2023 OHSAA Tournament: Division I State Semifinal - No. 25 Olentangy Orange vs No. 5 Anthony Wayne

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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2023 OHSAA Tournament: Division I State Semifinal - 

No. 25 Olentangy Orange vs

No. 5 Anthony Wayne

AKRON - Anthony Wayne knows something about walkoff games after winning three straight to advance to the state tournament. This time around the Generals saw the other side of things as Olentangy Orange executed a perfect suicide squeeze with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 3-2 victory in the Division I state semifinals on Thursday.

Cole Cahill led off the ninth with a triple to right-center field and, after a ground out and two straight intentional walks, Keegan Knupp laid down the bunt that AW pitcher Mitch Harder fielded but Cahill beat the underhand toss to home for the winning run.

The Generals led 1-0 heading to the last of the seventh on a first-inning RBI fielder’s choice groundout by Jack Behnfeldt, but Orange, which time and again left runners on base, managed to tie the game on a one-out bases loaded walk to Charlie Scholvin. Anthony Wayne did manage to escape that jam on a double play line out to pitcher Dom Carlson.

The Generals, the fifth-rated D-I team in the state, then regained the lead in the eighth on a two-out RBI single by Behnfeldt to plate Bryce Anderson, who opened the frame with a single to right.

However, Orange tied it up on Ian Dando RBI hit-by-pitch with the bases full and two outs in the last of the inning.

After Jacob Tabor came in to throw a 1-2-3 ninth for the Pioneers, the 25th-rated Division I team in Ohio won it in the bottom of the frame to advance to the state championship game for the first time in school history.


PLAYER OF THE GAME: Cahill not only scored the game-winner in the ninth, but kept Orange in the game with eight innings of six-hit pitching, striking out three and walking two while giving up two runs. The left-handed Toledo commit threw 73 of 104 pitches for strikes.

FIELDING CLINIC: Orange shortstop Charlie Scholvin, like Cahill a Toledo signee, was spectacular in the field for the Pioneers. The senior, playing in only his third game since returning from an early-season injury, finished with an astounding 12 assists, at one point recording four in a row, the last batter of the second and all three in the third. There was also a diving grab to rob Anderson of a hit in the fifth and another up the middle that ended in a forceout at second base an inning later. If that wasn’t enough, Scholvin made the throw from short left field to third on a bloop single that ended in an out at third to end the sixth. There was also a backhand play to finish the seventh with a runner on second and two away.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES: Orange won despite leaving a dozen runners on base, including 11 in scoring position. In the third inning Diego Astacio hit a hard shot off the mound that went to AW second baseman Tyler Mull who threw to first with the bases juiced and two away. Two innings later with two on and one away, AW starter Brayden Weis recorded his only strikeout of the game. A popout followed to end that threat. A double-play liner by Astactio that ended in a 1-3 putout closed the seventh.

WHAT’S NEXT?: With two state Final Four appearances in the last six years, Anthony Wayne is a program to contend with coming out of the Northern Lakes League which includes Sylvania Northview, last year’s D-I state champions. Anderson, the leadoff hitter for the Generals who had two hits, scored two runs and had another hit taken away by Scholvin, is the lone starter back for second-year head coach Ryan Donley.


Anthony Wayne        100  000  010  -  2  6  0
Olentangy Orange    000  000  112  -  3  5  1

Records: Olentangy Orange 23-10, Anthony Wayne 27-5.

Winning Pitcher: Jacob Tabor (1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 strikeout, 0 walks). Other: Cole Cahill (8 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks).

Losing Pitcher: Mitch Harder (0.1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 strikeouts, 2 walks). Others: Brayden Weis (5 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 strikeout, 1 walk, 4 HBP), Dom Carlson (2.1 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 strikeouts, 5 walks), Drew Pfundt (0.2 innings, 0 runs, 1 strikeout, 1 walk, 1 HBP).  

Leading Hitters: (Anthony Wayne) - Bryce Anderson 2 singles, 2 runs; Marco Morrison 2 singles; Jack Behnfeldt single, 2 RBIs; Mitch Harder single. (Olentangy Orange) - Ian Dando single, RBI; Cole Cahill triple, run; Evan Eichel single, run; Keegan Knupp single RBI; Gabe Miller run; Morgan Twyford double.

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