JAMESTOWN — There’s been 25 occasions for the Greeneview baseball team to fly its “W” victory flag this season.
Keeping one by the fence in center field for home games and having another to wave on the road, Keegan Phillips brought it out to the first base line for the celebration by his teammates after Wednesday’s win in the district finals.
Used as a way to rally together, according to head coach John-Marc Brooks, getting to wave it on Thursday would mean the school accomplishes another goal nearly 30 years in the making.
The Division III regional semifinals are up next for the top-seeded Rams when they play No. 7 Cincinnati Country Day at 2 p.m. in Wright State’s Nischwitz Stadium. Having claimed its fifth district title, Greeneview is looking to win a game in the regional round for the first time since 1994.
Even as that would be an achievement to be proud of, there are bigger goals in mind for the team.
“I expect big things from them,” Brooks said. “I think early on in the season when I said to people I expect to go to state, people looked at me like I was crazy. Even now some people ask, ‘where’s Jamestown?’ But these guys are putting it on the map when it comes to baseball.”
Greeneview was ranked fifth in the final OHSBCA D-III state top-20 poll of the season. A pair of one run victories in the district semifinal and title games came with some tense moments, but jubilation afterward as the team continues to reset the record books for tournament and overall wins.
Cincinnati Country Day has also reached 20 wins for the season, but it didn’t appear initially they would have much of a chance to reach that mark.
The Nighthawks finished in third place in the Scarlet Division of the Miami Valley Conference. After getting off to a 9-10 start, CCD went on to win six straight games to close out the regular season. During tournament play, they have outscored the opposition by 25 runs in its four wins and eliminated the No. 2 and 3 seeds in its sectional.
Nate Paumier was the league leader in wins and had 38 strikeouts in his 40 innings to go with a 2.60 ERA and 1.165 WHIP. Parker Corbin has been the team’s top hitter with the highest batting average and is atop the league for home runs having hit three. A collective effort by the team’s pitching staff has seen them produce a 3.61 ERA with seven different players throwing at least 17 innings.
The winner will have a date in the regional final on Friday for a trip to state and will face either Waynesville, the cinderella of the tournament so far, or a Heath squad which upset the state’s second ranked team in its district title game and was ranked 20th in the final state poll.
Greeneview would like a chance to wave its flag in Akron, but they will need to do so in its own backyard first when it makes the half-hour trip across the county.
“It felt like we got upset in all these other sports this year,” Jarrod Mays said. “Baseball, though, we got to keep it going so we can finish this thing.”
D-III REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
Game: No. 1 Greeneview vs. No. 7 Cincinnati Country Day
Date: Thursday, June 1
Time: 2 p.m.
Place: Nischwitz Stadium, Wright State University
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.