Loading…
Monday, December 22, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Wednesday, 6/12/2013

Knights’ great season includes 26-game winning streak; Genoa, Northwood advance far

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
St. Francis players celebrate winning the Division I district championship with a 4-0 victory over Clay. The Knights (29-3) lost in the regional final to Cleveland St. Ignatius. St. Francis players celebrate winning the Division I district championship with a 4-0 victory over Clay. The Knights (29-3) lost in the regional final to Cleveland St. Ignatius.
THE BLADE/JEFF SMITH Enlarge | Buy This Photo

St. Francis de Sales proved to be the area’s top Division I baseball team this season, even though the Knights were unable to secure a playoff title in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference.

Perrysburg catcher Kyle Durham hugs pitcher Mark Delas after the Yellow Jackets beat Norwalk in the Division I district final. Perrysburg catcher Kyle Durham hugs pitcher Mark Delas after the Yellow Jackets beat Norwalk in the Division I district final.
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge | Buy This Photo

The Knights (29-3), who were ranked No. 4 in the final D-I state coaches poll, were paced by first-team All-Ohio selection Eric Zmuda and second-team All-Ohioan Max Lyon.

Jackson Lamb, who will play at the University of Michigan, helped Bedford reach the Division 1 regional final. Jackson Lamb, who will play at the University of Michigan, helped Bedford reach the Division 1 regional final.
THE BLADE/JEFFREY SMITH Enlarge | Buy This Photo

The Knights went 10-0 in regular-season TRAC play as part of a 26-game winning streak. St. Francis topped Clay 4-0 to win the district championship, then defeated Northern Lakes League champion Perrysburg 10-5 in the regional semifinals before falling to eventual state runner-up Cleveland St. Ignatius 14-0 in the regional final in Parma.

Zmuda, a shortstop, batted .435 with 36 RBIs, while outfielder/pitcher Lyon batted .413 and went 7-0 with a 1.31 ERA on the mound.

In the TRAC playoffs, St. Francis lost 8-2 in the title game to Central Catholic (16-13) and its Division II first-team All-Ohio pitcher, Jake Rudnicki, who struck out 13 in the conference final.

In his prior start, Rudnicki lost 1-0 to Defiance in a district semifinal despite pitching a no-hitter against the top-ranked Bulldogs. Defiance (31-1) went on to win the D-II state championship. Its only loss was a 9-8 regular-season setback against Central.

Sharing TRAC player of the year honors with Zmuda was Clay pitching ace Jordan Grosjean (8-0, 0.44 ERA).

Start (15-12, 8-2) was the No. 2 seed for the City League playoffs, but defeated top-seeded defending champion Bowsher 5-2 in the City championship game to claim the CL crown.

Perrysburg (27-4) was ranked No. 5 in the final D-I state poll, and the Yellow Jackets won the NLL with a 13-1 league record. Perrysburg junior third baseman/pitcher Mark Delas (.424, 29 RBIs; 6-1 pitching) was named to the All-Ohio first team.

Other deep tournament runs were made by Genoa (20-10) of the Northern Buckeye Conference in Division III and Northwood (18-11) of the Toledo Area Athletic Conference in Division IV. Both teams advanced to regional finals.

Genoa beat Lima Central Catholic 8-3 in the regional semis before falling 8-1 to Bloom-Carroll in the final. The Comets were paced at the plate by Alex Hayes (.484, 40 RBIs) and on the mound by Luke Rightnowar (9-0, 2.29 ERA).

Northwood defeated Delphos St. John’s 4-3 in the regional semis before being ousted 13-5 by Tinora in the D-IV final. The Rangers were led by Nick Russell (.506, 6 HR, 38 RBIs; 6-3 pitching).

Led by their Notre Dame-bound pitching ace Ryan Smoyer, Otsego (17-7 overall) won the NBC title with a 14-0 record. Smoyer was 6-0 pitching with a 0.70 ERA, and he batted .418.

Cardinal Stritch (12-14, 10-2) and Ottawa Hills (15-16, 10-2) shared the TAAC championship.

Wauseon (18-5) won the Northwest Ohio Athletic League title with an 8-0 league record, and the Indians were also ranked No. 8 in the final Division II state poll.

Wauseon junior infielder Ty Suntken (.446 batting, 5-0 pitching) was a first-team All-Ohio selection in D-II, while senior first baseman teammate Josh Cales (.519 batting) was named to the D-II second team.

In Michigan, Bedford (30-8), led by senior Jackson Lamb, Michigan’s Gatorade player of the year, advanced to the Division 1 state quarterfinals. The Mules fell 11-1 to Howell.

During the regular season, Lamb, a center fielder/pitcher, batted .511 with four home runs and 34 RBIs this season, and he was 6-0 pitching with a 1.40 ERA. Lamb was a three-time all-state selection and will play at the University of Michigan.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories