HUDSON -- At the outset of the week, Buddy Dice reached his first milestone as Hudson's head baseball coach.
Dice picked up his 100th career win during the Explorers' 4-1 victory over Suburban League National Conference rival Stow-Munroe Falls April 17 on the road.
Hudson's schedule, however, left Dice with no time to celebrate-- and he wasn't in a festive mood after his team's game with National Conference foe Twinsburg April 18.
The Tigers pulled out a tight 2-1 win over the Explorers at The Ballpark at Hudson.
Hudson bounced back with an 11-0 win in 4-1/2 innings over Cuyahoga Falls April 19 at home.
The Explorers' record stood at 9-4 overall and 5-3 in the Suburban League National Conference as of press time.
Against the Bulldogs, Hudson was trailing 1-0 after four innings before scoring three runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth.
The Explorers finished with five hits and no errors. Stow, which scored its lone run in the fourth, had four hits and four errors.
Right-hander Johnny Merrill (1-2) got his first win of the season. He struck out seven batters and walked none in seven innings of work.
Seth Draper had a single and a run scored and Ryan Mitcheltree had a single, two stolen bases and a run scored for Hudson.
The Explorers stole six bases.
The April 18 game was a pitcher's duel between Twinsburg's Ryan Christy (5-0) and Hudson's Troy Brown (2-2). Both seniors pitched complete games.
"I don't think Troy threw his best game," Dice said. "We battled hard, but the two leadoff walks definitely hurt us."
Brown allowed only two earned runs off hits. Brown also struck out four batters, but he walked four Tigers.
Christy picked up the win by allowing just one earned run in seven innings. The Ohio (Athens) University recruit scattered seven hits, while striking out three batters and walking one.
"He kept out guys off balance," Dice said of Christy. "It was a pretty close game all the way through."
"What a great team they have," Twinsburg head coach Don Jones said of the Explorers. "Their kid [Brown] is a heck of a pitcher. As I said before, our guys will battle and we will grind out anything we need to."
Two of Brown's walks helped the Tigers score the first run in the top of the second.
After walks to first baseman Jake Carinci and catcher Chad Syzdlowski, Twinsburg third baseman Dylan Jackson put down a sacrifice bunt.
Left fielder Bobby Delegram then hit a sacrifice fly to left field and Carinci beat the throw home to make it 1-0.
Twinsburg manufactured its second run in the top of the fifth inning in similar fashion.
Jackson walked and went to second on a wild pitch, followed by a perfect bunt single by Delegram.
Jackson scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by second baseman Jason Stahlman.
Hudson's lone run came in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to a leadoff double by catcher Grant Gedeon.
Gedeon moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a run-scoring ground out from Mitcheltree, the team's designated hitter.
The Explorers had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.
With one out, third baseman Johnny Colesi singled, Gedeon walked and center fielder Matt Oscarson laid down a perfect bunt single to load the bases.
While Jones tried to calm his troops, he said there was no thought of taking Christy out.
"Ryan is such a competitor on the mound," Jones said. "In 30 years of being head coach, you probably would have seen the first fist fight on the mound if I had tried to take him out in the seventh."
With everyone in the ballpark looking for a squeeze play, Christy was able to strike out Mitcheltree, bringing left fielder Nolan Laughlin to the plate.
Laughlin had two singles earlier in the game, but never got to swing the bat.
Colesi broke for home when the squeeze was not on and Szydlowski ran him back to third. Szydlowski then tossed the ball to Jackson, who tagged Colesi to record the final out of the game.
"Things just didn't work out for us at the end of the ballgame," Dice said.
Against the Black Tigers, sophomore Nolan O'Connell (2-0) pitched a complete-game shutout, limiting Falls to just two hits in five innings of work.
Hudson scored four runs in the second inning, six runs in the third and one in the fourth to invoke the 10-run mercy rule.
The Explorers finished with 11 hits and no errors. The Black Tigers had one hit and four errors.
Laughlin had a triple and a double and drove in four runs. He also scored once.
Mitcheltree had two hits, including a double, two runs scored, a run batted in and a stolen base.
Nolan O'Connell had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI. O'Connell (2-0) also got the win on the mound. He finished with four strikeouts and no walks in five innings of work.
Hudson was set to get another shot at Twinsburg April 20 at Dodge Field and host Suburban League crossover foe Copley April 21, but results were not available at press time.
The Explorers are set to return to National Conference play this week. They are scheduled to visit Wadsworth April 25 and before returning home to play the Grizzlies April 26. First pitch for both games is 4:30 p.m.