MASON — The Badin High School baseball team’s impressive run was cut short in heartbreaking fashion on Friday.
Chaminade Julienne scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh — including the game-winner on a bases-loaded walk — to knock off the top-ranked Rams 2-1 in a Division II regional final at Mason.
Badin (29-2) finished the season ranked No. 1 in the final D-II state poll. The Rams had won five out of the last six against the Eagles heading into Friday, including two 3-0 games during the regular season.
“I hate that it’s over,” Badin coach Brion Treadway said. “I’m not really good at losing. I take every game very personal. At the end of the day — to have 12 seniors in our program after their freshman year got canceled — our program flourished after Covid. This senior class was relentless with their work ethic.”
Chaminade Julienne is headed to state for a seventh time. CJ (27-5), which finished ranked seventh in the final D-II state poll, will face Chagrin Falls Kenston in a state semifinal next Friday at 10 a.m. at Akron University’s Canal Park.
Chagrin Falls Kenston beat Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin 4-2 on Friday.
“I don’t have words,” Chaminade Julienne coach Todd Barhorst said. “I told my coaching staff that obviously I’ve been through these types of runs before. I’m not sure if it’s reality yet or if I’m dreaming. Every game I’m kind of out of it and just living in the moment.
“We’ve been in these spots before,” Barhorst added. “The team truly believes that we’re never done. That last inning, we did not think we were done at all.”
Badin senior Nik Copenhaver pitched 6.1 innings, struck out nine and gave up two hits and two earned runs. Kyle Anderson had two hits to pace Badin, which got a run in the first inning on Chandler Taylor’s single scoring Lucas Moore.
“It was electric. Both sides of the field were ready to play,” Copenhaver said. “We came out on the bottom. But I feel all of our boys played their heart out. We did everything we could and fell a little short.
“I’ve never been with a special group of guys like this,” Copenhaver added. “It truly was a special team to be a part of.”
The Rams graduate seniors Corbin Ausman, Brycen Fox, Justin Hoevel, Ashton Hopewell, Caleb Jackson, Sean Miller, Diego DeCello, Rodney Rachel, Aiden Van De Hatert, Reese Anzalone, Moore and Copenhaver.
“There’s a lot of mixed emotions. The season has been amazing,” Anzalone said. “I wouldn’t trade this for anything. These guys will always be my brothers for life. This was just a tough ending. This is the end of our baseball careers. It’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Charlie Hoagland pitched a complete game and struck out seven batters while earning the win on the mound for Chaminade Julienne.
“That’s been our tournament run — we’ve given up three runs in five games,” Barhorst said. “It’s not that we haven’t allowed some base runners, our defense has just stepped up and our pitching has stepped up with runners on.”
Isaac Sullivan and Jacob Brunner each had a hit for the Eagles, who ended the game on a base-loaded walk that scored Patrick Gonter-Dray.
“The reality is, I was totally thoughtless — just let it play out,” Barhorst said of the final inning. “For the most part, we’ve been here.
“When we scored, it was a crazy, great feeling. I didn’t know what to think.”
Chaminade Julienne won the state title in 1970, 2018 and 2019. The Eagles were state finalists in 2017.