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Hot Stove: North Ridgeville FTC headed back to state hoping to add a Class HH championship to last year's Class I title

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    North Ridgeville FTC's Zach Barnhart connects for a two-run double Saturday in a Class HH (age 9) Hot Stove regional final against North Ridgeville Climate-Tech at Palmer Field in North Ridgeville. Barnhart had two hits and four RBIs in FTC's 15-4 win.


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    North Ridgeville FTC's Henry Calcut slides safely into home after hitting a two-run homer in the second inning July 15.


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    Climate Tech's Braden Rosado scores before the tag by North Ridgeville FTC's Evan Kucirek in the first inning July 15.


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    North Ridgeville FTC's Henry Calcut scores after hitting a homer in the first inning July 15.


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    Climate Tech's Niko Aulisio scores in the first inning July 15.


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    Braden Rosade of Climate Tech makes a throw to first July 15.



NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Once was not enough.

Not for North Ridgeville FTC, which is on a mission to add a Class HH (age 9) Hot Stove title to the one it won in Class I a year ago.

FTC earned a spot in next weekend’s state tournament in Alliance on Saturday by pounding North Ridgeville Climate-Tech 15-4 at Palmer Field.

FTC (23-0) trailed 2-1 after an inning, but erupted for the maximum seven runs in each of the next two innings to put the game away.

“We’ve had these boys since they were 5 and we just preach fundamentals and working on getting them ready for the next level of competition,” FTC coach Dave Baker said. “We’re real excited to get back there after winning it all last year. We want to go down there, defend our title and bring it back to North Ridgeville.”

Climate-Tech (11-9) briefly had momentum on its side when Braden Rosado scored on a wild pitch and Nolan Dubeck forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk for a 2-1 lead going to the second inning.

The top of the FTC order made sure Climate-Tech’s lead was a short one, driving in 10 runs the next two innings.

Zach Barnhart had a pair of two-run singles, Eric Lenganer knocked in two with a double and another with a single. Henray Calcut had a two-run homer to end the second inning and drove in another with a single in the third.

Calcut had a game to remember, going 3-for-3 with a pair of home runs and five RBIs to help his team claim the Class HH regional championship.

Caden Clapham and Noah Willett each went two innings on the mound for FTC and Gannon Padgett pitched the final inning as the three combined for 12 strikeouts while allowing just three hits.

“We’ve been blessed with so many kids who can go to the mound and pitch well,” Baker said. “We keep an eye on everyone’s pitch count to make sure they’re ready to go the next time up. Even though they’re only 9, we don’t want to burn anyone out.”

Chase Ovelgonne was the only Climate-Tech batter to solve the trio of pitchers with a pair of hits and an RBI. Rosado was the only other Climate-Tech player with a hit.

Class F final set

Either the Sheffield Venom or Keystone Wildcats will make the trip to Alliance next Saturday in Class F (13-14) as both claimed wins at Palmer Field to earn the right to face off at Wellington Community Park today.

The Sheffield Venom (14-6) played from behind all day against North Olmsted Shotgun Sound until finally biting back with three runs in the top of the seventh for a 7-4 win at Palmer Field.

“We had the bases loaded in the sixth and couldn’t score. I thought we might be in trouble,” Sheffield coach Mike Sheaves said. “The kids stayed with it and we finally broke through in the seventh to win. I couldn’t be prouder of their effort today.”

John Grasso gave the Venom the lead for good with a groundball through the hole on the left side to drive in Billy Liggett, who had walked.

“I was just looking to hit something hard and get one of those runners home,” Grasso said. “We knew it would be tough and we had to play from behind the whole game.”

Mason Besser gave Sheffield breathing room when he shot the ball through the right side to drive in John and Anthony Grasso for the final margin of victory.

Venom reliever Brandan Mottram picked up the win, shutting down six straight North Olmsted batters, three by strikeout, to end the game.

Keystone and Firelands/South Amherst were tied at 4 going to the bottom of the fifth when the Wildcats broke through for a pair of runs for a 6-4 win.

With the game in doubt, Alex Brown started off the fifth for Keystone with a booming triple deep to left and came home to score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

“I just wanted to get something started that inning and I guess I was able to do that,” Brown said. “That really was a momentum builder and I’m glad I was able to help out my team.”

It looked like Firelands/South Amherst starter Austin Copen was going to get out of the inning with a line-drive double play to clear the bases following the run.

But Eric Rishel walked following the double play and stole second and third. Deghan Rigda provided an insurance run with a flare to right.

Firelands/South Amherst had its chance to tie the game in the seventh. Gavin Mitchell scored on a wild pitch and the bases were loaded against Keystone reliever Rocky Houston, who got a called third strike on a curveball to send the Wildcats to the regional championship game.

“My curveball was so bad that inning that I almost called off my catcher on that last pitch,” Houston said. “I stuck with what my catcher called and I’m glad I was able to get it in there for a strike. I’m glad I was able to step up and help take charge for the team.”

Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or

Sheffield Venom 7, N. Olmsted Shotgun Sound 4

Class F Regional Semi-Final

Sheffield     000 301 3 — 7 7 0

N. Olmsted 003 010 0 — 4 4 1

PITCHING: (S) Josh Smith IP-3 2/3, R-3, H-3, BB-3, K-5, Lee Parsons IP-1 1/3, R-1, H-1, BB-0, K-1, Brendan Mottram (W) IP-2, R-0, H-0, R-0, BB-0, K-3; (NO) Anthony Currico IP-5, R-4, H-4, BB-4, K-6, Colin Strong (L) IP-2, R-3, H-3, BB-7, K-2.

HITTING: (S) Josh Smith 2 (RBI), John Grasso (RBI), Mason Besser (2 RBI). (NO) Anthony Guercio (3B).

Keystone Wildcats 6, Firelands/South Amherst 5

Class F Regional Semi-Final

Firelands/South Amherst 003 101 0 — 5 3 5

Keystone                          200 220 x — 6 6 0

PITCHING: (F) Austin Copen (L) IP-5, R-6, H-3, BB-3, K-7, Aidan Newman IP-1, R-0, H-0, BB-0, K-1; (K) Dillon Belknap IP-3, R-2, H-2, BB-6, K-4, Rocky Houston (W) IP-4, R-4, H-1, BB-6, K-6.

HITTING: (F) Jayden Morrison (2 RBI), Aiden Newman (RBI). (K) Alex Brown 2 (3B), Dillon Belknap (3B).

N. Ridgeville FTC 15, N. Ridgeville Climate-Tech 4

Class HH Regional Final

NR FTC               177 00 — 15 10 1

NR Climate-Tech 201 01 — 4    3   2

PITCHING: (FTC) Caden Clapham (W) IP-2, R-2, H-0, BB-4, K-6, Noah Willett IP-2, R-1, H-1, BB-1, K-3, Gannon Padgett IP-1, R-1, H-2, BB-0, K-4; (CT) Brian Strippy (L) IP-2, R-8, H-7, BB-2, K-2, Caden Clapham IP-1/3, R-5, H-1, BB-3, K-0, Ryan Typpo IP-2/3, R-2, H-2, BB-0, K-0, Braden Rosado IP-2, R-0, H-0, BB-1, K-4.

HITTING: (FTC) Henry Calcut 3 (2HR, 3RBI), Zack Barnhart 2 (4RBI), Eric Lengauer 2, (2B, 3RBI), Gannon Padgett (2 (2B). (CT) Chase Ovelgonne 2 (RBI), Nolan Dubecky (RBI).

Hot Stove Tournament Scores

Class I (Age 7-8)

Medina Swarm Black 20, N. Olmsted Leader Light 3

Keystone Taylor’s Trees 10, Avon 5

Medina Swarm Gold 12, Buckeye T.L. Keller 6

Wellington Grossman Insurance, Grafton Branham Auto (score not reported)

Class HH (9)

Grafton Arnold Industries 19, Midview Maniacs 3

N. Ridgeville FTC 15, N. Ridgeville Climate-Tech 4

Class H (9-10)

Amherst Panthers 19, N. Olmsted MK Auto 0

Medina Swarm Black, Keystone AIMS (score not reported)

Wellington Snap-On 8, N. Ridgeville Card Palmer 2

Buckeye Ross 12, Grafton Marathon 2

Class GG (11)

Amherst Panthers 11, Sheffield Venom 8

Keystone Do It Best Hardware 15, Buckeye Select AB 4

N. Ridgeville Rebels 32, S. Amherst/Firelands Marcum 5

S. Amherst/Firelands Burgdorf 7, Cloverleaf Colts 0

Buckeye A.C. 9, Columbia Raiders 8

Class G (11-12)

Wellington A.C. Outlaws 12, Grafton Linden Mfg. 2

Cloverleaf Colts 11, Black River Pirates 5

N. Olmsted Halleen Kia, Medina Swarm Green (score not reported)

N. Ridgeville Vultures 6, Buckeye Mack’s 1

Class F (13-14)

Sheffield Venom 7, N. Olmsted Shotgun Sound 4

Keystone Wildcats 6, S. Amherst/Firelands Robinette 5

N. Ridgeville Rangers 10, Lorain Nationals 1

Sheffield Griffith Paving 8, Midview Magic 4

Firelands Firehawks, N. Olmsted Ohio Pools (score not reported)

N. Ridgeville Bullfrogs, Buckeye Marks Construction (score not reported)

Class EE (15-16)

Alliance Sarchione Ford, Elyria (score not reported)

Class E (15-19)

Buckeye Russell Realty, Sebring West Branch (score not reported)

Brimfield 4, Grafton 3

Ravenna Sports Xpress 5, Alliance Thomas 3

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