VERMILION — Midview coach Scott Jaloweic wasn’t thrilled with his team’s record going into Thursday’s game against West Shore Conference rival Vermilion. But following the Middies’ 9-2 rout of the Sailors, Jaloweic was a little happier than when he got off the bus.
“It’s getting better,” Jaloweic said after the Middies improved to 5-3, 3-1 in the league. “I think we’re starting to find ourselves and get into a groove. We just needed some consistency in getting to play some games. It’s hard to find your rhythm when you play a game and then you’re off a week because of the weather.
“We’ve gotten four games in this week and I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
Midview came right at Vermilion (7-4, 2-2) in the top of the first as Ryan Smith and Eric Lauer hit singles off Garrett Koutsopoulos. Lauer’s was a two-out hit that brought Smith in to give the Middies a 1-0 lead.
After walking the next batter, Koutsopoulos recorded the final out of the inning to end the threat … but only temporarily.
Midview reached Koutsopoulos for another run in the second inning on a Stephen Kozel sacrifice to increase its lead to 2-0. In the third, Lauer drove in Smith again and then came in himself to push the lead to 4-0.
Koutsopoulos finished the remainder of the inning unscathed but didn’t come out to start the fourth.
Meanwhile, Midview pitcher Kyle Warner was sharp. Despite a strong wind blowing throughout the game, Warner kept the Sailors in check, scattering three hits over six innings.
Plus, he appeared to get stronger as the game went on. After facing 14 batters through the first three innings he only faced 10 over the next three. He went 1-2-3 in the fourth and fifth innings.
“I felt great out there tonight,” Warner said. “I had command of my pitches and only had to tinker with my breaking ball due to the wind. We knew this was a big game for us and I think all of us were ready. Once we got that first hit in the first inning I felt we were going to win, and then when we scored I knew we would.
“I’m glad I was able to do my part on the mound while my teammates took care of the offense.”
“Kyle was someone who was on the bubble,” Jaloweic said. “He did a great job tonight in very windy conditions. He earned his opportunity and threw 85 pitches over six scoreless innings. He pitched four scoreless innings of relief against Olmsted Falls so he’s making the most of his time on the mound.”
Midview added five runs in the top of the sixth off Brad Wind, who came in for Koutsopoulos. Patrick Higley relieved Warner in the seventh and gave up the lone Vermilion runs.
While Midview looked sharp in its fourth straight game, the same couldn’t be said for the Sailors, who had won five of their last six.
“I think we just ran out of gas,” Vermilion coach Jeff Keck said. “We’ve been playing good baseball and against a team like Midview you have to be ready to go. These boys play ball all summer and they should be used to playing every day.
“Midview didn’t look tired today. We shouldn’t have either.”
Contact Hans Schneider at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.