The Lake Catholic High School baseball team is set to make the program’s second Ohio High School Athletic Association state tournament appearance and first since 1987 on Thursday when the Cougars play the Columbus St. Francis DeSales Stallions in a Division II semifinal contest.
Lake Catholic (19-10) recorded postseason wins against West Geauga (7-4), Chagrin Falls (14-2), Jefferson Area (6-4), Tallmadge (5-4) and Canfield (4-3) to earn a trip to Columbus and the right to play for a state title.
First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Huntington Park. The winner will play either West Holmes or Wapakoneta in the state championship game on Saturday at 10 a.m.
WKYC’s HighSchoolSports.net: What are three adjectives/attributes that describe your team and/or its play this season?
Lake Catholic baseball coach Dennis Woods: Desire, never give up [and] we can do it.
WKYC: What has been your team’s greatest strength this season?
Woods: Defense and some timely pitching.
WKYC: What has been the high point of your team’s season thus far?
Woods: Our run in the tournament.
WKYC: What was the low point of your team’s season? What did your team learn from the experience?
Woods: [Our] 1-4 start and [realizing] we better get on the ball.
WKYC: Who are your team’s leaders?
Woods: Billy Salem, Lou Peterlin, Dan Koller and Joey Samuele.
WKYC: Who is your team’s unsung hero(s)? Why?
Woods: Zach Frate and Zach Hawkins [were] nonstarters last year and [have played] center field and right field this year.
WKYC: What must happen for your team to continue its deep postseason run?
Woods: Good pitching performances and solid defense.
WKYC: What was your message to your team after its regional final win?
Woods: Congrats, [this is] what work will do for you; [it’s been] 25 years since Lake Catholic [has been] in Columbus [for the state tournament.
WKYC: When the season is long over, what will you remember most about this year’s squad?
Woods: [The team’s] never-give-up attitude,
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