STRUTHERS, Ohio –
Jim Campbell struck out eight over six innings of work in the Cardinal Mooney Cardinal’s district final matchup against the Berkshire Badgers.Despite his stellar performance, Campbell and the Cardinals came up short, as his opponents across the diamond also put-up supreme efforts on the mound.
Berkshire’s Max Jansen got the start for the Badgers, going 5 strong innings of shutout baseball while allowing just 3 hits and whiffing 3 batters before Jacob Brown would slam the door shut on the Cardinals, earning the save with his 2 inning no hit performance.
Although a boring box score, this game was full of edge of the seat clenching drama, starting in the top of the third. After a hit by pitch would put a runner on for the Badgers with one away, Jack Jacobs would make his way over to third where he was eventually stranded.
Mooney, just squeaking out of the top half without allowing a run, would promptly hit a first pitch single to right before a bunt single saw two on with none away. The Cardinals then popped out and struck out before a diving catch by the Berkshire right fielder would end the inning.
Just a few minutes removed from his diving grab, Evan McDermott would watch four balls go by for a free pass to first. McDermott would then reach 2nd on a wild pitch before Chris Groudle would hit a chopper to the third baseman. The Mooney third baseman had to move to his left to field the ball then threw it across the diamond for the outbefore McDermott would try to advance over to third on the throw. Seeing McDermott on the move, the Mooney first baseman would try to deliver one back across the diamond for a double play, however, the throw would get away from shortstop trying to range over to the bag, allowing McDermott to advance home and slide in safely to plate the first run of the game.
Looking to respond in the bottom half of the inning, a walk and a single saw the Cardinals with two men in scoring position with two away. With the count at 1-1, Mooney would try and have senior Ian Francis steal home where he was eventually cut down to end the inning. Neither team would threaten to score for the rest of the evening, proving Berkshire’s single run 4th inning to be enough to give them the victory, 1-0.
Max Jansen – W, 5 innings pitched, 3 hits, 3 Ks, 0 runs allowed
Jacob Brown – SV, 2 innings pitched, 0 hits, 3 Ks, 0 runs allowed
Jim Campbell – L, 6 innings pitched, 4 hits, 8 Ks, 0 earned runs
BERKSHIRE – Securing their first district title since 2016, the Badgers will advance to the regional semi-final to take on the defending region champion Canton Central Catholic Crusaders.
*Contributed By YSN’s Jamie Thomson