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Championship form: Matt Morissette’s shutout gives Avon Lake Shoremen district title
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Avon Lake’s Matt Morissette delivers a pitch during the bottom of the second inning against Midview in the Division I Lorain District Final at The Pipe Yard in Lorain on Saturday.
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE The Shoremen celebrate as Matt Morissette makes the final strikeout in the bottom of the seventh inning against Midview in the Division I Lorain District Final at The Pipe Yard in Lorain on Saturday.
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Avon Lake’s Kyle Kuhar makes contact during the the second inning against Midview at The Pipe Yard on Saturday.
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Avon Lake's Tommy Reighard makes contact during the top of the fifth inning against Midview in the Division I Lorain District Final at The Pipe Yard in Lorain on Saturday.
Using the same formula they did in their district semifinal win over Amherst Friday, the Shoremen scored early and often against Midview. Avon Lake also got its second straight outstanding pitching performance — this one from Matt Morissette — to propel them to a 6-0 Division I Lorain District Final win Saturday at the Pipe Yard.
This is Avon Lake’s (17-10) first district championship since 2005 and will play St. Ignatius in the regional semifinals next Thursday at 5:00 p.m. at Case Western Reserve University.
“We were real loose to start,” Avon Lake coach Kevin Marlow said. “For whatever reason, we seem to make better contact against guys who throw a little harder. Their first guy threw pretty good ... We were able to be aggressive and push three across.”
It didn’t take long for the Shoremen to get the bats going against Midview (21-7) starter Derrick Stephenson.
With one out in the top of the first inning, a walked followed by a pair of singles loaded the bases. Helping himself out, Morissette singled to center to score Jeramiah Campo and Brad Hamilton. Matt Russell singled to left to score which plated Kyle Kuhar and give Avon Lake a 3-0 lead.
“Everyone is hitting and gets ton of momentum,” Morissette said. “We not necessarily getting huge hit(s) every time, but we are putting the ball into play. Everyone is doing their part and a great job.
“We all confident in each other... We don’t have to rely on one person and that just makes everyone feel more comfortable.”
After allowing the first runner to get on, Morissette picked the runner off first and kept the Middies off the board.
Picking up where they left off, the Shoremen tacked on three more runs in the second inning against Stephenson. Hamilton and Kuhar (two hits) each had RBIs, while David Winkel scored on a double steal.
The six-run lead proved to be more than enough for Morissette.
Playing in a big park and mixing his pitches well — especially his curveball, Morissette was outstanding. In pitching seven innings for the first time, he allowed only six hits and didn’t allow a single runner to reach third base. He was also the beneficiary of some outstanding defense. In particular the outfield of Winkel, Campo and Jace Russell, who recorded 10 put-outs.
“This is pretty close to my best game (I ever pitched),” said Morissette, who improved to 4-1. “The outfield was outstanding. They caught everything out there. I felt so confident every time they hit it. I didn’t feel any pressure. Pitching with a lead just makes everything easier.”
Though trailing 6-0, the Middies were able to keep the score right there thanks to an outstanding performance by Ben Milam. Coming in relief of Stephenson with two outs in the second inning, Milam shut down Avon Lake. He threw 4 1/3 innings and allowed just one hit. Patrick Higley threw a scoreless seventh.
While the season came to an end, Midview had a tremendous season. Along with winning the West Shore Conference and reaching the district finals for only the fourth time in school history, they set a new school record for most wins in a season.
“We hit the ball well,” Midview coach Scott Jalowiec said. “We just couldn’t string two or three together. It was a good experience for us. We have seven guys coming back and have a good sophomore class coming back, so we’ll be back.”
The fantastic season the Middies had almost didn’t happen.
“Realistically, we probably shouldn’t have been here,” Jalowiec said. “They were going to say no sports (if the levy failed in February). Thank you to the all the voters that voted for this levy and gave us this opportunity to accomplish our goals.”
Avon Lake 6, Midview 0
Division I Lorain District
Avon Lake (17-10) 330 000 0 — 6 8 0
Midview (21-7) 000 000 0 — 0 6 0
TWO HITS OR MORE — Avon Lake: Kyle Kuhar, Matt Russell; Midview: Eric Lauer, Austun Steindl; 2B — AL: Russell; M: Lauer, Ben Milam ; WP — Matt Morissette (4-1); LP — Derrick Stephenson (4-2).
Last Updated: 5/28/2013 9:01:54 PM EST