by Frank Aceto

Associate Sports Editor

Hudson -- Forty-seven wins and two Western Reserve Conference championships during the last two years.

That's a pretty impressive resume for most teams. For the Stow-Munroe Falls baseball team, however, that resume has one glaring omission.

The Bulldogs have no district championships during that time.

Top-seeded Stow was eliminated in a Northeast Division I district championship game for the second straight year after losing a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to second-seeded Brecksville-Broadview Heights May 16 at The Ballpark at Hudson.

With the loss, the Bulldogs finished 22-5 on the season. Brecksville, which lost to Twinsburg in a district semifinal last season, improved to 22-4. Stow also lost to Twinsburg in a 2006 district final.

The Bees won the game on their final at bat.

With two outs and a runner on first, Brecksville shortstop Jesse Brillinger sent a high fly ball toward the gap in right center. Stow center fielder Adam Heideman tried to make a running catch but the ball got past him, which allowed the winning run to score.

Stow left-hander Cory Martin, who finished 5-3 on the season and is heading to Kent State University, took the loss. He pitched 6-2/3 innings and allowed just six hits. He finished with eight strikeouts and issued five walks. Martin also hit a batter in the second.

Poor weather played a big role in the Bulldogs' loss to Twinsburg last year . It rained again, but the weather had nothing to do with the outcome.

"This one doesn't hurt as much as last year," said Stow head coach Brian Banfield. "Last year, the elements played against us. This time, we just put too much pressure on our pitcher. We never got into a rhythm."

The Bulldogs couldn't find their rhythm thanks to the stellar pitching of Bees' right-hander Craig Corcoran, who allowed just two hits in seven innings of work to improve to 7-2.

"Craig really picked us up," said Brecksville head coach John Mutch. "He got us out of some troublesome situations and is a competitor who wants the ball."

Stow certainly had its chances. The Bulldogs stranded nine runners on the evening and had just one hit in nine at bats with runners in scoring position.

Despite their lack of timely hitting, the Bulldogs were in control heading into the bottom of the fourth. They took a 3-0 lead in the top of the inning when right fielder Matt Gleespen hit a two-run triple to center. Gleespen also scored on a throwing error by the second baseman.

The Bees, however, came right back.

Brecksville tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on four hits.

Left fielder Calvin Corso drove in the first run with an infield single and Vossler tied the game with a two-run single to center. Martin, however, escaped further damage when he tagged out Corso at the plate after delivering a wild pitch.

Stow had at least one runner on base in every inning except the sixth.

Six seniors played in their final game for the Bulldogs. They are Martin, Heideman, Gleespen, catcher Trevor McGuire and pitchers Jimmy Smith and Andy Marshall.

"We've won 47 games and have gone 26-2 in the WRC over the last two years," Banfield said. "But I bet all of my kids would trade all of that for a district championship."


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