SPRINGFIELD — An impressive season by the Lehman Cavalier baseball team came to an end Friday afternoon in the Division 3 Regional championship game at Carlton Davis Stadium in Springfield.
The Cavaliers ran into a good Triad squad, which took advantage of uncharacteristic errors by Lehman to put up 11 runs in five innings, and win the game 11-0 on the 10-run rule.
The loss ends Lehman’s season at 24-5. Along the way, the Cavaliers won the Northwest Central Conference with a perfect 14-0 record, and added sectional and district titles.
They were hoping to cap off a successful season with a trip to the state tournament in Columbus, but Triad had other ideas. The Cardinals scored twice in the first and never looked back in running its record to 25-7. They will play in the state semifinals Thursday at 7 p.m. in Columbus.
“It’s not the way we wanted this season to end,” said longtime head coach Dave King of the Cavaliers. “We certainly didn’t want to get run-ruled. But Triad is a good team and we knew that going in. They have a lot of pitching, and their pitcher did a good job against us today. They kept the pressure on us offensively, too.”
Amazingly, Triad has still allowed just one run in tournament play this season, that coming in a 2-1 win in eight innings in the regional semifinals against Tri-County North.
Triad opened the game with two in the first off Lehman starter Stephen Monnin, then added another run in the second for an early 3-0 lead. At that point, King lifted Monnin and brought on ace Parker Riley, who pitched a complete game on Thursday in the semifinals.
“We brought Parker in and he did another great job,” said King. “He stopped the bleeding for us.”
Riley set a school record for wins in a season with his victory on Thursday, but he only had three more innings left for Friday.
Triad added two more in the fourth to make it 5-0, then the roof caved in on the Cavaliers in the top of the sixth, when Triad plated six more to open up an 11-0 bulge.
“We gave up a couple walks and had a couple errors and that let them get out to the early lead,” said King. “Any time you have more errors than hits, you’re not going to win very often.”
Triad finished with 12 hits and the Cavaliers managed just three. Two of those went for extra bases, however, with Riley and Ian Smith both getting doubles.
Triad got a triple from Ober and doubles from Holycross and Instine.
Triad pitcher McIntyre went all five innings and struck out four, with two walks. Lehman pitchers combined for one strikeout and three walks.
“I know the kids are disappointed, but we had a great season,” said King. “It’s not the way we wanted to go out, and I feel bad for the seniors. But they did a great job this season.”
McIntyre (WP) and Instine; Monnin (LP), Riley (2), Bosway (5), Simmons (5) and Schutt.
Records: Lehman 24-5, Triad 25-7.