Hall pitches Tigers to victory over Flyers, district crown

PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE Seneca East's Jake Hall throws a pitch during the district final game against St. Paul in Clyde on Friday evening.

CLYDE — Jake Hall was good.

Hall continuously kept St. Paul off balance throughout the game to shut the Flyers down.

He struck out 11 and led Seneca East to a 2-1 Division IV district championship on Friday at Clyde High School.

“This was a tough district,” Seneca East coach Rick Bowerman said. “South Central is a very tough team and St. Paul was very good. I know those two teams battled toward the end of the season. It was two quality teams.”

The Tigers improve to 17-11 and face Hillsdale on Thursday at Strongsville High School at 5 p.m.

“There for a while, I did not pitch the greatest;” Hall said. “My teammates kept me up. Two runs for me was huge.”

The Flyers (19-8) were done in by an inability to get a timely hit. St. Paul left six runners on including five in scoring position.

“In big games like this, that cannot happen,” St. Paul coach Jim Carper said. “It just can’t, but it happened to us today.”

Brandon Furlong walked with two outs in the seventh inning. Carper opted not to send Furlong, who had stole second base twice earlier in the game. Lars Livengood followed with a single, but Hall struck out Scott Adelman to end the game.

“It crossed my mind,” Carper said about having Furlong attempt to steal second. “I was thinking that we were at the top of the lineup and we had been hitting pretty good. We did not want to make the third out there.”

Bowerman knew his pitcher would not come close to allowing 14 runs like St. Paul scored in Thursday’s semifinal win over Hopewell-Loudon.

“I knew with Jake Hall that St. Paul would not score 14 runs,” Bowerman said. “They are a good hitting team, but when Jake is on his A-game, he is tough.”

St. Paul pitcher Jake Griffin did not allow a base hit until the third inning. Andrew Daniel walked before Carter Lacy singled. Rickie Lacy followed with a single into right field to open the scoring.

“We just did not hit the ball when we needed to,” Carper said. “We would get runners on. Give credit to them and to Hall. He kept the ball down all night and did what he had to do.”

St. Paul tied the game in the fourth inning before the Tigers took the lead for good in the fifth inning. Carter Lacy reached on an error before Rickie Lacy singled. After a strikeout, Tyler Turek singled for the lead.

“That was huge,” Bowerman said. “In tight games like this, it is who can get that clutch hit. Tyler Turek came through for us. Once we got that lead with the way Jake was rolling, I knew we had a good shot.”

Griffin was solid throughout the Flyers. He allowed just four hits while striking out seven.

“We wanted to attack his fastball early,” Bowerman said. “We did not want to get down in the count. He does not throw his curve ball a lot. He just tries to keep you off balance.”

Hall allowed just four hits. He walked three and threw 108 pitches.