PBR Spotlight Game: No. 28 Gahanna Lincoln beats Dublin Jerome

By Chris Valentine

Gahanna Lincoln beat Dublin Jerome 5-1 on Monday evening in a Central Ohio district semi-final matchup.

The Lions wasted little time getting to Jerome junior right-handed pitcher Masashi Sakamoto.

In the bottom of the first, Trent Champlin hit a two-strike fastball into right field. Two batters later, sophomore Evan White, one of the top players in the Class of 2014, stroked a single into left field. Senior cleanup hitter Cole Greisinger (Ball State recruit) lined a hanging curveball up the middle to score Champlin from second. However, Sakamoto escaped the rally after a 5-4-3 double play.

In the top half of the second, Jerome threatened after juniors Kyle Lento singled and Colin Seely walked. But, with one out, Gahanna senior right-handed pitcher Chris Secore (West Liberty recruit) struck out consecutive batters to escape the jam.

With the lineup turning over in the top of the third, Jerome found itself with a runner in scoring position with one out as Sakamoto walked and advanced to second base on a balk. Junior Tom Coon delivered a double to the right-center gap to bring home Sakamoto and lock the score up at a 1-1 tie.

The tension continued to build as the teams headed into the bottom of the 5th.

Cararo pulled a ball down the first base line, but Jerome first baseman Aaron Huesman (Dayton recruit) was not able to keep it in front. One batter later, Greisinger sat on another curveball and drove a single into left field. With two outs and runners on first and second base, Shawn Martin hit a RBI single into left field to put the Lions up 2-1.

In the top of the sixth, Jerome strung together consecutive two out hits with Seely and sophomore Tyler Bookmyer both advancing on base.

With two outs and the pressure mounting, the Lions turned the ball over to junior Alec Tuohy who proceeded to strike out Jerome pinch hitter Jacob King and end the Celtic threat.

Looking to add insurance runs in the bottom half of the 6th, the Lions started out the inning by taking advantage of a fly ball that was misplayed by Jerome infielders. Secore followed with a sacrifice bunt to move junior Peyton Ross to second base. Champlin followed with a fly ball to move Ross to third base.

Needing a run to add some cushion to their lead, the Lions found help in Cararo as the left-handed hitter singled to left-center.

To put the nail in the coffin, sophomore Evan White drove a 2-0 hanging curveball into deep left-center for a two run homerun.

Now, with a 5-1 lead, Tuohy closed the door in the seventh to secure the win.

Gahanna Lincoln starter Chris Secore picked up the win while striking out seven batters, walking three, giving up five hits, and one earned run. He painted the corners with his fastball, which sat 81-84 mph. He relied on a 67-68 mph curveball with a slow, loopy break.

Tuohy picked up the save while striking out one batter and walking another. His fastball sat at 83-85 mph and his curveball, which has a sharp 12/6 break, sat at 74-76 mph.

Sakamoto took the loss for Jerome. He allowed nine hits and five runs. He struck out one batter and did not allow a walk. His fastball sat at 80-83 mph and topped out at 85 mph. His curveball sat at 68-70 mph and his split-finger fastball sat at 70 mph.