Prep Baseball Report

2019 OHSAA Tournament: Division II State Final - No. 1 Chaminade Julienne vs No. 5 Gilmour Academy

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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2019 OHSAA TOURNAMENT: DIVISION II STATE SEMIFINAL - NO. 1 Chaminade Julienne vs No. 5 Gilmour Academy

AKRON - What a way to go out for Chaminade-Julienne head coach Mike Barhorst.

The Eagles made it back-to-back Division II state championships on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Gilmour Academy in the final game for the popular mentor.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” explained Barhorst after a third straight trip to the state finals. “The only way I could go out is to win a game like this. It’s the best thing that could ever happen.”

Sebastian Gongora, the hitting star of the semifinal victory over Van Wert, went the distance for the win allowing one earned run on four hits.

“I really got my changeup going,” the junior left-hander said. “I usually have my curve as my go-to pitch but tonight I went to my changeup, especially the first time through the order.”

While Gongora went from hitter to pitcher, Nick Wissman did the opposite. Following up a two-hitter in the semis, Wissman drove in all four runs for C-J against Gilmour.

“If somebody had told me my freshman year that in your time here you’re going to state three straight appearances and win it twice along the way ... I’d think they’re crazy,” Wissman said. “It’s just been an unreal time for three years. Then to do it for coach and send him off the right way … he deserves it.”

Wissman drove in AJ Solomon with a ground ball out in the first inning to put the Eagles ahead to stay and then followed a triple by Andrew Simones with an RBI single in the third.

Gilmour, ranked fifth in the state, trimmed the deficit in half with a run in the bottom of the third with Vinny Bandwen hitting a single and eventually scoring on a balk.

It stayed that way until the seventh when C-J scored two big runs. Singles by Andrew Tillman and Solomon along with a walk to Simones loaded the bases with two outs when Wissman came through with a two-run single to left.

The runs proved vital with the Lancers scoring a run in the bottom of the inning on a double-play grounder after singles by Ben DeMell and Nick Christopher.

But the twin killing ended the threat and Gongora closed it out.

“To come here and do it again, especially being the pitcher to do it is just an amazing feeling,” Gongora said.

Infield defense came up big for the top-ranked team in the state, with nine outs recorded via ground balls capped off by the 6-4-3 double play.

“I was really trying to pitch down in the zone,” Gongora said. “I know that pitching down in the zone gets you ground balls. I put a lot of trust in my defense, like all pitchers should do.”

It helped send Barhorst out a winner with the 23rd-straight victory of the season for the Eagles.

“It’s just been an incredible journey,” said Barhorst, who finishes with a 152-113 record at C-J. “I’ve just been blessed the last four, five or six years with athletes and teammates with the will to win.”


Player of the game: While Wissman was big with the bat, it was Gongora that kept is the choice after allowing just four Gilmour Academy baserunners. The junior lefty struck out six and did not walk a batter throwing 71 of 95 pitches for strikes.

D-II tourney MVP: With a two-hitter in the semifinals and four RBIs in the title game, Wissman heads off to Dayton as the D-II MVP. It follows up a complete-game victory in last year’s state final.

Key to game: Infield defense played a big part of the C-J win with the Eagles 7-for-7 on grounders, ironically the shortstop was not part of any of the plays. Second baseman Solomon was smooth on all four balls hit his way - five of the last six out ground balls in fifth and sixth. Then a 6-4-3 DP in the bottom of the seventh capped off the infield performance

Sparkplug: While accolades for the one-two pitching punch of C-J is well deserved, and two-hole hitter Andrew Simones leads the Eagles in batting, sophomore lead-off hitter Solomon is the spark plug that helps make the team go. The left-handed hitting second baseman had two hits, scored two runs and stole one base. In addition, Solomon had five assists in the field including the double-play turn in the final inning.

What’s next?: While catcher Nick Christopher will be a huge loss, the clean-up hitter for Gilmour is the only senior that played at state. With both starting pitchers in the Final Four returning, the Lancers should be one of the teams to beat come next year. .. Speaking of teams to beat, C-J has been in the state final three years in a row and hopes to do it again with a new coach in charge. Only Simones, Wissman and infielder Cameron Benoit are seniors on this season’s squad.


Chaminade-Julienne   101 000 2 - 4 7 2
Gilmour Academy       001 000 1 - 2 4 0

Records: Chaminade-Julienne 27-2, Gilmour Academy 25-7..

Winning Pitcher: Sebastian Gongora (7 innings,2 runs, 1 earned, 4 hits, 6 strikeouts, 0 walks)..

Losing Pitcher: Joey Hollis (6.2 innings, 4 runs, 3 earned, 7 hits, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks). Other: Matt Christopher.

Leading Hitters: (Chaminade-Julienne) -.AJ Solomon 2 singles, 2 runs; Andrew Simones triple; Nick Wissman 2 singles, 4 RBIs; Elliot Seelig single; Andrew Tillman single. (Gilmour Academy) - .Matt Christopher single; Ben DeMell single; Nick Christopher single; Vinny Bandwen single.