Hillsdale Moves On To First Regional Final
For the first time in program history, the Hillsdale baseball team will play for a Regional Championship after knocking out Seneca East 7-1 in the Division IV semifinals at Strongsville.
Senior pitcher Jay Luikart was sensational for the Falcons, striking out 15 Tigers batters without a walk while surrendering 1 run on 6 hits. The Wright State commit improved to 10-0 from the hill on the season, throwing just a fastball and a slider to keep Seneca East off balance.
Luikart said much of the pressure that comes with pitching in a regional contest was lifted after his team dropped all 7 of their runs on the board in the top of the 3rd inning. The typically explosive Hillsdale offense only knocked 2 hits off Tigers starter Rickie Lacy in the frame, but capitalized on a hit batter followed by 4 consecutive walks for a 5-0 edge, then scored on a passed ball and a wild pitch.
The lone Seneca East run came in the bottom of the 7th on an RBI single by Andrew Daniel, before Luikart ended the game with his dozenth punch out of the afternoon.
The Falcons (26-2) now advance to face New Middletown Springfield on June 1 for a spot in the Division IV State Final Four.