2021 OHSAA Tournament: Division I State Semifinal - No. 14 Toledo St. John's Jesuit vs No. 21 Elder

Dylan Hefflinger and Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Editor in Chief/NW Scout and Senior Writer

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2021 OHSAA Tournament: Division I State Semifinal - No. 14 Toledo St. John's Jesuit ns No. 21 Elder

AKRON - Limited to one hit through four innings, the bats of Cincinnati Elder came alive to score a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth and that was enough to beat Toledo St. John’s 4-1 in the Division I state semifinals on Saturday behind the pitching of Jackson Grimmelsman.

The 21st-ranked team in Ohio will now take a 25-8 record into the state title game on Sunday at 7 p.m. versus either Walsh Jesuit or New Albany.

Two-out run-scoring singles from Marco Sabato and Luke Vaughn put Elder in front in the fifth with Zak Schlachter and Jeremy Ward doing the same an inning later.

St.John’s threatened with a pair of runners on in both the sixth and seventh, but Grimmelsman pitched out of the difficult situations to send the Titans home with a 24-7 record.

St.John’s had taken the lead in the fourth on an Andrew Pelok double off the bottom of the fence in left and a Nick Pett RBI single. However, the 14th-rated Titans failed to capitalize when opportunities presented themselves in the final two innings.

Gimmelsman and Vaughn each hit two singles for the Panthers, which finished with nine base knocks on the day by seven different players after being blanked by TSJ pitcher Jacob Davis the first four frames..

Carson Toth had a pair of singles to lead a six-hit attack by St. John’s.


PLAYER OF THE GAME: Grimmelsman shut down a Toledo St. John’s lineup that had been hot at the plate in the tournament, limiting the Bowling Green Regional champions to six hits and one walk while fanning four. The senior left-hander headed to Thomas More, who also contributed two singles in the game, mixed up his pitches well and kept the ball low resulting in nine ground-ball outs by St. John’s.

DEFENSE: Speaking of ground balls, the Elder infield was superb to back the pitching of Grimmelsman. Ward at shortstop had five assists, including a pair of beautiful backhanded stops resulting in outs. Vaughn at third base also stood out with his glove ability while second baseman Kevin Hilton and first sacker Jackson Gutzwiller also got in on the fun with solid plays.

MORE GLOVE WORK: As impressive as Elder was in the infield, St. John’s had three highlight-reel plays, the best coming by catcher Reece DiSalle who made a sliding foul catch against the Elder dugout. Carter Binkowski also had a nice foul grab on a ball hit against the stands in right field, while Trey Lake at third base took a hit away from Hilton on a beautifully executed bunt.

WHAT’S UP NEXT?: Already holding a record 12 state titles, Elder and veteran head coach Mark Thompson will be in search of number 13 in the wrapup game of the 93rd annual tournament Sunday evening. St. John’s looks ahead to a promising 2022 season after its first-ever state appearance. The Titans could be a team to contend with behind the quartet of Lake, Binkowski, JP Wagner and Reece Magers.


Elder                                      000 022 0 - 4 9 1
Toledo St. John's Jesuit      000 100 0  - 1 6 2

Records: Elder 25-8, St. John's Jesuit 24-7

Winning Pitcher: Jackson Grimmelsman (7 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk).

Losing Pitcher: Jacob Davis (6 innings, 4 runs, 3 ER, 8 hits, 4 strikeouts, 0 walks). Other: Trey Lake (1 inning, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts).

Leading Hitters: (Elder) - Chris Kammerer single; Luke Vaughn 2 singles; Jackson Grimmelsman 2 singles; Zak Schlachter single; Jackson Gutzwiller single; Jeremy Ward single; Marco Sabato single. (St. John's Jesuit) - Carson Toth 2 singles; JP Wagner single; Andrew Pelok double; Nick Pett single.

2021 Spring High School Season Content

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To view the 2021 Ohio Spring Scout Blog, click below:

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