2022 OHSAA Tournament: Division II State Final - No. 21 Chardon vs No. 9 Hoban


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

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2022 OHSAA Tournament: Division II State Final - No. 21 Chardon vs No. 9 Hoban

AKRON - The chance for back-to-back state titles fell short for Hoban. A five-run sixth inning comeback gave Chardon an 8-5 victory over the defending champions in the Division II finals on Saturday night.

“This is the best feeling in the world,” said Chardon senior Christian Hall afterward. “I just try to go out and do what I do, throw the ball over the plate, let them hit it and let my teammates make plays.”

The Chardon standout was part of the sixth-inning uprising, driving a 2-2 pitch to center field for the first run of the frame following singles by Leo Colombi and a pair of hit-by-pitches that loaded the bases. After Nolan Kirsh was hit by a pitch to tie the game, a wild pitch put the Hilltoppers in front 6-5 before Jake Barker drilled a single to left driving in a pair.

“I was just hoping for a pitch to hit,” the junior first baseman said. “The first pitch he threw low in the ground and the next pitch was a slider right down the middle and I was ready for it. 

“I was full of emotion,” Barker added about what it felt like standing on first after the hit. “I was so excited. I knew we’d bring the defense up and stop them after that.”

Enter Hall, who started the game before Brandon Fatur came on in relief with one out in the third. The Alcorn State commit allowed just two baserunners over the final two innings to shut down the ninth-ranked team in the state.

“I came out, got in trouble and we had to switch up the look, and that worked,” Hall explained. “As soon as I came back in I was all fired up. I knew I had to throw strikes, let them put it in play and let my teammates do the work.”

Double plays, the first on a liner to second baseman Will Francis and the other to Kirsh at third, ended the final two innings and brought the first baseball state title in school history to Chardon.

“Baseball’s a crazy game,” a jubilant Chardon head coach Brian Long said while celebrating on the field. “This is a young team, eight of nine starters are underclassmen. For these young guys to battle back the way they did this season is unbelievable. The senior class prepared these guys for this moment.”

A moment helped out by the bottom of the batting order, with each of the last five in the lineup producing at least one hit in the game.

“I’ve been preaching all season we need to hit top to bottom, one through nine,” Long related. “Most teams at this level, state champions, can hit top to bottom. Our bottom of the lineup won this game. If you can hit one through nine it’s something special.

“That’s a great Hoban team,” Long continued. “There’s so much talent over there. We worked hard for this. It’s a special group.”’

A group that scored five runs in the sixth inning to beat Bishop Hartley 6-5 in the state semifinals on Friday and put five on the board in the sixth against Hoban to win a championship.

“We like being the underdog, we like having to fight,” Hall said. “Of course it’s not always the easiest, but we never give up. That’s one thing I love about this team. My guys never give up no matter what’s going on.”

Seven different players had hits and seven scored for the 21st-ranked D-II team in Ohio.

“It feels great to win a state championship,” Barker said. “It feels great for the whole town. This feels so great.”

Shawn Parnell had two singles and scored a pair of runs for Hoban whileParker Falkenstein had a two-run single in the third to give the Knights a 4-2 lead that was still at 5-3 before Chardon;s sixth-inning outburst.

HOT TAKES

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Nine-hole hitter Ethan Faber exemplifies the Chardon team and showed it in the biggest game of the year. The junior center fielder reached base on all four plate appearances via two hit-by-pitches, a walk and a single, scoring two runs and driving in another. Faber also made a sliding catch in center for the first putout of the Hoban seventh inning.. 

D-II TOURNEY MVP: After coming in to earn the save in the state semifinals, Hall did his part twice in the championship game, starting and then coming in at the end to earn another save. The Chardon senior also drove in a run in each game.

OUCH: While no records are kept on the stat, more than likely a state record was set for hit-by-pitches in the game. An astounding eight Chardon batters were hit while three Hoban players were also plunked in the game. Francis, Kirsh and Faber were all hit twice for the Hilltoppers.

LOST CHANCES: While Chardon left 10 on base, Hoban also failed to take advantage of opportunities with the Hilltoppers committing four errors to go along with two walks and the three HBPs. The leadoff hitter or second batter of every inning but one reached base for the Knights.

WHAT’S NEXT: State participants four times in the past decade, Hoban will reload with an impressive group of returning underclassmen including juniors Zack Zimmerman and Nathan Shimmel, sophomores Noah LaFine, Masud Jennings, Falkenstein and Michael Ciavoletta and freshmen Jordan Kievman and Andrew Karhoff. … Hall and Kyle Mardone are the lone seniors that started for the D-II state champs.

LiNESCORE

Chardon       020   105  0  -  8  10 4
Hoban           022  100  0  -  5   7  0

Records: Chardon.24-9, Hoban 23-10.

Winning Pitcher: Brandon Fatur (2.2 innings, 1 run, 0 earned runs, 0 hits, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk). Other: Christian Hall (4.1 innings, 4 runs, 7 hits, 1 strikeout, 1 walk).

Losing Pitcher: Luke Driscoll (0 innings, 3 runs, 1 hit, 0 strikeouts, 0 walks). Others: Landon Ladany (3.1innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 3 strikeouts 2 walks), Andrew Karhoff (2 innings, 2 runs, 1 hit, 1 strikeout, 0 walks), Shawn Parnell (1.2 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 2 strikeouts, 0 walks).

Leading Hitters: (Chardon) - Will Francis double, run, RBI; Christian Hall single, run, RBI; Nolan Kirsh run, RBI; Jake Barker 2 singles, 2 RBIs; Stone Fawcett double, run; Leo Colombi 2 singles, run;  Kyle Maronde single, triple, run, RBI; Ethan Faber single, 2 runs, RBI. (Hoban) - Masud Jennings single; Michael Ciavolella run; Zack Zimmerman single, run; Shawn Parnell 2 singles, 2 runs; Parker Falkenstein single, 2 RBIs; Jordan Kievman triple, run, RBI; Matthew Terzola single, RBI.

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