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HUDSON -- With its first Suburban League National Conference title in its back pocket, the Hudson baseball team warmed up for the playoffs with a trio of home victories.
Based the quality of its opposition, the Explorers look primed for the postseason.
Hudson opened the week with a 4-1 victory over Brunswick May 8 at The Ballpark at Hudson followed by a 6-3 home win over Akron Archbishop Hoban May 9.
The host Explorers then scored a 6-4 victory over Suburban League crossover rival Tallmadge May 10.
Hudson, which had won 11 straight games as of press time, was 19-4 heading into the postseason.
"Our starting lineup was hitting on all cylinders," Explorers head coach Buddy Dice said after the Tallmadge game. "I think they're ready for the playoffs.
"It was great to see Tallmadge. They're looking to come back here [to The Ballpark at Hudson] for their regionals. It's great competition."
The Blue Devils jumped out 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
After a leadoff walk to shortstop Phil Glasser, Tallmadge got back-to-back run-scoring doubles from first baseman Zach Boyd and right fielder Scott Seeker to make it 2-0.
Hudson got one run back without a hit in the bottom of the first.
Blue Devils' starting pitcher Jared Burick issued four straight walks, though Explorers' center fielder Matt Oscarson was thrown out trying to steal second.
Hudson first baseman Seth Draper drove in a run on a ground out to make it 2-1.
The Explorers took the lead in the bottom of the third.
A single by Hayden Knox and a walk to Bryce Kilfoyle was followed by a run-scoring single from Draper to tie the game.
Second baseman Spencer McClure then hit a run-scoring single, followed by a sacrifice fly from Johnny Merrill to make it 4-2.
Burick lasted three innings, giving up four earned runs on four hits with five walks.
However, Tallmadge came back with two runs in the top of the fifth.
Singles by Luke Thomas and Glasser were followed by a run-scoring fielder's choice by Sam Seeker.
After Boyd walked, Dice relieved starter Stephen Bianconi with Aiden "Chief" Samuel, but the Blue Devils tied the game at 4-4 when Scott Seeker hit a sacrifice fly.
In his first start, Bianconi gave up four earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts in four innings of work.
Samuel (1-0) got the win by throwing three innings of scoreless relief.
"You look our bench depth and everyone was able to contribute," Dice said.
Hudson regained the lead by drawing four straight walks off three different Tallmadge pitchers in the bottom of the fifth.
McClure drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 5-4, followed by a run-scoring single by Merrill to make it 6-4.
The Blue Devils escaped the inning with no further damage thanks to an unassisted double play by Glasser.
The Explorers scored three runs in the first, one run in the third and two runs in the fourth against Hoban.
The Knights scored a run apiece in the second, fourth and sixth innings, respectively. Hudson had nine hits and two errors and Hoban had five hits and three errors.
Right-hander Isaac Wiley pitched four innings to improve to 5-0 on the mound. Right-hander Troy Brown pitched a scoreless seventh to pick up his first save of the season.
Knox had two hits, including a double, two runs batted in and a run scored for the Explorers.
Draper added two hits and two RBIs and Oscarson contributed two hits and two runs scored for Hudson.
Johnny Colesi had two hits and a run scored for the Explorers.
In the game against Brunswick, Hudson trailed 1-0 after the top of the first. But the Explorers took the lead for good with three runs in the third.
Hudson added a run in the fifth. The Explorers had seven hits and one error. Brunswick had five hits and four errors.
Colesi, a right-hander, picked up the win on the mound to improve to 4-0. He finished with two strikeouts and three walks in four innings of work.
Merrill, a right-hander, pitched a scoreless seventh to pick up his third save of the season.
McClure led Hudson with two hits and a run scored and Nolan Laughlin had two hits for the Explorers.
Merrill had a single and a run batted in and Nolan O'Connell had a single and a run scored for Hudson.
Third-seeded Hudson was scheduled to host the Kenston/Cleveland John F. Kennedy winner in a Division I sectional title game May 12 at The Ballpark at Hudson. Results were not available at press time.
If victorious, the Explorers were set to play a district semifinal game May 18 at The Ballpark at Hudson. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The district title game is set to take place May 19 at the The Ballpark at Hudson. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.