Starting pitcher Gabe Morris gave up just two hits in 5 1/3 innings and Sean Thomas and Conor Keck knocked home a pair of runs as Newark Catholic advanced to the state title game for the second year in a row, defeating Western Reserve, 6-2.
The Green Wave jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when leadoff man Mitch Lohr smacked a double and raced home on a pair Blue Devil throwing errors in the bottom of the first.
Western Reserve fought back in the top of the second, knotting the score with a Dan Zilke double that brought home Triston Bova, but the next five runs would be scored by the home side.
Sean Thomas gave the Green Wave the lead with an infield single in the bottom of the second. The next three innings were scoreless for both sides until the Green Wave tacked on four more runs thanks to a sac fly from Thomas, a two RBI double from Keck and an RBI single from Morris, all in the sixth.
The Blue Devils began a mini-rally in the bottom of the seventh, but Hunter Nance thwarted the potential third run with a game-ending putout from center field.
The Green Wave will play Tinora on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the state championship. The Rams have made it to the state tournament each of the past three seasons, but this is their first appearance in the title game. Newark Catholic, meanwhile, is seeking its eighth state title.
High School Softball
Division II State Semifinal
Jonathan Alder 4, Licking Valley 3