July 1, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Bats come alive for Blue Devils in River Division baseball play

ELYRIA — It wasn’t a typical Brunswick victory, but it counted in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division standings.

The Blue Devils, a team that has leaned on defense and pitching, slugged their way to a 10-8 win over Elyria on Tuesday.

Brunswick’s Tyler Greiner attempts to lay down a bunt. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY STEVE MANHEIM)

“We scored 10 runs, so clearly the bats were working,” coach Todd Winston said. “It was a good thing because we had some mental lapses today. That’s very uncharacteristic of our team.”

Brunswick (8-2, 1-0) totaled 12 hits during the 40-degree afternoon that saw occasional snowflakes. The Blue Devils jumped on Elyria (4-5, 0-3) for four runs in the first inning and never trailed.

“We’ve been slumping lately,” said Kyle Burson, who led the Blue Devils with three hits and three runs. “It’s usually our pitching and defense that carries us. Today, our hitting did it.”

Brunswick had eight hits in the first two innings. Burson, Anthony Bova and Kyle Michalik started the game with singles to give the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead. One out later, Brandon Kutrubs singled in a run and a throwing error brought in another. Tyler Greiner’s single made it 4-0.

Jesse Elias led off the second inning by being hit by a pitch and Burson doubled to put runners on third and first. Run-scoring hits by Brian Lees and Kutrubs made the score 6-2.

Pitching struggled a bit, as Elyria twice came back to make the game close. The Pioneers scored twice in the fourth inning and once in the fifth to cut Brunswick’s lead to 6-5, and scored a pair in the bottom of the seventh on five hits.

Sophomore right-hander Nick Furman got the victory, going the first four innings before Burson took over. Burson lasted until two outs in the seventh before Michalik came in to get his third save.

Brunswick scored four times in the sixth to make the score 10-5, with Michalik and Lees rapping doubles. Michalik’s double made the score 7-5 and Lees’ hit scored two more. Gerry Salisbury singled in the Blue Devils’ final run.

Dan Ratliff and Chris Emerson had run-scoring singles in Elyria’s seventh inning. The bases were loaded before Michalik induced Mike Izzarelli, who led the Pioneers with three hits, to ground out to Salisbury at first.

Contact Steve Byrne at (440) 329-7135 or stephenbyrne@att.net.