bunt perfectly Saturday in the bottom of the fifth inning with one out, reached base with a single and junior Phillip Glasser scored what would be the final run in a 3-2 Division II regional final victory over Canfield.

Tallmadges Seth Gergely laid down the squeeze bunt for a single in the top of the seventh inning on Friday to break a 1-1 tie. Sophomore Sam Seeker scored the go-ahead run in that game, which Tallmadge won 3-1 over Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin.

I gave Zach the first strike, Linn said. He knew it was coming. I told him you get the first strike and I prefer you hit one in the gap, but if you dont, lets go no sign and lets go. We work on it, and that kid deserves to have the game-winning hit in that situation. He is a special kid that has done a lot for this team and for this program for three years.

Junior pitchers Jared Burick (9-1) and Mikah McGlaughlin combined to limit Canfield (18-8) to five hits and two runs as Tallmadge (23-7) advances to Columbus.

Tallmadge will meet Maumee, a 2-0 winner over Lexington on Saturday, in a state semifinal at 7 p.m. Thursday at Huntington Park.

This is a dream come true, Boyd said. Ever since I was a little kid watching the high school baseball team play, I have always dreamed of winning a state championship with Tallmadge for Coach Linn, and now that we have a chance to do that, it is pretty surreal.

McGlaughlin retired five of the six batters he faced. He worked around a single by Canfield junior Alex Hernandez in the seventh by getting two strikeouts and a pop out to end the game that Tallmadge junior first baseman Scott Seeker caught in foul territory.

I was just thinking catch it,? Seeker said of the final out. I wanted to make a play to boost our team to the state tournament.

Tallmadge won the Division II state title in 2002 under coach Don Seeker, who is now the schools athletic director and the father of Scott and Sam. Tallmadge was a state runner-up in 2001, 2000, 1996 and 1966.

We won this game with guys getting on when they needed to, guys putting the ball in play when they needed to, and we scored runs, said Burick, who pitched 5? innings.

Junior Jake Rensel and sophomore Jake Reifsnyder joined together to douse Linn with a bucket of water as he met with media members to discuss the victory.

Linn also praised his defense up the middle with sophomore Rich Eyre at catcher, Glasser at shortstop and Rensel at second base.

Canfield took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with one out when junior Ian McGraw hit a single to right field that scored sophomore Dominic Pilolli.

Tallmadge countered with two runs in the bottom of the first with two outs. Boyd walked, Seeker singled and Josh Taylors single scored Boyd, and an error allowed Seeker to score to make it 2-1.

The Cardinals drew even at 2-2 in the top of the second with two outs when Pilolli drew a bases-loaded walk that scored sophomore Ricky Havrilla.

We had a really good game plan against Chagrin Falls [on Friday and won 2-0] and I thought we had a pretty good game plan against Tallmadge as well, Canfield coach Matt Koenig said. I told the boys that when a game is decided by a squeeze bunt, you know it was a heck of a game. And I think that was a heck of a game. Both teams were in and out of trouble quite a bit all day, but solid defense and solid pitching was able to get both teams through that. Each team had a lot of opportunities.

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the#ABJVarsity high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.