COLDWATER — On a cool evening, the Crestview baseball kept up its hot hitting as the Knights pounded out 10 hits and battered their second Midwest Athletic Conference opponent in the district tournament.
Crestview defeated St. Henry 11-3 on Friday in the Division IV district final at Coldwater’s Veterans Field in Memorial Park. With the win, Crestview will face either Fairfield Cincinnati Christian or Lewisburg Tri-County on Thursday at Carlton Davidson Stadium in Springfield.
The Knights have scored double-digit wins in all four tournament victories, including knocking off two-time defending state champion Minster 10-2 in the semifinal contest on Wednesday.
“Hitting is contagious,” Crestview coach Jim Wharton said. “One guy gets going and it rolls. We certainly have (beat some good teams). We wanted to come here and get some respect.”
The No. 3 ranked Redskins end their season at 24-6 while the 13th ranked Knights win the district with a 17-6 record.
The Knights struck first in the home half of the second inning. Venice Roberts led off the inning with a double to left field. With one out, Jordan Roop doubled off the glove of St. Henry right fielder Andrew Lundvall to score Roberts and give the Knights the 1-0 lead.
In the third, a two-out walk to Jake Harmon followed by a single from Isaiah Simerman put runners on first and second. A wild pitch by freshman Mitchel Stammen moved the runners up 90 feet. A bloop single into right center field by No. 6 hitter Roberts plated two runs. Nathan Owens reached on an error and Roop followed with a double to right-center to score Roberts and Owens to make the score 5-0 Knights.
Roop went 2-for-4 with three RBI’s. Roberts was 2-for-2, walked twice and drove in two RBIs.
“Our kids just battled,” Wharton said. “Our kids worked extremely hard.”
That ended the night for Stammen, who went 2 2/3 innings and allowed five runs, three earned. The righty stuck out two and walked one.
“We kind of gift-wrapped that game,” St. Henry coach John Dorner said. “We played out worst game of the year. We didn’t make plays — we just didn’t make plays. They answered the bell. We made mistakes and they took advantage. We just didn’t get the big hit. We got anxious at the plate. We’ve been hitting all year, but tonight we couldn’t get it done.”
In the next inning, Cameron Etzler reached on a throwing error to lead off the inning. With one out, Bryce Richardson drilled a line drive to center field to score Etzler. Harmon singled and Roberts was walked intentionally to load the bases. A wild pitch by Alex Post scored Richardson. On the next batter, another wild pitch scored Harmon from third base and Roberts from second base to make the score 9-0.
The Redskins got on the board in the top of the fifth. Jason Jacobs singled to lead off the inning. Post walked to put runners on first and second. An RBI single by Brian Kremer plated Jacobs. Another single by leadoff hitter Derek Rindler scored Post and ended the evening for Crestview pitcher, Richardson.
Richardson finished the night pitching four innings allowing three runs, all earned. The junior walked two and struck out two.
“Our pitching staff has under one ERA and that’s not a misprint,” Wharton said. “Our kids know how to compete.”
In relief, Roberts allowed a single by Garrett Stout and Jeff Paul followed by hitting into a double play to score Kremer and make the score 9-3.
Crestivew added two more runs in the sixth. Damian Helm led off the inning with a single. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second and a triple to the right-field fence by Harmon scored Helm. A sacrifice fly to center field by Simerman scored Helm and made the score 11-3.