Prep Baseball Report

2019 OHSAA Tournament: Division IV State Semifinal - No. 5 Toronto vs No. 8 Antwerp

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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AKRON - Toronto pounded out 10 hits and AJ Clegg fired a three-hit shutout to send the Red Knights to the Division IV championship game after beating Antwerp 8-0 on Friday night.

Zac Berger put the state’s fifth-rated team in front to stay with an RBI triple to deep right field in the second inning before Nathan Karaffa took over. The senior Ohio State commit hit a double in a two-run third that featured a pair of Antwerp errors. Singles by Berger and Clegg contributed to another run in the fourth, helped out by a pair of wild pitches.

Toronto then put the game away with four in the seventh, three on a bases-loaded triple to right-center by Karaffa that followed singles from Clegg and Nick Chetock and a walk by Lucas GulczynskiNick Sninchak plated Karaffa with the final run of the game on a base hit to center.

That was more than enough for Clegg, who blanked the Archers on four hits, the last coming in the fourth on a Dylan Hines one-out single to left.

The Red Knights, which lost in the state semifinals in 2017, will take on top-rated Hillsdale at 1 p.m. on Sunday in the state final with Toronto seeking its second championship, the only one to date coming in 1998.

Karaffa finished with a two doubles, a triple, and three RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Red Knights.

Cole Seslar, Austin Lichty, Blake Schette and Hines had singles for the eighth-ranked Archers, making their first state appearance in school history.


Big hit lacking: Antwerp put the leadoff hitter on base in each of the first three innings but only had one runner reach third base, that coming in the third. But a ground out to Clegg ended a first-and-third two-out threat,.

Players of the game: Clegg struck out seven while allowing the four hits along with four walks to move to 7-0 on the year. The junior, who threw a shutout in the regional semis, retired 10 of the last dozen batters he faced, the others reaching via walk. Karaffa joined Clegg in earning player of the game honors, going 3-for-4 while also excelling in the field at shortstop.

Pickoff plays: In each of the first two innings Antwerp had a runner picked off second base on a Clegg throw to second baseman Nick Sninchak. Ironically, the Archers returned the favor with a Lichty pickoff toss to shortstop Jacob Savina in the fourth frame.

What’s next?: The return of seven starters including the top three pitchers will make Antwerp a force again in 2020. A first trip to state in school history can only motivate the Archers to come back to the Final Four.


Toronto       012 100 4 - 8 10 0
Antwerp      000 000 0 - 0 4 2

Records: Toronto 26-5, Antwerp 19-6

Winning Pitcher: AJ Clegg (7 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 7 strikeouts, 4 walks).

Losing Pitcher: Austin Lichty (6 innings, 4 runs, 3 earned, 6 hits, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks). Other: Luke Krouse.

Leading Hitters: (Toronto) - Nick Chetock single;  Nathan Kalraffa 2 doubles, triple, 3 RBIs, 2 runs; Nick Sninchak single; Zac Berger single, triple; AJ Clegg 2 singles; Brendan Matyas single. (Antwerp) - Cole Seslar single, Austin Lichty single; Dylan Hines single; Blake Schuette single.