By Patrick Kennedy
Lakewood- The fourth-seeded Lutheran West Longhorns knocked off the top-seeded Elyria Catholic Panthers 7-4 in the Division III Lakewood district semifinal. Elyria Catholic came into play as the No. 4 team in the state in the latest Division III Ohio Baseball Coaches Assocation Poll
The Longhorns opened the scoring and exploded for a six-run second inning.
A single and a walk brought runners to first and second for Lutheran West with one out.
A very costly throwing error from Elyria Catholic plated two Longhorns.
Another error by the Panther defense brought runners to second and third.
All six Longhorn runs in the second inning were unearned.
“We can’t have that,” Elyria Catholic coach Bruce Lisicky said.
“We have to play good defense at this point in the season. We walked the number nine hitter with the bases loaded on a questionable call that we thought was strike three. but still we had a double play ball that has to be turned and then everything just kind of snowballed.”
Neberaska commit Andrew Abrahamowicz took the loss for the Panthers going seven innings, giving up zero earned runs on six hits. It was his first loss of the season, but the fact that he didn’t allow any earned runs sums up the kind of day it was for Elyria Catholic.
The Panthers scored twice in the third off of a Tony LoParo double, a fielder’s choice and a passed ball brought LoParo in to score.
A solo home run in the fourth by sophomore Leighton Banjoff brought the score to 6-3.
The Longhorns scored one more time in the top of the seventh on a RBI double from Michael Berghaus to bring the score to 7-3.
In the bottom of the seventh four walks brought in one run.
The Panthers had the tying run on first and the winning run at the plate with two outs when Banjoff flew out to center.
If that ball had gone three feet to the left the score would have been tied easily with a chance to win the game for Elyria Catholic to win the game.
Alex Robinson went 6.2 innings for the Longhorns earning the win giving up three runs on three hits.
“He worked through everything,” Lutheran West coach Trey Lamb said.
“He was a Bulldog the whole game, he’s been doing it every single game he’s pitched. The pitch count was the only reason he came out, had it not been for the pitch count he would have finished that game and he wanted to,”
Lutheran West’s season continues and they will play the winner of #3 Kirtland and #7 Wickliff for the district title Wednesday evening at 4:30 PM at Lakewood High School.
Check out video highlights of the game, via OhioSportsNet: