By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
SIDNEY —- It was a “Kinger Classic” in a lot of ways.
Which was fitting in what well may have Lehman Catholic Hall of Fame coach Dave King’s last home game.
Lehman made the most of a couple hits in the early going, then broke open the D-IV sectional game with Triad with a five-run fifth, sparked by a classic King decision as the Cavaliers went on to win 9-1.
Lehman will play Mechanicsburg in the sectional title game at 5 p.m. Monday at Miami East.
“This sectional is brutal, any team can win on any night,” King said about a game that was close for the better part of five innings. “We are all looking to avoid the powerhouse (Fort Loramie). And we all know who that is. Their initials are FL. We all have a lot of respect for each other and Triad is a really good team.”
The players were well aware it may have been King’s final home game.
“This was a special moment, that’s for sure,” Lehman third baseman Jared Magoteaux said. “He (Dave King) is the hardest working guy I know. I will come to school some days and he will already be out here working on the diamond.”
And Drew Barhorst, who went the distance on the mound, shared a hug with his coach after the game.
“I love “Kinger” to death,” Barhorst said. “He is such a great coach. For sure, this really meant a lot.”
In the early going, King and Lehman Catholic had a few reasons to be nervous.
In the opening inning, Triad had two runners on when Magoteaux snared a line drive that appeared to be ticketed for extra bases.
In the second, Triad’s Cameron Hauk was on third with one out, when Magoteaux snared another line drive and stepped on third for an inning-ending double play.
“The guy that comes to mind is (former Baltimore Orioles third baseman) Brooks Robinson,” King said. “And he (Jared Magoteaux) probably doesn’t even know who he is.”
Magoteaux admitted he didn’t, although longtime Reds fans will remember him all too well from the 1970 World Series.
“There is really no time to think on those plays,” Magoteaux, who handled eight chances perfectly, said. “You just react. It was definitely a hot corner today.”
And it gave Barhorst confidence on the mound.
“Those plays were huge,” he said. “Just to see my defense making plays like that behind me.”
At the same time, Lehman had just two hits through four innings, but managed to score three runs.
“That guy (Triad starter Isaiah Bruce) was impressive,” King said. “I was trying to figure out how we were going to score on him. I liked him a lot.”
Lehman did score in typical King style.
With Bradly Haynes on first with a two-out walk, he took off on a 3-2 pitch to Mitchell Sollman.
Haynes scored from first on the single to make it 1-0.
“What a play that was,” King said.
Lehman added two more runs in the third.
Johnny Cianciolo walked and with one out, scored on Bryce Kennedy’s double.
Kennedy would take third on the throw home and scored on RJ Bertini’s infield grounder to make it 3-0.
Lehman added a run without a hit in the fourth.
Sollmann reached on an error, stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.
Triad, then made things interesting in the top of the fifth.
Austin Bails and Logan McCoy had infield singles after two were out.
Bruce followed with a RBI single to make it 4-1 and Triad had runners on second and third with the cleanup batter up.
But, Barhorst fielded a hard grounder right back to him to end the inning.
“I just knew I needed to throw strikes and get an out,” Barhorst said.
Then Lehman broke it open with five runs in the home fifth after another big decision by King.
With Kennedy on third with one out, King called for a suicide squeeze.
Keller got the bunt down and ended up on third base when they threw the ball away.
“We failed to execute in few bunt situations,” King said. “But we got the one down that counted.”
Magoteaux followed with a RBI double, Sollmann had a two-run single and would score the final run on a throwing error, making it 9-1.
Barhorst then got another “Web Gem” in the seventh.
With no outs and a runner on second, Seth Roe made a running catch in rightfield, then threw to Keller at second to complete the double play, before Barhorst finished the game off with a strikeout.
“That was huge,” Barhorst said about Roe’s catch. “To have a runner on second with no outs and get a double play.”
Barhorst threw a seven-hitter, striking out four and walking two.
“Did Drew Barhorst battle out there or what?” King said. “And what a play by Seth Roe out in rightfield.”
King admitted it might not have been the final home game.
“If we keep winning, we are going to have to pick up some games, so who knows,” King said. “But yes, I was thinking about that (his final home game) at the end.”
As were the players and fans, King circled the bases in front of his team after the game, high fiving fans between third and home, before stopping and doing a dive onto home plate.
“I need some oxygen,” King said with a laugh.
After another “Kinger Classic”.
Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at email@example.com
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