ALLIANCE — Amherst Perritt Homes and North Ridgeville FTC played home run derby Saturday during the Ohio Hot Stove Class H state semifinals and they both came up winners at Butler Rodman Park.
Behind two home runs each from Harrison Schneider and Cael Charles, Amherst defeated Alliance Stratton Chevrolet 14-4 in one semifinal in the 9-10-year-old age group.
In the other Class H matchup, North Ridegville scored seven first-inning runs and had home runs from Ethan Sedivec and James Kingery on its way to a 16-5 win over the Alliance Legends.
With two outs in the fourth inning and Amherst clinging to a 7-4 lead, Schneider came up to bat and drilled a line drive that rolled into the left-field corner, allowing him to make a trip around the bases. Charles, the next batter, hit the ball in almost the same spot with the same result.
“I was a little bit scared because I had already made two outs (in his first two at-bats) so I tried to move up closer to the plate to get more energy,” Schneider said. “When I saw the ball I just swung at it. I knew right away I made real good contact.”
In the sixth inning, Schneider showed his power once again with a blast over the head of the center fielder that rolled to the fence for a three-run inside-the-park home run that also scored Alek Kissane and Kaden Sikora. Charles followed with a solo inside-the-park home run.
“I was a little nervous before the game,” Charles said. “I just worked my hardest to make the nerves go away.”
Schneider also pitched three innings of shutout relief to earn the save for Amherst (24-1). Its only loss of the year came against North Ridgeville FTC, its foe in today’s state title game at 12:30 p.m. The two teams split a pair of regular-season meetings.
“The kids started out a little slow, a little uneasy, but then started to get going and they just rocked ’n rolled,” Amherst coach Brandon Dimacchia said. “We’ve been practicing hard and focusing on not getting rattled and the kids responded to that with the way they hit today.”
North Ridgeville (23-2) took most of the drama out of its win in the first inning when it sent 11 men to the plate and scored seven runs
Sedivec’s home run also scored Carter Coleman and made the score 5-0. Duke Baker nearly had a home run when he hit a line drive to deep center field but under Class H rules, when the seventh run of the inning crossed the plate the inning was over and left Baker with the longest single of the year.
“All season we’ve been working on getting these kids dialed in and stayed focused and disciplined to get ready for Alliance,” said North Ridgeville coach Brian Strippy, who has guided his team to the state tournament three years in a row. “Our season is a big practice leading up to Alliance. I’m proud of the way the kids played today.”
Kingery, whose fourth-inning home run also scored FTC winning pitcher Eric Lengaver, said playing in the state tournament for the third time helped calm his nerves before the game.
“It was good because I already knew what to expect,” Kingery said. “The first inning was really important for us. Everybody was just hitting the ball, scoring and getting on base. That got us ready for the rest of the game.”
Sedivec also scored in the second inning when North Ridgeville added five more runs to take a 12-2 lead.
“I feel good that we have another chance to win a state championship,” Sedivec said. “We just have to come out (today) and play good again like we did today.”
The results weren’t as good for Lorain County teams in Class F (13-14).
Sheffield Griffith Paving (16-7) saw its season come to an end with 6-3 loss to the Garrettsville Garfield G-Men. Sheffield gave up a pair of unearned run in the first inning and spent the rest of the afternoon trying to play catch-up.
Andrew Krueger and Kenny Grobolsek scored in the fourth inning as Griffith Paving pulled within a run.
After the G-Men scored three times in the bottom of the fifth, Krueger’s sixth-inning ground-rule double drove in Kaleb Moore to make the score 6-3.
Sheffield loaded the bases to make it interesting in the seventh inning. Cooper Kinser singled, Collin Houpt got hit by a pitch and Moore reached after swinging at a third strike in the dirt that skipped to the backstop.
However, Griffth Paving was unable to score.
“We take out hats off to (Garfield), they’re a good team,” Sheffield coach Mike Griffith said. “We dug a hole for ourselves in the first inning and it was too deep to get out of. We fought right until the end and that speaks to the character of my players.
“We were in the final four so we accomplished more than most teams, so there’s nothing to hang our heads about. We’ll continue to persevere and we intend to be back here next year. We still have some unfinished business.”
The Midview Magic appeared on the verge of pulling off some late-inning, well, magic, only to have the Garfield Giants get a walk-off home run from Joseph Perrine to escape with an 8-7 win.
The Magic trailed by two heading into the seventh but Marc Reed led off the inning with a triple down the left-field line and Nick Morgan followed with an RBI single. Morgan came home on a passed ball to tie the game at 7.
Morgan had three hits and scored three runs for Midview, while Ben DeSimone also had two hits.
The Giants, who will face the G-Men today in an all Garrettsville Class F final, were led by pitcher Kaiden Spade, who tossed a complete game while striking out 13.
Hot Stove semifinals
Class I (age 7-8)
North Ridgeville Corntown Crushers 6, Mac Services, 2
Avon 3 Outs Baseball 10, Midview North Maniacs 2
Class HH (9)
Buckeye 1 Masonry 8, Vermilion Sailors 3
Olmsted Falls Bulldogs Gold 16, North Ridgeville Tritons 14
Class H (9-10)
North Ridgeville FTC 16, Alliance Legends 5
Amherst Perritt Homes 14, Stratton Chevrole 4
Class GG (11)
Canton Pirates 13, Keystone KMU Trucking 3
Buckeye Ross 22, Wellington Snap-On 15
Class G (11-12)
North Ridgeville Rebels 11, Alliance Traps 1
Ravenna Beasts 22, Sheffield Venom 3
Class F (13-14)
Garfield G-Men 6, Sheffield Griffith Paving 3
Garfield Giants 8, Midview Magic 7
Class EE (15-16)
Sheffield Venom 13, Lorain Titans 5
Class D (19-and-over)
Sebring Brickhouse 5, Wellington 3
TODAY’S LOCAL FINALS
North Ridgeville Corntown Crushers vs. Avon 3 Outs Baseball, 10 a.m.
North Ridgeville FTC vs. Amherst Perritt Homes, 12:30 p.m.
North Ridgeville Rebels vs. Ravenna Beasts, 11 a.m.
North Ridgeville Gladiators vs. Sheffield Venom, 10 a.m.