Coming off their first loss of the year, a gut-wrenching 2-1 defeat at Conneaut, first-year Edgewood coach Bill Lipps wanted his team to respond with a strong performance.
The Warriors did just that at Madison on Thursday, hammering out 14 hits and taking advantage of five Blue Streak errors to cruise to an 11-1 non-conference win.
“We talked yesterday about bouncing back and I think we had some pretty good at-bats early in the game,” Lipps said. “We scored four in that third inning. I thought Dylan McCaleb (2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 stolen bases) did a really good job. At Perry, he had a 3 RBI game and now today.”
Hitting in the seventh spot and starting in centerfield, McCaleb knocked in two runs with a single in the top of the third to score Jimmy Wilson and Tyler Wawrowski making the score 5-0.
That was more than enough runs for Edgewood pitcher Tony Magda.
The sophomore was near dominant at times, allowing just one run over his five innings of work in his first win of the season.
Although he walked four, he canceled that out with seven strikeouts and allowing just two hits.
“He had an 81-pitch outing and I really could’ve thrown him in the sixth, but I wanted to throw Devon Mauer and Tyler (Wawrowski),” Lipps said. “So we knew what we wanted to do, it was a matter of how many pitches was it going to take Tony to get us there. He’s still learning, he’s only 15. He’s built... he’s not built like your average 15-year-old. He’s got a little bit of giddy up on his fastball.
“I thought he did a really good job and was in control for the most part throughout the whole game.”
While Magda was getting it done on the mound, his teammates were being productive at the plate.
Zach Popely went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two stolen bases to set things up for Bobby Dragon, who pounded out two doubles in addition to three RBI.
Cleanup hitter Jeff Imbrogno had three singles to go with an RBI while Jimmy Wilson knocked in a run off a double — a scorching line drive that bounced off the second baseman’s glove into no man’s land in right field.
Lipps singled out Popely’s performance as important for setting up the power portion of his lineup.
“(Popely) is kind of a quiet very good baseball player,” he said. “He knows the game, he’s one of the few guys through our lineup that really hits the ball foul line to foul line. He’s a very, very good second baseman. He probably has a little more pop than most people think at the bat and he does drive the ball pretty well.
“He’s had some really good at-bats for us and he was a really good table setter for us today.”
While the Warriors (5-1) were hitting the ball, the Blue Streaks had trouble fielding it.
Errors in the first, third, fifth and seventh all extended innings and a past ball on a strikeout allowed Edgewood to score in the third.
All told, Madison (2-3) had an uncharacteristic five errors, something Blue Streaks coach B.J. Titman said he anticipated when his team came out of the gate flat.
“It was one of those days I kind of felt when we came out their heads were not in the game,” he said. “When we came out to warm up they were lackadaisical, going through the motions. You don’t ever expect it to be that bad, but you could see it was going to be one of those days. We can’t have that, we’re not one of those teams, we gotta keep being sharp.”
With the win, the Warriors have gotten off to a quick start in their first six games under Lipps.
He admits it’s tough to predict where he thought his team would be at this point, but is happy with the start nonetheless.
“I don’t know if we thought we’d be 5-1, I don’t know if you can project what your record is going to be and all that other stuff,” he said. “We’re happy right now to come back with a win after a loss Tuesday. I’d rather be 6-0. But we’re really happy about bouncing back and getting a win and beating a Division I school, we really talk about that.
“This is a bigger school, we can get the mentality of having a little bit of confidence and being aggressive and beating a school like Madison at their place. Those are important things to us.”