By Ryan Kaczmarski
The Rocky River Pirates baseball team invaded North Ridgeville Thursday night and came out with a 10-6 victory over the Rangers.
Sophomore starting pitcher Noah Lorincz-Comi went six innings for the victory, giving up six runs on six hits, with four walks and four strikeouts. Rocky River’s offense was supplied by Ryan Connelly, Sean McDermott, Brendan Parker and Justin Seffernick, each with two hits. Parker scored two runs and junior Sam Sheehan pitched in with an RBI double.
“We hit the ball and executed our bunts, so for us, I thought it was a great win,” said Pirates head coach Darryl Sanders. “You have to give them (North Ridgeville) credit. They hit the ball early and hit the ball well, but we played just enough defense to get it done.
“As opposed to throwing the ball around and struggling to win, I think it was just a good game of baseball.”
The Pirates (5-4, 3-2 in the West Shore Conference) took full advantage of seven Rangers errors, scoring eight unearned runs in the game.
North Ridgeville (2-8, 0-4 in the WSC) had senior Matt Dawson drive in five runs on two hits, including a double, to lead its offense. Rangers starting pitcher Nolan Freeman (1-3) gave up eight hits in five innings for the loss.
This is almost the midpoint of the season, and Rocky River is beginning to see what the strong points of the team are, the coach indicated.
“Defense has been our strength,” Sanders said. “We’re not making a lot of errors. This time last year we were 1-8, making a ton of errors, and not putting the ball in play. This year, we’re putting the ball in play better. We’re playing much better defense, especially when our pitching has struggled.
“We’re getting timely hits now and executing our bunts,” he added. “We are keeping (our opponents) on their toes.”
According to Sanders, the Pirates are playing winning baseball, but there are parts of the game they still need to improve.
“(We need to work on) our approach at the plate,” he said, “just making sure we see the pitch we want to hit, hit the pitch we want to hit and hit it well. We still have a few guys that are swinging too hard and are way off balance.
“We’ll be fine.”
The starting pitching has gone as expected to Sanders so far this season.
“This is about what I had expected (from the rotation),” he said. “You know, I expected us to only have two losses to this point when I was looking at our schedule, but I’m happy with this. I’m very pleased with the young men, who are working hard and playing very well.”
With the postseason only a few weeks away, the remaining conference schedule is getting more important.
“I think we are one of the top three teams,” Sanders said. “We have not played Elyria Catholic yet, so I have not seen them, but I think the top three teams that are competing (for the WSC) are Avon – who is the top echelon – Midview and us. We just have to take care of everybody else.”
Setting all records aside, the fact that the games are being played as scheduled is good for everyone involved.
“Hopefully the weather will stay nice,” Sanders said.
The Pirates will host rival Bay High School tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 p.m.