By: Adam Niemeyer (FOX19 Sports)
On Sunday night Elder and Moeller played in the volleyball state title, and the Elder Panthers came away victorious. On Friday morning in Columbus the same two schools met in the baseball state semifinals, and, as expected, it was a pitcher's duel.
Elder, the No. 2 team in the state, threw ace Brian Korte against Moeller's best pitcher, David Whitehead. Moeller, the state's best team, defeated Elder in the only two meetings between the schools this season.
But the third matchup went in favor of the Elder Panthers, 1-0.
After losing to Moeller the second time, Elder went to the outfield in Blue Ash and discussed playing Moeller again. "We said we're going to get them again, and we're going to get over the hump this time," said Elder head coach Mark Thompson. "We've got to regroup and play tomorrow."
"All losses are disappointing, but that was one heck of a high school baseball game," said Moeller head coach Tim Held.
It was a stalemate until the top of the 6th inning between the two baseball powerhouses.
Elder got on the board after a single by Timmy O'Conner that knocked in Jeremy White to put the Panthers ahead 1-0. "He broke a school record for RBIs, which is saying something at a school like Elder," Thompson said, of O'Conner. "Seniors win championships and he's a big-time player.
Whitehead walked Nick Connor after he gave up the run and was replaced on the mound by Kevin Brennan.
Whitehead recorded eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings, and only gave up two hits. Korte, headed to Indiana on a baseball scholarship, pitched 6 1/3 innings and recorded six strikeouts while giving up only five hits.
Elder's Matt Pate came in and picked up the save. The game ended on a bizarre double play. A fly ball to right field was the second out of the inning and Moeller's Max Belza tried to advance to third, but he left too early. The Panthers appealed to second base and Belza was called out, ending the game.
"I thought he was going to turn and take a look," Held said. "He went all off me, so when I waved him on he left. It's all on me."
"There was miscommunication between the runner and the coach, and it's unfortunate that the game came down to something like this," Thompson said.
Elder will play Saturday at 4 p.m. against the winner of Olmsted Falls/Lakewood St. Edward game.