TORONTO – The streak continues.
Toronto’s No. 3 baseball team took an early lead against No. 11 seed Caldwell, and the Red Knights beat the Redskins, 5-1, in a Division 1 co-final. ‘Ohio Division IV Eastern District Thursday night at the Knights Baseball Complex .
Toronto has won 27 straight section titles.
“I’m very proud of our children for the way they competed,” said Toronto (17-10) head coach Brian Perkins. “It’s our 27th consecutive section title. It says a lot about the kids and the coaches and the kids of the past and the coaches of the past. It’s pretty special. We wanted the streak to continue.”
The streak began in 1994. Perkins was an assistant coach on that team.
“We lost it the first year, then we’ve won it every year since,” said Perkins. “It’s funny, I’m talking to these kids and they haven’t been there halfway through the streak. It’s special. It’s exciting. It says a lot about the players we’ve had in the past and about the coaches we’ve had in the past.
The streak was cut short in 2020 by COVID-19 which led to the season’s cancellation.
“They put a lot of pressure on the other team” Caldwell (8-11) head coach Justin Erb said of Toronto. “They force you to execute. They do a good job. They take advantage of your mistakes.
With the win, Toronto will face No. 1 seed Shadyside in the district semifinals at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Shadyside advanced by shutting out the No. 12 seed Catholic Central, 11-0, in five innings in a sectional co-final on Thursday at home.
The Red Knights and Tigers are scheduled to play at 5 p.m. Tuesday at John Blacker’s Field in Bellaire.
“We know we are going to be the underdogs against Shadyside,” said Perkins. “Shadyside has a lot of good players. We can’t wait to go to the districts and compete.
Dom Bouscher earned his second playoff victory for the Red Knights. Bouscher struck out six and walked two. He gave up an unearned run by allowing only three hits.
“Dom threw very well” said Perkins. “Caldwell hit the ball well. He kept beating the zone and he was able to get some big outs for us.
Toronto shut out 14th-seeded Bridgeport 16-0 in five sets in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon at home.
The Redskins used two pitchers.
JR Curry, who took the win against No.9 seed Strasbourg on Saturday in the semi-finals, started and took the loss. Curry struck out three, while walking six in three innings of work on the mound. He was replaced late in the fourth inning by Noah Lisak. Lisak went the rest of the way – putting out four and walking two.
Toronto struggled at the plate as the Red Knights collected just three hits on the day – only one after the first and that one in the sixth.
Senior Evan Wolter recorded two singles and Zeb Kinsey had a two-run single.
“We had decent bats,” said Perkins. “Some kids struggled. We’ll bounce back when we play in the neighborhoods.
The Knights left eight runners on base and had two outs on base.
Carter Wheeldin delivered two singles for the Redskins and Curry contributed one.
Both teams struggled on the pitch. The hosts made four errors, while the visitors made three. Three of Toronto’s errors came in the third.
“We had a bad run” said Perkins. “We were able to limit the damage. We were able to get out of it, being in front 2-1. We were able to snack. We managed to make it 5-1 and we were able to hold on for the win.
Logan Sloane and Zane Kinsey made back-to-back goals to start the home half of the first inning, and Wolter picked a single to charge the bases. Zeb Kinsey followed with a two-run single giving the Knights a 2-0 lead.
Kinsey’s hit was the last for the Reds and Whites until Wolter hit a two-out single in the sixth.
The visitors from Noble County reduced their deficit to one point in the third. The damage done to Toronto in the round was self-inflicted.
Alex Herlan reached on an error to start the inning, moved to second on a denial before moving to third on another error. Herlan ended up scoring on the Red Knights’ third error of the set, making it 2-1.
The Red Knights turned the tables on the Redskins in the fourth as the winners pushed three runs without landing a hit. A pitching error led to the first inning, while two more runs were scored on a fielding error to give Toronto a 5-1 lead.
Bouscher closed the door on the Redskins from that point on. Toronto made another mistake in the fourth, but Caldwell couldn’t take advantage of it.
The Redskins put up a fight, but the Red Knights were just too tough to defeat.
“Yeah I think so,” said Erbe. “We gave them too many free bases. We did a lot of walks. We had costly throwing errors. We made a few mistakes. We had guys in the right places, but we couldn’t take advantage of them.
Wide receiver Waylon Clark is Caldwell’s only senior.
“We only lose a senior” said Erbe. “I’m sad to see him go. He’s a great boy. He’s a great leader. The younger ones admire him. »
The game was originally scheduled to be played on Wednesday, but the Eastern District Athletic Board canceled all baseball and softball games due to the threat of rain.
“Two down and we’re looking forward to representing Toronto at the district level. We can’t wait to play this game.”
The Tigers defeated the Red Knights, 11-3, in the district semifinals last season at Mazeroski Field in Harrison Central.
Toronto is scheduled to play St. Clairsville at 5 p.m. today at KBC.
Toronto 5, Caldwell 1
Caldwell 0-0-1 0-0-0 0 – 1 3 3
Toronto 2-0-0 3-0-0 × – 5 3 4
CALDWELL (8-11): Curry LP (3IP, 3K, 6BB), Lisak (3IP, 4K, 2BB) and Clark. Wheeldin 2S; Curry S.
TORONTO (17-10): Bouscher WP (6K, 2BB) and Wolter. Wolter 2S; Ze. Kinsey S, 2RBI.