BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick baseball team hit its home diamond Wednesday locked in a battle for first place in the Greater Cleveland Conference with Solon, but a sluggish start with too many miscues was too much to recover from in a 7-2 loss.
The Comets (10-3, 6-1) scored four runs before the Blue Devils (7-5, 5-2) came up to bat, with three runs being unearned. First baseman Sloan Ulrich delivered the big blow with a two-out double that scored two runs. The junior went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
“Regardless of who you play, you can’t have six outs in the first inning, and that’s basically how we broke that down,” Blue Devils coach Grant Relic said. “Especially against a team like Solon, that we know can swing the bats and we know is going to play solid defense. You can’t spot them right off the get go four runs, and we were flat from that point forward.”
In addition to one error, Brunswick also misjudged two balls and threw to the wrong base throughout the inning. The Blue Devils are left to chase Solon with half of the conference schedule remaining.
“We’ve got a game (today against Euclid), a conference game that’s a must win,” junior Mike McFadden said. “So we’ve got to come tomorrow ready to play and get a couple of wins in a row.”
Brunswick looked on the verge of rebounding early when center fielder Scott Rouse and designated hitter Bryan Piatak drew one-out walks. Later in the inning, senior Kyle Kuchta drove home Rouse with a base hit and advanced to second on the throw home. With Kuchta on second and shortstop Kyle Goessler on third, Comets senior Camden Loeschen forced sophomore Jacob Scherette to ground out to second base to end the rally.
Starting with Scherette, Loeschen retired 10 of the next 11 Blue Devils, not allowing another hit until the sixth inning. Loeschen threw just 27 pitches in the third, fourth and fifth innings combined. The right-hander allowed two runs on six hits with two strikeouts over six innings.
“I think we need to bring the energy to the field,” McFadden said. “That’s what we’re lacking right now. We’ve got to come to the field with intent to play every day, but we’ll get there as a team.”
Brunswick starter Noah Herron settled in after the rough first inning and kept Solon at bay, allowing five runs (2 earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out four.
“(Herron) battled, and this is two games in a row where our pitchers have competed and battled and brought the energy,” Relic said. “We’re getting to the point now where we need the rest of the guys to follow suit with them.”
Solon added an insurance run in the fourth inning when Ulrich got a one-out walk and scored on a base hit by senior Sam Bubonics.
The Blue Devils came alive in the bottom of the sixth inning, as McFadden (2 hits), catcher Josh Kross and Rouse singled to load the bases with one out. Kross came home on a groundout by Piatak, but Loeschen struck out Goessler to end the inning with runners on second and third.
Solon 7, Brunswick 2
SOLON 400 100 2 — 7 11 2
BRUNSWICK 010 001 0 — 2 6 2
WP— Camden Loeschen (4-0) 6 innings, 2 runs, 2 earned, 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts. LP— Noah Herron (0-2) 6 innings 5 runs, 2 earned, 7 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts. Solon (10-3, 6-1) — Camden Loeschen single, double, 2 runs, RBI; Ethan Wong single, double, run; Sloan Ulrich single, double, walk, run, 3 RBIs. Brunswick (7-5, 5-2) — Mike McFadden 2 singles.