MACEDONIA — Through the first two weeks of the season, it had been feast or famine for the Nordonia baseball squad — with the Knights’ struggles mostly coming in the Suburban League National Conference.
The Knights opened their conference schedule with back-to-back 11-1 losses, losing in six innings at Wadsworth Wednesday and in five innings Thursday at Stow-Munroe Falls.
In a weekend trip to suburban Columbus, however, the Knights found their offense. Nordonia scored a 10-5 win at Worthington Kilbourne Friday and then swept a doubleheader at Hilliard Bradley Saturday, beating the Jaguars 14-11 in game one and Ontario 8-4 in game two.
Nordonia banged out 31 hits and had 32 runs over the weekend. Thus, when it returned home Monday to face Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Nordonia hoped to continue its hitting ways.
The Knights hit early, only to see the Bees rally with five unanswered runs to score a 5-4 win. A two-run home run from Brecksville second baseman Garrett Kubitz proved to be the difference in the game.
Norodnia moved to 6-3, 0-3 in the National Conference with the loss.
"I’m not unhappy with the way we played," said Nordonia assistant coach Anthony Ciocca. "Our bats went cold for a couple of innings. When you sit on a lead, the league’s too tough for you to do that. You’ve got to keep pushing."
Nordonia seemed to have things going early. In the second inning, a single by designated hitter Luke Jackson, a sacrifice bunt and two hit batters loaded the bases for Nordonia pitcher Nick Heiser. Heiser then smashed a two-run single to make it 2-0 after two innings.
In the third inning, Nordonia second baseman Robby Levak singled and right fielder Vince Varner was hit by a pitch. That was followed by RBI singles from left fielder Joey DeRusso and Aidan McFerren to make it 4-0 after three innings.
Heiser was in control on the mound through three innings, but Brecksville scored two runs without a hit in the fourth inning. A walk, a hit batter, a sacrifice bunt, two errors and a stolen base allowed the Bees to cut it to 4-2.
While Nordonia banged out four runs and five hits in three innings from Bees starter Andrew Holobinko, Brecksville reliever Max Hartland (1-0) dominated the Knights, retiring the first 11 Nordonia batters he faced over four innings.
Meanwhile, Brecksville took the lead in the top of the fifth inning. An infield single by Tommy Barth, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single by Jordan Shaheen cut to 4-3.
After a strikeout, Kubitz smashed a home run to dead center field, making it 5-4.
"He hit it to the deepest part of the ballpark," Cicocca said. "You’ve got to give him credit."
Heiser (1-2) took the loss, allowing runs (four earned) on five hits with four strikeouts in six innings of work. Caleb Cunningham pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the Knights.
Catcher Mike Hamrick gave Nordonia hope in the bottom of the seventh when he hit a two-out double to the fence in left field. However, center fielder Brendan O’Donnell flew out to left to end the game.