Last year as a freshman, Garrett Banks pitched Galena to the Northern 4A championship with a 4-2 win over Reno High. Now as a Husky, Banks couldn't do the same.
Banks, a sophomore transfer from Galena, lasted only 4 1/3 innings and took the loss as Chris Toto picked up his second save in two nights as Wooster beat Reno 7-3 on Saturday in the Northern 4A Regional Tournament championship game at Carson High's Ron McNutt Field.
It was the first zone championship for the Colts since 1990, the first year Ron Malcolm joined the Wooster staff as an assistant. Since then, as the team's head coach, championships have eluded Malcolm.
"We showed the team a videotape of the 1990 team that won it," said Malcolm, now in his 12th season as the Colts' head coach. "We pulled it out of the archives. This team has a resemblance of that one. I don't know if it gave us an advantage or not."
It didn't hurt, that's for sure. Wooster (26-9) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first and eventually went up 7-0 after Zach Bryson's two-run home run off Chris Rickay in the sixth. Meanwhile, Wooster's Tyler Smit took care of the Huskies. In his first start of the season, Smit, whose longest outing of the season coming into yesterday's game was only two innings, pitched six innings before being replaced by Toto in the seventh.
But just as they did in a 2-1 win over Galena on Friday, the Huskies tried to stage another comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Smit walked two and gave up a single to Kyle Ryckebosch. Toto took over with no outs. Toto, who got the win in Wooster's 6-1 win over Reed on Wednesday, faced only three batters to close out the game.
Reno (31-4) will go into next week's NIAA/U.S. Bank State Tournament as the Northern 4A's No. 2 seed, just like it did last season. This was the Huskies fourth consecutive zone championship appearance, but they haven't won one since 2000. This will be Wooster's second-straight appearance at the state tournament.
Bryson went 3-for-3 with a double and Beau Walker and Toto both were 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Toto's solo homer in the fifth put the Colts up 5-0. Drew Lipnosky was 2-for-3 with an RBI double for Reno.