By Chris Chaney
A pair of Southern Buckeye Conference champions from Clermont County picked up some much sought-after momentum heading into the postseason by topping the table in their respective divisions.
New Richmond in the American and Batavia in the National head into this week’s Division II sectional tournament with their heads held high as both captured at least a piece of their league crowns.
For New Richmond, the American championship is their third consecutive and for Batavia, it’s their fourth in the last five years.
“It is nice to get back to having success within the league,” Batavia head coach Geoff Carter said. “However, we would have liked to win it outright. The deciding game versus Blanchester went 8 innings and was a back-and-forth, one run game.
“Right now, we are focusing on our opening round tournament game Thursday and really have our goals set on advancing game by game.”
The Bulldogs will host the winner of No. 5 Goshen and No. 9 Talawanda. That game was played on Tuesday, May 13 and the result was not available at the time of print.
The Lions, who went 21-5 overall and 9-1 in the conference, enter the postseason riding momentum from a 15-game stretch to end the season that saw New Richmond win 14 of those contests. Awarded the top seed in the section, the Lions opened their sectional tournament on Tuesday against No. 13 seed Taft.
If the bracket plays out to chalk, the Lions and the Bulldogs could face each other in the sectional final on Thursday, May 22 at Anderson.
Elsewhere in the SBC, the lone Division I school, Amelia, had the tall task of playing Loveland on Tuesday, May 13 in the first round of the Cincinnati 4 sectional. Should the Barons have pulled off the upset (results were unavailable at the time of print), they would face Kings on May 15 at Kings.
In Division III, SBC teams are squaring off on both sides of the Eastside Cincinnati bracket. In the upper bracket, perennial postseason spoiler Clermont Northeastern, the sixth seed, faces off with No. 8 Bethel-Tate on Wednesday, May 14 at CNE with a sectional final appearance on the line. Likely, the winner’s opponent will be top-seeded CHCA, who played No. 9 seed East Clinton on May 14 as well.
The sectional final will be played on Wednesday, May 21 at Summit Country Day.
On the bottom half of the bracket, Williamsburg, the No. 7 seed, already upset No. 5 seed Mariemont on Monday, May 12, 5-4. Burg advanced to play SBC-National co-champions Blanchester on Wednesday, May 14.
Finally, in Division IV, Felicity-Franklin saw their season come to an end on Monday, May 12 at the hands of No. 5 seed Ripley. The Cardinals end their season with a record of 1-22.
As previously mentioned, because of the publishing schedule of The Clermont Sun, final scores from games contested on Tuesday, May 13 and Wednesday, May 14 were unavailable when this edition went to print.