2023 OHSAA Tournament: Division III State Semifinal - No. 13 Waynedale vs No. 16 Ottawa Hills

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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2023 OHSAA Tournament: Division III State Semifinal - No. 13 Waynedale vs No. 16 Ottawa Hills

AKRON - A four-run sixth inning has Apple Creek Waynedale one win away from back-to-back state championships.

Trey Barkman fired a three-hitter and drove in two runs to lead Waynedale past Ottawa Hills 6-2 in the Division III state semifinals on Friday.

Deadlocked at 2-2, the defending state champs pounded out three hits to go along with a walk and two errors by the Green Bears to put four on the scoreboard in the sixth en route to a D-III state final berth on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Barkman led off the inning with a walk and Jayden Schlabach reached on an error before a Gavin Spitler sac bunt. Shane Coblentz then put the Golden Bears on top with a single to right to plate Barkman and Schlabach came home on a throwing error. Following a wild pitch, Tate Venables produced an infield single to bring home Coblentz and end the night for Ottawa Hills’ junior lefty Sebastian Stevens.

Dylan Raber added a run-scoring hit in the frame for the 13th-rated D-III team in Ohio.

Barkman was dominant after the Green Bears tallied two in the top of the first, retiring 14 in a row after a Jack Eidenier double in the second.

Reddik Pillarelli had an infield single, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and came home on a RBI groundout by Stevens in the first to put the Green Bears in front. AJ George scored the other run by Ottawa Hills on a Waynedale error.

Waynedale evened the game at 2-2 in the fourth when Connor Gatti and Timmy Short reached on singles and, following a double steal, the two seniors scored on a two-run single to right-center field by Barkman.

The 16th-ranked team in the state in DIvision III closes the season at 22-11.


PLAYER OF THE GAME: Barkman not only threw a three-hitter to improve to 7-1 on the year, but was 1-for-1 at the plate with a single, two walks, two RBIs and a run scored. The Ohio University commit threw 80 of 123 pitches for strikes, permitting one earned run.

TEAM EFFORT: Seven of the nine starters for Waynedale had at least one hit, six different players scored and five drove in a run. Coblentz, the eight-hole hitter, led the way with two hits.

KEEPING IT CLOSE: Defense in the second inning helped Ottawa Hills stay on top, at least momentarily. A walk to Barkman and single by Schlabach opened the frame and Waynedale nearly had the bases juiced with nobody down but on a sacrifice bunt attempt Stevens fired a strike to Jackson Snyder at third for the first out. The OH defense then turned a 4-6-3 double play to get out of the inning, still clinging to a 2-0 lead.

WHAT’S NEXT?: With top two pitchers Stevens and Snyder returning, Ottawa Hills has high hopes in 2024 as head coach Chris Hardman enters his 44th year at the helm five wins away from 700 in his career. Outfielders Luke Gnepper and Pillarelli are also back as well as first baseman Jay Breed, who adds pitching depth to the Green Bears.


Ottawa Hills        200  000  0  -  2  2  3
Waynedale          000  204  x  -  6  8  2

Records: Waynedale 23-9, Ottawa Hills 22-11.

Winning Pitcher: Trey Barkman (7 innings, 2 runs, 1 earned run, 3 hits, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk).

Losing Pitcher: Sebastian Stevens (5.1 innings, 6 runs, 5 earned runs, 7 hits, 4 strikeouts, 3 walks,1 HBP). Other: Jackson Snyder (0.2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 strikeouts, 0 walks).

Leading Hitters: (Ottawa Hills) - Reddik Pillarelli single, run; AJ George run; Sebastian Stevens RBI; Nash Barnes double; Jack Eidenier double. (Waynedale) - Dylan Raber single, RBI; Connor Gatti single, run; Timmy Short single, run; Trey Barkman single, 2 RBIs, run; Jayden Schlabach single, run; Shane Coblentz 2 singles, RBI, run; Tate Venables single, RBI, run.

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