‘Everything was just working’ — Driessen pitches Badin past Indian Hill in D-II regional semifinal


MASON — Caleb Driessen dealt it on the mound Thursday afternoon.

The Badin High School sophomore also brought the enthusiasm — per usual.

Driessen pitched a complete-game shutout while striking out nine, and the sixth-ranked Rams mixed small-ball offense with stout defense to beat the Indian Hill Braves 4-0 in a Division II regional semifinal at Mason.

“From the minute I met Caleb Driessen, he brings the energy to life that I think all people should live with,” Badin coach Brion Treadway said. “He’s one of those people that you enjoy being around their presence because they’re always upbeat, and they’re always positive. That is infectious.

“Likewise on the counter side — if you’re a negative person, that’s infectious as well,” Treadway added. “So, we try to root those negative people out of our program. Caleb is exactly what we’re looking for as an example of an energy-giver. The guys get fired up, and he brings the juice every day.”

The Rams (25-6) have won six in a row and nine of their last 10. They’ll face top-ranked Jonathan Alder in a regional final Friday at 5 p.m. at Mason.

“That’s the worst part of this tournament is the turnaround,” Treadway said. “You don’t really have time to enjoy this win other than right now for our guys. Then we send them home, and we’ve got to focus on tomorrow — which is the biggest game of our season.

“Alder is the No. 1 team in the state. They’ve got the coach of the year coaching their team. They’re phenomenally coached.”

Jonathan Alder knocked off Kenton Ridge 8-7 in nine innings Thursday.

“We all have this mentality that the game you play, especially in tournament time, is the biggest game you’re going to play,” Driessen said. “Lose and go home situations, you need to make it. You can’t be focused on the next opponent. You have to be focused on the now.”

Driessen said he felt good from the start. The righthander didn’t walk a batter all game, and he didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning.

“Everything was working today,” Driessen said. “Everybody was behind me. The energy from the dugout was insane. Shoutout to my boys in the dugout. Everything was just working. Everything was moving. Everything was doing what it was supposed to be doing. I was missing barrels. I was catching good times on the mound, honestly.

“The walkout music was pretty solid, too. I’ve got to give it to them. That, and my defense. My defense was insane.”

Badin second baseman Austin Buckle made the play of the game when he barehanded a grounder that skipped past Driessen up the middle. Buckle fielded it and threw it across his body to Xander Arnold at first, who made the scoop for the putout.

“We ask them to make the routine plays,” Treadway said. “If we make the routine plays, we’re going to be successful. Today, they were out of their minds on defense. They were just making spectacular plays. I just love seeing the energy after making those big plays. Again, it’s infectious.

“Energy is the key to life, and I think if you bring positive energy to life, you’re going to have a good life. If these guys can bring positive energy to our team, we’re going to have a great year. And they do that.”

Chandler Taylor singled in the bottom of the first and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Chase Luebbe bunted Taylor over to third, and Kyle Anderson’s sacrifice fly brought Taylor home to give Badin a 1-0 lead.

Austin Vangen doubled to start the bottom of third, and he scored on a Cooper Ollis single that put the Rams up 2-0. Luebbe doubled to right, which moved Ollis to third. Then Anderson’s squeeze bunt scored Ollis to make it 3-0.

Badin got an insurance run in the sixth when Buckle scored on Arnold’s single. Ollis finished 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run to pace Badin at the plate.

“Multi-sport players play a role in our success this year,” Treadway said. “Austin Buckle had a phenomenal year on the football field. I think he’s brought that confidence to the baseball field and that leadership to the baseball field. Cooper Ollis had a phenomenal basketball season.”

Indian Hill, the Cincinnati Hills League champion, finished the season at 22-8.


Jackson Raby pitched a complete game, Nick Birch went 3 for 3 with three runs and Cincinnati Christian knocked off Brookville 4-2 in a Division III regional semifinal at Wright State’s Nischwitz Stadium.

The Cougars (23-5) take on Heath in a regional final on Friday at 5 p.m. at Wright State. Cincinnati Christian has won six in a row.

TJ Selvie (2 for 3, two RBIs), Alex Minacapelli (2 for 3, run), Kael Starks (1 for 4, RBI) and Timmy Nagel (1 for 4, run) also contributed at the plate for CCS.

Selvie’s two-RBI single in the top of the seventh that scored Nagel and Birch gave the Cougars a 4-1 lead.

Brookville’s first two batters reached base to start the bottom of the seventh, but only one run crossed the plate before CCS closed it out.

Cincinnati Christian is ranked No. 1 in the Cincinnati area in Division III and IV.


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