TORONTO - When you can't play for state championships, which means that there are also no sectional or regional tournaments in your future, you have to have a goal to play for.
For Linsly that something is OVAC championship banners. And no sport at the Wheeling private school wins them more frequently than Coach Jay Cartwright's baseball squad.
Friday the Cadets jumped on Bellaire early and never surrendered the lead in adding to their impressive collection.
The Linsly baseball team poses with its OVAC?Class 3A?championship hardware.
Jameson Murray fired a four-hitter, fanning five and walking two, and Linsly belted out 13 hits, including six for extra bases, while scoring a pair of runs in each of the first three innings en route to a 7-3 triumph against Bellaire in the Class 3A championship game at the Red Knights Baseball Complex.
The title was the second in a row for Linsly in and fifth in six seasons after capturing three in Class AA.
"Winning this game is our No. 1 goal every season," Cartwright said. "We really want to win this game."
It didn't take Linsly long to get started with Arien Seymour getting a leadoff single to left and taking second on an error just ahead of Colton Coss' run-scoring base hit to left.
Following a Murray single and an out, Dalton Curtin's base hit to left produced the second run as the Cadets sent eight to the plate but left the bases loaded.
Bellaire wasn't as fortunate getting the big hit in the second, using a walk, base hit and sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third. That is where they remained.
Linsly added two more in the second on a leadoff double from No. 9 hitter Zak Kriechbaum and Seymour's second hit in as many innings for the third run. Seymour later stole second and third and scored on an throwing error to make it 4-0.
A leadoff walk to the No. 9 hitter and a huge error got Bellaire back into the contest in the third. With one on and one out, Nick Patrone lofted a fly ball to medium right that bounced out of the fielder's glove to help keep things going.
One out later Hunter Westlake ripped a two-run double to deep left and later scored on Brandon Ross' RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-3.
The Cadets got two more back in the third, the first coming on Dillon Curtin's booming home run over the left-field fence leading off. The second run, making it a 6-3 count, came via a Tyler Ashbrook double and a pair of fielder's choices, the second an RBI from Gage Giovengo.
Linsly added a run in the fourth, but saw the chance for a bigger inning flame out on the bases. Coss doubled and went to third on a Murray single. After Murray was picked off first Logan Goodnight picked up a run-scoring single, but gotcaught in between first and second and was tagged out.
"The guys played hard," Cartwright said. "You never know what you are going to get with the weather we had and having to practice inside. But this was an impressive and real solid effort.
"Jameson Murray pitched a great game and our hitters did a very good job against a couple of quality Bellaire arms. Our guys like the fastball, and they hit it well."
Big Reds coach John Patrone was disappointed, but knows there is plenty more ahead for his squad.
"They just hit the ball," Patrone said. "Leave it up there on a tee and they are going to hammer it and that is what they did. The final score may have been 7-3, but it was never that close.
"We just could not get anything going and they flat out beat us. They have a very nice team, and I thought we might be all right after we scored those three runs in the third, but (Curtin's) home run gave them back the momentum."