ELYRIA — Chris Willis probably wanted Thursday’s game at George Day Field to continue in spite of the rain, wind and lightning.
After all, he threw two pretty good innings and helped his own cause with a pair of hits, including a long RBI triple to center field, while leading Elyria to a 14-1 win over rival Lorain in Amherst Summer Classic play.
Elyria improved to 2-0 in the tournament, while Lorain, which will play at Amherst today, is 0-1.
Elyria, Lorain, Bay, Keystone, Lakewood, Medina and the host Comets make up the field in the tournament. The teams with the best records will play Sunday for the championship.
Thursday’s game was called after 2ﾽ innings. Elyria was batting in the third with two on and no outs when the umpires made the decision, declaring Elyria had won even though the game didn’t go five innings.
On and off rain showers, the score of the game and finally lightning made the decision an easy one.
“It was pretty nice,” Willis said. “You’ve just got to go out there and throw strikes. Weather conditions are terrible but knowing I have my defense behind me, you just have to go out and throw strikes. That’s all that matters.”
Willis did his job. And ater spotting the Titans a run in the top of the first, the Pioneers bats went to work.
Hunter Osborne, one of the pitchers in Wednesday’s 1-0 gem against Amherst, led off with a perfect bunt single and quickly stole second base. Evan Engle’s infield hit drove in Osborne with the tying run.
With one out, Cameron Brubaker singled off the glove of Lorain second baseman Timmy Kosco for the second run of the inning and Willis drove in Brubaker with a drive over the center fielder’s head for a triple.
Willis then scored on Max Peyton’s sacrifice fly to left — a line shot that left fielder Raul Lopez managed to track down for the second out of the inning. Zach Schuster walked and moved all the way to third on a wild pitch. Schuster scored on another wild pitch, giving Elyria a 5-1 lead after one.
Willis retired the side in order in the second inning and Elyria sent 13 hitters to the plate in a nine-run second inning to virtually put the game in the bag. Hits by Gage Barbee, Michael Knapp and Willis, a couple of walks and an Engle sacrifice fly got things rolling. Peyton drove in one run on a ground ball and Steven Hastings drove in another with a single.
Elyria, which finished with 14 runs on 10 hits, will host Bay on Saturday at noon with a good chance to move into the finals on Sunday at Amherst.
“Our pitchers were throwing strikes and we got everybody in (the game),” Elyria coach Ed Piazza said. “It’s a good day. The main thing is the kids are coming off their summer ball and that’s what I like about the tournament. Now they’re getting back in our mode and get to play together and are getting ready for the offseason.”
Lorain’s run came on a leadoff single by Yandel Ramirez, a walk to A.J. Ramos, a fielder’s choice by David Coleman and Anthony Miller’s sacrifice fly.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to get some of our younger players that are going to be playing up at the varsity level next year to get them to see what the varsity game’s like,” Lorain coach Brad Ternes said. “They definitely got a taste of it because Elyria came out and played really good.”
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