EUCLID — One bad inning was all it took to keep Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy baseball from winning the Division II district final.
Chagrin Falls scored nine runs in the bottom of the first inning, turning the district final May 16 at Kurt Stanic Field in Euclid on its ear. CVCA tried to rally late, but lost a 10-7 decision.
The Royals (15-10) were denied the district title for the second straight year by Tigers (24-5), as Chagrin coach Mike Sweeney picked up win No. 300 of his career.
CVCA starting pitcher Steve Taylor (7-2), who will play baseball at Indiana Wesleyan University next year, lasted only 0.67 innings, giving up nine runs (six earned) on seven hits.
Things seemed to be going CVCA's way in the top of the first.
Josh Junko and Josh Thacker drew back-to-back walks to start the game. Drew Wilson then reached on an error, allowing Junko to score.
A fielder's choice by Taylor then made 2-0.
After retiring the first man in the bottom of the first, however, the bottom dropped out on Taylor.
An error was followed by six straight singles by the Tigers, highlighted by two-run singles from right fielder Erik Wilson and third baseman Andrew Kwansy.
When catcher Cole Newbauer hit an RBI single to make it 8-2, Herblet pulled Taylor in favor of Matt Henning.
Newbauer would later score on a wild pitch to make it 9-2.
Henning entered in a tough spot, but he pitched well for the Royals, going 5.33 innings and giving up one earned run on six hits.
Chagrin Falls made it 10-2 with an RBI double from shortstop Matt Bencko in the fourth inning, but Henning kept the Tigers quiet after that.
Tigers starting pitcher Colin Kennedy (6-1) left the game with a 10-2 lead, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits.
CVCA couldn't crack the scoreboard again until the top of the fifth inning. Chris Fair heat a lead-off triple, followed by an error of the bat of Wilson to make it 10-3.
Herblet complemented his team for not giving up despite the deficit, as the Royals tried to make things interesting in the top of the seventh.
With two outs, Fair was hit by a pitch and Wilson singled. Taylor then ripped a two-run double to the fence in right.
Taylor Sobiech followed with an RBI single to score Taylor and designated hitter Christian Isaacs smacked an RBI double to left to make it 10-7.
With the potential tying run on deck, Sweeney lifted Kwansy and sent Ben Ceverello to the mound to get the final out. Ceverello got Henning to ground out to second to end the game.