Elyria Catholic Panthers win third straight against Avon Eagles

ELYRIA — Following a week off due to rain-postponements, Elyria Catholic was eager to get back on the field and build off its last two outings, both wins, after starting the season off 0-3.

Thanks to a solid outing from starter Chris Tomshack and timely hitting, the Panthers were able to extend their winning streak to three, beating Avon, 4-2, in West Shore Conference action on Monday afternoon.

“It was nice to get back out there and get a win,” Elyria Catholic’s head coach Bruce Lisicky said. “Avon has really had our number lately, and they beat us three times last year, so it was good to see my guys come out on top of this one.”

Avon had chances to jump ahead early in the game, but couldn’t come through with a big hit.

After stranding two runners in the first inning, the Eagles had another opportunity to score in the second. Andrew Lee got things started with a single to right field before Alex Tomko reached on an error during a sacrifice bunt attempt. Both runners then advanced on a passed ball, giving the Eagles runners on second and third with no one out. Unfortunately for Avon, Tomshack settled down and stuck out the next two batters, then got junior Ian Long to ground out to third and leave both runners stranded.

“I thought Chris did a very solid job for us today, working out of jams and throwing strikes,” Lisicky said. “We try to preach the same thing to all of our pitchers, throw strikes and rely on the defense, and Chris definitely did that today. He set the tone early on and never let up.”

While Tomshack was shutting down the Eagles, Elyria Catholic’s offense woke up in the third inning and began to get to Avon starter Austin Bevins.

With two on and no one out, Elyria Catholic’s Luke Redmond laid down such a perfect sacrifice bunt that turned into a single, loading the bases. Dan Whitacre then ripped an RBI-single to give the Panthers their first run of the game.

Joey Begany followed up with another single, this one scoring two and giving Elyria Catholic a 3-0 lead after three.

“We know when the guys get on in front of us, it’s our job to bring them in,” Whitacre said. “It was nice for both of us to deliver like that today. The main thing I try to do out there is put the ball in play, you do that and good things will usually happen.”

Avon responded in the bottom of the fourth with a run of their own, thanks to a two-out single from Johnny Morales that scored Kevin Maloney to cut the deficit to 3-1.

In the top half of the fourth, Whitacre came through for the Panther’s once again, knocking in another run with a two-out single to give his team a 4-1 lead.

“It’s definitely nice to have those two (Whitacre, Begany) in the middle of our lineup,” Lisicky said. “They’ve been coming up big for us all year and really carrying the offense. If the players ahead of them get on, one of them is going to deliver.”

Avon cut the lead to 4-2 in the fifth inning thanks to an RBI-double from Donny Kelly, who was later stranded at third.

Tomshack shut the Eagles down in the sixth, and Whitacre relieved him in the seventh, also shutting Avon down and picking up his first save of the year.

Despite the loss, Bevins pitched solid for five innings, allowing just five hits and three earned runs.

“I thought Austin did a solid job today, but once again he didn’t get the run support needed,” Avon head coach Frank Desmit said. “That has been our problem all season, the lack of hitting and run support. If we can get our offense going, we will be a good team.”

Elyria Catholic 4, Avon 2

West Shore Conference

Avon (3-7, 0-2) 000 110 0 — 2 6 1

Elyria Catholic (3-3, 1-0) 003 100 x — 4 5 2

TWO HITS OR MORE — Elyria Catholic: Dan Whitacre; 2B — Avon: Donny Kelly, Alex Tomko; WP— Chris Tomshack (1-1); LP — Austin Bevins (1-1).


Last Updated: 4/15/2013 11:19:31 PM EST

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