Although the Nordonia High School baseball team was not able to win the Suburban League National Conference championship, the Knights still have a chance to clinch second place outright.
Nordonia battled conference counterpart Stow-Munroe Falls May 8 (results were not available at press time). If the Knights beat the Bulldogs, they claimed sole possession of second place. Hudson won this year's conference title.
On Tuesday, May 2, Nordonia traveled to conference adversary Wadsworth. The Knights dropped a 3-1 decision to the Grizzlies.
Senior Kyle Seither threw a complete game for Nordonia, allowing six hits and two earned runs. "It was a tough-luck loss," said Nordonia head coach Drew Hoisington. "We couldn't score or execute when we needed to. We had runners on first and third base in the fifth inning with one out and we flew out to centerfield and the runner on third was thrown out trying to score. Then we had runners on first and second with one out in the seventh inning, and we popped up and struck out to end the game."
Offensively, six different Nordonia players had one hit. Sophomore Brendan O'Donnell accounted for the Knights' lone RBI. "There were tough weather conditions," said Hoisington. "The wind was blowing in at 20 to 30 miles per hour. It was a tough hitting day, and they (the Grizzlies) just executed a couple more times than we did."
On May 3, Nordonia hosted Wadsworth. This time, the Knights edged the Grizzlies by the score of 4-2.
Senior Daniel Heiser notched the victory on the pitching mound. He threw six innings, allowing six hits and striking out seven batters.
Senior Trey Crockett paced Nordonia at the plate, producing two singles and a RBI. In addition, freshman Mike Hamrick and junior Mason Mimms both accounted for a single and RBI.
"We bounced back from the loss, and it was a solid baseball game with no real mistakes," said Hoisington. "We got guys across home plate when we needed to. We had some two-out RBIs, which was nice to see."
Nordonia now owns an overall record of 13-8. The Knights are also 9-4 in the National Conference.
In addition to Nordonia's game on Monday, the Knights are also scheduled to clash with non-league opponent Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary May 10.
Nordonia was also seeded fourth at the recent sectional/district tournament draw. The Knights will open the postseason May 12 against the winner of the Twinsburg-Cleveland John Adams at home at 4:30 p.m.
"It's been a rough two weeks game-wise," said Hoisington. "We've played some inconsistent baseball against good teams. Anybody can beat you in this league. Our guys are disappointed that we did not close out the league. We were in first place for most of the season. We're looking to bounce back this week and make a deep run in the playoffs."