By Patrick Kennedy
Avon- The Avon Eagles defeated the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs 5-2 in a sectional final thriller.
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The Bulldogs opened the scoring with a Collin Romel sacrifice fly in the first inning.
They only scored once in the first, leaving two men on base.
In the third inning, Ricky Costrigano started the inning off for the Bulldogs with a double to right.
He scored on an errant throw after a bunt attempt, giving the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases, and Avon pitcher Logan Doenges locked in and got the next two Bulldog hitters to fly out and induced a groundout to end the inning.
Doenges picked up the win going, all seven innings allowing no earned runs on three hits and striking out seven.
Romel took the loss for the Bulldogs, going 6 innings giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits.
Everything was rolling for Romel, as he retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced.
Avon broke through in the fifth inning, scoring three runs off two errors and a balk.
The balk brought in the go-ahead run for the Eagles.
“I think [the balk] had a big impact,” Olmsted Falls coach Dan Largent said after the game.
“Obviously when we were up two – we misplayed some ground balls, some routine plays and I’m not necessarily talking about the couple of errors we had, but also there was a little dribbler where we didn’t have anyone covering the bag… That balk call to me was unnecessary because there was no deception, in a situation where you have a tie game and a runner on third, no deception all he was doing was shaking off his catcher and they called a balk and balks could’ve been called against both pitchers about 20 times throughout the game so it was a little disappointing to see that called there in such a crucial situation.”
In the bottom of the sixth, Romel walked Will Kocar to bring up Taylor Reynolds.
Reynolds belted a clutch homer to left field to widen the margin to three runs.
“I felt like I needed to do something, I had a few mistakes in the game earlier and I just felt like I needed to do something. That was pretty much all anger on that swing,” Reynolds said after the game.
Doenges came out for the 7th inning and shut the Bulldogs down in order.
With Berea-Midpark’s 3-0 win over Avon Lake, the stage is set for the district semifinal on Wednesday at the Lorain Pipeyard.
“We just played [Berea-Midpark] the other day so we’re pretty familiar with them,” Avon coach Frank DeSmit said.
“I’m sure we’ll see their ace. We haven’t seen him yet this year, but basically our approach is to worry about us,”
This matchup should be very interesting as SWC foes face off for the rights to go to the district championship game.