OLMSTED FALLS – The longball had eluded North Ridgeville center fielder Cade Riley through the first 15 games of the season. Game 16 at Olmsted Falls last Thursday ended his homerless drought as he took the first pitch of the game over the left field wall, giving the Rangers a quick 1-0 lead.
That lead was short-lived, however, as four-straight hits by the Bulldogs set them up for a four-run first inning and gave them a lead they didn’t give up, going on to win 11-7.
The top of both team’s lineups saw the ball well, as North Ridgeville’s one through four hitters went 5-14 with four RBIs and five runs scored. Olmsted Falls’ top four totaled 6-11 hitting with six RBIs and eight runs scored.
Riley (one RBI) and catcher Jake Flescher (2 RBIs) each had two hits for the Rangers. Nate Kisel also drove in two runs and had one hit and a walk. Center fielder Jack Spellacy led the Bulldogs, going 2-3, driving in three and scoring twice. Josh Andrews also picked up two hits for Olmsted Falls in four at-bats and scored twice.
On the mound, Ryan Marflake pitched 3 ⅓ innings for North Ridgeville, giving up eight runs (six earned) on five hits, walked four and struck out two. For Olmsted Falls, Ian Schneider threw 5 ⅓ innings and gave up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits, struck out two and walked two.
Both teams traded runs in the third inning as Kisel scored third baseman Mikey Richmond, and Olmsted Falls’ Ryan Feskanich scored after walking, stealing second and scoring on an error. The Bulldogs still led 5-2 going into the fourth, when they broke the game wide open.
A single, a hit-by-pitch and a walk loaded the bases for Spellacy with one out. He singled, scoring Drew Sagerman, followed by another RBI-single from Zach Vas that scored Tyler Gast. Teddy Grendzynski scored on another Ranger error, opening the game up to an 8-2 Olmsted Falls lead.
North Ridgeville fought right back in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs and cutting the lead to 8-6. Three-straight singles loaded the bases with no outs. After Richmond flied out to left, Kisel drew a walk that scored Austin Smith. Carson Schneller grounded out to second, but still scored Riley. Flescher smacked a single into left, scoring Nick Birt and Kisel, but was thrown out trying to stretch that single into a double.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the sixth, Birt got North Ridgeville within just one run when he scored Zack Cabel on a fielders choice. Richmond flew out to left field again, though, leaving Smith stranded at third.
The Bulldogs put the game away in the bottom of the sixth, though, as they sent all nine men to the plate and scored three more runs. Andrews (single), Grendzynski and Spellacy (walks) loaded the bases for Vas, who walked in Andrews. Cody McJunkins also walked, scoring Grendzynski, and Mally Kilbane scored Spellacy on a single to left.
Olmsted Falls looks to continue their success in the conference when the take on Berea-Midpark today at 4:30 p.m. at home, before playing Midview and Westlake tomorrow and Friday. North Ridgeville plays North Olmsted tonight at 4:30 p.m. at Victory Park in North Ridgeville and travels to Avon tomorrow to play the Eagles.
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