PORTSMOUTH — Notre Dame freshman Luke Cassidy kept the Titans in it with his arm.
He then won it with his bat.
That’s because Cassidy, in the bottom of the ninth inning on Wednesday, lifted Notre Dame to its first baseball sectional championship since 2017 —as he singled for the Titans’ 4-3 walkoff win over the visiting Symmes Valley Vikings in a Division IV final.
The game was tied 1-1 into the ninth inning, as the Vikings got two runs off Cassidy for a 3-1 lead.
But the Titans tallied three markers in the boom half, including the one of Cassidy’s clutch single.
Cassidy, actually, went 3-for-5 with a run scored —as his only run batted in was his game-winner.
On the mound, Cassidy pitched all nine innings and struck out 13 Vikings —as he gave up two earned runs on five hits with one walk.
Dylan Seison had two Titan hits, as Reagan Lester went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored —and Brody Coleman chipped in a pair of sacrifice flies.
The fifth-seeded Titans, which shared the Southern Ohio Conference Division I championship with Ironton St. Joseph, faces the fourth-seeded Flyers for a Division IV district semifinal tilt on Saturday afternoon.
The two teams split in the regular season, with Notre Dame doubling up St. Joseph 4-2 on April 18 —before the Flyers found a way to prevail at home in the second meeting, winning 8-7 by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Speaking of walkoff wins, that’s how St. Joseph won its sectional championship on Wednesday —rallying past 13th-seeded Nelsonville-York 9-8.
In fact, the Flyers trailed 8-0 —and ultimately scored six runs in their last at-bat to triumph and advance.
The third and final 2023 matchup between the Titans and Flyers is set for Saturday at Chillicothe’s VA Memorial Stadium —with first pitch estimated around 2 p.m.
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