MASSILLON — A gritty group of Warriors battled to the bitter end, but it wasn’t enough as Cleveland Central Catholic won 7-3 to earn a spot in today’s Division III regional final.
Edgewood ended the season at 15-9, while the Crusaders are scheduled to play Waynedale at noon today in the regional final. Waynedale blanked Kirtland 8-0 in Friday’s first regional semifinal.
The regional semifinal games were pushed back to Friday because of inclement weather Thursday.
The Warriors jumped out to a quick start with a first-inning run as Frank Sloan singled in Chris Morici.
Edgewood doubled its lead in the second inning when James Gross knocked in Garrett Webster with a sacrifice fly.
The lead held until the third inning when the Crusaders hit a long double to centerfield to score two base runners and tie the game at 2-2.
In the top of the fifth inning, CCC broke the tie on a single.
The Crusaders held the Warriors in check, then the got to relief pitcher Alec Katon in the top of the seven for four runs.
Edgewood baseball coach Sean Freeman said he pulled started Frank Sloan because of pitch count.
CCC received a single, hit batter and single to load the bases.
A close play at the plate kept things in check, but a throwing error by Sloan led to two runs and a hit
by Chris Wilson scored two more.
The Warriors scored a seventh-inning run on a double by Brendan Freeborn, but
the game ended on a
Freeman said he thought the team had a chance to be good this year and always came back and never quit.
He said Sloan and Katon carried the load all season and the senior leadership made the trip to regionals possible.
“It was a good ball game all the way through,” Freeman said. “My kids have played well all season. They have represented Edgewood High School and Ashtabula County well. We have been in jams all year and we have gotten out of them.”
A fielding gem by Jacob Zappitelli kept the Warriors in the game when he caught a leaping line drive at doubled up the runner.
Freeborn had two hits for Edgewood.
CCCC head coach Dan Massarelli said he didn’t have a chance to scout the Warriors too much, but watched their swings from the start of the game.
“With our pitching, I knew we would be competitive,” he said.