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High School Baseball

Showdown set as Medina win sets up matchup with Hornets

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    Medina's Joe Freeman (6) slides into home plate to score a run in the bottom of the fourth inning against Green, in Barberton. Medina won 4-2.

    NICK CAMMETT / GAZETTE

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    Medina's Breyden Cavey (1) hits a three-run double in the bottom of the fourth inning against Green, in Barberton. Medina won 4-2.

    NICK CAMMETT / GAZETTE

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    Medina's Joe Freeman (6) yells toward the dugout after the final out of the fifth inning against Green, in Barberton. Medina won 4-2.

    NICK CAMMETT / GAZETTE

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NORTON — History has proven countless times the postseason separates men from boys, and no Medina County baseball team can attest to that more than Medina.

The top-seeded Bees needed not one, not two but three “big-boy plays” Tuesday to fend off fifth-seeded Green 4-2 in a Barberton Division I District semifinal.

J.T. Scoarste in the field, Breydan Cavey at the plate and Ryan Fischer on the mound were up to the pressure-packed task.

Their efforts placed Medina (16-11) in the title game for the second straight season and fifth overall under coach Nick Kaplack. Upstart No. 7 seed Highland (16-9), which is 9-1 this month, will be the opponent this afternoon at 4:30 at Hal Naragon Field.

“We call them ‘big-boy plays,’ and we’ve been calling them ‘big-boy plays’ forever,” said Kaplack, who has a 23-12 career postseason record. “If you want to win in the playoffs, you have to make big-boy plays.”

Scoarste maintained the status quo, Cavey broke open the game and Fischer saved the day. The latter two scenarios were made possible by Scoarste in the third inning.

The Bulldogs (16-11), who play in the perennially strong Federal League, were threatening against Garret McLeod (5-0) with a 1-0 lead. Ryan Smith and Noah Rollyson, the son of former Highland coach Jeff Rollyson, singled and Jaret Muckley was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs.

No. 5 hitter Trent Montgomery then connected on a 2-2 blooper that appeared destined for the shortstop/second base/center field Bermuda Triangle, but Scoarste dove from a dead sprint, caught the ball and knocked the wind out of himself momentarily to dramatically save at least two runs.

Medina never lost its breath after that.

“(McLeod) pitched the ball, and I had a good read,” said Scoarste, who also had sliding catches in the fourth and fifth. “I made the play.”

Spurred by Scoarste, the Bees immediately responded at the plate in the fourth. Sam Herman (2-for-3, run) and Joe Freeman walked to load the bases — Aaron Masek already was on via fielder’s choice — and Cavey drilled a belt-high 1-0 fastball from Montgomery deep into the right-center gap.

Three runs scored, giving Cavey six RBIs over the last three games and Medina a 4-1 lead.

“I figured (Montgomery) was going to give me something to hit because he walked (Freeman) the previous at-bat,” said Cavey, who has 10 hits and 11 RBIs in seven career postseason games. “I just took advantage of the fastball. Someone told me (the outfielders) were playing in, but I just tried to put the ball in play and let the ball do the work.”

Last but certainly not least, Fischer showed the mental toughness needed to pick up a big-time save.

McLeod baffled Green most of the afternoon with a dynamite changeup but ran out of gas after reaching 90 pitches in the sixth. Two walks followed by two errors on one play brought the score to 4-2, and another walk packed the bags with one out.

Kaplack then went to Fischer, who immediately engaged in a battle with No. 9 hitter Ryan Smith. The count reached 3-2 and Smith fouled off a pitch, but the eighth of his at-bat was a comebacker to Fischer, who fired to catcher Brenden Stewart for a rare 1-2-3 double play.

It was basically game over after that, as Green went quietly in the seventh.

“We executed,” Scoarste said. “We did what we needed to do to get where we needed to be.”

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Medina 4, Green 2

Barberton Division I Sectional Semifinal

Green (16-11) Medina (16-11)

AB R H BI AB R H BI

Simmer cf 4 1 1 0 J. Johnson ss 4 1 1 0

Rollyson dh 2 0 2 1 Pokersnik lf 3 0 2 1

Amison 1b 4 0 0 0 Scoarste cf 3 0 0 0

Muckley rf 2 1 0 0 Havekost rf 2 0 1 0

Montgomery p 2 0 0 0 Masek dh 2 1 0 0

Weber c 2 0 0 0 Herman 3b 3 1 2 0

Allen lf 3 0 0 0 Stewart c 2 0 0 0

Chapman 2b 2 0 1 0 Freeman 1b 1 1 0 0

Smith ss 3 0 1 0 Cavey 2b 3 0 1 3

Weiss pr 0 0 0 0 McLeod p 0 0 0 0

Casper p 0 0 0 0 E. Johnson pr 0 0 0 0

Luccareli ph 1 0 0 0

Fischer p 0 0 0 0

Totals 24 2 5 1 Totals 24 4 7 4

GREEN 100 001 0 — 2 5 0

MEDINA 001 300 x — 4 6 2

LOB — Green 8, Medina 6. DP — Medina 2 (6-4-3, 1-2-3). E — J. Johnson, Pokersnik. 2B — Simmer, Cavey, J. Johnson. CS — Weiss.

IP H R ER BB SO

Green

Montgomery (L) 5⅓ 7 4 4 3 2

Casper ⅔ 0 0 0 1 0

Medina

McLeod (W, 5-0) 5⅓ 5 2 1 4 4

Fischer (S, 3) 1⅔ 0 0 0 0 2

WP — Casper. HBP — by McLeod (Rollyson, Muckley), by Fischer (Rollyson). PB — Weber.



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