LORAIN - As the teams gathered with their respective coaches after Cuyahoga Heights eliminated Seneca East in Friday's regional final, the public address announcer at the Lorain Pipeyard congratulated Seneca East for its season, and said it was a pretty good bet the Tigers would be back.
It was a nice thing to say, for sure, and there was some optimism on the Seneca East side that the success it had this year could continue.
Of course, some of the biggest factors in the success - Seneca East seniors Billy Diehm, Kyle Depinet, Elliott Lee and Jason Branham - won't be back next year.
"We're only losing five seniors, but they're very valuable players," junior second baseman Darin Baldosser said. "We've just got to build on that and come back next year swinging."
Seneca East finished 22-9. Coach Frank Lamoreaux said this year's postseason run was a function of getting hot at just the right time.
"It's a whole different ballgame when you're talking regular season versus postseason," Lamoreaux said. "How many times do you see wild card teams win in the major leagues, win it all. Or teams in the College World Series, guys that don't have the best record playing well at the right time."
TIFFIN BOUND: Cuyahoga Heights' starting pitcher, senior left-hander Alex Zander, pitched seven shutout innings Friday against Seneca East. It was a dominant postseason start.
Matt Palm and the rest of his coaching staff are hoping he has some more.
The pitcher will attend Heidelberg University to play baseball, joining a team that is two years removed from a Division III World Series appearance, and has made the regionals in four of the last five years.
"Coach Palm's got a great program over there," Zander said. "Can't wait [for] what's ahead."
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY: Moments after the game ended, Cuyahoga Heights coach Marc Louther had his picture taken on the field with Art Massey.
Massey was the baseball coach at Cuyahoga Heights for 28 years, and led the Redskins to their last state appearance in 1976. Cuyahoga Heights was state runner-up that season.