The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

April 3, 2013

Warriors come out swinging

Edgewood flexes its muscle in besting Grand Valley, Ledgemont

(Continued)

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Edgewood 12, Ledgemont 1

Things didn’t start off quite as smooth against Ledgemont for the Warriors, although the result was the same.

Edgewood freshmen pitcher Matt DiDonato, who is the team’s starting shortstop, ran into some problems in the top of the first, loading the bases with one out. But the young pitcher was able to work out of the jam with just one run — a bases loaded walk allowed to Griffin Degener that scored Kyle LaRosa.

“Let’s just attribute a lot of that to the cold weather,” Lipps said. “I think Matt’s elbow area tightened a little bit so we’ll evaluate that and get him back at short tomorrow, hopefully. He’s going to be a big part of what we do. He didn’t have a hit today but I thought he hit the ball well.”

While the Redskins held a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first, it was all Edgewood from there as the Warriors scored the next 12 runs of the game.

Graeb led things off with a double to deep left then McLaughlin was hit by a pitch. Magda brought home Graeb on a fielder’s choice to second and Steven Perkio drove in McLaughlin on a single to left.

Junior Joey Zappitelli came on in relief of DiDonato in the second and ran into similar control issues early on, but just as DiDonato did in the first, Zappitelli worked out of it.

After loading the bases with two walks and a single, Zappitelli got Kyle Sudrier to line out to left to get out of the second unscathed.

“I told (Zappitelli) ‘let’s just say it’s cold and early in the season,’ ” Lipps said of Zappitelli’s first inning on the mound. “Overall, I thought Joey threw really well.”

Zappitelli went on to throw four innings, striking out six, allowing just three hits and no runs in earning his first win of the season.

Ledgemont coach John Wakim felt the missed opportunities early on proved costly for this team.

“It was our first game, but we got in one scrimmage so there’s no excuses,” he said. “Offensively I’ve got a lot of young guys in the lineup and it showed today. Bases loaded in the first inning, bases loaded in the second inning and we only plated one run.”

While Zappitelli sat the Redskins down on the mound, Edgewood added runs at the plate. Shawn Hodge scored on a wild pitch, another Graeb double plated Alex Newsome and Wisnyai hammered a single to center to score Graeb.

“I thought Alex Newsome had a great at-bat in the Ledgemont game with two strikes,” Lipps said. “We did a little damage with two outs and put a little pressure on them.”

Catcher Alex Kisha added to the Edgewood lead when he scored Devon Mauer on a double to left then came home on a single by Newsome to push the lead to 7-1.

“Kisha did a real nice job behind the plate and had a big double for us,” Lipps said.

Edgewood exploded for five runs in the home half of the fourth, led by a Wisnyai triple, to give the Warriors a 12-1 lead.

Kisha would throw out an attempted steal by the Redskins to end the game in a run-rule in the top of the fifth.

“Their pitchers did a nice job throwing strikes,” Wakim said. “They made us put the ball in play but really hats off to their outfield, they made some nice plays. It’s early in the season we’ve only been outside only a couple times. But, no excuses, the better team won today.”

Edgewood has also been crammed into the gym for the last month, as most northeast Ohio teams have been so far this season.

So, perhaps the biggest win wasn’t beating the Redskins or Mustangs, but simply getting outside and on a field.

“This field looked horrible at 8 a.m.,” Lipps said. “These kids worked their rear ends off this morning before the game to get the chance to play some baseball.

“They put in some hard work. It was completely frozen, it was like walking on a rocky driveway. They did a lot of work on it and they got the reward of two wins.”

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