May 2, 2016


H.S. Baseball: Bay bats stay hot, Rockets blast Firelands

HENRIETTA – Bay used small ball in a big way Tuesday afternoon in Division II sectional tournament play.
The Rockets ran up a 20-4 mercy-rule victory in six innings against host Firelands even though they got only one extra-base hit, a double by Sam Ward.
How is that possible?
Well, in the first place, Firelands (11-8) gave up 10 walks, including five in a row to “drive” in four runs.
Then, the three Falcon pitchers struck out only one Bay batter as the Rockets made contact over and over again.
Finally, Firelands committed three critical errors to keep Bay innings alive.
With the win, Bay (14-8) claimed the sectional title in dominating fashion, scoring 37 runs in the two games. Bay beat Elyria Catholic 17-1 on Monday.
The Rockets advance to the Southview district tourney, opening against Highland at 5 p.m. Monday. Highland beat Keystone 8-7 in 13 innings Tuesday to win its sectional crown.
Bay, which lost to Firelands 10-9 in a regular-season game in April, scored in every inning, topping the rout off with seven in the top of the sixth.
“Not bad, not bad,” understated Bay coach Joe Cheney. “A key reason is we put the ball in play every inning. We`ve been working on that in practice. When you put the bat on the ball good things can happen.
“Also, we got very good pitching.”
That came from Brian Taricska, who went all the way.
“He kept his composure,” Cheney said.
That he did.
Taricska (3-2) walked two of the first three batters in the opening inning and put the next batter on base with a hit by pitch. But after that he didn`t walk another batter the rest of the game. He had 10 strikeouts and retired five of the last six batters.
Despite all the walks and just one double, the Rockets had plenty of hitting, led by Ward`s four hits and four runs batted in. Tim Sheehan had three hits while Mike Lehmann, Jess Hunger and Kevin Schwede had two each.
“We just didn`t make the plays,” Firelands coach Ted Busch said. “But give credit to Bay, they have got the hitters. This was the most runs we gave up all year.”
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135