Ross falls to Cincinnati Hills Christian in regional baseball

Jason Rettinger coaches his last game after 14 seasons

There are always hugs after the last game of the season, especially when it comes deep in the tournament.

There might have been a few more hugs for the Ross baseball team Thursday after the players and coaches huddled in the outfield at Mason High School following an 8-1 loss to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. The defeat in the Division II regional semifinals was hard enough. They also were saying goodbye to coach Jason Rettinger.

» PHOTOS: Ross vs. Cincinnati Hills

Rettinger, 41, steps down after 14 seasons as head coach. His final record was 250-130. The Rams (24-7) were 49-13 and won two district championships his last two seasons.

“I’m just so proud to get to a regional after just losing every single starter and your top couple arms,” Rettinger said. “That’s a testament to those kids and to where the program’s at. I’m really glad I’m leaving it in a really good spot because I hope the next guy’s just a good guy and somebody who cares about these kids.”

Rettinger planned to stick around for one more season.

“I keep saying that every year, and every year my daughter (Rachel, 7) gets a year older,” he said. “We won the league on a Wednesday night, and I went home and sent my resignation in and said I was so proud of them and where they’ve gone. They’re going to be really good next year, and I anted to make sure I left it in a really good spot, and it’s in really good shape.”

Ross fell to 0-4 in regional semifinals. It lost to Graham in 1995, Alter in 2001 and Columbus DeSales in 2017.

Cincinnati Hills (25-5) will play Chaminade Julienne, which advanced with a 3-2 victory against Columbus Bishop Hartley, in the regional final at 5 p.m. Friday at Mason High School.

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One inning cost the Rams on Thursday. Cincinnati Hills had three singles, a double and a triple in the first. It also took advantage of two plays Ross didn’t make: one on a long fly ball to right field and another on a high pop fly that dropped near the pitcher’s mound for a hit.

“You just can’t give up that inning,” Rettinger said. “It’s hard to fight back from. It takes away some things we like to do with bunting and running. You can’t do that when you’re down by that.”

Lucas Rotello drove in the first run with a double. A triple by Mason Bernhardt scored two runs. Oakley Tippen and Blake Sheffer also had RBIs.

CHCA added runs in the fourth and fifth to take an 8-0 lead. Ross got on the board in the sixth. A single by Ethan Hall scored Dylan Lakes.

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