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Chardon beats Archbishop Hoban 8-5 to win OHSAA Division II state baseball championship

The Hilltoppers overcame four errors and a 5-3 deficit with five runs in the sixth to earn their first-ever state title in baseball.
Credit: Chardon High School
The Chardon Hilltoppers, 2022 OHSAA Division II state baseball champions.

AKRON, Ohio — History has been made, as for the first time ever, the Chardon Hilltoppers are state baseball champions.

The Hilltoppers knocked off defending champ Archbishop Hoban 8-5 Saturday night to take home the OHSAA Division II title. The team from Geauga County overcame four errors and a 5-3 deficit with a five-run sixth inning that eventually slayed the hometown favorites.

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Chardon (24-9) took an early 2-0 lead before the Knights fought back to tie things up in the second then pull ahead 4-2 on Parker Falkenstein's two-run single in the third. The advantage became 5-3 in the fourth when Michael Ciavolella scored on a throwing error by Toppers catcher Heath Fetchik.

But Chardon had plenty of life left, loading the bases with one out before a Christian Hall single and a Nolan Kirsch hit by pitch made it even once again. Shawn Parnell came in to pitch and struck out Fetchik for out number two, but a wild pitch to end the at bat brought home Will Francis, and a Jake Barker two-run single two pitches later made it 8-5 Hilltoppers.

The Knights (23-10) never really threatened again, as Chardon's starting pitcher Hall moved back from third base to the mound and got through the next six batters on the strength of two double plays. Brandon Fatur picked up the win after allowing an unearned run over 2 2/3 innings, and Hall earned a unique save by getting Nate Shimmel to line into a game-ending twin-killing.

The Hilltoppers had never been to the state finals before, having previously only made it as far as the semifinals way back in 1950. This is also the first high school baseball title for a Geauga County school since Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin in 2009.

Like Driscoll was saddled with the loss for Hoban, allowing three runs without retiring a batter. The Knights fall to 1-3 all-time in state championship games.

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