WADSWORTH — The Wadsworth baseball team saw its chances of defending its share of the Suburban League National Conference title take a significant blow Wednesday.
Division-leading Twinsburg dealt a 7-1 defeat to the Grizzlies behind a breakout game by designated hitter A.J. Zigman and pitcher Tyler Horvath.
Wadsworth (14-5, 8-4), which has lost two leagues games in a row and three straight overall, trails the Tigers (15-1, 10-1) by 2ﾽ games. The Grizzlies have two league games left, while Twinsburg has three.
“We made a few mistakes, gave them a few extra opportunities early in the game and (Horvath) threw a good game,” Wadsworth coach Greg Pickard said. “We just never could get him squared up.”
Zigman entered with just three RBIs but surpassed that number on a windy day. The junior started with a two-out, two-run single in the top of the first inning to put his team ahead 2-0. Zigman capped his night with his first home run of the season, a two-run blast in the seventh inning to close the scoring. He had three hits, scored twice and drove in four.
Horvath improved his record to 3-1 with an incredibly efficient effort, scattering four hits in a complete game in which he threw 61 of his 90 pitches for strikes. The junior did not throw more than 18 pitches in an inning until a 26-pitch seventh, when the Grizzlies left the bases loaded.
“The last three games, I’d say we’ve been going through a midseason drought or whatever you want to call it,” Wadsworth right fielder Brock Snowball said. “We’re better than that. We all know this and we’re going to come back tomorrow ready to work.”
The Grizzlies did themselves no favors in the field, as Twinsburg made the home team pay on both of Wadsworth’s errors.
Zigman’s two-run single in the first was the result of an extended inning. Tigers shortstop Zack Carinci also contributed a two-run, two-out single that plated Zigman in the sixth in another frame extended by a defensive miscue.
“In the first and the sixth, it was extra outs that gave them those runs,” Pickard said. “If we make the plays we should make, it’s 1-1 going into the sixth or seventh inning and you never know what could happen.”
Twinsburg handed Wadsworth ace Nick Lallathin (4-1, 0.80 ERA) his first loss of the season. He went six innings and allowed five runs on eight hits, but only one run was earned.
The Grizzlies scored their run in the third after second baseman Conner Stewart and third baseman Chase Diosy opened with hits. Two batters later, Snowball brought in Stewart with a groundout to third baseman Dylan Jackson.
Snowball doubled in the sixth inning but was caught off second base on an infield grounder by catcher Matt Moore to end the inning.
Junior Jake Peebles saw his 15-game hit streak come to an end. It was only the second game this season that Peebles failed to record a hit.
Twinsburg 7, Wadsworth 1
TWINSBURG 200 012 2 — 7 10 2
WADSWORTH 001 000 0 — 1 4 2
WP — Tyler Horvath (3-1) 7 innings, earned run, walk, strikeout. LP — Nick Lallathin (4-1) 6 innings, 5 runs, 1 earned, 8 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts. Twinsburg (15-1, 10-1) — Zack Carinci single, double, 2 RBIs; Dylan Jackson 2 singles, run; A.J. Zigman 2 singles, home run, 4 RBIs, 2 runs. Wadsworth (14-5, 8-4) — Brock Snowball double, RBI.