Heading Logo


Stow baseball starting to find offense

By MICHAEL LEONARD Sports Editor Published: April 30, 2017 12:00 AM
  • 1 of 1 Photos | View More Photos

Perhaps the phrase that best describes Stow-Munroe Falls baseball this season is "consistently inconsistent."

The Bulldogs played four very different games last week and came away with a 2-2 record.

On April 22 at home, Stow dropped a 6-1 loss to Uniontown Lake.

Stow then travelled to Water Works Park April 24 and avenged an earlier loss to Cuyahoga Falls with a 7-1 win.

On April 25, the Bulldogs took the advantage early at home vs. Brecksville-Broadview Heights, only to see a Bees' rally with six runs in the sixth inning to win 9-8.

[Article continues below]

Finally, Stow travelled to Brecksville April 26 and came home with an 7-2 victory.

Stow's record stands at 7-10, 4-6 in the Suburban League National Conference.

Bulldogs coach Aaron DeBord admits the first month of the season has been an up-and-down ride for the Bulldogs.

"We've had good days and bad days," DeBord said. "We're feeling good about how we're playing right now. Hopefully, we can keep the ball rolling."

The game against Lake was frustrating, as Stow left 11 men on base, including leaving the bases loaded twice.

[Article continues below]

"I thought we played really well against Lake," DeBord said. "We just didn't get the one big hit that we needed. In some ways, that's the story of our season."

Stow's lone run came in the bottom of the sixth, when Collin Lang walked, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on an RBI groundout by shortstop Nick O'Verko.

Stephen Falbo took the loss for Stow, as he gave up three runs on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 3.67 innings of works. Brett Rhodes kept Stow in the game by pitching 2.33 innings of scoreless relief, but Lake got three runs in the top of the seventh inning off Stow reliever Declan Ange.

Stow played one of its best games of the season against Cuyahoga Falls, with Lang playing a starring role.

Lang went the distance, giving up one earned run on two hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

After throwing a no-hitter in his previous outing, Falls starter Will Rightley had a tougher time against the Bulldogs. Rightley gave up seven runs (five earned) on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Lang opened the scoring with a two-run double in the top of the first inning. He then doubled and scored on an RBI single from Griffin Mohney in the fourth inning.

In the fifth inning, a single by Matt Conger and a steal set up Stow first baseman Eric Schilling for an RBI single. Schilling then stole second and scored on an RBI single from Lang.

Stow loaded the bases in the sixth inning with a single from Zach Meyerson, a walk and hit batsman. Schilling then smacked a two-run double to make it 7-0.

Senior Nate Vassalotti drove in Falls' lone run with an RBI single in the top of the seventh, but that would be it for Falls' offense.

"We showed up with a different level of focus that day," DeBord said. "We did what we needed to do for us. Collin Lang did a great job for us, not on the mound, but at the plate. He gave us a chance."

Stow's offense continued to hum against Brecksville.

On April 25, Stow put up four runs in the first inning, thanks to a single by Conger, two errors, an RBI sacrifice fly from Jordan Jolly and an RBI single from third baseman Thomas McLaughlin.

Stow took a 6-2 lead after three innings, as a single by Lang, a double by McLaughlin, an error and a sacrifice bunt by O'Verko put Stow in front.

The problem was the Bees stung Stow for six runs in the sixth inning, as Stow needed three pitchers to get out of the inning.

Down 9-6, Stow tried to rally in the bottom of the sixth inning. After back-to-back singles by Nathan Hallam and Rhodes, Schilling hit an RBI double and Rhodes scored on a wild pitch. However, Stow would get no closer.

"Against Brecksville, the offense was alive. We got a couple of big hits," DeBord said. "We just couldn't get ahead of their batters. In the sixth inning, they just started to put the ball in play and put it in play in bunches. I thought we fought back really well."

In the rematch April 27 at Brecksville, Stow's offense kept coming.

Stow got out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning, thanks to an RBI single from Max Stillisano, a two-run single from Mohney and a wild pitch.

Stow added a run in the fifth, thanks to an RBI single from Jolly.

The Bees tried to make things interesting in the bottom of the sixth inning when Jordan Shaheen launched a two-run home run to cut it to 5-2.

However, Stow played long ball itself in the top of the seventh, as Meyerson and Schilling each belted solo home runs to left field.

O'Verko picked up the win for Stow, allowing two runs off five hits with four strikeouts in six innings of work.

Stow was set to face Aurora April 28 and Kent Roosevelt April 29, but results weren't available at press time.

The Bulldogs will close out their National Conference schedule this week, traveling to Nordonia May 1 and North Royalton May 2, before hosting the Bears May 3. First pitch for all games is at 4:30 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC

Twitter:@MLeonard_RPC


Rate this article

Do you want to leave a comment?   Please Log In or Register to comment.