The Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy baseball team saved its best hitting game of the season thus far for its for its first tournament game.
CVCA scored an 11-4 victory over visiting Mantua Crestwood May 9 in a Euclid Division II sectional final.
Sandwiched around that impressive win were two regular-season games -- a 6-5 loss in eight innings May 8 at Principals' Athletic Conference rival Orrville and a 6-1 win over the same Red Riders May 10 at home.
CVCA's overall record stood at 14-8 as of press time. The Royals finished 9-5 in the PAC.
Against Crestwood, the second-seeded Royals proved to be a resilient bunch as the seventh-seeded Red Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning off senior Steven Taylor.
"Steven then buckled down and pretty much dominated the rest of the game. He's a true competitor," said CVCA head coach Jason Herblet of his ace who yielded 6 hits while striking out five and walking only one.
Behind a 14-hit attack, the home team scored one run in both the first and second innings, two in the third and another in fourth before hanging up a six-spot in the sixth.
Junior Drew Wilson had two doubles, a single and two RBIs.
"The last few games Drew has started to see the ball well and has been hitting it well," Herblet said.
Sophomore Taylor Sobiech and his classmate, third baseman Josh Junko, both singled twice, knocked in two runs and scored a run. Sobiech also drew a walk.
Also with two singles were Taylor and junior second baseman Dylan Nichols. Taylor scored twice and Nichols once.
Senior left fielder Chris Fair doubled and scored twice. Junior Matt Henning and junior centerfielder Josh Thacker both singled and scored. Henning had an RBI and Thacker drew two walks.
Senior first baseman Matt Miller knocked in a run, scored and drew a walk. Sophomore Alex Jacob plated a run.
In the loss to Orrville CVCA squandered 4-0 and 5-4 leads. Orrville's winning run scored on a walk off single to left field.
Henning started but ran into trouble in the fourth. He went 3 2/3 innings, gave up four runs, two hits, struck out three and walked four.
Sobiech came on and pitched the next 1 2/3 innings, yielding a run and three hits while striking out one and issuing a pair of walks. Thacker, who took the loss, went the rest of the way, yielding a run and two hits.
Junko, Sobiech and Henning each had two singles, an RBI and scored a run. Junko also drew a walk and stole a base. Henning had two stolen bases.
Taylor singled, knocked in a run, scored and swiped 2 bags.
Nichols and Fair both singled. Nichols plated a run.
In the win over Orrville, which gave, it was all Royals from the start. They scored a run in the second, three in the third and a run apiece in the fourth and fifth.
Wilson doubled twice, knocked in a run and scored twice.
Taylor doubled, singled, had an RBI, scored and stole a base.
Henning, Junko, Thacker and senior infielder James Hancock each singled. Hancock added 2 RBIs, Henning scored and stole two bases and Junko scored and drew a walk.
Fair knocked in a run and Miller plated one.
"The last few games we've hit the ball well," said Herblet.
Wilson started and was credited with the win. He went 5 innings, yielding 3 hits while fanning 6 and walking 2.
Sophomore Tommy Lile made his first varsity appearance. He went the last 2 innings, giving up a run and a hit while striking out 3 and walking 1.
The win over Crestwood advanced CVCA to a scheduled matchup with third-seeded Woodridge May 15 in a district semifinal at Euclid High School. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.
A Royals victory would qualify them for the district championship game that is scheduled for May 16 against the winner of top-seeded Chagrin Falls and fourth-seeded Ravenna, also at Euclid. First pitch would be at 4:30 p.m.
"Woodridge is very well coached, a fundamentally sound team," said Herblet. "The top half of their lineup is very good. They've got two or three arms that are really good, too. Either Drew or Steven will start. I'm leaning toward Drew, but that could change. They'll both be rested."
As for the regular portion of CVCA's season, the Royals were scheduled to travel to non-conference opponents Revere May 12 and Cuyahoga Falls May 13, the latter as part of the Cuyahoga Falls City Championship. However, the results were not available at press time.
CVCA is scheduled to close its regular season May 17 at Woodridge, also as part of the Cuyahoga Falls City Championship. First pitch is set for 4:15 p.m.