Given the strength of the Suburban League National Conference, it would have taken a massive effort for Twinsburg baseball to finish 14-0 in league play.
So much of baseball is responding to adversity, however, and the Tigers responded well to their first defeat of the season.
After losing 5-3 at Brecksville-Broadview Heights April 12, Twinsburg bounced back with an 8-2 win over Wadsworth April 13 at Dodge Field. The Tigers shared the National Conference title with the Grizzlies last season.
Twinsburg then played a doubleheader at Olmsted Falls April 15. With both teams going deep into their pitching staffs, Twinsburg lost game one 9-3 and then won game two 23-4.
Twinsburg's record stood at 8-2, 5-1 in the National Conference of press time.
"It nice to finally get outside," said Tigers coach Don Jones. "Hopefully, we can maybe get the schedule caught up a little bit and maybe get a practice outside."
Coming off a home win over the Bees April 11, Jones was sure Brecksville would come back firing on April 12.
Junior Jason Stahlman (1-1) took the loss on the mound for Twinsburg. He went 4.33 innings, allowing three runs off three walks, three hit batsmen and seven hits.
"Brecksville swung the bat very well," Jones said. "They took advantage of some opportunities and we did not. That was pretty much the game.
"We had the bases loaded in the first inning and got one run," Jones added. "We had bases loaded with no out in the last inning and got one run. We had an opportunity to battle right until the end. We've got to get better when we need to."
Twinsburg was led by senior Ryan Christy with four singles, senior shortstop Cristian Tejada with two singles and senior Jake Carinci, who went 2-of-4 with an RBI.
"Eight of our nine hits came from those three guys," Jones said. "You can't take the fact away that Brecksville made plays."
Needing to bounce back, the Tigers did just that when he they welcomed the Grizzlies to Dodge Field.
Christy started for the Tigers and was very solid, improving to 4-0 on the season. Christy went six innings, giving up two unearned runs on five hits and no walks.
"We didn't play our best in the field early in the game," Jones said. "We did later in the game."
Christy helped his cause at the plate, as he put up two doubles, a single and had four RBIs. Senior Chad Szydlowski added two singles and an RBI, as the Tigers banged out nine hits in the win.
"Against Wadsworth, our approach in the batter's box was excellent," Jones said.
Jones noted the weekend doubleheader with Olmsted Falls came after the Tigers had played four league games in four days.
"They were in the same boat we were," Jones said. "Our weekend games are an attempt to keep everybody sharp."
Game one was tied 2-2 heading to the bottom of the sixth inning, as senior Carson Leo gave up two earned runs in four innings of work.
However, sophomore Justin Laley (0-1) took the loss in his first varsity pitching appearance, as the Bulldogs scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth.
"He deserved better," Jones said of Laley. "We didn't play well behind him."
Twinsburg had seven hits in the loss, including a two-run triple from Christy.
In game two, things got a little out of hand for the Tigers. Already up 9-4 in the top of the seventh inning, Twinsburg scored 14 runs in the seventh, sending 18 men to the plate.
"We started played baseball at 11:05 (a.m.) that day. We got out of there at 5:30 (p.m). We were beat," Jones said.
In his first appearance of the season, junior Ethan Bernhard (1-0) picked up the win, going four innings, allowing one run of four hits, two walks and two strikeouts.
Bernhard got an avalanche of run support, as Twinsburg drew 15 walks off Olmsted Falls' pitchers.
"We didn't swing at things out of the strike zone," Jones said. "In a game like that, you can end up extending things. We stayed true to ourselves."
Laley had the biggest game at the plate for the Tigers, as he smashed a solo home run and a three-run double. He finished with five RBIs.
Tyler Gairing added two doubles, a single and three RBIs, Christy went 3-of-4 with two singles, Carinci had two singles and two RBIs, while Stahlman went 1-of-3 with two RBIs.
"This week is definitely going to show us what we are made of," Jones said. "It looks like we're playing six games in six days."
Twinsburg was set to travel to Wadsworth April 17 and Hudson April 18, but results were not available at press time.
Twinsburg was scheduled to host Middlefield Cardinal April 19 at 4:30 p.m. before hosting Hudson April 20 at 4:30 p.m. The Tigers will travel to Chagrin Falls April 22 to face Chagrin at 1:30 p.m. and Solon at 5 p.m.
"It's going to be a very good week and we're going to get to play some ball games in," Jones said.