Badin baseball books 15th trip to state

Rams blank top-ranked Jonathan Alder 2-0 in Division II regional finals

MASON — Badin baseball coach Brion Treadway said Friday night at Mason High School that his team hasn’t been short of hard work all season.

“These guys have earned it,” Treadway said.

The Rams defeated the top-ranked Jonathan Alder Pioneers 2-0 to capture a Division II regional title and notch their 15th trip to the state tournament.

The last time Badin reached the state Final Four was in 2022 when it was a state semifinalist for a second straight season. The Rams are searching for their first state title since 1996.

Badin (26-6) will play Parma Padua Franciscan (19-1-1) in a Division II state semifinal at 10 a.m. on Friday at Akron’s Canal Park. The state final is set for 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 9.

Both teams were strong on the mound as sophomore righty Beau Chaney took the hill for Badin, and for the Pioneers it was right-hander Greg Kennedy.

Treadway said he believes his club was mentally prepared to play the top-ranked team in the state.

“In the first inning, they had us in a tight spot,” Treadway said. “For Beau Chaney to handle that pressure, just was incredible, that to me says this kid is going to be elite. He is going to have a chance to pitch at a very high level. He has stood the pressure.

“There was a lot of quiet innings offensively, where we didn’t have much going. Their pitcher was smirking on the mound, and rightfully so, he had us right where he wanted us. But the guys just kept coming.”

Badin’s offense was led by sophomore center fielder Chandler Taylor, who recorded the go-ahead RBI in the sixth inning for the Rams.

“I was super pumped up,” Taylor said. “I knew the at-bat before that he threw me the same pitch, flew out to the warning track, so I knew I was ready to get that same pitch again, and I got it, and I did what I needed to do.”

Jonathan Alder coach Craig Kyle emphasized that scoring first was his team’s mindset.

“We try to stress how big it is in high school baseball to score first, and we try to do everything to manufacture and get that,” Kyle said. “We had one baserunning error there that kind of took us out of what would have been a walk, or a run.

“It wasn’t a lack of anything for our guys. Maybe they were pressing too much with runners in scoring position, but we also hit the ball hard, and their third basemen (Kade Bowling) made one of the most hellacious plays I’ve ever seen on a ball down the line that we probably score there.”

In the top half of the sixth, Alder had Cashton Wheeler at second base as the go-ahead run when Badin sent out senior right-hander Tyler Verdin from of the bullpen. He got a big strikeout on Pioneer third baseman Cam Potter to leave Wheeler stranded.

“I think it all started with talking to Mr. Cole, our mental performance coach,” Verdin said. “He really turned it around for me. I’ve been in this situation before, and you saw how it ended. It goes to Christmas passes as you’d say, and I just wanted to come out and compete, and to do my best. I left it all on the field, and the tide turned for me this year.”

The Rams have won seven in a row and 10 of their last 11.

“We’ve just got to play our game, play Badin baseball, and nothing other than that,” Verdin said. “Don’t play up to our opponent — or down.”

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