Nine-run inning sends Rangers to district tourney|
On the way to their first 20-win season since 2007, the Lakewood Rangers have had plenty of big innings offensively that made a difference.
But there had been nothing quite like the second inning Friday against Elyria.
The second-seeded Rangers, thanks to an infield error, sent 10 batters to plate and scored nine runs in the frame. So when Liam Sullivan crossed home plate in the bottom of the sixth, Lakewood had win No. 21 in the books with its 13-3 win over the Pioneers in a Division I...
Rangers reach 20-win plateau, set for tourney run|
The Lakewood Rangers have enjoyed one of their best seasons on the diamond in recent years. And with a shot at the West Shore Conference title on the line, they gave visiting Eric Lauer and the Midview Middies all they could handle.
As it turned out, a win just wasn’t in the cards that day for the home team. But that didn’t mean the Rangers were ready to fold with the Division I sectional/district tournament approaching.
Lauer, a Kent State recruit and possible MLB draft prospect, blanked the Rangers...
Rockets break out the lumber against Rocky River|
Putting all the pieces together can be easier said than done for any baseball team. For both Bay and Rocky River, it has been a season-long struggle.
The Rockets, who have found consistent hitting hard to come by in 2013, managed to put together two big innings in earning a 10-6 win over the Pirates Tuesday afternoon in West Shore Conference action.
Bay, now 4-17 overall, upped its conference record to 3-9 as its offense showed some signs of life. Wednesday, however, the Rockets fell behind...
Hartsel throws a gem as Rangers blank Westlake|
Marty Hartsel probably remembered the game like it happened yesterday.
It was a 2012 Division I sectional title game, and Hartsel took the mound with his Lakewood Rangers up 6-0 at Westlake. Two innings and nine runs later, Hartsel was out of the game and the Rangers were on their way out of the tournament in a 10-6 defeat.
Friday night, Hartsel again took the mound to face the Demons. The results were as different as night and day.
The Ranger righty hurled a masterpiece, blanking the visitors on just three hits to lead Lakewood to a 7-0 win at Lakewood Stadium. The win...
Rangers split with Rockets, remain at top of WSC|
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Bay was poised for the sweep.
The Rockets, who had started their season an improbable 0-12, had already won their suspended game with Lakewood with a 4-2 decision in 12 innings. In the bottom of the seventh and the score tied at 4-4, a 3-game win streak was in reach.
But the West Shore Conference-leading Rangers had other ideas. Pitcher Tom Fuller worked his way out of the seventh-inning jam, and his teammates responded with a 4-run eighth as Lakewood prevailed, 8-4, Monday night at Lakewood Stadium.
Lakewood, now 14-3 overall and 6-2 in the WSC, made the most of two singles, a pair of walks and a big Rocket error to avoid the sweep and stay in the thick of the conference race. Bay, now 2-13 and 1-6, had won...
Big inning not enough as Westlake falls to Eagles|
So far, the 2013 season has been one of peaks and valleys for the Westlake baseball team. Tuesday at All Pro Freight Stadium, the Demons experienced all of those highs and lows in a single game.
St. Edward broke open a 3-2 game with a six-run third inning to take a 9-2 lead. Westlake one-upped the Eagles in the top of the sixth, sending 11 men to the plate and rallying for seven runs to tie the game. But in the bottom of the seventh, Kyle Wasil’s...
Eagles rally twice in late innings to edge Demons|
The North Olmsted Eagles have been involved in a number of close games so far in 2013. So when they found themselves trailing visiting Westlake 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning they were in familiar territory.
“We’ve been on the field against some pretty good teams so far this season,” said North Olmsted head coach Tim Murphy. “In our five losses, we’ve been either tied or had the lead in the middle of the game.
“I don’t think we’re ever out of a game,” he added.
The persistence of Murphy’s Eagles paid off against the Demons. They rallied not once, but twice in the late innings Monday afternoon to claim a 2-1 Southwestern Conference win in nine innings at Victory Park. North Olmsted moved to 6-5 on the season and evened their SWC slate...
Rangers earn tournament sweep, start season 5-0|
Sporting a roster loaded with 14 seniors, getting the 2013 season off on the right foot was definitely one of the goals for head coach Mike Ribar and his Lakewood baseball team.
Consider that mission accomplished.
The Rangers finished the first week of the new season at 5-0 after sweeping three games at their annual Gruss/Dibiasio Tournament this weekend. On a chilly Friday night, Lakewood began tournament play with a 9-0 win over Crestwood, then followed up Saturday morning with a convincing 12-2 win in five innings over...
Pioneers' big inning dooms Pirates in 2013 opener|
This certainly wasn’t the way the Rocky River baseball team wanted to open up it’s 2013 campaign.
But hey...its early.
Visiting Elyria exploded for seven runs in the top of the second inning and rolled on to an 11-0 win in six innings over the Pirates Thursday afternoon. The Pioneers used a combination of five hits, two walks, an error and a wild pitch to take their big lead and move to 2-0 on the season.
“They’re a pretty good team with a lot of...
In a deja vu moment, Demons rally past Bulldogs|
It was the bottom of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, it was deja vu time for the Westlake baseball team.
The Demons, down 3-1, had been here before. Even the new faces in the lineup got into the act.
A two-run double by Justin Runevitch brought home the tying and go-ahead runs as Westlake rallied for a 5-3 win over visiting Olmsted Falls in the Southwestern Conference opener...
Westlake falls short in bid for state championship|
Throughout the 2012 tournament, the Westlake baseball team had come up with the winning combination of solid pitching, clutch hitting and strong defensive play. The result was a run all the way to the Division I championship game Saturday afternoon in Columbus.
Under sunny skies at Huntington Park, however, the Demons fell short in all three categories against perennial state powerhouse Cincinnati Moeller. Even so, they made the Crusaders squirm until the very end.
Westlake scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but it was too little, too late as Moeller came away with a 9-6 win and its sixth state championship since 1972. The Crusaders prevailed despite getting outscored...
Demons do it again, face Moeller for state crown|
In winning 20 of its last 22 games, the 2012 season has come down to this for the Westlake baseball team:
The Demons have a date with destiny.
After needing back-to-back seventh inning rallies to make it to Columbus, Westlake took the lead for good in the fourth inning in Thursday’s Division I state semifinal game at Huntington Park. The Demons built their lead from there and went on to a 6-2 win over Massillon Perry...
State Bound! Westlake nine rally for regional title|
For two straight days, the Westlake baseball team starred straight into the eyes of a season-ending defeat. Down to their final at bats, the Demons had their backs against the wall against two tough opponents in perennial powerhouse St. Ignatius and state-ranked Ashland.
And for two straight days, those Demons had the standing-room-only crowds at Nobby’s Ballpark walking away stunned and amazed. And, in the case of the Westlake faithful, celebrating in a total state of euphoria.
The Comeback Kids were headed to Columbus...
DII Baseball: Late Falcons rally ends River dream|
As losses go, this one was a tough one for the Rocky River baseball team to stomach.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning last Thursday in a Division II district baseball semifinal against Firelands. But six Falcons came to plate in that fateful final frame.
The first three made it home as Firelands rallied for a 3-2 stunner at The Pipe Yard in Lorain.
The loss ended the Pirates’ shot at advancing to the Division II regionals. Firelands had its...
DI Baseball: Demons nip Eagles for district crown|
It has been said that pitching is the number one component to winning a championship in baseball.
If that is indeed the case, the Westlake Demons are feeling pretty good about their chances this week.
The Demons have advanced to this week’s Division I regional semifinals on the strength of stellar back-to-back pitching performances last week. On Wednesday, Ben Neumann went the distance and out-pitched Kentucky recruit Eric Lauer in a 4-2 win over Midview at The Pipe Yard in Lorain.
Then on Thursday, his cousin Kevin threw a four-pitch shutout as the Demons blanked top-seeded Avon, 1-0...
DI Baseball: Westlake advances to district finals|
Under sun-drenched skies at The Pipe Yard, the Westlake baseball team faced one of its biggest challenges in the Lorain Division I district semifinals.
In the third base dugout was Midview, co-champions of the West Shore Conference. The Middies featured a potent offense, a solid defense and junior lefty Eric Lauer, who had recently given a verbal commitment to pitch for the University of Kentucky. The Demons, however, had been on a roll...
DI: Latham, Lackner lead Demons to sectional title|
Down 6-0 early against visiting Lakewood, the Westlake baseball team was in trouble. The Demons needed something big to change the momentum of the game, some kind of offensive explosion to jump start a comeback.
In the bottom of the third inning, Kyle Latham set the fuse and Jamie Lackner provided the match.
Latham’s leadoff double was followed up by Lackner’s grand slam home run to spark a five-run rally. Another leadoff hit by Latham...
DI: Young Rangers advance with win over Eagles|
In 2011, the Lakewood baseball team won just four games. And with underclassmen dominating the lineup this season, the outlook for 2012 might have seemed bleak at first.
Don’t look now, but after 26 games the young Rangers are playing for a spot in the Division I district tournament.
Lakewood, up 5-1 after four innings, made some key defensive plays and scored an insurance run in the sixth inning for a 6-4 win over North Olmsted in a sectional semifinal. Thursday afternoon, the Rangers will take on third seed Westlake for a sectional title and a shot at next week’s district tournament. “These games are important...
Video: Lakewood nine on a roll after sluggish start|
Since starting out its season at 5-7, the Lakewood baseball team has been on a roll.
Ever since a 4-1 loss to Brush, the Rangers have gone 8-2 heading into the home stretch of the 2012 season. It all began under the lights on a Friday night when they topped visiting Euclid, 1-0 in nine innings.
Lakewood, which joins the West Shore Conference this fall, swept Trinity in a doubleheader the next day, then took a home-and-home series with Valley Forge in Northeast Ohio Conference play. The Rangers made it two-for-two on Friday nights with a convincing 11-5 win over neighborhood rival St. Edward to move to 11-7. The winning streak reached seven...
Schuerger, Watterson help Rockets shock Eagles|
Through six innings Monday afternoon, Avon senior Anders Mahon and Bay sophomore Marty Schuerger were engaged in a classic pitchers duel. The hits were few and far between, with both teams coming up empty in their limited scoring opportunities.
Then came the bottom of the seventh inning, with the biggest hit of the game coming from the youngest player on the field.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, freshman Griffin Watterson jumped on the first pitch he saw and drilled it to right field. That brought home Scott Pailes with the game-winning run as the Rockets prevailed, 1-0, to stun the Eagles and end their West Shore Conference win streak...
Video: Pirates edge Rockets, 5-4, in WSC rematch|
Last Thursday, Rocky River scored four runs in the first three innings and won its West Shore Conference rematch with Bay, 5-4. But after one time through the league season, the big question in WSC baseball this spring is this:
Can anybody beat Avon?
The Eagles are still unbeaten in 2012. They reside all alone in first place after last week’s 1-0 win over Midview, and have taken their overall record to 15-0 after a Saturday doubleheader sweep, 4-2 and 10-2, over Avon Lake.
Weather permitting, Avon will host North Ridgeville on Monday as teams resume...
Kovacevic shuts down Demons, Bees get the win|
With two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, shortstop Matt Leonard hit a rope to the centerfield wall, scoring Jonathan Brick and Andrew Dunn. That made the score 6-5, Westlake, and the Demons\' offense appeared to be hitting on all cylinders.
That\'s when Brecksville head coach John Mutch made a trip to the mound and went to his bullpen.
Enter junior lefty Vlad Kovacevic. Exit the Westlake bats.
Kovacevic, using an assortment of off-speed pitches, blanked the Demons the rest of the way on three hits...
Rangers lose big lead, rally for 7-6 win over Trinity|
After going 4-22 last season, the Lakewood baseball team had nowhere to go but up.
On Saturday, the Rangers took another step forward in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader with visiting Trinity. After losing an early 6-1 lead, they scratched out a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to come away with a 7-6 win that evened their season record at 7-7.
“We’re not where we want to be yet...
Westlake's Neumann silences North Olmsted bats|
For the better part of the game, Thursday’s Southwestern Conference baseball matchup between Westlake and North Olmsted was a pitchers’ duel. Seniors Dan Doyle of the Eagles and Ben Neumann of the Demons matched each other pitch for pitch, making base runners hard to come by.
Both pitchers were on their game. Neumann was just a bit better.
Neumann threw a gem, blanking the potent Eagle offense on six hits to lead Westlake to a 4-0 win at North Olmsted Park. The win got the Demons back to even at 2-2 in the SWC and tied them with the Eagles in the league standings behind front runners Amherst, Avon Lake and Brecksville.
The lanky righty went the distance, striking out six and walking just two in moving to 2-1 on the season.
“He’s been consistent for us so far this season...
No mercy: Lee's arm, Avon bats overwhelm River|
Last spring, the Avon baseball team swept through the West Shore Conference schedule without a loss in claiming the outright championship.
Wednesday afternoon, the Eagles showed why they are again the team to beat in the WSC.
Avon scored seven runs in the first two innings and never looked back in a convincing 12-1 win at Rocky River. The Eagles remained undefeated on the season at 9-0 and ran their WSC record to...
Baseball: Rockets get first victory of the season|
It took a little longer than expected, but the Bay baseball team is in the win column.
The Rockets, winless in their first six tries, traveled to Vermilion Monday and came home happy with a 5-4 win over the Sailors in West Shore Conference action. The win evened their league record at 1-1.
Bay took a 3-1 lead after two innings, but needed single runs in the fifth and sixth frames to counter Vermilion’s three-run sixth. Starting pitcher Andrew Cooper allowed all four Sailor runs, but only one of them was earned. He struck out six and walked only one...
Pirates rally in WSC opener, Rockets still winless|
All signs pointed to Bay getting its first baseball win of the young 2012 season.
The Rockets’ bats came alive Wednesday in the bottom of the second inning, turning a walk, two doubles and a triple into three runs against Rocky River ace Justin Seffernick. In the meantime, Bay junior Jake Peters was blanking the Pirates in his first start of the season.
But the game changed drastically in the top of the seventh when the Pirates rallied for four runs. Bay recovered with a run in the bottom of the frame, but River came right back ...
Rodriguez, Eagles topple Bay for opening day win|
It was a tale of two teams Wednesday afternoon at sun-drenched and breezy All Pro Freight Stadium.
Bay and North Olmsted took the field for one of several early-season high school games scheduled for the Avon park. When it was all said and done, the Eagles showed the poise of a veteran squad, while the Rockets paid for some youthful mistakes.
North Olmsted, behind the four-hit pitching of Tom Rodriguez, won its season opener, 9-1, and sent the Rockets to their second loss in as many days.
The Eagles scored four runs on just one hit in the top of the second inning to give them all the runs they needed. A five-run outburst in the top of the fourth all but put the game away. That was more than enough support for Rodriguez...
Miscues lead to extra-inning loss for Demon nine|
After an opening day loss at Avon, the Westlake baseball team was looking to regroup in its home opener against Elyria Catholic.
A disastrous sixth inning, however, played a big part in the Demons’ second loss in as many days. The Panthers scored six runs on just two hits that inning, turning a 7-3 deficit into a 9-7 lead.
The visitors would later score a pair of runs in the top of the 10th inning...