July 24, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Warriors come out to play


Staff Writer

TIFFIN — Highland baseball coach Jeff Rollyson was looking for a Dick Weber somewhere on his baseball team.

Instead of a professional bowler seeking the perfect game, what the Hornets got was bowled over by Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit 17-0 in the Tiffin Division II Regional final on Friday.

The seniors for the Warriors (26-3) walked onto Heminger Field, boasting a state championship in 2006, four regional appearances and a lofty 101-11 mark in a brilliant four-year stint.

The Hornets (15-13) found out the hard way just how good Walsh was in a game that lasted just five innings.

The Warriors now have a date with Springfield Regional winner Kenton Ridge as a result.

“When you play a team like this, the cards are stacked against you coming in,” Rollyson said. “It’s a lot to ask a team to play a perfect game and that’s exactly what you have to do against Walsh.”

The Hornets didn’t exactly do that, committing two balks, three wild pitches, getting picked off twice and not being able to make the right decision on a fielder’s choice when the Warriors were trying to give themselves up twice on a sacrifice bunt.

Walsh, which has outscored its opponents 53-2 in five postseason contests, took advantage of each and every opportunity, shelling the Hornets to the tune of 19 hits and blowing up the game early.

Bryce Sedio (4-5) lasted just 33 pitches, giving up six runs — all earned — on six hits in one inning of work.

Cory Johnston, Thursday’s starter, made it an inning and made just 22 pitches in a three-run, three-hit performance as the Warriors clubbed the Hornets for nine runs in the first two frames.

“One through nine had tremendous focus today,” Walsh coach Chris Kaczmar said. “We don’t care who we play or what the score is. We’re just playing against the game of baseball. All three phases were clicking for us today.

“If you would have told me we would score 17 runs in the regional finals at the beginning of the season, I wouldn’t have believed you. But we’re an anomaly. Nothing these guys do surprises me.”

It had to come as somewhat of a surprise that seven of the first nine batters reached for the Warriors, who outscored regional opponents 27-0 this season. It should have been shocking that everyone that batted save for one got a hit and all of them reached base at least once.

But it wasn’t.

It wasn’t because players like Joe Pawlowski (2-for-3, 4 RBI), Kevin Emmandorfer (4-for-4, 4 RBI) had field days on Highland pitchers.

The top part of Walsh’s order finished the afternoon 10-for-16 with 11 RBI and eight runs scored. Of those 10 hits, five came from the extra-base variety including a two-home run performance by Emmandorfer.

“We’ve been hot for a while,” Emmandorfer. “Playing these guys, we’ve beat them twice and have seen all their pitchers.

“They’ve got a good team but you can’t slow down.”

Walsh never did and actually got scolded by Kaczmar for scoring just one run in the third to make it 10-0.

The Warriors, in turn, came out and put a two-spot up in the fourth and added five in the fifth.

“We only got the one run in the third,” Emmandorfer said. “You can’t let up. We didn’t.”

Bournival may be reached at bournival929@sbcglobal.net or 330-721-4045.



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Albert Grindle About Albert Grindle

Albert Grindle is a sportswriter for the Gazette. He can be reached at 330-721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.