‘Just an incredible feeling’ — Badin beats Padua, now one win away from Division II state title


AKRON — Badin’s dominant defensive run through the postseason continues.

Caleb Driessen struck out six in a three-hit shutout, Jay Carmella went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and the No. 6 Rams used a four-run fifth inning to beat the Parma Padua Franciscan Bruins 5-0 in the Division II state semifinals Friday morning at Akron’s Canal Park.

“I thought our guys did their job,” Badin coach Brion Treadway said. “They were putting quality at-bats together. I think a lot of those were two strike hits, and guys just kept good composure and kept a good plan, just delivered. Just an incredible feeling.”

Badin (27-6) shut out its sixth straight tournament opponent and has outscored them 55-0.

“That’s who we are,” Treadway said. “The guys compete on the mound. The challenge that they have is owning their time on the mound — whether that’s one inning or all seven.”

Driessen (7-1) owned all seven Friday.

The sophomore righthander took a one-hitter into the seventh inning before Padua made its biggest threat.

“We talked about getting back to Alumni (Field). That’s always been our quote for the year,” Driessen said. “I feel like we’ve done that up until now, and we’re going to continue to do that.

“Now it’s back to Fairfield, which is the hotel we’re staying at for today. So, we’ve got to bring it back to Alumni, and now that’s all we’ve got to do — just play one game at a time. We’re always good enough.”

Carmella had an RBI single in the fourth and a two-RBI single in the fifth to boost the Rams offensively. Austin Vangen added a double, and Chandler Taylor, Cade Cummins and Cooper Anzelone had singles.

“Coaches have preached that we’re good enough. We’ve been good enough the whole year,” Carmella said. “We shouldn’t try to change anything now. So, that’s just what we’re emphasizing now — just staying true to our approach that we’ve been doing all season.”

Kade Bowling had a sacrifice fly that scored Cooper Ollis in the fifth, while Chase Luebbe added an RBI single the same inning.

“We play a competitive schedule. We’ve been in a lot of tight ballgames this year,” Treadway said. “We’ve played against the best of the best, and we’ve held our own. I think that confidence carries over in moments like this where the pressure wants to mount. But we don’t let it mount. They deny the pressure to allow them to perform at their best.”

The Rams are seeking their third state championship in program history. Badin won the state title in 1991 and 1996.

This is Badin’s third trip to the state tournament in the past four seasons and 15th appearance in school history.

The Rams will face the winner of Wintersville Indian Creek (22-6) and No. 12 Beloit West Branch (25-6), which played immediately following Badin’ victory Friday.

“We are very fortunate to have been here a lot recently, and we have not come through,” Treadway said. “I’ve been out in this spot saying goodbye to my team after a hell of a year. To know that we get two more days together is just an incredible feeling, and it’s very emotional. I’m proud of our guys, and I’m proud of our coaching staff. I love this community. You can feel everybody is behind us, and it’s just a lot of fun.”

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