December 23, 2014

Elyria
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Hot Stove: Wildcats’ Carson Ehrhardt finishes no-hitter in debut on mound

OBERLIN — One of the hardest things in baseball is coming out of the bullpen to preserve a no-hitter.

Even harder is doing the above when you’ve never pitched before.

That’s exactly what Carson Ehrhardt did Sunday in the fourth inning of the Vermilion DRD Wildcats’ 12-0 win over Keystone Sturgill in opening-round Class G action at the Hot Stove district tournament.

Casey Scroggins pitched the first two innings for the Wildcats, and Caden Cooper came in to pitch a third inning of hitless ball to set the stage for Ehrhardt.

“I was really scared at first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do good or not,” Ehrhardt said. “I never pitched before and it seemed like we were going to win the game, so I asked Coach if I could pitch. It felt really good but I am just happy we won. We didn’t give up any runs, we hit the ball and ran the bases well. It was a good game.”

The Wildcats scored a run in the first inning before breaking open the game with a five-run second inning. Vermilion DRD followed that with three more runs in the third and two in the fourth in the game that was shortened to five innings by the 10-run mercy rule.

“This was a fun game to begin the tournament with,” Scroggins said. “We made contact, put the ball in play and, of course, we got good pitching.”

Cooper led the offense, batting leadoff and scoring three runs.

“When you’re at the top of the order you have to get on base however you can, walk, hit, it really doesn’t matter,” Cooper said. “It was important that everyone hit and didn’t make many mistakes today.”

With the win the Wildcats improved to 19-2 and advanced to the next round, where they will play Buckeye Keller Meats Saturday at 3 p.m. in Columbia Station.

“At the beginning of the game we actually made a couple of crucial mistakes, we didn’t get a bunt down and got a runner thrown out,” Vermilion DRD Wildcats manager Kenny Clark said. “Then we settled down and started doing all of the little things right. Executing hit-and-runs, being aggressive on the bases and getting hits when we needed them.”

The Wildcats scored their runs on only seven hits.

Class H

Midview North Wayne Homes 17, Keystone Z-Graphics 6

Midview North Wayne Homes scored 11 runs over the final two innings to complete a five-inning win in an opening-round Class H game.

Zach Backus pitched two innings of relief to earn the win. He also helped his cause with two hits, including a double, and three runs scored, highlighted by a fourth-inning steal of home.

“When you come in to pitch, you have to come in mad but then you have to settle down and throw strikes” Backus said. “I got really pumped up and excited when we started to score runs.”

According to coach Rick Dawson, Midview North Wayne Homes (10-11) is playing its best baseball of the summer.

“I am extremely happy how all the kids came together today, played as a team and took advantage of the opportunities we were given,” Dawson said. “Two of the things we focus on is being alert to advance when balls get past the catcher and our bunting, and we did both well today.”

Midview North Wayne Homes will look to keep its winning ways going when it faces the Buckeye Young Bucks on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in Wellington.

Austin Isenhart led the offense with three hits, two runs scored and two RBIs. He also pitched the fifth inning.

“We encouraged each other early on when the game was close,” Isenhart said. “Then Zach came in to pitch and dominated and everything started going our way. I hit the ball and got singles and everyone else was hitting the ball, too.”

Class FF

Columbia Morgan Trucking 10, Medina Swarm 0

Chris Bowes pitched a one-hitter, striking out five in a Class FF game that was shortened to five innings.

Alec Paine had a double and scored two runs, including the run that ended the game in the fifth inning. Matthew Caraballo tripled and scored a run.

The start of the game was delayed 90 minutes by wet field conditions, then delayed twice more in the third inning as the Medina coach attempted, to no avail, to appeal balk and other calls he disagreed with before being ejected by the home plate umpire at the end of the inning.

Columbia Morgan Trucking, which has a 25-10 combined record playing in two leagues, will play the Garfield Thunder on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in Grafton.

Sunday’s scores

Class E

Medina Mayham 12, Keystone Sturgill 0

Class GG

Firelands Big Red 13, Coventry Golden Flashes 2

Class FF

Columbia Morgan Trucking 10, Medina Swarm 0

Class G

Columbia Jakobsky Plumbing 12, Grafton Team Tommy 10

Grafton Singleton Heating & AC 12, Oberlin Family Dental 10

Vermilion DRD Wildcats 12, Keystone Sturgill Drywall 0

Firelands Firebirds 15, Olmsted Falls Bulldogs #1 7

Class H

Stow Handels A’s 7, North Ridegeville Rockies 0

Midview North Wayne Homes 17, Keystone Z-Graphics 6

Wellington Rampage 14, Medina Swarm 7

Stow Davis Eye Pirates 20, Oberlin Cable Co Op 6

Medina Vipers 15, Columbia American Eagle Coin 4

Farm Major

Olmsted Fall Bulldogs # 1 8, North Ridgeville Rangers 4

Wellington Advantage Construction 10, Buckeye Activity Center 2

Keystone Stack Heating & Cooling 13, Olmsted Falls Bulldogs #2 12

North Ridgeville Aquatic Dreams 17, Keystone Jones 4

Medina Vipers 11, Keystone R & M Storage 4

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.