Spring peeked out last week and Twinsburg baseball took advantage by playing five games in as many days.
"At this point, we just want to play," said Tigers coach Don Jones. "These young men came out for the team to play baseball, not to be stuck in a gym. It is what it is. We were young at the beginning of the year and we’re still young, because we haven’t been able to practice outdoors."
Playing through all that youth, the Tigers went 2-3 over the course of the week in five straight road games.
Twinsburg scored a 7-2 win at Brecksville-Broadview Heights Tuesday, defeated North Royalton 10-0 Wednesday on the road, lost 9-6 Thursday at Stow-Munroe Falls, fell 4-1 at Copley Friday and lost a 6-5 decision at Shaker Heights Saturday in walk-off fashion.
The Tigers’ record moved to 4-3, 3-1 in the Suburban League National Conference.
Noting his team played five solid squads, Jones was happy with his team’s work.
"I’m very happy with our effort," Jones said. "We need to continue to work on getting better. We lost to a couple of very good baseball teams. Copley is a good team and Stow is just excellent. We lost in extra innings to Shaker."
Against the Bees, Twinsburg ace Sean Williams (2-0) got the win, despite being a bit all over the place. Williams allowed just one run one hit with six strikeouts in five innings, but also had seven walks and one hit batsman. Jon Czech pitched a scoreless inning of relief, while Zach Simchom allowed one run in the seventh inning
"We were quite happy with the way [Williams] competed," Jones said. "We played very good defense Brecksville and North Royalton. We gave them some walks, but we made plays when we needed."
At the plate, sophomore Zach Carinci led the Tigers by going 2-of-4 with three RBIs, as the Tigers had nine hits in the win.
Against North Royalton, Twinsburg had things working in all three phases to win the game in five innings.
Sophomore Tyler Horvath (1-0) picked up the win, pitching five scoreless innings allowing four hits, four walks and two hit batsman, while striking out three.
"We played very good defense behind Tyler," Jones said.
Carinci had another big game, going 3-of-4 two singles and a double, while junior Dylan Jackson went 2-of-3 with a double and junior Justin Laley went 2-of-4 with a double.
"We came right out in the first, put two runs up and went from there." Jones said. "We were swinging the bat really well at that point of the week. We were extremely pleased."
Jones noted Stow may have been the best squad his team faced so far.
"They are extremely talented. It was a big game," Jones said. "It was an extremely good baseball game with the win blowing out. That led to three home runs by them, which turned out to be the difference in game.
Offensively, the Tigers were still hot. Carinci went 2-of-5 for two singles, Jackson had three singles and two RBIs and senior catcher Joe Procop had two singles. Laley belted a three-run home run for the Tigers.
However, Twinsburg’s pitching staff could not maintain an early lead vs. Stow’s offense.
Junior Tre Montgomery started, but Carinci (0-1) took the loss after coming on in relief in the fifth inning.
"It was a long week, so we had to go deep with our pitchers," Jones said. "We had taken the lead, but they came back on us. They have so much talent at the plate."
Jones said the game against Copley "a well-played game on both sides."
"We were both trying to get guys [at bats] and keep people the sharp," Jones said. "It was nice to be out in the sun, there’s no doubt about that.
Sinchom, Czech and senior Ethan Bernhard each pitched two innings in the game. Czech (0-1) took the loss, allowing two hits and one earned run with two strikeouts.
Twinsburg’s offense cooled off a bit, as the Tigers had only six hits vs. the Indians.
Senior shortstop Jason Stahlman led Twinsburg, going 2-of-3 with single, a double, an RBI and a stolen base.
"We hit the ball pretty solid. It went right at people," Jones said. "We had a couple of opportunities with runners in scoring position, but we just couldn’t get them home. That’s been the problem the last two games — we couldn’t get timely hits."
The game with Shaker Heights saw Stahlman (1-1) take the loss, despite giving up only one run in 3.1 innings of work. Williams and Horvath each were on strict pitch counts in the game.
Stahlman also led the Tigers at the plate going 2-of-5 with two singles.
"They gave us a couple of errors and some walks. We took advantage in the fifth inning to take 5-4 lead," Jones said. "They scored one in the seventh inning and scored in the scored a run in the bottom of the eight to win it. Shaker is a very good team."
Twinsburg’s rematch with Stow Monday at Dodge Field was postponed until Friday due to rain. Twinsburg also is scheduled to host North Royalton Wednesday and Wadsworth Thursday. First pitch for all three games is set for 4:30 p.m.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MLeonard_RPC