ELYRIA — It didn’t take long for North Ridgeville to turn Elyria’s Senior Night into a nightmare.
The first four Rangers reached base and scored while the Pioneers failed to take advantage of five walks in the first three innings as North Ridgevile rolled to a 15-5 non-conference win in six innings.
Nathan Colbert went 4-for-5 and drove in five runs, while Kevin Shaw was 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored to lead the North Ridgeville offense. Matt Feierabend scored four runs for the Rangers (12-13) while Anthony Miranda added three hits and scored three runs.
“I was seeing the ball really well and looking to go up the middle,” Shaw said. “I was jumping on fastballs and was able to get some hits. As a team, it was a good day for us. We’ve been hitting the ball well lately and today was no exception.”
North Ridgeville coach Matt Ponting agreed his Rangers have been playing well offensively, especially during the three-game winning streak they're riding.
“We’ve been hot at the plate lately, been able to get some big hits,” he said. “We’ve been doing a good job of changing our approach with two strikes to make sure we put the ball in play. That puts the pressure on the defense and we had some two-strike hits today.”
Rangers starter Aaron Hudak had an interesting pitching line, to say the least. In 2⅓ innings he faced 15 batters, walking five and hitting two. He allowed just two hits and threw one wild pitch. Hudak threw 71 pitches, 27 for strikes and 44 for balls.
“He’s a late starter,” Ponting said. “He didn’t start playing competitively until two years ago, but he’s working hard and staying positive. We know he’s going to have his ups and downs mechanically, but he did a good job of getting out of a couple of jams.”
Hudak left the game in the third with a 7-1 lead.
“We didn’t have very good focus or concentration today, both at the plate and in the field,” Pioneers coach Ed Piazza said after his team dipped to 11-12. “Their pitcher was struggling to find the plate and we were up there swinging at balls in the dirt and not working the count.
“We had every chance to get back into the game early and just couldn’t take advantage. We needed to be a lot more patient than we were.”
North Ridgeville ended up with 18 hits and batted around twice. The Pioneers also didn’t help themselves defensively, committing seven errors.
“This was just one of those games,” Piazza said. “We’re going to learn from it and move on into the playoffs. The important thing from this game was honoring our seniors. It’s a great, hard-working group that has really represented Elyria High School well.
“While we would have loved to have got a win on Senior Night, honoring that great group of kids was the big thing.”
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.