September 20, 2014

Elyria
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High school baseball: Keystone KOs Elyria Catholic with seven-run first inning

PENFIELD — An overcast, chilly, windy afternoon didn’t stop Tom Kubuski from keeping on the sunny side.
“I was pleased with a lot of things,” the Elyria Catholic  coach said after watching Keystone beat his Panthers 13-6 in a non-conference game.
“I saw a lot I liked, despite the score.”
For Keystone (8-7) it was all sunshine under the dark clouds.
The Wildcats jumped on EC (3-7) for seven runs on six hits in the first inning and added a pair of home runs — a two-run shot by Jim Reid in the fifth inning and a three-run homer by Tyler Minnich in the sixth.
“We might finally, hopefully, be turning the corner,” Keystone coach Mark Clement said. “We have had trouble closing out games, because of all the errors we make. We played with a minimum number of errors today.”
The Wildcats committed just one error Friday, coming with two out in the seventh inning on a pickoff attempt.
“We had a makeshift outfield,” Kubuski said. “When we had to take (starting pitcher) Andrew (Kubuski) out of the game we had Mike Norton playing center field. He had never played center field before and he did an excellent job.
“Scott LaMoureaux made an excellent play at third base. I think (Sebastian) Vittardi played himself back into the lineup. I also like the way our hitters took that pitcher (Minnich) to a 3-2 count a lot of times.”
LaMoureaux’s gem at third came in the second inning on a hard-hit grounder by Bryan Trego. Vittardi, a late replacement for Mike Webber, had three putouts in right field. The EC batters took Minnich to a full count eight times.
“We played an error-free game,” Kubuski said. “That was the first time we have done that this year. This is the kind of game where we find out these things. We find out what people can do.”
Kubuski also found out that Keystone can hit.
With two out in the first inning and Caleb Schillace on first, Tim Giesel singled and Trego doubled to score Schillace. A walk was followed by a two-run single by Andrew Pearce. Another walk loaded the bases for Mike Cordy, who doubled home two runs. Reid then doubled to bring across Keystone’s last two runs of the inning.
The Panthers battled back to make it a 7-4 game after
3½ innings. Paul Kubuski doubled and Ryne St. Marie singled to score Kubuski in the second. Vittardi had a two-run triple in the fourth to make it 7-3 and scored on a wild pitch.
Pearce singled and went to second on a wild pitch to start the Wildcats’ fifth. Cordy singled in Pearce and Reid’s home run over the left-center field fence — his second of the season — put the score at 10-4.
Trego singled and Pearce got on base on a fielder’s choice before Minnich hit his first homer of the year, an inside-the-park blast to the left field fence, to give Keystone a 13-4 lead after six innings.
The Panthers’ last two runs came in the seventh. Norton belted a one-out double and Gabe Cintron walked before Paul Kubuski singled in Norton. Cintron scored when a pickoff throw to third got away.
Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.