The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

May 6, 2012

Falcons hand GV first ‘L’

Mustangs recover for split of South County doubleheader

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — It’s not often when a baseball game ends that both coaches are pleased with the outcome.

But, after Jefferson and Grand Valley split a doubleheader Saturday at Cotton Field, with the Falcons ending the Mustangs’ perfect season with an 11-2 win in the first game the Mustangs avenging that loss with a 6-3 win the second, both coaches saw plenty of positives.

“I think we got what we needed, we got pitchers work,” Jefferson coach Scott Barber said. “Maybe take it like (GV coach) Russ (Bell) says, a loss to be a positive in this situation. We’re not so bad as we all think we are.

“I think this is one day we both looked for seeing some pressure situations and those situations built on the defenses in both games and you just take advantage of that offensively and that’s where you get your runs in high school baseball.”

Bell agreed that his team, despite dropping its first contest of the season but still finishing the year an outstanding 25-1, got exactly what it needed headed into next week’s tournament.

“I feel like this kind of baseball is good for both teams going into the tournament,” he said. “It helps us prepare. You always want to play top competition coming into the tournament and I think that was accomplished for both of us, so that makes for a good day.”

In the first game, it was Jefferson (17-6) taking advantage of some rare Mustang defensive blunders to put runs on the board.

Trailing 1-0 in the third, Scott Davidson singled to left and advanced

to second on an Ethan Pawlowski bunt, which was misplayed, allowing both runners to advance.

Then a bunt single by Chase Stowe, and throwing error, got Jefferson on the board. Joey Piscsalko followed with a sacrifice fly to left, allowing Pawlowski to score.

Andy Santiago doubled to left, scoring  and Ryan Hayes followed with a bloop single to left that allowed Santiago to come home, giving Jefferson a 4-1 lead.

“I think we were trying to speed things up and Jefferson being aggressive obviously pushed that,” Bell said. “On a few of those bunts we took a peak at the lead runner when we shouldn’t have instead of making the plays.”

The Falcons tacked on five more runs to put the game away in the sixth. Kyle Ashburn walked, Davidson singled and Powlowski was hit by an A.J. Henson pitch to load the bases before Stowe delivered a bases clearing double to left field.

He later scored on an error and Ryan Hayes brought in Joey Piscsalko with a sacrifice fly to center.

That was more than enough run support for the Jefferson pitching staff.

Cole Erdel allowed just five hits and two runs during with 5.2 innings of work, striking out two and walking one.

“That’s been Cole all year,” Barber said. “He pounded the strike zone, worked through some things and had some good stuff today. He can go a little better but he’s a good athlete and a good competitor so he works through a lot of things.”

Brice Comp came on to throw the final 1.1 innings, not allowing a run.

The win was particular special for Barber as it was his 200th as coach of his alma mater, where he also starred as a player.

Barber, who credits his assistant coaches as well faculty and community support for his success, said numbers such as 200 wins aren’t things that he thought about when he started coaching.

“You don’t really think about it,” he said. “We’ve got such a great program here from the little kids playing ball to the high school kids the facilites we have to use and the baseball mentality of the community so that part is easy.

“They buy into what we want to put out there as coaches. So I couldn’t ask for a better place to coach. It’s nice the way everything came together. You win a good game against a good opponent at a good time in the year. All bonuses.”

Following the excitement for Barber’s accomplishment, as well as senior day festivities for the Falcons, and the disappointment in GV’s first loss of the season, the Mustangs were able to gather themselves to bounce back in the second game.

Similar to how the Falcons used GV’s mistakes to collect a win in the first game, the Mustangs took advantage of Jefferson’s defensive miscues to score all six of their runs in the fifth inning.

As Kurtis Fusco seemed to be cruising, having thrown 4.2 innings of shutout baseball and already gotten two outs, GV’s offense heated up.

Kyle Orgovan drew a two-out walk and as Kyle Hodge looked to be caught stealing third, catcher Nick Stranman’s throw went into no man’s land in left field allowing Hodge to score.

Mitchell Lake followed with a single then an error on a Henson ball hit to short loaded the bases.

Starting pitcher Jeromy Rockafellow helped his own cause with a two-run double to center and Adam Moodt, who took the loss in the first game, brought home two more with a triple down the right field line.

Mason Berkey brought Moodt home in the next at-bat and when the inning finally ended Jefferson found itself down, 6-1.

“We’re both very good ball clubs, that’s what it takes, taking advantage of mistakes,” Bell said. “This time they gave us this now we had to make them pay for making mistakes.

“Anytime you wait this long to have your first loss you’re always interested to see how the kids are going to react and obviously they reacted very positively and that was one thing they said, obviously we hate losing and we don’t want to do it again.”

Barber admitted it’s difficult to come back from an inning when you allow six unearned runs.

“I’m sure Russ talked about it in the first game,” he said. “Unearned runs and you have a close game, you don’t have an 11-run game.

Unearned there and we might win a 2-1 game. We  pitched and played, except for that one inning, well enough to win. It’s tough mentally on a pitcher. It’s tough mentally coming back, it puts pressure on you at the plate.”

Jefferson gained a 1-0 advantage when Santiago hammered a ball over the centerfield wall at Cotton Field.

Barber said he hopes that ball will spark the senior No. 3 hitter going into next week.

“I hope he does (have more confidence), he’s got some work to do,” he said. “He’s not where he needs to be. He’s a good hitter no matter what, but he’s not where he needs to be and not where we need him to be for tournament.”

The shot was Santiago’s fourth of the year.

Bell admitted to being disappointed about not maintaining the undefeated season, but believed the Mustangs will benefit from playing the All-American Conference champion Falcons as well as showing they can bounce back from a loss.

“We knew these guys were going to come and play good baseball, they’re a real good team,” he said. “I don’t know if there’s any consolation in a loss, but the biggest thing is when you’re undefeated and you lose for the first time you need to learn to bounce back.”

Getting the win for GV in the second game was Rockafellow, who threw a complete game, striking out seven and walking five while allowing three runs (two earned).

The Mustangs tournament begins on Tuesday in the Division sectional final when they host the winner of the Cardinal-Berkshire game.

Jefferson still has remaining regular season games, but begins postseason play on Friday when it hosts the winner of the Conneaut-Harvey game in a sectional final.

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon print edition.



Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon replica edition

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

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