COLUMBUS, Ohio – Badin baseball coach Brion Treadway gave each player a hug and told them to keep their chest and chin up early Saturday afternoon.
The Rams finished as Division II state runner-up, but Treadway said his squad showed plenty of character this spring and should cherish every moment of this weekend in the capital city.
“These guys have a lot of heart,” Treadway said. “They just want to win. They will do whatever it takes. I’m really proud of them.”
Defiance defeated Badin 3-2 in eight innings in a Division II state final after Austin Taylor’s two-out RBI single to right center with the bases loaded scored the winning run.
Badin (22-12) made its 12th state tournament appearance. The Rams won state titles in 1996 and 1991. Saturday was the first state final appearance since 2009.
“It’s been a lot of fun this year,” Treadway said. “I will always remember this team and I have fond memories.”
The score was tied at one until Defiance scored in the bottom of the sixth.
The Rams scored in the seventh when senior Mitchell Raley’s RBI single scored senior Ross Mulcare. Mulcare had a one-out double one at-bat earlier.
A double play ended Badin’s threat in the seventh. Defiance went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.
Badin threatened in the eighth but a runner was caught stealing after a leadoff single.
Defiance then loaded the bases and capitalized in the bottom of the eighth.
Mulcare was 2-for-3 with two runs and two doubles. Senior Garrett Hogan was 2-for-3. Raley was 2-for-3.
Senior Cody Boxrucker said the Rams persevered at every part of this spring including this weekend. Badin defeated Poland Seminary 8-3 in a state semifinal Thursday.
“This is an unbelievable experience,” Boxrucker said. “Huntington Park is a special place. I will never forget it.
Defiance (29-2) made its fifth state tournament appearance. Defiance also won the 2013 Division II state championship.
Badin was unranked in the season’s final state coaches’ poll, while Defiance was ranked No. 1 in the poll.