By Tony Bogan
SOLON, Ohio — Despite less than ideal conditions at Cisar Field in Solon Community Park, a baseball game was still played.
And it turned out to be a pretty good one between two of the top ranked teams in Division I.
Junior Casey Maniglia (UNC commit) threw five shutout innings, allowing only two hits, four walks, and striking out eight, as the Solon Comets got on the win column, defeating Strongsville, 3-0.
“I think it’s important to come out and play in games like this.” said Solon head coach Damien Kopkas. “To be in a tight ball game where we have to work for every hit, work for every out, is definitely gonna help us in the long run.”
Solon got on the board first, with a base hit by senior Grant Paskell, scoring Ryan McCurry.
It was a battle of the aces early on, as Maniglia struck out six of the first twelve batters he faced.
“I thought I did a pretty good job with my fastball, throwing strikes.” said Maniglia.
Solon scratched out its next run in the third when Ryan Schwartz drew a walk after a long at-bat. After a strikeout and error, junior Ryan McCurry hit a flyball to left field that appeared to be the second out. But on the attempted throw, the ball popped out of Strongsville left fielder Jack Frank’s glove, and the ensuing throw landed out of play, scoring Ryan Schwartz and increasing Solon’s lead to 2-0.
Senior Grant Paskell added his second RBI of the day in the sixth on a sacrifice fly.
Ryan McCurry came in in the sixth inning, striking out two.
But Strongsville would not go down quietly. Prior to the seventh inning, Strongsville did not have a runner advance past second base. After a JD Duplain walk, pinch hitter Dominic Lombardo doubled to right field, advancing pinch runner John Spragg to third, putting the tying run at the plate.
But Ryan McCurry struck out the final two batters, and helped close out the victory for the Solon Comets.
“My slider and curveball were working today and my defense made plays, and it was a good team win.” said McCurry.
In the loss, Strongsville junior pitcher Matt Brosky threw 4 1/3 innings, and allowed three hits, walked two and struck out four.
“I thought Matt Brosky pitched really well today and we were defensively sound.” said Strongsville coach Doug Cierchi. “We’re playing hard in the field, but right now, we’re searching for answers at the plate.”
Damien Kopkas praised the efforts of his two young aces.
“We’re gonna rely on those two, as well as a few others throughout the year. Both of them very talented and coachable. As you can see, they control the game and don’t let emotion get the best of them. This type of game will help them as they progress this year,” added Kopkas.
Solon improves to 1-1 (1-0 GCC) and travels to Brunswick Tuesday, while Strongsville drops to 0-4 (0-1 GCC) and will host Shaker Heights.
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