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HUDSON — After his team's regional final game, Tallmadge baseball coach Kenny Linn was soaking wet and shaking with nerves.
He also could not get the smile off his face.
After reaching the 300-win milestone earlier this season, Tallmadge gave Linn his first berth in the state final four May 27. The Blue Devils reached states by defeating Canfield 3-2 in a Division II regional final at The Ballpark at Hudson.
With the win, Tallmadge improved to 23-7 and advanced to the Division II state semifinals. The Blue Devils will face Maumee June 1 at 7 p.m. at Huntington Park in Columbus. It's Tallmadge's first trip to the state final four since 2002.
Linn got doused by his team with a water bucket after the game. Tallmadge advanced to states after it had previously gone 0-4 in regional games under Linn.
Tallmadge pitching combined to limit the Cardinals to just three hits.
Jared Burick (9-1) got the win, going 5.33 innings, giving up two earned runs off three hits and six walks.
After getting the win in relief in the regional semifinal game, Mikah McGlaughlin pitched 1.67 innings of scoreless ball to get the save.
Canfield struck first in the top of the first inning. After a walk and a hit batsmen, Canfield pitcher Ian McGraw hit an RBI single to make it 1-0.
McGraw pitched well, giving up three runs (two earned) in 5.67 innings of work. Tallmadge finished with seven hits.
The Blue Devils took the lead in the bottom of the first inning.
With two outs, third baseman Zach Boyd walked and first baseman Scott Seeker singled. Designated hitter Josh Taylor then hit an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.
Burick then hit a liner that went for an error. Seeker made a nice slide at the plate to make it 2-1 after one inning.
Canfield would tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the second inning. Center fielder Dominic Piolli drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the contest.
Tallmadge played some small ball to get the winning run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Shortstop Phil Glasser led off with a single, went to second on a balk and moved to third on a ground out.
With Boyd at the plate, Linn called for a suicide squeeze play. Boyd put the bunt down and Glasser beat the throw home to make it 3-2.
Canfield got a lead-off single from Alex Hernandez in the top of the seventh inning. However, McGlaughlin struck out the next two batters and got Anthony Long to fly out to first base to end the game.