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Kennedy advances to regional final in 10 inning duel

LOUISVILLE — At this time of year, “survive and advance” is the name of the game. Even if it takes 10 innings. Kennedy survived and will advance to the regional finals after a 2-1 thriller that ended with a walkoff hit by Michael Bartoe, to take down Tiffin Calvert in 10 innings.

“It was a tremendous pitching duel between two very very good pitchers,” Eagles coach Jim Ciambotti said. “Freddie (Bolchalk) and (Calvert pitcher) Blake Coleman just battling back and forth. It was a pitcher’s duel. The state has their pitcher rules (with a pitch count of 125), so we had to pull Freddie and Bartoe came in there and threw I think it was 1/3 inning. (And then Bartoe came through at the plate as well.) We were fortunate to get the sac fly to win the ballgame.”

Kennedy will take on Jeromesville Hillsdale today at Louisville High School at 5 p.m. with a trip to the state semifinals on the line.

There’s some familiarity there already between the schools, most recently on the basketball court.

“We played them a couple of years ago in the regional semifinal and they beat us. They have tremendous athletes at their school. Our basketball team faced them in the district as well,” Ciambotti said. “To be truthful, we don’t know a lot about them. We had a couple coaches watch the game. We’re going to get together early tomorrow morning to kind of go through the lineup and what they saw. Another great program. They beat Lake Center Christian, who I thought was the best team we played all year. Right up there with this Tiffin Calvert team, so they have to be pretty good.”

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