Which Cincinnati baseball teams will continue in the state tournament?

GREATER CINCINNATI – The Huntington Park hunt begins with the best baseball teams in southwest Ohio in Divisions I through IV living in one-game windows and seeing who can make it to Columbus by June. Last year it was Lakota West in Division I and Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in Division III (CHCA is now classified as Division II).

Broken down by division: This is how the next few weeks could develop based on the first and second round of this week.

First League, Section 1

Despite finishing 2-7 fourth out of four in the Greater Catholic League South, Elder received the number 4 in the tournament and a goodbye in the first round. This is due to the strength of the GCL South competition. Elder lost only to the Kings of the Eastern Cincinnati conference for the regular season. The Panthers received a two-hit shutout from Kyle Klingenbeck and a standout game from their second catcher, Kory Klingenbeck, to beat Anderson 10-0 on May 10.

Elder will face the ECC again on May 17th in Princeton as the West Clermont Wolves of Milford howled 7-4 and Kyle Music beat his old teammates.

West Clermont is a real threat in full force. Trainer Brian Conley has older son Cal (Miami Hurricanes Signee) and Cole Ayers (Kentucky Signee) who have moved from Loveland. Both have experience with big game in both high school and on the summer track. Cal Conley was among the leading ECC players in most offensive categories, although he had to sit out the first half of the season as required by the OHSAA. The winner will play again for the chance to move to the region at the University of Cincinnati on Saturday, May 19.

West Clermont Wolves, who start from the left into the infield, Jack Towell, Cal Conley, Robby Rinckel and Bailey Bravo, honor America with their hands on their hearts during the national anthem on May 8, 2018.

OF, Section 2

Moeller missed last season when Milford shocked 3-0 in the district’s semi-finals. The Crusaders are determined not to leave early this year and should be in good shape to make it to the Regional at the Marge Schott Stadium of the UC from May 24-25. Mo Schaffer led GCL-South in wins and strikes, hitting .385 while catcher Tyler McDonough and Missouri Signee / third baseman Cameron Swanger provided power.

Moeller plowed Northwest 11-1 in five innings to play Kings of the ECC, who defeated Lakota West 11-5.

Moeller Senior Taylor Hopkins on the plate during Moeller's 6-5 victory in 11 innings in baseball at Covington Catholic May 4, 2018 in Park Hills KY.

Kings came out of gate quickly in the ECC but fought halfway and failed to catch the leaders Milford, Loveland and West Clermont. However, they have a dramatic win over Mason who may be the front runner in Cincinnati. Kyle LaCalameto is a top pitcher for the Knights, and Tyler Gambill and Gavin McGaughey have struck the ball with authority all season.

OF, Section 3

It took Lakota East eight innings to beat Fairfield 2-1 and now Loveland will beat Hamilton 6-2. Ray Hamilton’s Thunderhawks have Dan Sewak, who led the GMC in hitting and hitting, and Nathan Habertheir, a five-game winner on the hill.

Despite losing important transfers, Loveland managed to qualify for the ECC championship with Milford. Ken Reeds Tigers have drawn or won for the league for the past three seasons. Zach Segal and Tyler Dombrowski were effective pitchers for Loveland. Reed beat a tough La Salle team ahead of Hamilton, so Loveland should be ready for tournament competition. The winner would likely win Beavercreek as top seed on May 19th.

DI, Section 4

Badin prevailed 5-0 against Harrison and played on May 17th in Hamilton against St. Xavier. The Bombers defeated Sycamore 10-2 when school record holder Nathan Kappers won his 17th game. St. Xavier is another dangerous GCL South team with the pitching of Kappers and sophomore Wyatt Hudepohl as well as the timely hit from Tyler Dellerman and Tucker Hundley. Badin has the shorter run, but St. X could be staring at a GCL South rematch with Elder in the district finals.

DI, section 5

Arguably the strongest team in the region, Mason, got a slight fear of Lebanon when they lost five runs, but the Comets rallied for a 17-7 run rule. Will Pfennig (Ohio State), Rollie Sheriff and Patrick Lantry are 17-1 under their belt. The “Gun Show” by JP Sponseller and Nick Northcut hit a total of eight homers. Mason gets Oak Hills, who beat Turpin 13-3. The comets swept the highlands during the regular season and could attempt to face Loveland or Lakota East in the region.

DII, Section 1

CHCA had to prevail to beat Clinton-Massie 3-2. If you get past Fenwick, you have Kenton Ridge. Cayse Osborne has scored .427 for the Eagles this season.

Nick Wagner hits the plate for CHCA on April 25, 2018 at UC Health Stadium.

DII, section 2

Ross is 21-5 and will be preparing for the district game with Taylor on Tuesday with Moeller. The Yellowjackets stabbed Wyoming 10-0. In front of both is Tippecanoe.

DII, section 3

McNicholas got 9-5 from Monroe to extend their season to Thursday, May 17, at Princeton against New Richmond. The Lions closed Norwood 10-0. New Richmond has flamethrower Lane Flamm (Xavier), hard hitting catcher Zade Richardson and shortstop Brett Benzinger. The dilemma for New Richmond trainer Brian Benzinger will be when to throw flame.

McNichola's senior Jackson Haas performs live for the Rockets at Midland.

Department III, Section 1

Cincinnati Country Day plays against Bethel-Tate in Milford on Wednesday, May 16. The winner goes against the Dayton Christian / Anna winner to the regional in Xenia in the Athletes in Action complex. Trey Smith, TJ Brock, and Blake Lykins all hit .500 or better for CCD.

DIII, section 2

A fiery Blanchester team will meet Clermont Northeastern at Kings on Wednesday May 16. The winner is likely to face Carlisle in the district finals.

DIII, section 3

A favorite here has to be Madeira, who will take on Williamsburg to play the Waynesville / West Liberty Salem winner. The Mustangs trained by Scott Stocker have done decent runs for most years. They show one of the CHL’s top hitters in Matt Megois and the hard-fought Casey Wirsing.

Department IV, Section 1

Seven Hills and Deer Park takes place on Wednesday May 16 at the Midland Complex. Andrew Brown leads the pitching and Nate Rising stabs the ball for Seven Hills. The winner would most likely get top seed Russia.

DIV, section 2

Cincinnati Christian seems to have a clear path to top seed when they face New Miami in Midland on Wednesday May 16. Chances are they’ll meet fellow Miami Valley Conference, Seven Hills, in the area.

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