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Roger Bacon High School baseball team has a 'special bond' entering state tournament

School seeks first state baseball title since 1935
Roger Bacon baseball.jpg
Posted at 2:42 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 14:58:37-04

ST. BERNARD, Ohio — The Roger Bacon High School baseball team shouldn't be underestimated during this week's state tournament. This postseason has proven that time and again.

"We've played uphill every game in this tournament," Spartans coach Tim McCoy said.

"So every single time that we get down a run, or two runs or three runs it seems like the same approach - answer, answer, answer. It's kind of just been a little bit of our mojo going forward. Playing good baseball right now. This is about the right time to get hot and I feel like we're hot."

Roger Bacon has earned its second trip to the state Final Four in the past three seasons. The Spartans relish the underdog role.

"With that mentality I think we can beat anybody," senior catcher George Janzen said. "We're really looking forward to what's in front of us."

The Spartans (20-8) play Milan Edison (23-8) in a Division III state semifinal at 7 p.m. Thursday at Canal Park in Akron. The state championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in Akron.

There will undoubtedly be plenty of support for the Spartans in Northeast Ohio from the school community.

"Everybody in the Roger Bacon community comes together on these moments like this," McCoy said. "You just feel so supported. You feel like you are going into battle with a whole entire army behind you."

Roger Bacon, which has earned its first 20-win season since 1968, is ready for a battle in order to earn its first state baseball title since 1935. Roger Bacon is in its sixth state tournament and first since 2019 when it was a Division III state semifinalist.

Janzen and senior pitcher/outfielder Jake Tschida were starting freshmen on the 2019 team.

Despite the state semifinal loss, the Spartans were eager for an opportunity to return to Canal Park in 2020.

However, when the COVID-19 pandemic eliminated the 2020 spring sports season, this year's seniors weren't sure if they would ever get another chance to fulfill a dream.

"All year I've been thinking about the guys that have come before us especially that 2019 Final Four team as well as that 2020 team," Janzen said. "We were really, really talented that year. Unfortunately we couldn't have that year. For me it's like we're going to go up to Akron and we're going to do this thing for those guys. For the guys that missed out on the opportunity. It feels good to be able to represent like that."

Tschida, who is on the cusp of being in the top five in every major hitting category in school history, said he wants to rewrite the Spartans' recent history in Akron after the 2019 loss.

"It was like a slap in the mouth," Tschida said. "Once we got so far then fell short. We were ready to come back the next year but with COVID happening, now it's like a gift from God to be able to come back here our senior year and just get a chance. Trying to get our revenge from what happened in the past."

McCoy, a member of Roger Bacon's famous 2002 state champion basketball team, said a state championship this weekend would carry so much significance after losing the 2020 season.

"That would've been one of the more talented groups that the school has ever had," McCoy said. "This would feel like a massive redemption for that loss. Not to mention these guys - they're a pleasure to coach. They come out and they just take care of business every day. You don't have to worry about any nonsense or anything like that. Just a great group of guys."

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