Gilmour Academy defeats St. Clairsville 2-0 to advance to Div. II state baseball championship

AKRON, Ohio – Gilmour Academy sophomore pitcher Ben Demell had one of the best games of his young career Saturday.

Demell, a Penn State commit, helped lead the Lancers to a 2-0 win over St. Clairsville at Canal Park in the Division II state baseball semifinal. The Lancers (25-6) extended their win streak to six games, advancing to the state championship for the first time in school history. They did so despite matching the fewest runs they scored in a win in 2019, matching a victory over Western Reserve Academy during the regular season.

Demell gave up two hits and finished with eight strikeouts in the complete-game victory as he helped the Lancers post their fourth shutout of the postseason.

“We are really fortunate (with) what he brought to the table today,” coach Jay Fowler said of Demell. “He was dominant.”

Demell said mostly his off-speed pitch and curve worked well Saturday. The Red Devils had been shut out only once, a 14-0 loss to Steubenville near the end of the regular season.

Demell is excited about the possibility of winning a state title for his school.

“It’s awesome,” Demell said. “We all play together, it’s great. The school, it would be great if we could bring one home for them.”

As Demell dominated on the mound, the Lancers had just enough on offense. Catcher Nick Christopher had an RBI single in the first inning — he finished with three hits — while DH Marco Costabile drove in Christopher in the fourth with an RBI single.

“We’re at our best when we score early,” Fowler said. “That’s been something that we’ve done well all year long.”

Christopher, a senior, is appreciative of helping lead his team to the state championship to complete his high school career.

“I just try to do my part behind the plate and at the plate. Just give my team the best chance to win,” he said.

Gilmour will play in the Division II title game at Canal Park Sunday at 4 p.m. The Lancers will face Saturday afternoon’s winner between between Chaminade Julienne and Van Wert.

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