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Baseball's season ends in district semifinals

By MICHAEL LEONARD Sports Editor Published: May 24, 2017 12:00 AM
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HUDSON -- The district semifinal game between the Hudson and Aurora baseball teams May 18 was running high on emotions under the lights at The Ballpark at Hudson.

Then the rain came, as a lightning storm forced the game to be suspended until May 19 with the Greenmen leading 5-4.

When the two teams resumed play, emotions and the weather had cooled -- and Aurora took care of business.

The second-seeded Greenmen held on to win 5-4 over the third-seeded Explorers and then defeated top-seeded Solon 5-4 May 19 to win the Hudson Division I district championship.

Hudson saw its season end with a 21-7 record.

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Explorers head coach Buddy Dice noticed his team's defense misfired at the wrong time.

"As I remember it, we kicked the ball around in that fifth inning," he said. "Whenever you get to his level, you have to make plays no matter who you are playing."

Hudson starting pitcher Troy Brown (4-3) and Aurora starter Zachary Elsawy each were in command early.

Elsawy gave up three earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts in four innings of work.

The Explorers scored first in the top of the third. With third baseman Johnny Colesi on first, Hudson executed a hit and run, as center fielder Matt Oscarson hit a double to left-center field.

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Oscarson then scored on a run-scoring single by left fielder Nolan Laughlin to make it 2-0.

The Explorers made it 3-0 in the top of the fourth when catcher Grant Gedeon drove in a run, but Hudson left the bases loaded.

The Greenmen got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Shortstop Evan Fromwiller doubled and scored on a run-scoring single by first baseman Ben Stawicki.

Aurora sent Chase Coady to the mound to start the fifth inning, but Hudson showed its power again when a double by shortstop Hayden Knox was followed by a run-scoring triple by right fielder Bryce Kilfoyle.

However, the game seemed to turn on the next play.

Explorers' first baseman Seth Draper singled to short center, but a great throw from Jonathan Blue allowed catcher Bubba Arslanian to tag Kilfoyle out.

Kilfoyle actually collided with Arslanian at the plate and both benches seemed upset thereafter.

With emotions running high, the Greenmen took the lead in the bottom of the fifth.

After a leadoff single from Brett Henderson, Drew McVay was hit by a pitch. After the next two batters were retired, Jacob Blue was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

A sharply hit ball by Fromwiller resulted in a two-base error and two runs scoring. A balk then allowed Blue to score and Fromwiller to move to third. Arslanian was intentionally walked and another error off the bat of Stawicki allowed Fromwiller to score.

Brown took the loss for Hudson, going five innings and giving up five runs (one earned) off four hits with five strikeouts.

With Aurora up 5-4, the storm hit in the top of the sixth inning, forcing the suspension.

When play resumed May 19, Coady was in good form.

Coady (3-1) got the win, going three innings, allowing one earned run off three hits.

Johnny Merrill pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the Explorers.

In the top of the seventh, Kilfoyle drew a two-out walk, but Draper flew out to right field to end the game.

Dice said goodbye to Oscarson, Brown, Colesi, Laughlin, Kilfoyle, Merrill, Draper, Knox and fellow seniors Dev Gupta, Spencer McClure and Sam Winston.

"When you look at our 11 seniors, we had very good leadership this year," Dice said. "They had a great season."

The Explorers warmed up for the districts by scoring a 10-0 victory over Suburban League crossover rival Kent Roosevelt May 16 at The Ballpark at Hudson.

The game was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Left-hander Nolan O'Connell pitched four innings to get the win on the mound. He finished 3-1 in 2017.

Laughlin had two triples, two runs scored and a run batted in and Knox had a triple, three RBIs and a run scored for the Explorers.

Also contributing for Hudson were McClure (triple, two RBIs and a run scored), Colesi (single, double and two runs scored) and Matt Oscarson (single, double, an RBI and a run scored).

The Explorers had 13 hits and one error. The Rough Riders had four hits and one error.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC

Twitter:@MLeonard_RPC


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