2022 OHSAA Tournament: Division IV State Semifinal - No. 5 Newark Catholic vs No. 17 Russia

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

Follow on Twitter- @PrepBaseballOH
Follow on Twitter- @PBROhioScout
Follow on Instagram- @pbrohio

Interested in attending a PBR Ohio event? Check out our schedule by clicking here.

To view the 2022 OHSAA Tournament 64-Team Regional Preview, please click below: 

To view the Final Team Rankings, click below:

To nominate a player for the All-State Teams, please click here.

2022 OHSAA Tournament: Division IV State Semifinal - No. 5 Newark Catholic vs No. 17 Russia

AKRON - A four-run fourth inning propelled Russia to the Division IV state championship on Thursday with a 4-3 win over Newark Catholic in the first semifinal game of the 94th annual tournament.

Grant Saunders allowed just two hits in lifting the Raiders to their 10th consecutive victory.

Trailing 3-0, Brayden Monnin and Xavier Phlipot opened the Russia fourth with singles but two flyouts nearly had Newark Catholic starting pitcher Shae Mummey out of the jam. However, an infield single by freshman Braylon Cordonnier turned into a run when a throw to first was off the mark to plate Monnin.

After a walk to Aiden Shappie, Zane Shappie hit a two-run double and another run came home on the play following a throwing error.

That was enough for Saunders, a Walsh commit who retired the final 10 batters faced in the game for Russia, which advances to the state finals on Saturday at 10 a.m. against Lincolnview or Tiffin Calvert with a 24-6 record.

The Green Wave, appearing in the state tournament for the 17th time, jumped in front with an unearned run in third without the benefit of a hit, then scored twice in the top of the fourth on a single by Mummey and a delayed steal of home by Mason Hackett.


PLAYER OF THE GAME: Saunders grew stronger in the game and Newark Catholic did not get a runner on base once Russia took the lead in the last of the fourth. The Russia senior fanned two of the last four batters that went to the plate, and finished with four Ks while walking one and hitting one to finish off his final season of high school with a 7-0 record.

BIG PLAY: With Newark Catholic clinging to a 3-1 lead, Russia had the bases loaded with two down in the fourth when Zane Shappie hit a liner down the right-field line to tie the game. But with Shappie turning the hit into a double, the throw to second turned into an error which brought in what proved to be the winning run of the game.

OVERLOOKED: Not only did Monnin jump start Russia with a single to open the fourth, the first hit of the game for the Raiders, but there was also a nice play by the left fielder that was vital. Newark Catholic’s Nate Ferrell barrelled up the ball leading off the seventh but Monnin got a great jump going back on the hit to the left-center field gap for the first out of the frame.

STRONG IN DEFEAT: Take away the fourth inning and Newark Catholic pitchers Mummey and Braylon Bates would have been the story of the game. Russia did not have a runner reach third base other than the fourth, with an infield single by Saunders in the first and a leadoff hit by Jude Counts in the fifth the only hits outside of the one inning.

WHAT’S NEXT: Although missing out on a shot at a potential 10th state championship, Newark Catholic looks forward to a 2023 season with five returning starters headlined by sophomore Bryan McAnally, the leading hitter on the team with a .411 average. Four of the top six hitters for average are back for long-time head coach John Cannizzaro, who will enter next year with 557 career coaching wins. Two of the top pitchers when it comes to innings pitched also return in Bates and Eli Morris.


Newark Catholic       001  200  0  -  3  2  2
Russia                       000  400  x  -  4  6  3

Records: Russia 24-6, Newark Catholic 24-7

Winning Pitcher: Grant Saunders (7 innings, 3 runs,2 earned runs, 2 hits, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk).

Losing Pitcher: Shae Mummey (4 innings 4 runs, 3 earned runs, 5 hits, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk). Other: Braylon Bates (2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 strikeout, 0 walks).

Leading Hitters: (Newark Catholic) - Eli Morris run; Mason Hackett single, run, Shae Mummey single, RBI; Chance Brooks run. (Russia) - Brayden Monnin single, run; Xavier Phlipot single, run; Grant Saunders single; Braylon Cordonnier single, run; Aiden Shappie run; Zane Happie double, 2 RBIs; Jude Counts single.

2022 Spring High School Season Content

To view the Heat Sheet, which provides the top velocity we have seen this spring, please click here.

To view out Spring Scout Blog with videos and reports from the spring, please click here.

To view the Team Rankings, click below:

To view the Teams of the Week, click below:

To view the Preseason All-State Teams, click below:

Recent Articles