HAMLER – 1974.
That was the last year Lincolnview went to the state baseball tournament but that drought ended Saturday when the Lancers blanked Leipsic, 5-0, in the Division IV regional final to punch their ticket to the final four.
With the victory, Lincolnview (23-8) will face the winner of Lucasville Valley, a 5-2 winner against Berlin Hiland, at Canal Park in Akron in a 10 a.m. Friday state semifinal. Leipsic ends its season with a 25-7 record.
“It has been 45 years for us at Lincolnview,” Lincolnview head coach Eric Fishpaw said. “We were in a very tough Coldwater district. Normally we go south to Cincinnati Princeton for the district and this year we came north and it was there were just as good teams and hopefully you are playing your best baseball when you get down to the final 16 teams and we tip our caps to Leipsic, they are a really good team.”
Lincolnview rode another outstanding pitching performance to secure the win as Collin Overholt fired a one-hit shutout. The Lancer righty struck out 12 and walked none. He hit one batter.
Overholt, relying on his fastball that hit as high as 90 miles per hour, had pinpoint location in his dominating showing. With his fastball working, the Lancer senior punctuated his pitching by tossing his breaking ball for strikes.
“It was decent,” Overholt said about his fastball,” I don’t think it was as fast as normal and my arm started hurting a little bit but other than that it was pretty good.”
Overholt was perfect for the first three innings and gave up his lone hit in the fourth and had runners on first and second after an error allowed the lead-off man to get on base. After getting a fielder’s choice that moved the runners to second and third, Overholt fanned the final two batters to work his way out of the jam.
In the final three frames he retired the last nine out of 10 batters with the only blemish being a hit batsman in the seventh.
“Collin had the fastball going 90 miles an hour a few times today and Carson Fox behind the plate was exceptional,” Fishpaw said. “He is our back-up catcher if you will when Collin pitches and commanded the game and did a fantastic job.”
“He was really good, and he dominated us,” Leipsic head coach Darren Henry said. “He just dominated us. He was good.”
Overholt also played a major role at the plate. Coming off a 3 for 4 performance Friday against Antwerp, he followed it with a 2 for 4 performance with a double and two RBI. Overholt drove in the third run of the game when, with two outs, he laced a double to bring home Clayton Leeth who opened the inning with a walk.
Lincolnview scored two runs in the first when the Lancers, with two outs, loaded the bases after Leipsic pitcher Trey Schroeder hit two batters and walked one. Caden Hanf then delivered a clutch single to bring home Dane Ebel and Fox.
“Couldn’t be more proud of Caden Hanf, our sophomore designated hitter,” Fishpaw said. “He had a couple of big hits and had the two RBI in the first inning. Overall, another good team effort, and these guys are so fun to be around and so selfless.”
Hanf finished the game, going 2 for 3 with two RBI.
Lincolnview added some insurance runs in the top of the seventh when Overholt delivered a single to bring home Creed Jessee who was hit earlier in the inning with one out. Landon Price, who had been intentionally walked after Jessee had been plunked, scored on a sacrifice fly from Ebel.
All five Lancer runs came from batters who had been walked or been a hit batsman.
Leipsic starter Trey Schroeder, who struggled with control early, lasted one and two-third innings and gave up two hits, two walks and two hit batsmen. Blake Liffick put in a solid outing in relief, keeping the Vikings close for four innings before surrendering the two runs in seventh. For the game. Liffick went six and one-third innings, giving up four hits, striking out five and walking one.
“We just didn’t throw enough strikes,” Henry said. “Blake did a great job. He kept them off balance and kept us in the day.”
Henry added that he was proud of the team and the run it had this season. Leipsic was co-champions of the Putnam County League and the Blanchard Valley Conference.
“We had a great season and we play in two leagues and we played 17 league games and went 15-2 in league play and that is hard to do. You need pitching to do that. We won 25 game or whatever it was and that is a good year.”
This was the Vikings’ last season in the BVC. Leipsic begins Northwest Conference play with the 2021-22 school year.
Ottawa 5, Sandusky 2
SANDUSKY — Winning pitcher Carter Duling allowed no earned runs, three hits and a walk while striking out nine in seven innings. AJ Brown had three hits, including a double, and two RBI also for the Fighting 63rd.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.