(5-29-18) Thursday afternoon at 4pm at Huntington Park in Columbus in the first game of the D III State Baseball tournament Coldwater will take on Minford.
The Cavaliers will be trying to pick up their seventh state baseball championship, while Minford will be making their first ever appearance in the State Final Four. Both teams were ranked this season in the D III rankings, Coldwater was 6th and Minford was 12th.
The Falcons have had a year to remember, besides their path to the state final four, they also won the school’s first outright Southern Ohio Conference-II baseball championship in 50 years. That was 22 years before Minford Head Coach Aaron Hopper was even born. Coldwater finished in a three-way tie in the Midwest Athletic Conference in third place, but the Cavs have dominated the MAC since its inception with 30 MAC titles.
The 28 year coach, who celebrated his birthday during the Regional final game, has turned the Falcons into a state power in just a very short time. Hopper had an All-American career at D III Marietta College (2013 grad) and was a member of two NCAA D III national title teams…so he knows about winning.
Minford has two quality starting pitchers, Junior Ethan Lauder who threw a perfect game in the regular season vs. South Webster , also added a 4 hit, nine strikeout complete game win over Ridgewood 5-1 in the Regional title game and Freshman Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis who struck out six batters and only allowed six hits in a 6-1 win over Rock Hill in the Division III Chillicothe District Final.
Hopper told the Portsmouth Daily Times after the Regional win about his young team:
“I don’t have the answer to why we play out of our age, but these guys definitely are a mature group, and they did not give up. I don’t know what to say. It’s really special for them because of the work that they’ve put in. This is the reason why we’re here, because we’ve worked hard, and they deserve it. They really do.”
The Falcons Payton Davis (only Senior starter) drove in the winning run in a close call win over Crooksville 3-2 in 8 innings in a District semi-final game and that allowed Minford to move on in the tournament.
Hopper likes to play station-to-station baseball and it has worked this season, but when they need a big hit they depend on Luke Lindamood and Lauder who lead the team in RBIs.
Minford’s Road to State….
- Huntington Ross W 9-0
- Crooksville W 3-2
- Rock Hill W 7-2
- Unioto W 6-2
- Ridgewood W 5-1
Today the Edison Chargers played the Coldwater Cavaliers in the Div III Regional Semifinals. It was a battle to the end but the Cavaliers won in 7 innings with the final score 2-1. @EdisonSports @ColdwaterCavs #BCSNE ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/v1maYA3BOs
— BCSNErie (@BCSN_Erie) May 25, 2018
Coldwater’s Brad Giere, used just 74 pitches including just 55 in the first six innings, allowed just four hits while striking out four to pick up the close call win over Edison 2-1.
After the win over Edison in the Regional semifinal game Coldwater Head Coach Brian Harlamert told the Sandusky Register:
“We like to run and that is apart of our game. We like to play some small ball and get quite a few bunts down. I don’t think the speed got us a run, but in the long run, Edison was expecting a bunt twice and we stole two bases. It was us being aggressive in the process.”
Coldwater’s Road to State….
- Paulding W 5-1
- Van Buren W 10-2
- Ft. Recovery 8-1
- Milan Edison W 2-1
- Columbus Academy W 7-2
- Cole Frilling (Junior) complete game three-hitter, with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks
- Coldwater – 11 hits
- Coldwater – no errors
- Nathan Grunden -3 for 3
- Sam Broering – 3 for 4
After the Regional title win over Columbus Academy 7-2, Harlamert told Jim Naveau of the Lima News:
“Our goal is to compete and win and play hard. If we get to this game we want to win it. We’re going to Columbus to win, not just to play. That’s the history of Coldwater baseball. We have six, we’re going for seven.”
- No. 6 Coldwater (25-6) vs. No. 12 Minford (24-2), Thurs., 4 p.m.
- Cincinnati Madeira (21-6) vs. Canfield South Range (16-15), Thurs., 7 p.m.
Div. III State Championship: Sat., 1 p.m.
2014 Baseball Division III State Championship
1992 Baseball Division III State Championship
1990 Baseball Class A State Championship
1987 Baseball Class AA State Championship
1984 Baseball Class AA State Championship
1983 Baseball Class AA State Championship
2004 Baseball Division III State Runner-Up
1991 Baseball Division III State Runner-Up
1977 Baseball Class AA State Runner-Up
2009 Baseball Division III State Semi-Finalists
2008 Baseball Division III State Semi-Finalists
2000 Baseball Division III State Semi-Finalists
1996 Baseball Division III State Semi-Finalists
1995 Baseball Division III State Semi-Finalists
1972 Baseball Class AA State Semi-Finalists
1961 Baseball Class A State Semi-Finalists
1941 Baseball Class B State Semi-Finalists
1938 Baseball Class B State Semi-Finalists
The Falcons and Cavaliers…the new tradition against a long-time winning program, high school baseball at its best.
Did you know?
- Minford is closer to the West Virginia state border than it is to Coldwater
- Coldwater is closer to the Indiana state border than it is to Minford
- Coach Hopper was seven years old when Brian Harlamert became the Head Coach at Coldwater
- Harlamert has 461 wins as a Head Coach
- Coldwater’s last State Championship was in 2014