GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – La Salle baseball coach Joe Voegele told his players earlier this spring the squad has three goals: Win the Reid Rizzo Classic, win the Greater Catholic League South division and win the state championship.
The Lancers are five games from completing the third and final goal.
Pitching and defense tend to be among the key ingredients for a successful tournament run, and the Lancers have that right now.
The Lancers defeated Kings 2-0 in the Division I sectional final Thursday afternoon at Elder’s Jack Adam Baseball Stadium.
“A big win – we are moving on to the next one,” La Salle senior pitcher Jacob Kaiser said.
La Salle (21-7) plays Hamilton (18-9) in a district final at noon Saturday at Western Hills High School. Hamilton defeated reigning state champion Moeller 1-0 at Lakota East Thursday afternoon.
Kaiser (University of Charleston signee), a right-hander, allowed just five hits and struck out eight for his seventh win this spring for La Salle.
“He’s been pretty solid all year,” Voegele said. “He had his velocity again today, which is a good thing.”
A lot of opposing hitters don’t get a good look because his throwing arm drops down significantly and the ball sinks.
Kaiser started the throwing motion during the district final in 2015. He often gets pop-ups and easy outs with the sidearm motion.
“It’s really been effective this year,” Kaiser said.
La Salle scored twice in the fourth inning. Senior Andrew Sexton (Xavier) got a one-out RBI single to score junior Baron Moreland (2 for 2). Then, a suicide squeeze executed perfectly at the plate by hitter Brady Reynolds allowed the Lancers to take a 2-0 lead.
That suicide squeeze was the third this year. Voegele said La Salle had 12 in one season a few years ago.
Timely hitting will also be key, and the Lancers want to improve their offensive performance.
Sexton, who was 2 for 3, said the team’s chemistry has been key this spring and hopes the production on the field will continue.
“I am going out and giving it my all and having the best time of my life right now,” Sexton said.