2021 OHSAA Tournament: Division II State Final - No. 22 Hoban Vs No. 9 Bloom-Carroll

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

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AKRON - Archbishop Hoban’s Dillon Walsh had not pitched in the tournament until Sunday, but the senior right-hander was up to the task. Walsh combined with freshman standout Noah LaFine to limit Bloom-Carroll to six hits in a 2-1 10-inning Hoban win and with it the Division II state championship.

The Knights manufactured a run in the top of the 10th and Walsh threw a one-two-three bottom to give third-year head coach Andrew Bonette the school’s first state title.

“In these games a lot of things along the run have to go right,” Bonette noted. “Usually for them to go right it takes kids with a lot of resilience and that are not afraid of anything and our guys did not flinch. In big situations all year we’ve asked a guy to do something for us and they always find a way to step up.”

The winning run came in the top of the 10th when Matt Terzola walked, went to third on a pair of wild pitches and came home on a sac fly by Mike Ciavolella.

“Matt’s a guy that’s not afraid of big situations,” Bonette said. “He just says, ‘coach, I’ve got this.’”

Walsh threw four innings of one-hit shutout relief to pick up the victory.

“I haven’t pitched the whole tournament but I’ve warmed up in every game,” Walsh related. “I was ready for the moment. My team had my back. I don’t throw hard .. but fly balls are easy. The 3-2 count on my last pitch was a groundout. It feels great. There’s nothing better.”

Pitching coach Tony Corrao made the decision to go with Walsh in relief.

“He knows how to change speeds and he knows how to get people out,” the first-year Hoban coach said. “I know in this day and age it’s all about velocity and combine numbers, but he knows how to get people out.”

LaFine, a Vanderbilt commit, surrendered one run in six innings of work after throwing in the semifinals on Friday.

“I already knew the environment from pitching on Friday so I knew it wasn’t going to  be much different, I just had to come out and do my thing and do it for my team,” LaFine explained. “I just tried to keep them off balance and throw strikes and it was working. They were swinging at my stuff and they helped me. They made a lot of contact and that just lowered my pitch count.”

The Knights went in front 1-0 in the fourth when Nolan Holmgren was hit by a pitch, advanced on a bunt single by Dylan Feltovich and reached third on a catcher’s interference with Thomas Crowe at the plate. Parker Falkenstein brought in Holmgren with a sac fly.

Bloom-Carroll tied the game in the sixth on an Ayden Anderson double and two wild pitches.

It stayed that way until the 10th.

Joshua Moore did not allow an earned run in eight innings on the mound for the ninth-rated D-II team in Ohio, allowing three hits and no walks before Nic Feasel came in to pitch the final two frames for Bloom-Carroll.

Feltovich had a pair of singles for Hoban while Tyler Parks was the hitting leader for Bloom-Carrol with two singles.

The 22nd-ranked Knights end the season at 24-9 and with it a state title.


PLAYER OF THE GAME: Walsh gets the nod after the four shutout innings, giving up one hit while striking out one. Relying on command and defense, the senior right-hander threw 29 of 42 pitches for strikes.

D-II TOURNEY MVP: LaFine picked up the win in the semifinal 4-3 victory over Vermilion on Friday, then came back to start on Sunday throwing six five-hit innings with two strikeouts and two walks. In the semifinals, it was LaFine with 2.2 innings of one-hit shutout relief, fanning three and not walking a batter.

WHAT’S NEXT?: Only two starters from the championship contest on Sunday graduate for Bloom-Carroll, which has now finished as runners-up in three out of four state appearances, winning the other time in 2014. With three freshmen starters in left field leadoff hitter Ciavolella, center fielder Falkenstein and LaFine to go along with four junior starters in Holmgren at catcher, Shawn Parnell at shortstop, Caleb Kepler in right field and Terzola at second base, the future appears bright for the Knights.


Hoban                  000 100 000 1 - 2 5 1
Bloom-Carroll    000 001 000 0  - 1 6 1

Records: Hoban 24-9, Bloom- Carroll 28-6

Winning Pitcher: Dillon Walsh (4 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 strikeout, 0 walks). Other: Noah LaFine (6 innings, 1 run, 7 strikeouts, 2 walks).

Losing Pitcher: Nic Feasel (2 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 strikeout, 1 walk). Other: Joshua Moore (8 innings, 1 run, 0 ER, 3 hits, 5 strikeouts, 0 walks).

Leading Hitters: (Hoban) - Mike Ciavolella single; Dylan Feltovich 2 singles; Nate Shimmel single; Matt Terzola single. (Bloom-Carroll) - CJ Carmichael single; Ayden Anderson double; Nic Feasel single; Tyler Parks 2 singles; Mike Malone single.


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