By JOHN KOVACH
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
BOARDMAN -- After falling short in the state tournament in 1967, 1981 and 1991, the Boardman High baseball team is going back to Columbus this week, hoping to bring back the school's first Ohio championship.
Manager Scott Knox's Spartans (23-5), sporting an array of talented hitter, fielders and pitchers who helped bowl over two regional opponents, will take on Maumee High (20-10) Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Columbus Cooper Field in a Division I state semifinal.
Boardman is coming off decisive wins over Wadsworth (8-1) and Canton GlenOak, 11-1, in the Canton regional at Thurman Munson Stadium.
Maumee advanced with a 2-1 win over Mansfield Madison Sunday.
The Spartans used big rallies and sound pitching to romp through the regional.
First, a seven-run uprising in the sixth inning and Matt Repec's four-hitter and eight strikeouts keyed the win over Wadsworth last Friday.
Saturday, a 19-hit attack and six-run uprising in the fourth inning, plus Mike Krieger's six-hitter, led the romp past GlenOak.
Repec to start: Knox, in his first year at the helm, said he will start Repec against Maumee.
Repec, a junior and the ace of the staff, is 10-0 with a 2.22 earned run average, 72 strikeouts and 19 walks.
If Boardman wins, "More than likely it will be Krieger [pitching in the final]," said Knox. Krieger is 4-2 with a 2.91 ERA, 46 strikeouts and 26 walks.
Regarding relievers, "[Dennis] Golubic would be the first guy in. He's had a pretty good year, [followed by] Dave Stillwagon and Sean Curry," Knox said.
Golubic is 5-2 with a 3.12 ERA, 28 strikeouts and 36 walks, while Curry is 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA, and Dave Stillwagon 1.1 and 7.35. Boardman's team ERA is 3.37.
The catcher is senior Tony Dellapenna.
Repec hitting .515: Repec, who plays shortstop when not pitching, also is the top hitter on a power-laden offense that is averaging 8.06 runs per game.
Repec had his first four-hit game against GlenOak, and is batting .515 on 53-for-103) with 44 RBIs and 32 runs.
Krieger, a junior who plays shortstop when Repec pitches, is the No. 2-leading hitter with .442 on 42-for-95), with 22 RBIs and 33 runs.
Kris King, a senior center-fielder, is No. 3 with .412 on 40-for-97), and a team-best 48 RBIs plus 30 runs.
Other offensive standouts are Curry, a junior right-fielder at .366 on 34-for-93 with 28 RBIs and 26 runs; and Kevin Gesacion, a senior second baseman and lead-off batter, who is at .350 on 35-for-100.
Curry's hit helped to ignite the Spartans uprising against Wadsworth.
Good develops: Meanwhile, Andy Good, a sophomore third baseman, has been outstanding since climbing to varsity from the junior varsity this season. Good is batting .516 on 16-for-31 with 14 RBIs and 12 runs.
"We brought him up in the middle of the season," Knox said. "He was playing junior varsity. He did so well that he is now starting at third base."
A sparkler of late has been Giancarlo Silvestri, a junior and the starting center-fielder, who is batting .291 (23-for-79 with 23 RBIs and 25 runs.
Silvestri's hit started Boardman's rally against GlenOak, and he finished with three singles and two RBIs.
Rounding out the starting unit are senior Nelson Navarra (.270), the designated hitter who belted a homer over the left-field fence against GlenOak; and Stillwagon, a senior first baseman.