Home Sports Gehlen Catholic Baseball Advances to District Final with Road Win over Akron-Westfield

Gehlen Catholic Baseball Advances to District Final with Road Win over Akron-Westfield

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Gehlen Catholic claimed the rubber match and district semifinal with Akron-Westfield on Wednesday night by a final score of 12-5.

While the score finished in a high total, the first three innings of the game were scoreless. Gehlen Catholic left four base runners on in the first three innings and left the bases loaded in the second. Gehlen Catholic head coach Kirk Kronaizl says he wanted to see that big hit come up earlier in the ball game.

The same was true for Akron-Westfield at the plate. The Westerners left three runners on base getting a couple of good opportunities against Gehlen Catholic’s Connor Kraft. Akron-Westfield head coach Gordon Johnson says the Westerners just could not get that crucial hit.

As both coaches alluded to, things changed in the middle innings. The Jays got three runs in the fourth, a run in the fifth, and four runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. The Jays were able to get that solid production thanks to seven of the nine hitters for the Jays recording at least one RBI. Coach Kronaizl says his team is fitting into their roles well at the right time.

The Westerners got their five runs all in the fifth inning after the Jays took Connor Kraft out so that he would be available to pitch on Saturday. Coach Kronaizl says that call was risky, but he says he made the call because he had faith in his entire staff to eventually get the job done.

Akron-Westfield just couldn’t come from behind after allowing eight runs in the final two innings. The Westerner season comes to an end at 15-12 overall and they finished in a tie for third in the War Eagle Conference race. The Westerners remain young having started, at one point, seven sophomores in games this season. Coach Johnson says he’s proud of his team and how much they’ve grown already.

Gehlen Catholic now has the daunting task of matching up with the top-ranked and unbeaten Hawks of Remsen St. Mary’s in the district final. From the outside looking in, this looks like a typical David vs. Goliath matchup. Coach Kronaizl isn’t looking at this game that way. He wants his guys to play relaxed, so that the moment doesn’t get too big.

Gehlen Catholic and Remsen St. Mary’s will play in Remsen on Saturday, July 9th at 7:00 PM.