Fri June 1, 2012
By Will Swary
COLUMBUS- The final season for longtime coach Jeff Short continues its magical run as his No. 21 Westlake Demons beat Massillon Perry in the state semi-finals 6-2 on Thursday evening.
Scoreless through 2 innings the game’s first run would come on a tone setting, gigantic home run to left field by Westlake’s Corey Bowers, who’s batting .311 on the year and managed to clear the 340 mark in left at Huntington Park.
Perry would respond in top half of the 4th, down 1-0, when they got one out back to back singles by Gary Lawrence and Jacob Flounders put two runners on. After a fly out and a hit batsman the bases were loaded when Aaron Klaiber drew a two out walk to plate Lawrence. Klaiber’s walk was followed by another walk to Sam Mathie, which plated Perry’s second run.
Down 2-1 in the bottom of the 4th the Demons responded with two of their own. The scoring would start with two outs when a walk to Kyle Latham was followed with a single by Andrew Dunn to put two on. That would bring around the top of the order and Corey Bowers again. This time Bowers would settle for an automatic double after burning the left fielder with another blast to left center for an RBI. The next hitter Andy Haders, who came in batting .341, added a single down the first baseline to score Dunn for another run, making it 3-2 Westlake after 4 innings.
The 5th inning would bring pitching changes on both sides. Westlake starter Ben Neumann would be relieved by Kevin Neumann and Perry starter Jacob Flounder’s was relieved by Tyler Patterson.
The moves would work out in the favor of Westlake as they added another run in the 5th on an RBI single by Matt Leonard and two more runs in the 6th on a two out, two RBI double to right center by Jonathan Brick that gave the Demons the 6-2 advantage they’d finish with. With the win Ben Neumann improves to 7-0 on the season and Westlake improves to 24-6.
The victory for Westlake advances them to the State finals on Saturday where they’ll play No. 2 Cincinnati Moeller at 1pm at Huntington Park in downtown Columbus.