2021 OHSAA Tournament: Division IV State Semifinal - No. 1 Fort Loramie vs No. 14 Warren JFK

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

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2021 OHSAA Tournament: Division IV State Semifinal - No. 1 Fort Loramie vs No. 14 Warren JFK

AKRON - A remarkable sports year at Warren John F. Kennedy continues for one more day. The Eagles rode the four-hit pitching of Cam Hollobaugh to outlast top-ranked Fort Loramie 3-2 in the Division IV state semifinals on Saturday afternoon.

JFK, which lost in the D-7 state football finals and made it to the D-4 regional finals in basketball, will take a 20-6 record into Sunday’s state title game against Lincolnview.

Hollobaugh was outstanding in the complete-game performance, allowing just two runners into scoring position before the seventh.

But the Redskins of Fort Loramie did not go down without a fight, scoring a run on a two-out  pinch-hit RBI single to center by Owen Pleiman in the top of seventh. However, with runners on first and second, a ground ball forceout to third denied Loramie a chance to make it four state crowns in school history.

Freshman catcher Caleb Hadley is a big reason why, ripping a two-run double to the fence in left field to plate Alex DeSalvo and Gavin Shrum to cap a three-run three inning for JFK, ending the day on the mound for Fort Loramie starter Caeleb Meyer.

The Redskins responded with one run in the top of the fourth on a two-out run-scoring single to right by Mack Fortman to bring in Derek Meyer. The Redskins then left a runner on third an inning later and failed to advance the leadoff hitter in the sixth after an infield single to open the frame.

It proved costly in the one-run defeat for the Redskins, which closed out the 2021 campaign with a 27-4 record, three of the defeats by one run.

JFK, the 14th-rated team in Ohio in D-IV which features an 11-man roster, totaled five hits in the contest, two by three-hole batter Shrum.


PLAYER OF THE GAME: An all-state football star and standout basketball player, Hollobaugh was a bull on the mound in picking up his fourth tournament victory. The Walsh baseball commit struck out the side in the first and retired the first nine batters he faced en route to shutting down a Fort Loramie team that had scored at least six runs in every tourney contest. Hollobaugh fanned seven and walked two, throwing 71 out of 107 pitches for strikes.

UNSUNG HEROES: Although Hollobaugh and Hadley were certainly key performers for first-year head coach Jim Ciabotti’s Eagles, Shrum and DeSalvo can not be overlooked. Schrum, a junior shortstop, reached base on all three plate appearances with two singles and a hit-by-pitch while scoring once and driving in one. DeSalvo did his damage in the field with back-to-back catches in the second, the later a nice sliding grab going to his left to rob Evan Eilerman of a potential extra-base hit.

SOLID RELIEF: Derek Meyer had a stellar game for the Redskins with 3.1 innings of one-hit shutout relief. The junior southpaw kept Fort Loramie in the game in the fifth when JFK put two on with one out and Hollobaugh and Hadley up next. But a strikeout and line out meant a zero on the scoreboard for the Indians. Meyer also reached base twice with a single and a walk.

WHAT’S UP NEXT?: JFK has a Sunday meeting with Lincolnview at 4 p.m. for a state championship with the Indians hoping to cap off a school year to remember. For Fort Loramie, it is time to look ahead to 2022 with the return of just three starters, Derek Meyer, Clint Hilgerton and Eilerman, for successful head coach Jeff Sanders, who is now 77-12 in his four years as head coach of the Redskins.


Fort Loramie        000 100 1 - 2 4 0
Warren JFK          003 000 X - 3 5 2

Records: Warren JFK 20-6, 27-4

Winning Pitcher: Cam Hollobaugh (7 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 7 strikeouts, 2 walks).

Losing Pitcher: Seth Schmidt (6 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 4 strikeouts, 2 walks). Other: .

Leading Hitters: (Fort Loramie) - Derek Meyer single; Mack Fortman single; Caeleb Meyer single; Owen Pleiman single. (Warren JFK) - Caleb Hadley single, double; Gavin Shrum single; Jaden Rishel single; Santino Ciambotti single.

2021 Spring High School Season Content

To view all things related to the 2021 Spring High School Baseball Season, click here.

To view the Tournament Scoreboard, click here.

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

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