After waiting out a one-hour rain delay and playing through a consistent drizzle, the Eagles scorched the Shoremen for 15 runs in the first two innings en route to a 17-7 non-conference win at All Pro Freight Stadium.
Things looked good for Avon Lake (13-9), which jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Eagles even came to the plate.
David Winkel singled and Matt Gottshall walked to start the game, and Brad Hamilton’s double to left-center drove in both for a quick 2-0 lead. Matt Morissette singled to right to drive in Hamilton and Morissette scored on a bases-loaded walk to Jace Russell.
That was as good as it got for the Shoremen (13-9), however, as Avon (14-12) responded with seven runs in their half of the inning.
“I think we were both trying to save pitchers to start out, but it was tough to get in the right frame of mind,” Avon coach Frank Desmit said. “I gave the guys a warm-up talk after the top of the first and they responded. They (Shoremen) put some pitches in there for us to hit and we made contact.”
Avon Lake starter Logan DeLong (2-1) only lasted a third of an inning as the Eagles sent 10 batters to the plate before Kyle Beck came on in relief.
Brandon Linna walked, Andrew Lee singled and Kevin Maloney walked to load the bases to start the first for Avon and Brian Baker (2-for-4) promptly unloaded them with a triple into the left-field corner to cut the lead to 4-3.
After Don Kelly tied the score with a groundout to short, Alex Tomko drove in Ian Long (2-for-3) with a single. Tomko scored on a passed ball and Linna drove home the final run of the inning with a bases-loaded walk.
Avon sophomore starter Scott Barnum (2-0) settled down in the second, holding Avon Lake without a run. Avon Lake’s pitchers, however, didn’t have the same success as the Eagles sent 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs in the second to blow the game wide open.
Kelly singled and Long and Austin Bevins followed with back-to-back triples for a 9-4 lead.
Avon scored its 10th run on a bases-loaded walk to Linna and Andrew Lee (3-for-4) and Maloney followed with singles that pushed the lead to 14-4. Kelly drove in the final run of the second inning on a groundball to shortstop.
“We certainly didn’t pitch well to start,” Avon Lake coach Kevin Marlow said. “We walked some guys, we hit some guys and they (Avon) had a whole bunch of baserunners. We needed to make some plays and suddenly we were down by 10 runs. That’s not the way you want to start the game.”
Both teams have one regular-season game left before postseason play begins next week. Avon Lake will close out Southwestern Conference play at home against Westlake on Monday and then will face the Demons again Wednesday at home in the playoffs.
Avon is scheduled to host North Olmsted on Monday and then travel to Lorain on Wednesday to open sectional play.