April 19, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria can’t stop Fremont

FREMONT — Who were those guys and what did they do with the Fremont team Elyria played in the regular season?
Fremont Post 121 capped an awesome four-game display of hitting with a 14-3 victory over Elyria Post 12 Tuesday to earn the team’s first trip to the state finals in Athens.
“Fremont sure came out pounding the ball this week,” Elyria coach Brad Chenoweth said. “They had 55 hits in three games coming into tonight. How many did they just have?”
It was 16. The Fremont club scored 48 runs in its four district tournament games, most of them scored in the two games Post 121 played against Elyria. Fremont routed the Elyrians
12-2 in their first meeting in the tournament.
That was quite a change from the two regular-season games between Elyria and Fremont. Both games ended 6-5, with Elyria winning one in
14 innings at home and Fremont taking the other game at its place in regulation.
“They really had it going in this tournament,” Chenoweth said. “That’s a winning formula they have. I have great respect for Coach (Mark) King. If we have to lose I’d just as soon lose to a classy team like his.”
Fremont spread the wealth. All nine batters got hits. Seven of them had two hits. All but one Fremont player scored and all but one drove in at least one run.
Post 121 scored six times in the third inning and added five more in the sixth. The game ended on the 10-run rule when first baseman Ryan Damman, the only Fremont player who hadn’t had a hit, clouted a two-run home run with no one out in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Corey Witker also had a two-run homer for Post 121. Grant Barbour drove in four runs for the Fremont side.
And while the Fremont hitters were doing a number on Post 12, pitcher Joe Malfara was stifling the Elyria batters. Malfara allowed only a leadoff single to Kyle Shaw through five innings and at one point had retired 13 of 14 he had faced.
Malfara’s only bad inning was the seventh, when Elyria prevented the mercy rule from being enforced by scoring all three of its runs after Fremont had built a 12-0 lead. Malfara yielded three hits and hit a batter with a pitch in that inning.
Fremont scored a run in the first without the benefit of a hit. Elyria starter Nick Simonovich walked Scott Stevenson and hit Brian Shafer with a pitch to start the inning. A strikeout was followed by an infield error to load the bases before Jared King walked to bring in Stevenson.
Simonovich gave up four straight hits to start the third, the big blow a two-run double by Barbour. Shaw came on to pitch, but after a strikeout an infield throwing error brought in a run to make the score 5-0. Run-scoring hits by Stevenson and Bubba Andrews gave Fremont a 7-0 lead.
Andrews reached on a dropped third strike before Witker homered to make it a 9-0 game in the sixth. Kull McClurg replaced Shaw, but gave up three consecutive hits, including another two-run double by Barbour, and an RBI hit by Stephen Stout.
McClurg was hit by a pitch with one out to start Elyria’s seventh. Grant Nagy doubled and Mike Starkey singled to end the shutout. Jake Loczi’s single made it 12-2 and Ben Kubuski’s ground ball scored Starkey to keep Elyria’s hopes alive.
Starkey, Elyria’s fourth pitcher, walked Barbour before Damman ended the night by belting a 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence.
Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

Elyria Fremont
AB R H BI AB R H BI
Shaw 3 0 2 0 Stevenson 3 2 2 1
Piatt 1 0 0 0 Shafer 4 0 2 1
Stephens 4 0 0 0 Andrews 5 1 2 0
Kennedy 3 0 0 0 Witker 5 2 2 2
Rua 2 0 0 0 King 4 2 2 1
McClurg 3 1 0 0 Malfara 5 2 2 1
Nagy 4 1 2 0 Barbour 4 3 2 4
Starkey 4 1 1 1 Damman 5 1 1 2
Gentile 2 0 0 0 Stout 4 1 1 1
Loczi 1 0 1 1
Schlather 1 0 0 0
Simonovich 1 0 0 0
Kubuski 1 0 0 1
Koubek 1 0 0 0

Totals 31 3 6 3 Totals 39 14 16 13
Elyria 000 000 30 — 3 6 4
Fremont 106 005 02 — 14 16 1
2B – Barbour 2, Andrews 2, Shaw, Nagy. 3B – Stevenson. HR – Witker, Damman. SB – Witker, Stevenson, Malfara. LOB – Elyria 7, Fremont 9. DP – Fremont (King to Witker to Damman). SAC – None.
IP R ER H BB SO
Elyria
Simonovich (L) 2 5 5 6 2 4
Shaw 3 4 2 4 1 6
McClurg 1 3 3 5 0 1
Starkey 1 2 2 1 1 1
Fremont
KIng (W) 8 3 3 6 1 5
HBP – Shafer (by Simonovich), McClurg (by King). WP – King.

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steve manheim / chronicle
Elyria Post 12 catcher Jake Loczi tags out Fremont Post 121’s Scott Stevenson on Tuesday in the fifth inning.