Season of memories ends for baseball in 7-1 Div. I State Final loss to Cincinnati Moeller

by John Fanta ‘13

It was a day to remember the achievements of the Saint Ignatius Baseball season, as a bittersweet 2013 team sat in the dugout. Coaches have a tough job, as Coach Brad Ganor had to deliver a parting message on the season to his team.

“Being in the top two in state is special. Even though it’s gonna sting, I’ve loved this team,” said the nine-year head coach. The Wildcats were defeated by Cincinnati Moeller, 7-1, in the Division I State Championship. It is Moeller’s seventh state championship, and Saint Ignatius’ third state runner-up year (2000, 2008 the others). The only state title in Saint Ignatius Baseball history came back in 2002.

Outscoring their opponents by a combined 82-8 in their seven tournament games, the Crusaders got on the board in the second, with four hits and a Wildcat error to get three runs produced. It seemed like there was a certain life taken out of Saint Ignatius in the second, as Nick Margevicius threw strikes, but a now 32-2 team just doesn’t go scoreless. “Any error we made, they took advantage,” said Saint Ignatius captain Conor Hennessey. All of the second-inning runs came with two outs for the Crusaders too, which stung. In the third inning, Saint Ignatius scored on a walk, an error, and then a sac fly by Ohio U. recruit Tyler Finkler. The leaf turned to 6-1 after three innings. Nick Fabian and Shane Skuhrovec came on for relief work for the ‘Cats, as the staff as a whole walked five hitters, hit one, and had two wild pitches. It was a just a brick wall that the 27-7 Wildcats ran into, and it was a program that has produced players like Ken Griffey Jr., Buddy Bell, Barry Larkin, and more. On top of that, Moeller won the 25th baseball state title in Hamilton County history. Although it wasn’t pretty with the result, Coach Ganor turned to his team and said, “I am so proud of this year. Thank you.”

Heading back to the bus, I thought of how special this team really was. It will go down as one of the great teams to g through Wildcat High, and the future looks bright for Coach Brad Ganor.

I can’t think him and his staff enough for allowing me to have the privilege of covering such a great group. And to the team, I must say that I have not had the kind of fun off the field that we had in my coverage throughout these four years. What a group of gentlemen they were, and what a season it was to be a part of. You ended my time with a state final appearance. I could not have asked for a better end. I have loved every second of it, and as I had tears on the way back, it was because I’ll have the memories, but I’ll miss the special times that we had.

Congrats to all the teams who made it down to Huntington Park. What a weekend as the 86th annual State Baseball Tournament concludes.