HUDSON -- Some very important games on the schedule lurked ahead of them.

And just about every conference game during the rest of the season is a must win.

Nonetheless, the Explorers seem to be in a groove right now.

Such a thought has their coach stoked.

The host Hudson baseball team improved to 10-4 on the season after posting a 6-0 victory over Suburban League crossover rival Copley April 21 at The Ballpark at Hudson.

The Explorers got strong pitching, timely hitting and they utilized a strategy that has led to much success over the years.

They played stellar small ball.

Hudson advanced runners 90 feet by hitting the ball to the right spots and was aggressive on the base paths throughout the evening.

"We're starting to put things together at the right time," Explorers head coach Buddy Dice said. "We've lost some one-run games. We're starting to learn from them."

Hudson has been involved in four one-run Suburban League National Conference games in 2017. The Explorers have lost three of those contests.

Against the Indians, Hudson got a dazzling performance from starting right-hander Johnny Colesi and some two-out clutch hitting.

"We had more quality at bats than we've had in the previous couple games," Dice said "Our baserunning was better."

Colesi pitched five innings to get the win. He retired the first nine batters in order, struck out six and walked none to improve to 2-0 on the season.

Left-hander Aiden Samuel retired the side in order in the sixth and right-hander Isaac Wiley pitched the seventh to finish it.

The Indians (5-7) had just three hits and no errors. The Explorers had eight hits and one error.

Hudson scored its first two runs with two outs.

Shortstop Hayden Knox got things going with a single to center field and right fielder Bryce Kilfoyle drew a walk.

The Explorers made it 1-0 when first baseman Seth Draper ripped a run-scoring single to left field.

Hudson scored its second run in the third.

After the first two batters failed to reach base, Knox smashed a double to the gap in right center and Kilfoyle drove him in with a single to right.

The Explorers scored four runs on four hits in the fifth.

Left fielder Nolan Laughlin made it 3-0 with a bunt single and Knox followed with a sacrifice fly to center. Draper drove in the final two runs with a single for Hudson, which was successful in all four of its stolen-base attempts.

Right-hander Adam Nedolast took the loss on the mound for Copley. He was relieved in the fifth inning by left-hander Will Lutes, who finished the game.

It would have been easy for the Hudson players to let their minds wander a bit April 21. That's because prom night was scheduled for April 22.

However, the Explorers showed no signs of being distracted against the Indians.

"We have a great group of seniors," Dice said. "They were very relaxed and very focused. It was great to play under the lights. They did everything they needed to."

Hudson, which was 5-3 as of press time, can make or break its season in the National Conference the rest of the way.

The Explorers were set to visit conference foes Twinsburg April 24 and Wadsworth April 25. Results of those contests were not available at press time.

Hudson is scheduled to entertain Wadsworth April 26 at 4 p.m. and conference rival Nordonia April 28 at 7 p.m.

On April 29, the Explorers are set to host Canton GlenOak in a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.


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