Bauer dominates in Tribe victory
Evan Shawver fans 12 as bats come alive in third inning
Amherst advanced to its fifth-straight district final appearance with a 4-1 win over Southwestern Conference foe Olmsted Falls on May 16.
The top-seeded Comets advance to the district final May 17 at the Pipe Yard in Lorain and will face the winner of No. 3 Elyria-No. 2 St. Edward.
The Comets were once again led by starting pitcher Evan Shawver (8-0) who struck out 12 batters over six innings in what has become the norm for the hard-throwing lefty.
Shawver entered the game with a slightly different approach than usual and came out throwing his punishing curve ball hoping to rattle Olmsted Falls early. He used 13 pitches to strike out the side in the first inning and the Bulldogs couldn’t settle in the rest of the game.
“A lot of teams, after they see my high (number of) strikeouts, they try to get ahead on my first-pitch fastball so they don’t get down in the count for my off-speed, but today I kind of mixed it up, started off with my off-speed first to try to get (Olmsted Falls) mixed up on my pitches,” Shawver said.
Amherst (23-4) started a bit slow at the plate, but with Shawver dealing, no game is out of reach.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Jake Hart reached base on an error and the next five Comets recorded hits to take a 4-0 lead.
Shawver has yet to give up an earned run this season and entered the game with a 39-inning scoreless streak, so with a four-run lead he and his teammates were confident they could ride that the rest of the way despite Olmsted Falls being one of the better hitting teams in the area.
“After we get up I let (the opponent) put the ball in play but I still try to throw strikes because that’s most important,” Shawver said. “But I trust my back up everywhere, my whole team.”
“That was a great inning for us,” Amherst coach Matt Rositano added. “We executed ... and when you give Evan a four-run lead you feel pretty good as a coach.”
Olmsted Falls (16-7) managed three hits all game, including two doubles, and did all it could in practice to prepare for Shawver after he set the Amherst single-game strikeout record (19) against the Bulldogs early in the regular season.
“I’m the only lefty coach so the other day I put the Lscreen about 10 feet away and I threw as hard as I can,” head coach Todd Urban said. “I can barely pick my arm up today. I was throwing them curve balls, off speed, as fast as I could throw. That’s the only thing that can kind of simulate when a kid’s throwing in the 90s and has a pretty nasty curve ball.
“He’s tough. We’ve faced him since he was a freshman and he’s one of the best in the state.”
Nate Causey took the loss for Olmsted Falls, allowing four runs (two earned) off seven hits with six strikeouts and a walk, while Brett Asadorian, Teddy Grendzynski and Sully Kilbane each had a hit for the Bulldogs.
Shawver’s scoreless streak ended at 44 innings when Grendzynski hit a ground ball to score Kyle Humenik who reached on an error with one out in the top of the sixth.
“The thing I like most about (Shawver’s) performance today was only one walk in the seventh inning,” Rositano said. “He didn’t give Olmsted Falls free bases, he made them earn it.”
Pioneers fall in semis
In its first season back in the Lorain District after playing in Strongsville the past two seasons, St. Edward is playing for a district title, beating Elyria, 7-5, in a semifinal May 16 at the Pipe Yard.
The Eagles broke a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning when an error scored the go-ahead run with two outs. Joe Horoszko hit an RBI single the next at-bat to add some insurance for second-seeded St. Edward (226) and the Pioneers were unable to answer in their last chance at the plate.
No. 3 Elyria (16-13) was in the best position it could hope for to score some runs and get back in the game with 2-3-4 up to bat in the seventh. The Pioneers had gotten their lead-off man on base in five of six innings to that point but failed to rally against reliever Spencer Marinac.
The Pioneers came back to tie the score twice over the course of the game.
St. Edward used four hits and a pair of walks to jump out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning before Elyria chipped away and eventually made it 3-3 heading into the third.
The Eagles regained the lead with a two-run fourth inning, but Elyria did not go away quietly.
Tristan Arno and Noah France hit RBI doubles in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, to once again tie the game and give the Pioneers a chance before disaster struck in the home half of the sixth.
Arno led Elyria at the plate, going a perfect 3-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI and a walk while Hunter Osborne and Max Peyton had multi-hit games as well.
Chris Willis took the loss in relief for the Pioneers, throwing two innings of one-hit baseball, giving up two runs, none of which were earned, and striking out two.
St. Edward advances to face top-seeded Amherst (234) in the district final May 17 at the Pipe Yard.
Amherst advances to face St. Edward for the Lorain District title on May 17. Amherst pitcher Evan Shawver throws against Olmsted Falls on May 16.