The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

May 6, 2014

Urgent Falcons pull even

Jefferson in dead heat for AAC title

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — After Sunday’s Division II tournament draw, there was a tournament feel at Cotton Field in Jefferson as the Falcons, who were voted the top seed in their district, squared off with All-American Conference opponent Poland.

Although it wasn’t a tournament game, it did figure prominently in the race for the AAC title as the Falcons staved off the Bulldogs 5-3 to pull into a tie for the lead in the conference.

“This is huge, it puts us right back into a tie with them,” Jefferson coach Scott Barber said. “This was a good experience for us. A 5-3 game against a good opponent where every out matters. It was good to see us get those nervous situations out of the way because that’s every day in the tournament.”

Edgewood also has just 2 losses in the AAC.

Brandon Reinke delivered the knockout blow in the top of bottom of the fifth with the game tied at 3.

Reinke, who was 3-3 with a double in the game, smaked a single up the middle that scored pinch runner Kurtis Fusco and Chris Wittenmyer to put Jefferson up, 5-3.

“That was very big,” Barber said. “We had a couple of chances and you gotta come through in games like these. In a 5-3 game that hit makes a big difference.

“Brandon has been playing a good second base and hitting the ball. He’s just been playing the game really well.”

Falcons starting pitcher Coltin Wilber (4-1) battled through some command issues at times to give up 3 runs (only 1 earned) in 5 innings pitched to earn the win.

Wilber stranded  Poland baserunners in each inning he pitched, the biggest of which came in the top of the fourth and fifth.

After walking the first two batters he faced in the fourth, Wilber came back to get three-straight groundouts to hold the Bulldogs scoreless.

Then in the top of the fifth, after Pat Carlozzi scored after singling and stealing second, Wilber worked out of a runners on first and second with 1 out situation by getting a fly out and strikeout to end the threat.

“I think Colten threw strikes when he needed to,” Barber said. “I don’t think he had his best stuff today but he worked through a couple jams. He got his pitch count up around 115 through 5 innings which is very abnormal for him.

“That’s a tribute to them, too, though. They knew to take the pitches they needed to take.”

Chris Wittenmyer knocked in Joey Piscsalko to open the scoring for Jefferson in the bottom of the third.

Trailing 2-1, Brandon Reinke doubled to lead off the fourth and came home on a fielders choice.

Then Steven Houser singled home Ethan Pawlowski. The hit was one of four singles on the game for Houser.

“Houser had a great game,” Barber said.

Conversely, Poland coach Rich Murray felt there was little his team did well.

“(Poor) performance all around, to be honest,” he said. “I didn’t think we pitched real well, didn’t hit real well, didn’t field real well, we didn’t run the bases well.

“They pitched well and they made the plays when they had to make the plays and they got the hits when they had to get the hits, so I give them all the credit. We didn’t play real well but they played a good game.”

Pawlowski came on in relief for Wilber to earn a 2-inning save.

He retired the side in order in the sixth, the first time in the game either team went down without a base runner in an inning.

In the 7th, he gave up a 1-out double to Carlozzi (3 hits, 4 steals) but retired the next two Poland batters in order to close the game out.

“Ethan is one of those ones who’s been working hard kind of as our closer but we haven’t had to use him a lot,” Barber said. “He doesn’t have a lot of innings pitched, but he’s working hard. He’s one of those kids that wants the baseball.”

While the win evens up Jefferson (13-6, 5-2) and Poland (12-4, 5-2) in conference play, the tie won’t last long as the Falcons travel to Poland today.

“I don’t know if they were still at prom or what, but we weren’t ready to play today,” Murray said. “Hopefully, we’re a different team tomorrow, luckily we get to play them tomorrow.

“(It’s) definitely (good) if we play well. If we play like we did today, it won’t be fun, either.”

The last time the Falcons were in a similar situation, they dispatched Niles at home in 5 innings before falling to the Dragons the next day in the same fashion.

Barber doesn’t expect a similar let down today.

“(The win) is not big if you don’t get the win tomorrow, this is like tournament baseball,” Barber said. “I think we learned our lesson last time against Niles, when we didn’t come ready to pitch. (Kurtis) Fusco will be on the mound again to pitch, just like at Niles, but I think we’ve got a little different attitude in the dugout.

“We’re a different team than we were two weeks ago.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SB1 Let’s play another

    It pays to have the right hitters at the plate at the right time.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Outlaws roll again

    They may be Outlaws by name, but the Northeast Ohio-based Ohio Outlaws Gold are certainly running with the in crowd at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va.

    July 30, 2014

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Bearcat Gavorski on the mend

    Paying another visit to the variety store...

    On the mend
    Arguably the most decorated soccer player to every come out of the Star Beacon coverage area is down — temporarily — but anything but out.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tribe Not quite enough

    Although the Indians are still very much mathematically alive in the race for a postseason berth, they continue not to look like a playoff team. And when they have put a run together, they haven’t been able to maintain the habit of playing winning baseball.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Outlaws win opener

    The Ohio Outlaws Gold did not start well at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va. on Monday, but they sure did finish their opening encounter with a flourish.

    July 28, 2014

  • Racing remains at the fore

    Raceway 7’s Crate Late Models had an unsanctioned $1000 to win 25-lap feature with Kyle Zimmerman picking up the lion’s share of the glory after leading the entire distance for his first win of 2014.

    July 28, 2014

  • Coming attractions

    While it seems only yesterday school was letting out and summer vacation was starting, the time for respite will have the curtain drop for area high school football players this week.

    July 28, 2014

  • AREA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGES:

    TUESDAY, AUG. 12

    • Lake Catholic at Perry (10)

    July 28, 2014

  • Lexi Outlaws gunning for national title in Virginia

    There’s gold in their name and that’s just what the Ohio Outlaws Gold softball squad is gunning for at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals this week in Salem, Va.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Brandon Easton A Don McCormack column:Easton on right pitch in Florida

    Paying a Monday morning visit to the variety store...

    Firing away
    The second summer as a professional baseball player has been an excellent one for Brandon Easton, to this point.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video