Next: Ursuline vs. Champion, Div. III district championship, today, 5 p.m., Cene Park.
By Pete Mollica
Colton Greathouse pitched a five inning one-hitter and drove in five runs to lead Champion into the Division III district baseball championship game with an 11-1 victory over United on Monday at Cene Park.
Greathouse, a senior right-hander, struck out four and walked four, two of them in the Golden Eagles’ fourth inning that led to their only run of the contest.
Champion (14-5) will play Ursuline today in the district championship game at 5 p.m. at Cene Park.
“These kids have played hard all season long and they deserve to be playing for a district title,” said Champion coach Tim Cope.
“Colton is a senior and has been a leader all season long,” he added. “Today he not only pitched well, but came through with his bat also.”
Greathouse gave all the credit to his teammates.
“It’s been a team effort all season long and I’m only glad to have played a role in this win,” Greathouse said. “My breaking ball was working pretty good, but I did hang a couple, but got away with it.”
United (9-12) didn’t help itself in the contest, committing four errors, while the Eagles’ pitching issured seven walks and had three hit batsmen.
“We had too many errors today,” said Eagles coach Bob Manfull. “You just can’t give a team more than three outs in an inning.”
Manfull said he felt the game breaker was the three-run home run by Trevor Foster in the first innng that jumped the Golden Flashes off to a 3-0 lead.
“That homer really took something out of us,” he added. “He [Foster] really crushed that one and if would have been out of here even with the wind blowing in instead of out.”
Dakota Coulter led off the game with a single and then starting pitcher Jansen Sneltzer walked Shane Brown before Foster crushed a pitch well over the right-center field fence.
The Flashes added two more runs in the third on a single by Ricky Yeager, a United error and then Greathouse singled in one run and Kyle Skaggs brought in another with a sacrifice fly.
United got on the board in the fourth when Greathouse walked the first two batters. A sacrifice bunt by Garrett Beech moved the runners and Gage Chestnut brought home the run with a sacrifice fly.
Champion scored four more in the fourth with the help of three walks and two hit batsmen and a two-run single by Greathouse.
The Flashes won the game in the bottom of the fifth when they loaded the bases, two of them walks, and Greathouse slashed a single to right to plate the two runs.
Cope said the Flashes are looking forward to the meeting with Ursuline.
“We’ve never played them, but we know they have a great program, but we feel pretty good about our program also,” Cope said.