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Baseball finds offense during win streak

By MICHAEL LEONARD Sports Editor Published: April 30, 2017 12:00 AM
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TWINSBURG -- When it comes to the Hudson baseball team, one of the game's most iconic moments simply doesn't happen that often.

Coach Buddy Dice has always trained his players to be more like Ty Cobb than Babe Ruth.

So when the Explorers do hit a home run, you can bet the dugout is going to celebrate.

On April 24 at Dodge Field in Twinsburg, an early home run by senior second baseman Spencer McClure led the Explorers to a 6-0 win over the Tigers

After that victory, the hits kept coming for Hudson in a two-game series with Wadsworth. On April 25 at Wadsworth, the Explorers posted a commanding 19-4 victory over the Grizzlies. The game was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

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On April 26 at The Ballpark at Hudson, it was a much tighter affair, but the Explorers scored an 2-1 win over Wadsworth in eight innings for their fifth straight win.

Hudson moved to 13-4 overall and 8-3 in the Suburban League National Conference as of press time.

"It's nice to see us play from ahead," Dice said April 24. "We feel like we have gotten better even since the first time we played. We put it all together."

The Explorers jumped on the Tigers for four runs in the second inning.

Catcher Grant Gedeon drew a leadoff walk. Then, McClure smashed his two-run home run over the 18-foot fence in left field to make it 2-0.

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According to Dice, it was Hudson's first home run since the 2015 season.

After an infield single by Matt Oscarson and center fielder Nolan Laughlin getting hit by a pitch, shortstop Hayden Knox smacked a two-out, two-run double to the left-field line to make it 4-0.

That was all the run support Hudson right-hander Johnny Merrill needed. Merrill (2-2) went the distance, pitching a complete-game shutout, allowing five hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

"We did have a few errors, but Johnny pitched very well," Dice said. "It was good game all around."

Twinsburg's best scoring chance came in the bottom of the the second inning, as the Tigers loaded the bases with one out. Merrill struck out two Tigers to end the the threat.

Hudson got another run in the third inning.

McClure singled and stole second, followed by a walk to third baseman Johnny Colesi. Center field Matt Oscarson then came through with a two-out, run-scoring single to score McClure.

In the top of the seventh, McClure scored once again, this time on a sacrifice fly from Nolan O'Connell.

Twinsburg pitcher Sean Williams (1-1) took the loss, going four innings and allowing five earned runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Ethan Bernard pitched a scoreless fifth inning, while Justin Laley gave up one run in two innings of work.

As it turned out, the Explorers' bats were just getting warmed up.

On April 25 at Wadsworth, Hudson jumped out to a 3-0 lead in its half of the first inning and then the Grizzlies tied the game up in their half of the inning.

Wadsworth scored one run in the bottom of the second to take a 4-3 lead.

Hudson scored three runs apiece in the third and fourth innings and put it away with 10 in the fifth.

The Explorers finished with 13 hits and four errors.

The Grizzlies had four hits and five errors.

Right-hander Isaac Wiley went the distance on the mound to improve to 4-0 in 2017. He did not allow an earned run and finished with three strikeouts and three walks.

Bryce Kilfoyle had three hits, including a double, three runs scored and three runs batted in. He also stole a base and drew two walks.

Laughlin had two hits, three RBIs, three runs scored, two walks and a stolen base and Knox had a home run, a sacrifice fly and four RBIs.

Seth Draper added a double, four runs scored and three RBIs and Oscarson contributed two hits, including a triple, two runs scored and two RBIs.

On April 26 at home, Hudson and Wadsworth were tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning when Kilfoyle reached on an error and eventually scored the winning run on a wild pitch.

O'Connell gave up just one run in five innings of work off four hits and one walk. Colesi (3-0) picked up the win, pitching three scoreless innings and allowing just one hit.

The Explorers were set to host Nordonia, April 28 and a doubleheader with Canton GlenOak April 29.

Hudson is scheduled to wrap up its National Conference schedule by traveling to Brecksville-Broadview Heights May 2 and hosting the Bees May 3. First pitch for both games is set for 4:30 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC

Twitter:@MLeonard_RPC


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