Prep Baseball Report

2019 OHSAA Tournament: Division II State Semifinal - No. 1 Chaminade Julienne vs No. 2 Van Wert

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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2019 OHSAA TOURNAMENT: DIVISION II STATE SEMIFINAL - NO. 1 Chaminade- Julienne vs No. 2 Van Wert

AKRON - Defending Division II state champion Chaminade-Julienne moved within one win of a repeat on Saturday behind the pitching of Nick Wissman.

The senior right-hander threw a two-hitter to beat Van Wert 7-1 in a battle between the number one and two rated teams in the state on Saturday, advancing C-J into Sunday’s 4 p.m. title tilt with fifth-ranked Gilmour Academy.

Top-ranked Chaminade-Julienne, which did not have a hit until the fourth, broke a 1-1 deadlock with two runs in the fourth and then added to the advantage with three in the fifth.

Sebastian Gongora, who brought in the initial C-J run in the first with a sacrifice fly, had the only C-J hit in the fourth inning with a single and came home along with Jack Huffman when VW committed two throwing errors on the same play.

C-J then gave Wissman cushion with three runs in the fifth when Andrew Tillman led off with a single and scored on a wild pitch before a two-run single by Gongora capped the inning.

Wissman, who surrendered an unearned run in the first, retired 20 Cougars in a row to close out the game in improving to 11-0 on the year while dropping his ERA to 0.83.

AJ Solomon had a single, walked twice and scored two runs to aid the Eagles, winners of 22 straight.

Lawson Blackmore, a Miami commit, allowed four earned runs, three hits and four walks before being knocked out of the game in the fifth for Van Wert, making its first state appearance in program history.

Jake Lautzenheiser and Nathan Temple had singles for the lone VW hits.


Final game ahead: Head coach Mike Barhorst will be coaching in his final game on Sunday. In 10 years at the helm, Barhorst has a record of 151-113 taking the Eagles to the Final Four the last three seasons.

Player of the game: As impressive as Gongora was at the plate, Wissman is the biggest reason the Eagles are one win away from a repeat. The right-hander headed to Dayton, who was the winning pitcher in last year’s Division II state championship game, did not allow a Van Wert base runner after the first inning against a squad that came in with a .341 team batting average. Wissman did not walk a batter while fanning nine, including the side in the seventh to close it out.

Athleticism on display: While Blackmore was touched up in the loss, the senior pitcher showed impressive athleticism on two defensive plays. In the second, the VW standout made an outstanding sliding catch in foul territory between home and third base. An inning later with runners on first and second, Blackmore fielded what appeared to be a perfect sacrifice bunt barehanded and fired a perfect strike to third base for the putout.

What’s next?: While the top five in the batting order are seniors for Van Wert, the Western Buckeye League co-champions return four starters including three that saw time on the mound this season. It makes the Cougars, with all four returnees averaging better than .300, a contender in a conference that has sent teams to the state tournament seven times in the past 10 years.


Van Wert                     100 000 0 - 1 2 3
Chaminade-Julienne 100 230 x -  7 5 1

Records: Chaminade-Julienne 26-2, Van Wert 27-3.

Winning Pitcher: Nick Wissman (7 innings, 1 run, 0 earned, 2 hits, 9 strikeouts, 0 walks).

Losing Pitcher: Lawson Blackmore (4.1 innings, 6 runs, 4 earned, 3 hits, 5 strikeouts, 4 walks). Other: Hayden Maples

Leading Hitters: (Van Wert) - Jake Lautzenheiser single; Nathan Temple single. (Chaminade-Julienne) - AJ Solomon single, 2 runs; Andrew Simones triple 1 run, 1 RBI; Sebastian Gongora 2 singles, 3 RBIs; Andrew Tillman single.