COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Moeller High School baseball program added to the illustrious history Sunday afternoon with a commanding 7-1 victory over Cleveland St. Ignatius in the Division I state championship game.
The strong showing at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio helped earn the Crusaders the distinction of being the first Ohio school to claim back-to-back D-I titles in 17 years.
"You know everybody wants to see when the tournament starts who can take [the defending champs] out out so that we don't have back to back champs," said coach Tim Held, commenting on the perceived "bullseye" his team had on its back all season. "For these kids to persevere, put big numbers on the board game after game, just an unbelievable feeling."
It's also the It is the seventh overall title in program history for Moeller, which has produced perennial Major League Baseball All Stars such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin.
Leading the team to its record-breaking accomplishment was junior starter Zach Logue, who scattered two hits and allowed only three walks en route to a complete-game victory for the Crusaders, which finished the season 32-2.
"We just were clicking on all cylinders in the whole tournament and the final four," said Logue who was quick to thank the defense that was playing behind him. "They played really well in the field and made all the plays, made some difficult ones look easy."
The Crusaders jumped out to an early lead by scoring three runs with two outs in the second inning, which Logue said gave him a great deal of confidence out on the mound.
"Putting up some runs in the second inning really helped my confidence in knowing that they're there for me," the left-hander said.
The lead increased to 6-1 by the end of the fourth inning thanks to four unearned runs that came about in part thanks to an error and two wild pitches.
The lone run allowed by Moeller came in the third inning after a walk and an error set up a sacrifice fly for St. Ignatius (27-7), which finished as state runner-up for the third time in school history.
Moeller outscored its opponents 82-8 during seven-game postseason tournament.