A Medina County player hitting three home runs in a game is rare enough, but two on the same day?
C’mon, no way.
That’s what happened Wednesday, as Black River senior Logan Stretar and Brunswick junior Frank Ciacchi each launched three home runs with seven RBIs on a breezy, 85-degree afternoon.
The Pirates won 18-2 in five innings at Oberlin and the Blue Devils fell 13-12 in eight at Strongsville.
Stretar had the bonus of two home runs in one inning, the first county player to do so since Highland’s Luke Raley four years ago. The first was a solo shot, while the second was a grand slam.
The third baseman entered play batting .203 with four doubles. He had never hit a home run in competitive play dating to Little League and joked the only times he “went yard” was against his brothers in the backyard.
“It was quite a day,” Stretar said. “I was just seeing the ball really well. I had a good mindset and attitude and kept saying to myself, ‘I’m going to put the ball in play.’ I felt the breeze behind me, so I felt it was a good day to put the ball in the air. Obviously, we got the team win. Everybody played pretty well.
“The third home run was by far the most energizing and electrifying after that grand slam. Obviously, (it was) a one-in-a-million game for myself. It was pretty amazing.”
Stretar was intentionally walked in his final two plate appearances against the Phoenix (2-21, 0-16), including with the bases loaded in the fifth. The star treatment was memorable as the Pirates (4-21, 3-12) snapped a 13-game losing streak.
“I didn’t mind it at all because I felt like I was Big Papi (David Ortiz) in there,” Stretar said. “That was OK with me. I got the one big stick here, so what? Three home runs is good enough. The respect part is the cooler part.”
Ciacchi provided drama for the Blue Devils (12-12) with a three-run bomb that tied the score at 12 in the seventh inning.
The Mustangs won the Greater Cleveland Conference Tournament third-place game on Mitch Midea’s two-out, walk-off single in the eighth.
“Going through my mind, I wasn’t thinking about home run, just getting on base,” Ciacchi said. “He threw me an inside pitch and I capitalized on it.”
Ciacchi, the reigning county home run champion, also had a three-run shot that gave Brunswick an 8-6 lead in the third. The junior outfielder began the day with a solo homer in the second.
Ciacchi and Stretar are tied for the county season lead with those three homers. Brunswick’s Jake Williams also went deep against Strongsville, giving him three on the season as well.
Both teams are back in action today. The Pirates travel to rival Buckeye for the season finale, while the Blue Devils battle Archbishop Hoban in the Barberton Division I District semifinals.
“Really, it wasn’t a shock, but going into the game I was prepared for it by hitting for hours and hours,” the 5-foot-9, 200-pound Ciacchi said. “It was a crazy feeling because it doesn’t happen a lot.
“Strongsville’s a great team. They hit the ball like crazy, but for me to come back and hit a couple homers was a great feeling.”
The only area player to hit four homers in a game was Brunswick’s Jim MacLellan against Strongsville on May 2, 1988.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patriot Athletic Conference
Black River 18, Oberlin 2 (5 inn.)
BLACK RIVER 10(10) 25 — 18 11 0
OBERLIN 000 02 — 2 3 4
WP — Eric Cordonnier (1-0) 5 innings, 2 earned runs, walk, 5 strikeouts. LP — D’Aunte Bowens 2