2023 OHSAA Tournament: Division IV State Semifinal - No. 1 Hiland vs No. 2 Tiffin Calvert

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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2023 OHSAA Tournament: Division IV State Semifinal - No. 1 Hiland vs No. 2 Tiffin Calvert

AKRON - Berlin Hiland scored with two outs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game, then tallied three in the eighth to stun Tiffin Calvert 4-1 in eight innings in a battle of the top two ranked teams in Division IV on Thursday night in the state semifinals.

Colin Coblentz reached on an error to start the Hiland seventh and advanced to second on an Isaak Yoder sacrifice bunt. After a strikeout, Grady Monigold plated Coblentz with the game-tying run.

The top-rated D-IV team in Ohio then got out of a bases-loaded two-out jam in the bottom of the seventh before scoring a trio of runs in the eighth. With two away, Caden Otterbacher and Nick Palm hit singles before a walk filled the bases for Calvert. However, a grounder to first base sent the game into extras.

Alec Weaver then opened the Hiland eighth with a single bringing an end to the night on the mound for sophomore right-hander Blake Coleman. A throwing error on a Cody Yoder sacrifice bunt put two on and a Nolan Yoder base hit filled the bases. A Colin Coblentz RBI single made it 2-1 and, after one out, a Brady Yoder sac bunt brought home Cody Yoder for a 3-1 advantage. Monigold closed out the scoring with a sac fly to center.

Isaak Yoder fanned the side in the bottom of the inning to close out the victory for the top-ranked D-IV team in Ohio, which has now won 23 games in a row.

The only run by the Senecas came in the second when pinch runner Cash Lee scored on a Shultz sacrifice fly. A single by Connor Moyer and a walk to Cameron Moyer started the inning.

Coleman was the hard-luck loser, not permitting an earned run while giving up six hits, not walking a batter and striking out three for the second-rated team in Division IV.


PLAYER OF THE GAME: Monigold produced the biggest hit of the game with two outs in the top of the seventh to tie the game and added a sacrifice fly to put the Hawks ahead 4-1 in the eighth. The left-handed hitting freshman finished 3-for-3, with singles in the second and fifth innings.

THE BIG CALL: Was it a catch or a drop? Did the ball hit the ground on the exchange from glove to hand or was it an error? What proved to be a game-changer was ruled a drop by the person who matters most - the umpire - and the Calvert error in right field to open the top of the seventh resulted in the tying run eventually touching home plate, sending the game into extra innings where Hiland then won it in the eighth. It is truly a game of inches in so many ways.

THE KEY INNING: Bases loaded and nobody out with the top of the order coming up. Things looked bleak for Hiland, trailing 1-0 and Calvert batting in the bottom of the fifth. But the Hawks managed to get out of the jam created by a Schultz single, a walk to Jacob Kidwell and a fielder’s choice bunt throw to third that Schultz beat to the bag. However, a foul out with the infield in left the bases still loaded and then, with the infield in double-play depth, Hiland turned a 4-6-3 twin killing to stay within one run.

WHAT’S NEXT?: Calvert loses two key players in Nick Palm and Mason Johnson but started four freshmen along with two juniors and starting pitcher Coleman, making a third straight trip to state a real possibility for head coach Matt Coleman and the Senecas.


Berlin Hiland       000  000  13  -  4  8  1
Tiffin Calvert       010  000  00  -  1  5  3

Records: Berlin Hiland 29-1, Tiffin Calvert 29-3.

Winning Pitcher: Isaak Yoder (3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks). Other: Nolan Yoder (5 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks).

Losing Pitcher: Blake Coleman (7 innings, 2 runs, 0 earned runs, 6 hits, 3 strikeouts, 0 walks). Other: Mason Johnson (1 inning, 2 runs, 1 earned run, 2 hits, 1 strikeout, 0 walks).

Leading Hitters: (Berlin Hiland) - Alec Weaver single, run; Cody Yoder single, run; Nolan Yoder single, run; Colin Coblentz single, run, RBI; Grady Monigold 3 singles, 2 RBIs. (Tiffin Calvert) - Nick Palm single; Connor Moyer single; Cameron Moyer single; Cash Lee run; Harry Shultz single, RBI; Caden Otterbacher single.

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