By: Chris Ginley
AVON, Ohio– On a cloudy, but decently warm day, St. Edward hosted the Wildcats from Keystone at Sprenger Stadium in Avon. Coming off of a successful 2-2 trip to the Hanahan Invitational Tournament in Charleston, South Carolina, where the Eagles defeated teams from South Carolina and Virginia, the Eagles looked to continue their hot offensive start in this season. In three of their games at the H.I.T. Tournament, the Eagles scored six or more runs. St. Edward Head Coach Matt Rosinski had this to say after the Eagles trip to the palmetto state, “We had a great time. We played good teams down there. We wanted the boys to come together and spend time with each other.”
The game started off a little rough for the Eagles, as they had a couple defensive miscues, with shortstop Zach Maxey letting an easy ground ball go through his legs to allow Keystone Cameron Emerick to advance to first, then advance to third on a wild pitch by Eagles starting pitcher, Asher Soltis. However, that would be the extent of the damage that the Wildcats would do in the top of the first inning. Soltis would eventually settle down, striking out the side in the top of the second.
Rosinski had this to say after stranding the bases loaded with nobody out and not scoring any runs in the bottom of the second, “In situations like that, we have to come away with at least one run. We say we always have to move runners.”
The Eagles started to get their offense going in the bottom of the second, with a walk and a bloop single by Spencer Crane and Chris Elliot, respectively. John Sherman beat out a bunt to load the bases. Keystone pitcher, Nick Gregory got his first strikeout of the game, getting St. Edward’s Joe Horszko looking, then got two quick outs to get out of an early-innings jam. The Eagles did not do a good job of capitalizing on the rough outing that Gregory was having early on.
Soltis was cruising through the first three innings, striking out six while allowing only one hit.
Spencer Crane hit a deep ball over the head of Keystone’s Emerick for a triple, scoring Mark Mohnickey, who got on base via a walk, to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
Keystone got the leadoff batter on base for the first time in the top of the fourth and tried to chip away at the small Eagles lead. For only the second time this game, the Wildcats got a runner in scoring position, as Meleski reached second off of a fielders choice, but Soltis had yet another stroke out to end the Wildcats threat in the middle innings.
Joe Horoszko showed some heads-up base running with him beating out another bunt single and with the help of an overthrow, advanced to second base, scoring John Sherman and gibing the Eagles a 2-0 lead. Horoszko then scores two batters later on an RBI groundout by Corey Stofko to make it 3-0 Eagles in the bottom of the fourth.
Keystone started to muster up another rally in the fifth, with runners on first and second. Both runners got on base via walks. Spencer Marinac for the Eagles put a stop to that, as he ran and caught a tailing fly ball towards the right field line to end the inning.
Sophomore Nick Compton came on to relieve Gregory for the Wildcats in the fifth inning, and promptly gave up a single to Marinac in the first batter he faced. Mohnickey walked to bring the Eagles big hitter Crane to the plate. A nice snag by Wildcat second baseman Jaret Bender though gave Keystone their first out of the inning. John Sherman picked up the slack with a line drive single to left to score Marinac and Mohnickey to push the Eagles lead to 5-0.
After the rough inning, Matt Mealwitz came on to pitch for Keystone. After allowing another leadoff walk to Corey Stofko, Mackenzie Wainwright, an Ohio State recruit, skied a high fly ball to left for the first out. Stofko stole his second base of the day and scored off of a Marinac groundout to extend the lead to 6-0, which would end the offense for the Eagles.
“Keystone is a good team that played one of the better games that they have played this year. We had tremendous pitching and our hitters worked deep into counts,” said Rosinski after the victory.
With the win, St. Edward goes to 5-2 and with the loss, the Wildcats fall to 2-3.
St. Edward will head to Mentor to face the Cardinals on Friday and Keystone will face Clearview at home tomorrow evening.