Back in mid-March, the village of McCartyville saluted the 50th anniversary of Anna’s 1972 state baseball title by making that team grand marshals of the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Phil Barhorst was just a freshman backup on that squad but still claims to have “accounted for” all 13 runs scored by Tom Middleton’s Rockets during that state tournament at Ohio State. The current Fort Loramie resident accomplished that by recording scorebook entries during both games as a duty of being the “last guy on the roster.”

Anna won the small school title with a 3-0 shutout by the late Tom Frilling over Pickerington. That Columbus suburb now has two large high schools rather than a single small one. Such has been the growth of that area during the past half century.

Frilling hailed from a family of pitchers and won both games in Columbus, striking out 17 in 12 innings while surrendering only a single run. Offensively he contributed four hits over the two games, a total matched by catcher Stan Crosley who included two homers in the same semifinal inning. The future Sidney Fire Chief then clubbed a third round tripper in the finals. Crosley also hurled the final two innings of the semifinal.

The Anna championship gave the Shelby County Athletic League Ohio baseball titles in consecutive years, following Russia in 1971. Those were the first state crowns for the SCAL. Many more have followed in a variety of sports. See for the complete listing.

Barhorst now

That same Phil Barhorst recently announced his retirement as girls junior varsity basketball coach at Fort Loramie. Over 13 seasons he won an amazing 246 games. Head Coach Carla Siegel is now pondering her options to fill that vital position in a program that has produced a trio of state titles.


The University of Dayton Arena annually hosts the NCAA men’s basketball “First Four,” often referred to as “play in” games. That concept was already in place when it hosted games in 1970 as a first year facility.

Back in 1970 the tourney began with just 26 teams and needed ten opening round matchups to set the regional “sweet 16.” Two of those went to the new venue including Notre Dame-Ohio University and Jacksonville-Western Kentucky, sending big names Austin Carr (ND) and Artis Gilmore (J) to Dayton. Independents and lesser conference champs had to play the extra game. Big time conference winners got automatic slots in the regional. Anybody who came in second in a league either went home or to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).

Today the NCAA invites 68 teams. The “First Four” gets that down to the perfect bracket size of 64.

Opening oddity

The San Diego Padres have faced the same starting pitcher on opening day for four straight seasons. Madison Bumgarner worked for the San Francisco Giants in 2019, and has thrown for the Arizona Diamondbacks since. In addition to the pitcher changing teams, this oddity was made possible by revised schedules in both 2020 and 2022.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. The first Dave Ross SDN byline appeared in 1975, the same year he became a local radio broadcaster.