State baseball: After earning steak dinners, Badin turns attention state semifinals today

The Badin High School baseball team is Division II regional champions after defeating Highland 12-3 at Mason June 6, 2021. Contributed photo by E.L. Hubbard
The Badin High School baseball team is Division II regional champions after defeating Highland 12-3 at Mason June 6, 2021. Contributed photo by E.L. Hubbard

Credit: E.L. Hubbard

Credit: E.L. Hubbard

By 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Brion Treadway was planning to speed dial his favorite butcher.

The Badin baseball coach owed some of his players steak dinners, but he didn’t mind paying off.

Steaks were the reward for the winners in intra-squad games played by the Rams during the eight days between winning a Division II district championship and finally playing in the regional semifinal delayed by rain and wet grounds. The players clinched the feasts with wins over Wyoming on Saturday and Marengo Highland on Sunday.

Oh, they also earned their first trip to the state semifinals since 2016.

“They had to get here to get the steaks,” Treadway said with a smile after Sunday’s 12-3 regional championship game win over the Fighting Scots at Mason High School.

Badin (27-5), ranked third in the final coaches Division II statewide poll, is scheduled to meet No. 15 Carroll Bloom-Carroll (27-5) at 4 p.m. on today in one state semifinal at Akron’s Canal Park. The winner is scheduled to meet the winner of the other semifinal between 21-9 Akron Archbishop Horan and 26-6 and No. 13 Vermilion in Sunday’s 1 p.m. championship game.

Badin’s state tournament appearance is the 13th in program history. The Rams won state titles in 1991 and 1996.

Bloom-Carroll is making its fourth state tournament appearance and first since winning the Division II championship in 2014. Hoban’s appearance is its fifth and first since 2013. Vermilion’s appearance is the program’s first.

A Rams state championship would be the third straight for the Greater Catholic Co-Ed Division. Chaminade-Julienne won the 2018 and 2019 titles before coronavirus-related protocols forced cancellation of the 2020 season.

“This is for the 2020 guys,” senior shortstop Sergio DeCello said after cracking a two-run homer during Sunday’s regional championship win. “That’s what we’re here for. We’re not done yet.”

Badin already had obliterated the program record for stolen bases before adding five during Sunday’s win, but the Rams’ offense might’ve overshadowed their pitching and defense that had combined to allow a total of just six runs in five post-season games while reaching double figures in four of those five games. Badin is riding an eight-game winning streak and has won nine of its last 10 games.

“Whenever we’re together, it’s a blessing,” Treadway said. “We spend so much time together that we know what each other is capable of. We know what each other can do.”

Badin proved during the weekend’s regional tournament that it can win in several ways. Against the Cowboys in the regional semifinal, the Rams scored all of their runs in the second and third innings before turning the game over to the pitching and defense. The next day, they scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second and three in the third to take early control.

“They were aggressive,” Highland coach Don Kline said about Badin. “They got up early. Our game plan was to limit our walks and errors, but a lot of their hits found grass and we had had some problems with ‘at’em’ balls. Against a team like Badin, you need to limit their big innings, and we didn’t do that.”

Even though Treadway was on the hook for some costly meals, he still was looking forward to the week.

“We can’t wait for this week,” he said. “It’s going to be a great week to be a Badin baseball player.”

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