MEDINA — Scott Sency had many reasons to smile Tuesday.
First, his Medina baseball team crushed rival Brunswick 12-3. Second, his arm felt alive in the 72-degree weather with 30 MPH wind gusts. Third, he pitched a complete-game five-hitter with a whopping 16 strikeouts.
Oh, and he cranked a three-run home run well over 400 feet, added a double, scored twice and had five RBI in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division showdown.
“I loved it,” Sency beamed. “This is the first game I’ve pitched in semi-warm weather (this year) and my arm felt great out there.”
While Sency’s huge day at the plate was a big reason Medina (12-2, 7-0) won its school-record 11th straight game, his electric left arm had everyone talking.
The All-Gazette selection’s strikeout total was the second-most in school history, trailing only Mike McMullen’s 20 in 1967. Sency (4-0) had strikeout streaks of six and five, and when Brunswick hitters weren’t swinging late on upper-80s fastballs, they were looking at 10 called third strikes on the black.
Obviously, that made up for an error in the first inning and a two-run home run to Blue Devils first baseman Brian Lees in the fourth.
“Scott Sency basically confiscated their at-bats,” Bees coach Nick Kaplack said. “He just went in and took them. Brunswick’s a good hitting team and he was on today. When you get a good lefty on like that, it makes it hard.”
The Bees scored nine unanswered runs over the first two innings against Brunswick starter Brandon Kutrubs (0-1) after the Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead.
Consecutive RBI at-bats by Dan Sokolowski (3-for-3, triple, 3 runs), Sency (2-for-3, 2 runs), David Schwehm (2-for-3) and Alex Thielman (2-for-4, double, 3 RBI) accounted for five runs in the first, while an RBI single and absolute bomb of a home run to right field by Sency tacked on four more in the second.
Nick Martinez and Kyle Hulthen also had multi-hit days as the Bees racked up 15 base knocks.
“We’ve been off for a while, but they came out with a lot of energy, which was nice,” Kaplack said.
Brunswick didn’t, and coach Todd Winston said that was his fault.
The normally sure-handed Blue Devils committed a pair of errors in the first inning that put them in an immediate bind. Brunswick was also 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and never responded after Medina grabbed momentum.
Sophomore shortstop Kyle Michalik had two singles, while Lees provided the Blue Devils’ best hit of the day with a home run to center field.
A scary moment occurred in the bottom of the second when Kutrubs was drilled by a sizzling line drive off the bat of Schwehm. Luckily, Kutrubs’ wrist prevented the ball from hitting him squarely in the gut, although Winston fears his pitcher may have a broken wrist.
Kurubs finished the inning and pitched a scoreless third before giving way to Alex Cratty.
“I didn’t get us ready to play when we got off the bus and that’s all on me,” Winston said. “It’s a mental approach. It’s our job to get them ready and I’ll wear that one for them.”
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.