by Michael LeonardSports EditorFor the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy baseball squad, last week's results were the definition of "bittersweet."The bad news was CVCA's Division III playoff run lasted a total of one game as the Royals dropped a 7-3 loss to Rootstown at home. "It was a disappointing, but we had to regroup and realize that we our not defined by wins and loss," said Royals coach Jerry Cowley. "I was happy with he way we responded."The Royals responded by smashing Tuslaw 16-2 in five innings May 14 at Tuslaw and winning the rematch 13-8 May 15 at home.With the wins, CVCA improved to 19-5, 10-2 Principal's Athletic Conference. The wins clinched the outright PAC-7 title for the Royals.In the playoff game, Cowley tipped his cap to Rootstown starter Tyler Rost, who limited the Royals to three runs on six hits. However, Royals' starter David Fox was even better, scattering hits and keeping Rootstown off the scoreboard until the sixth inning. Rootstown scratched out two runs in the sixth inning to close the lead to one run and force Cowley to pull Fox due to the team's pitch count.Royals closer Josh Kopscik was inserted in the seventh, but the inning quickly became a nightmare."It was one of those situations where, you could see it happening and you try to stop it, but you can't do anything about it," Cowley said. "We committed some errors and they ended up getting a five-run inning on us to take the lead. David and Josh had pretty much been lights out this year, so you've just got to tip your cap to Rootstown."CVCA's offense could not respond in the bottom of the seventh and Cowley said he knew how hard the loss was to take."This was as hard as it gets," Cowley said. "Our boys were really down after the game. There's nothing that you can say to them that will make them feel any better. Now, you have to pick yourself off the mat and see how your character is."Based on the Royals' response May 10 against Tuslaw, the team's character is not in short supply. CVCA pounced on the Mustangs for eight runs in the first inning and never looked back. The Royals pounded out 14 hits in the mercy-rule shortened game."It was kind of one of those taking it out on Tuslaw deals," Cowley said. "It was not a given that we'd come out and play that well. Tuslaw won the PAC-7 last year."Shortstop Andrew Patterson led the charge for the Royals with four hits, including two doubles and a home run. Outfielder Brad Lynn had two doubles and two RBIs, while Kopscik had a single, a double and four RBIs.Starting pitcher Dan Halley improved to 4-0, thanks to the offensive outburst, but Halley had his own highlights, registering 13 strikeouts out of 15 outs in the game. "It was kind of a bounceback for his as well," said Cowley, noting Halley had a tough outing in his last appearance against Canton Central Catholic.According to Cowley, conditions at CVCA's home field May 15 made for an interesting game.With the temperature in the high 80s and the wind blowing out, it was like Jacobs Field in 1995 with Belle-Ramirez Indians," Cowley said, with a laugh.Fox, who improved to 7-0 with the win, Ben Miller and Kopscik all saw action in the game, but it was the bats who were the stars in this slugfest. Patterson socked his second homer in as many nights, while Kopscik hit his fourth bomb and first baseman Dan Wides launched his second homer of the year. "They felt a sense of accomplishment with the clinch [of the league title]," Cowley said. "It was a good way to come back from the disappointment of the tournament." CVCA was set to wrap up its season May 17 at Kenmore and May 19 in a doubleheader at Medina Highland. Although the league season was complete, Cowley said his team had something to play for in its last three games."The school record for wins in a season is 20 in 2003," Cowley said. "We kind of look at these last three games as a chance to break that and send our seniors out on a good note."E-mail: mleonard@recordpub.comPhone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3113