EATON TWP. — What started as a pitchers’ duel exploded in the fifth inning Tuesday afternoon as Midview emerged with a 7-3 win over North Ridgeville in a sectional opener on a hot and windy day.
Midview (13-11) advanced to today’s sectional final at Amherst.
Both starting pitchers were nearly perfect in the first four innings. Matt Feierabend of North Ridgeville (9-14) retired the first seven batters before allowing an infield single in the bottom of the third. He gave up one more hit and a run before retiring the side and then getting Midview to go down in order in the fourth.
Feierabend is the cousin of former Midview star Ryan Feierabend, who’s pitching for the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
On the Midview mound was Kyle Warner, who gave up just three hits and a run in the first five innings.
But the game’s complexion changed dramatically in the bottom of the fifth. The Middies exploded for five runs on six hits to go ahead 6-1.
Midview shortstop Cody Callaway got the game’s only extra-base hit, a double to deep right-center in the fifth.
“It was a curveball and I took it to right-center,” he said of his seventh double. “Our sticks really came around today. And Kyle pitched a great game.”
Warner said the conditions helped him.
“The wind was really blowing in, adding speed to my fastball and my curve, too,” he said.
Warner also beat the Rangers in an earlier meeting this season, 2-1.
Today’s game will be the first for Midview against Amherst, because an earlier matchup was rained out and not rescheduled.
“Somehow we finally got some hits and then things happened,” Midview coach Scott Jaloweic said. “The wind was a huge factor today. But two weeks ago we also played a game in strong winds and learned some things. We’ve won four in a row and are peaking at the right time.”
“The wind was a definite factor,” North Ridgeville coach Matt Ponting said. “But Midview just did a better job of putting the bat on the ball.”
The fielding gem of the day came from Rangers center fielder Mike Martin, who backpedaled about 20 feet and made a leaping catch near the fence in the first inning.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.