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Hudson baseball shuts out Kenston in sectional final

by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor Published: May 12, 2017 7:43 PM
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HUDSON — The Hudson baseball team came into the postseason on a roll.

That roll continued in its first playoff game.

Hudson played an efficient contest, defeating Bainbridge Township Kenston 4-0 May 12 in a Division I sectional final game at The Ballpark at Hudson.

The Explorers improved to 20-4 with the victory. Hudson advanced to the Division I district semifinal May 18 at 7 p.m. at The Ballpark at Hudson.

Hudson will play Aurora in the district semifinal, as the Greenmen defeated Shaker Heights 4-2 May 12.

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Kenston came into the game with a record of 17-5, but Hudson starting pitcher Johnny Merrill (5-2) did a great job controlling the Bombers.

Merrill pitched six scoreless innings, scattering six hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Hudson's offense took what was offered by Kenston starting pitcher Matthew Pecoraro (2-2).

Nolan Laughlin opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. He singled and went to second on an error, then went to third on a wild pitch.

Laughlin scored on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Hayden Knox.

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Hudson made it 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning.

A walk to Seth Draper and a single by Nolan O'Connell were followed by a double steal. Draper then scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Grant Gedeon.

Another sacrifice fly made it 3-0 Hudson in the third inning. Draper drove in Laughlin, who had been hit by a pitch.

Pecoraro went three innings, giving up three earned runs on two hits, two walks and two hit batsmen.

Kenston sent Christian Cassaro to the mound in the fourth inning. With two outs, Hudson got a single from third baseman Johnny Colesi and a single from Matt Oscarson.

Laughlin then hit a run-scoring single to score Colesi to make it 4-0. Oscarson tried to score on the play as well, but was thrown out at the plate.

Kenston's best scoring chance came in the sixth inning, when the Bombers had the bases loaded with no out.

However, Merrill got a strikeout, induced a fielder's choice that saw Cassaro thrown out at the plate and got Steve Szczerniak to pop out to second to escape the inning with no damage.

Troy Brown pitched a scoreless seventh inning to close the game out.

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