Twinsburg baseball’s first swing through the Suburban League National Conference has been going just about perfectly.
Following its 10-3 home win over Wadsworth April 9 at home, the Tigers headed to The Ballpark at Hudson Thursday for a battle of undefeated teams. The Explorers handed Twinsburg its first loss of the season 3-1, but Twinsburg didn’t take long to bounce back.
The Tigers won two very different games Saturday at Case Western Reserve University, beating Parma 14-2 in five innings and then defeating Benedictine 1-0 at Nobby’s Ballpark.
Twinsburg’s record moved to 10-1, 5-1 in the Suburban League National Conference.
Despite suffereing its first loss of the season, Twinsburg coach Jeff Luca said the Tigers first three weeks of the season were an unqualified success.
Twinsburg actually faced two undefeated teams last week, as the Tigers handed Wadsworth its first loss.
"We played very well against Wadsworth," Luca said. "They’re a great team. We scored seven in the third inning, so that was huge. We were up 8-0 against a good team like them."
Benefiting from the run support was junior starting pitcher Zach Simchon (2-0), who went 5 innings, giving up two earned runs and five hits, while striking out two.
Zach Carinci pitched the final two innings, allowing one earned run on three hits
Twinsburg had plenty of heroes on offense, led by senior Justin Laley, who went 3-for-3 with an inside-the-park home run in the sixth inning.
Carinci went 2-for-4 as did senior Dylan Jackson, who had two doubles. Junior A.J. Zigman went 2-of-3 with two RBIs, while junior Nick Bonnizzo added a triple.
Luca said the victory gave the Tigers confidence heading into Hudson.
"We felt pretty good," Luca said. "Playing down there is always tough. It’s developed into a rivalry in recent years. We gave up two runs in the bottom of the first. After that it was pretty much an even game."
Junior Tyler Horvath took the loss for the Tigers (3-1) despite pitching a complete game. He allowed three earned runs off seven hits with six strikeouts.
"He settled after the first inning," Luca said. "It’s Hudson. They pitched well."
Twinsburg scored its lone run on an error in the fifth inning. The Tigers had five hits in the contest, including two singles from Jackson.
"It was a very good game," Luca said. "Our defense played well. We just have to try to get them when they come to our place."
Heading out to Nobby’s Ballpark in Cleveland Saturday, Twinsburg wasted no time in taking their frustrations from the loss on the Redmen.
"We jumped out and and scored eight runs In the top of the first inning," Luca said. "We scored 14 runs on eight hits. I think they walked a bunch of guys and had some errors.
Junior Craig Willson benefited from the run support, pitching a complete game win (1-0), allowing two earned runs off three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
At the plate, junior Chase Oberthaler led the Tigers with two doubles and two RBIs, while Carinci added two singles and two RBIs. Horvath and Tre Montgomery each went 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
In the contest against Benedictine, Twinsburg got the game’s lone run in the top of the first inning, thanks to an RBI single from Bonnizzo. Bonnizzo went 2-for-3 with two singles in the game, as Benedictine starting pitcher Matthew Stauffer scattered eight Tigers hits over his seven innings.
"The interesting thing from that game was three kids from Twinsburg play for Benedicitine," Luca said. "I’m sure the kids were aware of that."
Twinsburg’s defense was excellent as the Tigers played error-free ball and turned three double plays, including one to end the game.
Luca said he wanted to pitch by committee, but the Tigers’ trio of pitchers combined for a four-hit shutout.
Junior Matt Kahn improved to 3-0 on the season, allowing three hits in four innings of work. Oberthaler allowed no hits and two walks in his two scoreless innings, while Carinci picked up his second save of the year, allowing one hit in the seventh inning.
Twinsburg was set to travel to Cuyahoga Falls Tuesday.
The Tigers will play a makeup game Wednesday at Nordonia before hosting North Royalton Thursday. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. both days.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_GHO