Lakota West 2 St. Xavier 1
Ten years ago, Scott Kiker brought his six year old son, Max, down to University of Cincinnati to watch the Lakota West baseball team face the St. Xavier Bombers in the 2007 OHSAA Regional Championship game. Kiker watched Sophomore Bryan Beaver pitch a complete game for the Lakota West Firebird baseball team in a 4-2 victory claiming the first Regional Championship in Lakota history.
Fast forward to 2017, Max Kiker found himself in the same position on Friday at the University of Cincinnati for the 2017 OHSAA Regional Championship vs. St. X.
Like Beaver did before him, the sophomore pitcher stepped up and pitched like a seasoned veteran. Kiker pitched a complete 7-inning game (first of the season) spreading out six hits and giving up only one run. Kiker was also backed by a stellar defense. The team created outs on 17 of the 23 times the ball was put into play with zero errors for the game.
Much like the regional semi-final game, the Firebird offense showed patience and capitalized on a couple of errors despite only having four total hits in the game. Senior Chase Wullenweber got the game going when he reached base on error in the first inning. He made his way to third on a base hit by Senior Brennen Martin, but managed to score when the St. X outfielder bobbled the base hit.
St. X managed to score a run in the top of the 3rd inning, but the Firebirds responded quickly. Frankie Schmitt reached base on an error and advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher. Schmitt advanced to third on a ground out by Junior Bryce Johnson. The Firebirds called a squeeze bunt with Senior Chase Wullenweber at bat. With Schmitt running towards home plate, the St. X pitcher hurried his pitching motion and was called for a balk scoring the second and final run for the Firebirds.
The Firebirds managed to hold on to that lead while Kiker and the defense allowed only six St. Xavier batters in the last two innings to seal the victory.
Next Game(State Semi-Finals, Final Four): The Firebirds (25-5) play Massillon Jackson on Friday, June 2nd, 4:00 pm at Huntington Park, Columbus, OH.
Admission for state tournament is $8.00 for school age children and older. $4.00 programs will also be available at the game.
*Passes are not ACCEPTED for entry
Follow the game on 1450 WMOH or stream it at http://wmoh.com/
WP: Max Kiker (3-1), LP: Sam Kendall (6-1)