June 28, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Bees’ win streak snapped

Brad Bournival
The Gazette
MEDINA – It took the defending Division I state champions to do it, but the Medina baseball team’s school-record 12-game win streak came to an end Friday.
Lakewood St. Edward played flawless ball, while the Bees sputtered in a 5-2 non-conference win by the Eagles.
It wasn’t that St. Edward (7-2) played like it did en route to its state title last year. In fact, the Eagles were playing for the first time in 16 days.
But the Bees (13-3) were playing without their two big guns on the mound and with some holes in their gloves.
“We needed to play better, but instead we played poorly,” Medina coach Nick Kaplack said. “Any ball we hit in the field, they were like flies on honey. Any ball they hit, we were like flies on vinegar.”
Medina did itself and its pitching no favors with four errors. Two of those came on one play, as Tommy Mirabelli went from first to home when an overthrow to third went to the fence.
Cory Teachout (1-1) followed with a wild pitch to put the Bees in an early hole.
While home runs by Nick Martinez and Dan Sokolowski tied things heading into the fourth, it seemed like Medina was always playing from behind.
Some of that had to do with a tight strike zone, as Bees pitchers walked an unusually high 12 batters, two of them intentionally.
Seven of those free passes were credited to Teachout, who went four innings of four-hit, four-run ball, though only one run was earned.
“For throwing a 15-year-old sophomore out there, he did OK,” Kaplack said. “It’s tough to defend the walk, but it was odd that we couldn’t get a called third strike.”
The difference for the Eagles came in Ryan Milowicki (1-1). The right-handed junior came on in relief of Rakim Smith and did what coach Danny Allie expected.
After giving up a third inning bomb to Martinez, Milowicki retired the next eight batters before Martinez got him again with a double in the sixth. During that span, Milowicki induced seven ground balls.
“We were working on his command during the long break and he did a lot better,” Allie said. “He’s gotten much better. He’s the guy out of the bullpen for us. He came out and was ready to play and that’s good for him.”
With the win streak now in the rearview mirror, the Bees turn their attention to Sunday’s seeding meeting before a big Northeast Ohio Conference showdown with Strongsville. The undefeated Mustangs, who shared the River Division with Medina last year, will play a two-game set with the Bees on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The winner of that not only has the inside track on a division title, but should pick up some momentum just in time for the postseason.
“We didn’t have to take this game,” Kaplack said. “Without it, we probably walk in as the No. 1 seed at our district. But we wanted to put pressure on these guys.
“The kids have already buried the loss. When they walked away from it, they knew what they had to work on. We’ll be fine. It’s all about Strongsville next week.”
Contact Brad Bournival at sports@medina-gazette.com.
St. Edward 5, Medina 0
ST. EDWARD 200 200 1 — 5 6 0
MEDINA 011 000 0 — 2 5 4
WP — Ryan Milowicki (1-1) 3 2/3 innings, 1 run, 1 earned, 2 hits, 1 strikeout. Save — Cody Cooper (1) 1 1/3 innings, 1 hit, 1 walk. St. Edward (7-2) — Joey Stoll 3 singles, RBI; Cory Blackstock double, RBI, 2 runs. Medina (13-3) — Nick Martinez home run; Dan Sokolowski home run; Rutger Luebke double.