Elyria Catholic Panthers rout Berea Braves at Progressive Field

CLEVELAND — Elyria Catholic took advantage of shaky pitching Friday evening to run-rule Berea 10-0 in the Cleveland Indians Charities Hardball Classic at Progressive Field.

According to several players, including starter Dominic Piazza (2 IP, 3 K) the Panthers’ blowout win is dedicated to Elyria Catholic principal Amy Butler, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The Panthers wore pink arm bands in support of Butler.

“It felt amazing to play in this venue and get a win for our principal,” Piazza said. “We had to go out there and play great as a team. It was just fun.”

The route began with walks issued to Zach Brosky and Luke Redmond to begin the contest. Braves starting pitcher Alan Torres followed with a pair of wild pitches that allowed Brosky to score and Redmond to reach third.

Redmond scored the next at-bat when second baseman Austin Barnhart mishandled a grounder off the bat of Dan Whitacre. He made his way to second on a catcher’s interference and to third on a single down the third baseline by Joey Begany. Whitacre notched the third and final run of the first when Ian Kovacs grounded the ball to shortstop Shawn Bucy for a fielder’s choice.

Piazza allowed a one-out double to Barhart in the bottom half of the frame, and saw the runner advance on a sacrifice bunt the next at-bat, but struck out Zach Bycznski to end the threat.

Jacob Miller relieved Torres in the second, but Berea’s reliever had little more success against Elyria Catholic’s lineup. Taylor Reiser reached on another error at second base and reached second on Brosky’s bloop single in no-man’s land behind first base.

Redmond brought home Reiser on a grounder past Bycznski at first before Whitacre and Begany added RBI singles of their own.

Begany went 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs. He also relieved Piazza after the second inning, pitching to scoreless frames with a pair of strikeouts to add to a performance that earned him star of the game honors.

“It feels really good, especially in front of a stadium full of people like this,” Begany said. “It’s been an amazing experience.”

The Panthers put up another run in the fourth to give themselves a 7-0 advantage, making coach Bruce Lisicky’s biggest dilemma finding an opportunity for his entire roster to step onto Progressive Field.

“I think the toughest thing was getting 21 kids in the game today in five innings,” Lisicky said. “I had it all planned out but then it started moving so fast. But that was the most important thing, to let the kids experience that.”

Having come on for Miller and pitch a scoreless fourth for the Braves, Alex Agresta struggled on the mound for the Braves in the fifth. After punching out pinch hitter Brian Mahilo to begin the fifth, Agresta walked another replacement, Angelo Cruz, and allowed him to reach second on a wild pitch. Cruz scored on Jake Hromada’s single to right.

Hromada moved to second when Redmond chopped into a fielder’s choice and reached third on a wild pitch. Begany plated the pinch hitter the same at-bat for his second RBI of the day, a single that dribbled past the gap between first and second base.

The situation further unraveled for Agresta when he walked a batter and hit another to load the bases. A free pass issued to Noah Bland pushed home Begany, giving the Panthers a 10-0 lead.

Sidearmer Darion Katynski relieved Begany in the fifth and kept Berea off the board to seal the run-ruling.

Elyria Catholic closes out the season next week with a grueling stretch that includes a game against Midview on Monday, Bay Village on Tuesday, Avon on Wednesday, North Ridgeville on Thursday and a doubleheader against Oberlin on Saturday.

“We have a tournament draw on Sunday so we’re hoping to add on six more wins before then,” Lisicky said. “Hopefully we advance to the tournament. After playing In a venue like this, it might be secondary.

In Friday’s nightcap between St. Ignatius and Avon Lake the Wildcats scored early and often which was all they needed to rip off a 9-1 victory.

St. Ignatius (9-5) turned six straight hits into five runs off the Shoremen in the bottom of the first and added another run in the third to give themselves a 6-0 edge.

Notching only three hits to the Wildcats’ 15, Avon Lake plated their lone run in the top of the sixth off reliever Matt Lynch. Matt Russell started things with a leadoff single and made his way to third on back-to-back wild pitches. He came home the following at- bat on a fielder’s choice.

Ignatius countered in the bottom half of the frame with three more runs to leave no doubt.


Last Updated: 4/27/2013 12:02:26 AM EST

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