It took a few innings for fourth-seeded Cuyahoga Heights to figure out top-seeded Lake Ridge Academy’s pitcher but once they did the Redskins went on to upset the Royals, 6-1, in a Division IV Medina District semifinal on Thursday.
The win was No. 300 for head coach Marc Lowther.
“We struggled in the beginning,” Lowther said. “We didn’t handle their pitcher very well. His curveball was going about 59 feet and we were swinging at it. After we figured it out the kids started getting on base and forced the kid to be a different pitcher.”
The Redskins recorded five extra-base hits, including a two-run homer by Rick Allison.
“The kids really persevered and hung in there,” Lowther said. “They battled and were aggressive but disciplined at the plate and that’s what it took.”
Cuyahoga Heights will play No. 2 Dalton in Friday’s district final.
The Redskin hope to advance to the regional tournament for the seventh time under Lowther, who has guided the team to the state Final Four twice in his 21 years as head coach at the school.
“That’s me coaching a long time and having a good group of kids come through,” Lowther said of collecting his 300th win. “To me, that’s what it is. In 21 years at Cuyahoga Heights, I’ve had some very, very good players that have come through and that’s a big thing. You have anyone else come through the system you’re not going to get it, but from 2007 until now, I’ve had some really good players come through and help with all 300 of those.”
One of the best was Lowther’s son, Zac, who went on to pitch at Xavier University before being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.
“It’s amazing,” Zac Lowther said of his father’s milestone victory. “I wish I was a part of it. I’m so happy for my dad that it’s been a long time coming. I’m proud to be a part of it and be a Redskin and to have played under my dad.”