Mother Nature silenced the bats of southwest Ohio's hottest baseball team
Saturday. Riding an 18-game winning streak, Vandalia Butler will have to wait
until today to play.
The Division I district championship game between
Butler (22-4) and Lakota West (15-14) was rained out and will be played at 5:30
p.m. at the Midland Complex in Amelia. Carroll (22-4) will play Oxford Talawanda
(11-15) in the other Division I district title game at 3 p.m.
"I hope we get
the game in Monday because if not it will put a strain on the pitching staff of
the team that advances to the regionals Friday," said Aviators coach Trent Dues.
"The other three districts in our region are done. Those teams will be
well-rested with almost an unfair advantage. That's why it would have been nice
to play today."
The winner of the Butler-Lakota West game will play
Dublin Coffman (20-10) at Indian Lake High School in Lewiston. Cincinnati
Moeller awaits the Carroll-Talawanda winner.
The Aviators' ace Adam
Kirkendall has been outstanding this season with a 7-0 record, a 2.32 earned-run
average and 87 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. The two-time Greater Miami Valley
Conference Player of the Year two-hit Beavercreek in his last outing 10 days
The senior left-hander is backed by an explosive offense that boasts
a .365 team batting average. The Aviators' lineup struck fear in the hearts of
many opposing pitchers: Chris Abshear (.490 and school-record 41 runs), Adam
Mullins (.458 and a .600 on-base percentage), sophomore designated-hitter
Brandon Godzik (.450), Kirkendall (.404 and a school-record 42 RBIs), Steve Bell
(.492), and Jerrod Fraley (.413). Others to watch are Nick Ferralli and catcher
"They have set almost all of our single-season team offensive
records," said Dues, who has guided the Aviators to ninth place in the state
coaches poll and their fourth straight GMVC crown. "One through nine, this has
been my best lineup. In years past one player stuck out (Georgia Tech pitcher
in 1996 and '97). Now we have a bunch. It's a dilemma putting
together a lineup because we have a lot of quality hitters. But it's a nice
dilemma to have."
Joining Kirkendall on the pitching corps is Wright
State signee Steve King, the team's No. 2 starter. The Aviators will have to
guard against overlooking Lakota West, which finished sixth in the Greater Miami
Conference. The Firebirds, who started the season at 1-5, are calling themselves
the tournament's version of "Rocky". The unlikely district finalist scored 22
runs in wins over St. Xavier and Lakota East.
Carroll hopes to extend its
historic season. The upstart Patriots are the winningest baseball team in the
school's history (22-4) and the first to win the Mid-Miami League title (13-3,
tied with Franklin). Junior southpaw Matt Ryan, the area's ERA leader at 0.65,
owns a 5-0 record and has been a catalyst along with Ohio State-bound pitcher
Jason Bullens (.513), first baseman Robby Todd (.446, 7 HRs, and 33 RBIs) and
catcher Scott Mader (.400, 23 RBIs).
"The rainout helped us because it
allows Jason two more days of rest," said Carroll coach Mike Sheets who said
Bullens has been bothered by arm soreness. "Matt will start. Jason has become a
valuable infielder for us."
The game has the makings of a scoring fest.
The two teams played a doubleheader May 1 with Carroll winning both games, 17-11
and 14-7. Talawanda recorded a stunning win over nationally ranked Hamilton and
Northwest en route to the district
CONTACT Ron Jackson at (513) 743-5308 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright, 1999, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.
Copyright, 1999, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights