By Chris Chaney
The beginning of a new season has started for Clermont County high school baseball teams as the slate is wiped clean and one game means everything for the rest of the season.
The sectional tournament kicked off on Monday, May 13 with Batavia and Williamsburg in action in the Division III bracket and continued Tuesday and Wednesday with all but two teams having played at least one game by the time of this printing.
Milford and Clermont Northeastern both get their postseason under way on Thursday evening after receiving first-round byes by virtue of the draw that took place on Sunday, May 5. Felicity-Franklin also got a bye in Division IV and will play at No. 9 Lockland on Wednesday, May 15.
League champions Milford and New Richmond both have high hopes for postseason runs as Milford, seeded No. 4 overall in the Cincinnati Division I sectional will play the winner of Fairfield and Western Brown on Thursday, May 16 at 5 p.m.
The Eagles claimed the inaugural Eastern Cincinnati Conference league title outright on May 13 with a 6-5 win over Walnut Hills in eight innings.
The league championship was the 14th in school history and the fourth in the last six years.
If the Cincinnati 3 bracket plays out to chalk, Milford would face Elder in the sectional championship on May 23 at Lakota East.
In the Southern Buckeye Conference, the New Richmond Lions captured a share of the league title, splitting the honor with Western Brown. Both teams were 8-2 in conference play.
By virtue of a strong regular season and a solid reputation as one of the area’s top teams, the Lions received the No. 1 seed in the Cincinnati Division II sectional. They faced No. 8 seed Wilmington in the first round of the tournament on Tuesday.
With a win, New Richmond would face McNicholas on May 16 at home with a trip to the sectional final on the line.
Batavia advanced to the second round of the Division III sectional tournament thanks to some timely hitting in their 10-9 win over Reading. Senior Ryan Gormley and juniors Kyle Schmitgen and Korey Puckett went a combined 10-12 with three RBI.
The No. 4 Bulldogs advanced to play No. 3 Summit Country Day on Wednesday, May 15.
Williamsburg, the only other team in action on Monday, defeated Deer Park 5-4 to move on to play top seed Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy on Wednesday as well.
The majority of area teams played on a Tuesday/Thursday basis with the exception of Batavia and Williamsburg.
In Division I, 23rd seeded Amelia played No. 13 seed St. Xavier on Tuesday at St. X; No. 18 Glen Este played No. 29 Sycamore on Tuesday for the right to face third seeded Lakota East on May 16.
In Division II, Bethel-Tate, the six seed, hosted 13 seed Hughes on Tuesday with No. 2 seed Wyoming awaiting the winner and fourth-seeded Goshen played No. 10 Taft.
Clermont Northeastern, the No. 3 seed in Division II, will play the winner of the No. 11 Aiken and No. 12 Taylor game on Thursday at CNE.