GROVE CITY — The Mount Vernon High School baseball team started off this decade on Saturday much like it did the last — winning a Division I Central District title.
The Yellow Jackets won their third district title in school history by beating the Olentangy Liberty Patriots, 3-1, at Grove City High School. Senior Derek Baker smacked a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning for the winning runs and junior Ben Hoar clamped down on the Patriot batters, allowing just four hits.
“This just tops it off,” said Baker. “This is what you sign up for; this is what we came out for. It is just an amazing feeling.”
With the victory, Mount Vernon (27-3) advances to the Division I Regional at Dublin Coffman High School and will play Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division foe New Albany on Thursday. Mount Vernon won back-to-back district titles in 2001 and 2002 — before Olentangy Liberty was even in existence.
“Nothing ever comes easy for us,” said Mount Vernon coach Doug Savage. “These kids set a goal at the beginning of the year; they wanted to win a district championship. They worked for it, and now they’ve got it.”
Mount Vernon jumped out on top almost immediately. The Jackets got a two-out single from Baker in the top of the first inning, and after a double by Justin Edwards, Russell Doup singled to right. That drove in Baker for a 1-0 lead.
“We wanted to be tough outs one through nine because that’s what we had to do to beat this team,” said Edwards. “You have to go up there every time ready to hit the ball, thinking something is going to happen.”