NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Dan Ternes wasn’t there when his Lorain Titans defeated Midview North the first three times this Hot Stove League season.
“I was in Florida,” Ternes said Sunday after the Titans made it four victories over Redwood with a 4-3 win at Palmer Field. “Two games were extra innings, I know. This team always plays us tough.”
Sunday was no exception, but the Titans managed to avoid their first loss of the season by scoring three runs in the top of the fifth inning and erasing a 3-1 deficit.
The win gives the Titans the Hot Stove Class EE-4 regional title and a berth in the state finals Saturday in Alliance.
“It was a tough game,” Ternes said. “It was well played both ways. We had to battle. They had to battle.”
Antoine Edwards’ bases-loaded one-out single scored Aaron Andujar and Andre Morales to tie things at 3. Desmond Guice scored the winning run on a wild pitch.
That was when Walter Godles, the winning pitcher, toughened up. Godles faced only 10 batters over the final three innings, walking two and getting a huge double play to end Redwood’s sixth inning.
“That was the best I have seen Walter pitch,” Ternes said. “I think you have to challenge Walter, and we challenged him. We kept (another pitcher) warm and told (Godles) that if he makes too many bad pitches, he’s out.”
Godles threw one bad one, which Stephen Kozel smacked for a long double to left-center field to score two runs and give Redwood a 3-1 lead. Kozel was down in the count 0-2 when he delivered the two-run hit.
“I dropped my head for a second,” Godless said. “My teammates picked up my head for me.”
Andujar led off the Lorain fifth by reaching on an error. Morales singled one out later and Guice walked before Edwards knocked in two with his single.
Morales started the double play that ended Midview’s sixth. Steven Best walked with one out and Crum hit a soft liner to Morales at shortstop. Morales speared the ball, going to his left, then tossed to first to catch Best straying too far off the base.
Andujar knocked in a run with a ground ball to give the Titans a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Redwood tied it in the third when Kozel scored on a throwing error at the plate.
Also in Class EE, Lorain I.A.V. beat the Garfield Rangers 13-3 to advance to the championship game in EE-2. I.A.V. plays for the title against the winner of today’s Alliance Stanley Steemer-West Branch game at 6 o’clock at Columbia Station.
Lorain broke open a 2-1 game with six runs in the fourth inning. Winning pitcher Brandon Chesmar had a two-run double and Joey Borden, Tony Pierce and Thomas Holloway had run-scoring singles in the fourth.
I.A.V. ended the game by scoring five times in the bottom of the sixth. Adam Board smacked a two-out, bases-loaded triple to make it 12-3. Board later scored on a throwing error.
The Lorain Titans will play Massillon, a 6-0 winner over New London on Sunday, in the opening round of the Class EE finals at Alliance on Saturday.
Alliance Stanley Steemer beat West Branch, so tomorrow’s EE-2 championship game is between Alliance and Lorain I.A.V.
Hot Stove Roundup
Dudley Taw hit a two-out, two-run walkoff home run in the bottom of the seventh to lift Sheffield Lake Venom to a 5-4 victory over Medina Indians in a Class F semifinal. Venom entered the final inning trailing 4-1, but strung together six hits before Taw’s winning homer.
Brad Hughes was the winning pitcher. Venom will play New London, a 10-0 winner over Buckeye Cunningham, tonight at 6 o’clock at North Ridgeville.
Caleb Waller had four hits and Andrai Wright added three hits to power Vermilion Aramys to a 13-2 win over the Firelands Raptors in Class G play. Nick Bankdull was the winning pitcher.
Aramys plays Midview North Cavanaugh for the Class G championship tonight, 4:30 at Columbia.
The South Amherst Cavaliers broke a 9-9 tie with five runs in the sixth inning to defeat Midview North Ross, 14-10 in a Class GG semifinal. The Cavs play Grafton Com Star tonight at Columbia.
Nick Denny had three hits, including a home run, and Jacob Campbell had three hits to lead South Amherst.
The Grafton Mayhem and the Noprth Ridgeville Gladiators play tonight at 6 o’clock at Columbia in the Class HH championship. The Mayhem beat the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs, 7-4, and The Gladiators topped the Medina Swarm, 19-9.
Connor Bansek had three hits and Bryce Sanders had two hits to back winning pitcher Jacob Landers for the Mayhem. Shane Swindig, Carson Schneller and Ty Quintana all had three hits each for the Gladiators.
In Class H play, Vermilion DRD lost a 5-2 decision to Mogadore.