May 26, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Baseball: Highland’s Ed Williams just throws strikes

GRANGER TWP. — Eddie sure made it look easy.

Right-hander Ed Williams shined in separate games as Highland’s baseball team swept Medina 5-1 and 4-0 in an ultra-rare Sunday non-league doubleheader.

Luke Raley

Ed Williams

The junior earned a three-inning save after taking over for Ashton Budzinski in the opener, then started the second and scattered just three hits over five innings to pick up his first career win.

All told, Williams pitched eight innings. He allowed zero runs on five hits, walked two and struck out two while throwing 61 of his 92 pitches for strikes.

“(Head coach Jay Grissom and pitching coach Mike Weyand) just told me not to walk people and just throw strikes,” Williams said. “That’s what I did.

“I was very excited. I haven’t pitched in about a week, so when I got up there I was really happy and I just wanted to show that I’m good.”

The Bees (5-4) entered play averaging 7.3 runs per game, yet saw the ball take a lot of unlucky bounces despite outhitting the Hornets (5-2) 11-8. Medina’s lone run came against Budzinski in the first inning of the opener, when Mike Faschian scored on an RBI double by Conner Green (4-for-4).

Highland’s defense and Williams’ pitch-to-contact philosophy had a lot to do with that.

“They played really good ‘D,”’ Bees coach Nick Kaplack said. “I guess our focus was more on looking ahead to what really matters, and that’s (today at Brunswick). These are sort of practice games for us, but you like to win them.”

The Hornets took the lead for good in the first game by scoring on an error in the fourth and tacking on three in the fifth on a RBI single, sacrifice fly and hit by pitch. Williams took care of the rest.

In the second game, Highland seized control in the third inning with three unearned runs. With two outs, Ricky Esker fanned against Matt Whittaker but reached first on a wild pitch. Alex Harris then reached on an error, giving way for Luke Raley to smoke an opposite-field two-run triple.

Anthony Ondrejcak drove in Raley on a full count, while Alex Harris’ wind-aided solo home run in the fifth capped the scoring.

It was just another day at the office for the scrappy Hornets, who pride themselves on scoring ugly and pitching into its mistake-free defense.

“We played awesome today,” Raley said. “Today was definitely the best two games we’ve played all season.”

“Eddie pitched awesome,” he added. “He threw a lot of strikes and kept the ball low.”

In other games:


Wadsworth 11-10, Buckeye 5-2

WADSWORTH — It’s appearing more an more as if the Grizzlies (9-0) are for real, as they tallied 21 hits in 11 innings against the Bucks (5-2) in this non-league doubleheader. Brad Scheiman had a huge day with five hits, four RBIs and four runs, while Aden Campbell added four hits. Ryan Prather (3-0) and Eric Perebzak (1-0) got the wins after combining to allow zero runs over 9⅓ innings. Nico Galizio led Buckeye with three hits.

Norwayne 15-11, Cloverleaf 10-5

CRESTON — Twenty-two hits weren’t enough for the Colts (1-8) to earn a win against the Bobcats (4-5) in this non-league doubleheader. Cloverleaf’s Jayson Sykora had a big day with three singles, a double, a triple and five RBIs, while Dylan Horner added four singles. The Colts blew an 8-1 lead in the first game, while Norwayne scored in all six innings of the second game, which saw three hits from Cloverleaf’s Freddy Wells.

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or

Albert Grindle About Albert Grindle

Albert Grindle is a sportswriter for the Gazette. He can be reached at 330-721-4043 or