Highlights: Heartland Christian heading to district championship game

Sports

The Lions and Eagles will meet Thursday at 5 p.m. at Cene Park

STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – Heartland Christian handled Southern 17-3 in the Division IV District Semifinal Tuesday evening at Cene Park. The victory improves the Lions to 18-4 on the season.

“It just means the world to us,” Lions coach Chris Gault said. “We have an incredible group of guys, an incredible school with a lot of people that have given so much to this team. These guys believe they can do it and they just keep going. They impress me over and over again.”

The Lions exploded for 8 runs in the third, and 7 more in the fourth to win going away. They would collect 15 hits in the game while also benefitting from 3 walks, two hit batters and three costly Indian errors.

“That second inning was like death by a thousand paper cuts,” Indians coach Gerard Grimm stated. “It was a bloop here, a bleeder here, a Baltimore chop off home plate, we did have a routine fly behind second base that we should have made. We talked all year that once you open a Pandora’s box, it’s hard to get it shut.”

Aaron Gault drove in four runs in the win, while Drew Walker finished with three RBIs. Nate Garzanich drove in two runs in the win for the Lions.

“It means the world to us,” senior catcher Aaron Gault said. “We’re going to celebrate. We know we have JFK ahead of us, and they will play good baseball and we need to be ready for that, but tonight we are going to celebrate.”

Hayden Stewart picked up the win on the mound, striking out a total of seven in the victory.

“He was fantastic,” coach Gault stated. “He came out with great ball control.  We didn’t have any walks so he knew what this game meant to us as a team and to the school and to our community. We are super proud of him.”

With the win, Heartland Christian advances to face Warren JFK in the Division IV District Championship game. The Lions and Eagles will meet Thursday at 5 p.m. at Cene Park.

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