AKRON, Ohio — The Roger Bacon High School baseball team left Canal Park Thursday night in a different way than it had envisioned.
Although Milan Edison defeated the Spartans 3-0 in a Division III state semifinal, the Roger Bacon players, coaches, alumni and school community won't soon forget this spring.
"I will cherish these memories that we've made the past four years for the rest of my life," said Roger Bacon senior pitcher Jake Tschida, a member of the 2019 state semifinalist team. "To be out here a second time — most people don't get out here one time. It's a true honor and blessing. Sadly going home empty-handed but it's can't always be a fairy tale ending."
Tschida had a very strong pitching performance Thursday night, allowing just two hits and striking out 12 by throwing 116 pitches in 5 2/3 innings.
Roger Bacon limited Milan Edison to just four hits. The game was scoreless through seven innings until the Chargers scored three runs in the top of the eighth.
"We had 14 strikeouts on them," Roger Bacon coach Tim McCoy said. "It's tough to lose a ballgame when you have 14 strikeouts."
The Spartans had scoring opportunities including bases loaded with one out in the fourth inning and a runner thrown out at home plate in the sixth inning.
"We just couldn't come up with the big sac fly or the big hit," McCoy said. "What's pushed us through this tournament is we got that every single day. Every big game we got that big hit when we got second and third. It was just one of those days where it wasn't our day at the plate. Unfortunately, that was the name of the game today."
The Spartans were led offensively by senior Logan Huber who was 2-for-2. He also pitched in relief of Tschida. Senior Luke Wagner was 2-for-4 and junior Anthony Hoffman was 1-for-3.
Roger Bacon (20-9) had the most wins in the program since 1968. It was the team's sixth tournament appearance including its second in the past three seasons.
"I'm proud as hell as these guys," said McCoy. "This group at the beginning of the year, if you would've told me we would be standing here in Akron I would've said just a district championship and roll the dice and see what we get. Again, I'm so proud of this group. They fought, scratched, clawed — this was a hell of a ballgame. They have nothing to hand their heads on. This was a great effort."