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Pioneer Problems: After beating two state-ranked teams, Elyria remains winless in Northeast Ohio Conference
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Elyria’s Marques Inman drops a pop up that loaded the bases in the third inning against North Royalton on Tuesday. North Royalton took advantage of the miscue, scoring two runs in the inning.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Elyria’s Jacob Csizmadia hits a ground ball to the shortstop in the second inning against North Royalton in Northeast Ohio Conference play on Tuesday.
After defeating Norwalk (No. 8 in Division I) Monday and St. Ed’s (No. x in D-I) last Friday, the Pioneers had one tough inning against North Royalton. The Bears scored five runs in the third inning — two of which were unearned — en route to a 5-2 Northeast Ohio Conference River Division win Tuesday and snapped Elyria’s four-game winning streak.
“In this conference that is what happens to us,” Elyria Coach Ed Piazza said. “Then something like that (error) happens … it’s got to stop. You come from a high from (Monday’s win) and thinking they are going to be ready to play and they weren’t.”
Elyria (10-11, 0-9) took an early lead with Chris Emerson scoring on Brodie Stweart’s swinging bunt which Stewart beat out for an infield hit.
Emerson (1-6) got out of a jam in the second inning, but couldn’t get out of the third inning against North Royalton (6-16, 1-8).
North Royalton tied the game on Adam Vasil’s double to left. A Pioneers’ miscue allowed Joey Sadowski to load the bases. A sacrifice fly gave them the lead. After a walk and a hit batter plated another run, Branden Walsh hit a hard grounder to third which was too hot to handle and score two more run and give them a 5-1 lead.
“We feel like we spotted them on, but we came back and got something going in the third inning,” North Royalton Coach Jim Thamann said. “We left some opportunities out there offensively, but a lot of things were started with two outs.”
The error allowed two more runs to score, giving North Royalton a 5-1 lead and knock Emerson out of the game. KJ Allgood came in and got the final out of the inning.
Allgood was outstanding in relief. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits. He was also helped by a double by in the sixth inning which was started by Emerson.
“That is what I have wanted to see from him,” Piazza said. “He kind of came in a little chippy. He had a better bullpen. I just liked his mentality. He just wanted the ball. It just happened to come an inning too late.”
Unfortunately for Elyria, Bears pitcher Noah Sasse was equal to the task. He was also quite efficient with his pitches. Through five innings, he had thrown only 62 pitches. He was also helped by some fine defense behind him.
In the fourth and fifth innings, the Bears turned double plays to get Sasse out of the inning. The Pioneers did get to him in the sixth inning.
Steve Poskocil doubled to right-center to start the inning. He scored on Tony Pierce’s single. After a fly out, Emerson singled to right, putting runners on first and third with one out.
However, Sasse battled back. He recorded a strikeout and a ground out to end Elyria’s threat. He threw a scoreless seventh for the complete game win and give North Royalton its first conference win. Elyria still hasn’t won a game in the conference.
“He was throwing a couple pitches in there consistently throughout the game for strikes,” Thamann said. “When you have a good pitching performance out there; you always have a chance to stay in the game. That’s what we did. We made some plays and played good baseball overall.
“This is what we’ve been looking for. A lot of little things have gone against us, but we’ve got to find ways to take advantage and make our own breaks.”
With the tournament right around the corner, Piazza knows what his team needs to have success.
“We’ve just have to find that consistency,” Piazza said.
The two teams will meet again today at North Royalton.
North Royalton 5, Elyria 2
NOC River Division
North Royalton (6-16, 1-8) 005 000 0 — 5 8 2
Elyria (10-11, 0-9) 100 001 0 — 2 6 3
TWO HITS OR MORE — North Royalton: Evan Willman (3); Elyria: Chris Emerson; 2B — NR: Willman, Adam Vasil, Joey Sadowski; E: Steve Poskocil; WP — Noah Sasse; LP — Emerson (1-6).
Last Updated: 5/7/2013 11:40:58 PM EST