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Published: Sunday, 5/29/2005

Regional baseball: Gibsonburg knocks off Edgerton 8-2

HAMLER, Ohio - The Cinderella tournament ride continued for the Gibsonburg baseball team yesterday as the underdog Golden Bears (12-17) earned a trip to the state semifinals by beating Edgerton 8-2 in a Division IV regional final at Patrick Henry.

"We're the only Division IV team playing in the Suburban Lakes League, which has Division II and III schools," said first-year coach Kyle Rase. "We took some lumps during the year, but in the tournament run the kids have really believed in themselves."

Andy Gruner, who allowed two unearned runs and just one Bulldog hit, picked up the win for Gibsonburg, which was led at the plate by Thom Brinker, who was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Gruner was 2-for-4.

The Bears trailed 2-1 after two innings, but broke things open with a three-run rally on three hits in the third inning against an Edgerton pitching staff

severely depleted after Friday's 18-inning, 6-5 semifinal win over Ottawa Hills.

In that game, the 18-8 Bulldogs' top two pitchers each used up nine innings. The Bears pulled away with four more runs on three hits in the fourth.

Gibsonburg, which lost in the semifinals in its only previous state-tournament appearance, in 1989, will face Jackson Center Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Cooper Stadium in Columbus.

GALION - Defiance and Norton were tied 0-0 after nine innings when darkness halted play in a Division II final. The game will resume here today at 1 p.m.

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