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Solorzano Lights Out, Waynedale Beats Chagrin Falls 3-0

Photo by Al Kornspan

The Waynedale Golden Bears (20-9) kept their state championship repeat hopes alive with a 3-0 win over Chagrin Falls (18-11) in the district finals at Norwayne High School. Junior pitcher Otto Solorzano turned in a dominant, complete game shutout performance with seven strikeouts.

Golden Bears Start Hot

After Solorzano retired the side in just nine pitches to start the game, the Waynedale bats were hot from the start. Dylan Raber led things off with a single and promptly stole second base. Tristan Franks followed that up with a single of his own, scoring Raber, and giving the Golden Bears a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Trey Barkman hit a single to score Franks. Jayden Schlabach hit another single, but Drew Mergenhagen was able to escape the bases-loaded jam. After one, Waynedale held a 2-0 lead.

In the home half of the third, Timmy Short led off the inning with a double. After a wild pitch moved Short to third, Head Coach Michael Sweeney made a pitching change, going to Gavin Stevens. With two outs, Solorzano helped his own cause with an RBI double to put the Golden Bears up 3-0.

Tigers Claw Back

The first real threat of the game for Chagrin Falls came in the fifth inning. Sven Neilsen hit a one-out single, followed by an error that allowed Henry Cimperman to reach first. With one out and runners on first and second, Gavin Steven hit a liner that was snagged by Dylan Raber who flipped it to second for the double play. 

Photo by Al Kornspan

The Tigers would mount a threat again in the sixth, as a walk to Mergenhagen and singles from Charlie Reeder and Brandt Stevens gave Chagrin Falls the bases loaded with two outs. On an extremely windy evening, Jack Watson hit a high pop-up in foul territory that was snagged by Gavin Spitler for the third out of the inning. Heading to the seventh, Waynedale still led 3-0.

Down to their last at-bat, Chagrin Falls had one more push in them. Nielsen led off the inning drawing a walk and Joey Tenebria followed it up with a single. A one-out single from Mergenhagen gave the Tigers bases loaded with just one out. Like he did all game long, Solorzano locked in and got a strikeout and a flyout to right to finish off the Tigers, 3-0.


Photo by Al Kornspan

After winning the first baseball state championship in school history a year ago, Waynedale now finds itself just three games away from a return to the title game. Up next for the Golden Bears is a regional semifinal matchup with Independence (15-6). The Blue Devils advanced with a 1-0 win over Triway to win the Parma Heights District. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 pm at Massillon Washington High School on June 1st (Wednesday). 


Photo by Al Kornspan

Top Performers

Chagrin Falls

Charlie Reeder: 3-4 SB

Drew Mergenhagen: 1-3 BB    2 IP 5 H 2 BB 3 ER 3 K

Gavin Stevens: 0-4    4 IP 1 H 1 BB 3 K

Sven Nielsen: 1-2 BB



Otto Solorzano: 1-3 RBI    7 IP 7 H 3 BB 0 ER 7 K

Dylan Raber: 1-3 SB R

Tristan Franks: 1-2 RBI R

Timmy Short: 1-3 2B R


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th R H E
Chagrin Falls 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1
Waynedale 2 0 1 0 0 0 X 3 6 1

Follow me on Twitter @devinlowe123 for more high school sports coverage!

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