2023 OHSAA Tournament: Division III State Semifinal - No. 20 Heath vs No. 26 Harrison Central

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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2023 OHSAA Tournament: Division III State Semifinal - No. 20 Heath vs No. 26 Harrison Central

AKRON - Treston Nemeth was a bulldog against the Bulldogs of Heath in the Division III state semifinals on Friday night.

The Harrison Central senior hit and pitched Harrison Central past Heath 2-1 and with it a berth in Saturday’s state finals against defending state champion Waynedale.

At the plate, the Dayton commit drove in both Harrison Central runs with a triple to deep right-center field in the top of the third. On the mound, Nemeth threw a four-hitter for the Huskies.

Sophomore right-hander Tannar Patterson was the tough-luck loser for Heath, tossing a four-hitter as well in a losing cause.

But it was Nemeth who came up big in the third after Kaden Jurosko and Leland Lopez reached on two-out walks. Nemeth, who fanned in his first at-bat, was up to the challenge this time around with a long shot to right-center to plate the lone two runs for the 26th-ranked team in Ohio.

Heath scored its lone run in the sixth when Connor Toomey led off with a walk, stole second and after a strikeout came home on a Patterson single to right.

Patterson was left stranded at second base and the Bulldogs had another runner in scoring position in the seventh when Jaiden Dansby walked and then with two away stole second. However, a line out to shortstop ended the contest sending Harrison Central to the state finals for the second time in school history. The Huskies lost in the 1982 championship game.


PLAYER OF THE GAME: There was little to consider in this one, with Nemeth the winning pitcher as well as top hitter in the game. The senior gave up four hits and four walks while striking out three, throwing 58 of 91 pitches for strikes.

GAME PLAN: Part of the Harrison Central game plan was obviously to not let Heath cleanup hitter Hayden Woodward beat them. On two occasions the junior, who had a single in his first AB, was intentionally walked and it worked out both times for the Huskies. In the bottom of both the fourth and sixth innings with a runner on second and two away, Harrison head coach Mike Valesko gave a free pass to Woodward. On the first a strikeout followed and on the second the runner was caught heading to third, no balk was called, and the result was a 1-5-4 putout.

WALKS AND ERRORS: The old adage proved true in this game with all three runs coming from players that reached on a base on balls. ... As for errors, there were none in this game. A salute to the performance of both teams.

CONTROVERSY: For the second night in a row, there was a bit of controversy that helped determine the game. This time the question came on the mound - Was it a balk or not? Had it been called, runners would have been on second and third with two outs. No guarantee the score would have changed after that, but you never know.

WHAT’S NEXT?: With the top four in the batting order returning, Heath could be a state contender again in 2024. Pitching depth will also be a strength for the 20th-rated team in Ohio this year in Division III.


Harrison Central        002  000  0  -  2  4  0
Heath                           000  001  0  -  1  4  0

Records: Harrison Central 20-12, Heath 22-8.

Winning Pitcher: Treston Nemeth (7 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 3 strikeouts, 4 walks).

Losing Pitcher: Tannar Patterson (7 innings,2 runs, 4 hits, 11 strikeouts, 7 walks).

Leading Hitters: (Harrison Central) - Kaden Jurosko single, run; Leland Lopez run; Treston Nemeth single, triple, 2 RBIs; Tucker Snyder single. (Heath) - Connor Corbett single; Tannar Patterson single, RBI; Kaden Green single; Hayden Woodward single; Connor Toomey run.

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