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Lakota West Baseball: Early Runs Haunt Firebirds in Loss to Jackson in OHSAA State Semi-Finals

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Lakota West 1  Massillon Jackson 5

The Massillon Jackson Baseball team entered Friday’s OHSAA State Semi-Final game as the #1 team in the state of Ohio and #12 team in the country according to USA Today.  The Polar Bears wasted no time backing up those rankings in the first inning of the game.  Leadoff hitter, Cade Mottice got things started when he smacked the first pitch of the game right up the middle for a base hit.  All-State Catcher Dillon Dingler (Ohio State signee) followed with a base hit to left field.  The Polar Bears followed with a sac bunt/error scoring the first run of the game.  Jackson followed up with a single into left field scoring two more runs making the score 3-0 and only four minutes had gone by since the first pitch.  Polar Bears knocked in one more run for the inning and the damage was done.  The Polar Bears wouldn’t score again until the 7th inning.

The Firebirds faced All-State pitcher Kyle Nicolas (Ball State Signee) who according to the Huntington Park scoreboard was hitting 93-94 mph on his fastball.  Nicolas hadn’t given up a run in the entire playoff run, but the Firebirds managed to squeeze one out in the 5th inning when Senior Frankie Schmitt knocked in Eric Hooper who reached base with a double.  Chase Wullenweber was the only other hit for the Firebirds.

Defensively, the Firebirds were great after the first inning.  Senior Jake Kates settled in and only allowed four hits and one run after the first inning.

The Firebirds finish the season 25-6 and were GMC, Sectional, District and Regional Champions.  Jackson (29-2) will face Strongsville for the state championship today at 7pm.

Link to Box Score

Link to Photo Gallery by Lou Spinazzola

Link to Journal-News Article “Early deficit too much for West to overcome in state loss to Jackson”

Link to Cincinnati.com Article “Slow start dooms Lakota West in state semi-final”

Link to WKRC Local 12 Video

Link to photo gallery by Greg Lynch- Journal-News

Link to NEOSports article “Massillon Jackson Advances To State Championship With 5-1 Win Over Lakota West”

Fox 19 Video Clip below:
Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

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