TWINSBURG — The rematch between Hudson and Twinsburg baseball had been building for weeks.
Since their first meeting April 11, which saw Hudson hand Twinsburg its first loss of the season 3-1, Twinsburg has remained undefeated, while Hudson suffered two defeats in the Suburban League National Conference.
When the two squads met at Dodge Field Monday, however, Mother Nature reasserted herself. Raindrops started falling as both teams took infield practice, leading to the game being postponed to sometime next week.
Outside of Hudson, rain has been the only thing to defeat the Tigers this season. Twinsburg picked up two more wins last week, beating Brecksville-Broadview Heights 9-1 at home on April 22 and downing Stow-Munroe Falls 9-7 on the road April 24.
Twinsburg’s record stands at 14-1, 9-1 in the National Conference.
Despite the rain disruptions, Tigers coach Jeff Luca said he believes his team will be able to keep rolling.
"Watching our guys go about things, they just go to work," Luca said. "You’re always worried something might slow you down. They come to work. That’s how it’s been all year. They were ready to play today. I can tell you that."
Against the Bees, junior Matt Kahn was masterful as he improved to 4-0 on the season. Kahn pitched six innings, giving up no runs and two hits with nine strikeouts.
Kahn said the strategy vs. the Bees was simple: Fastball inside, curveball outside.
"I just tried to jam them on the inside and try to get them to roll over on some balls outside," Kahn said.
"He had command the whole time," Luca said. "That was the difference."
Left-hander Chase Oberthaler allowed one run on two hits in the seventh inning.
By contrast, Bees starter Max Hartland lasted only 3 1/3 innings, as the Tigers’ attack was balanced and constant. Twinsburg banged out 13 hits in the win and scored in every inning but the first.
Junior Zach Carinci led the Tigers, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI, while Tyler Peltz went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two stolen bases.
Third baseman Dylan Jackson added a sacrifice fly, a double and an RBI, while junior Nick Bonnizzo went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Against Stow, junior Zach Simchon improved to 5-0 on year, but noted the win was about the only positive about his outing.
"A win is a win," Simchon said. "It was probably the worst game I can remember pitching and still getting the win. I had trouble spotting my fastball."
Simchon’s line wasn’t pretty, as he pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits with six walks, two hit batters and three strikeouts."
The good news was Twinsburg’s offense kept churning, banging out 10 hits and giving Simchon an 8-4 lead heading into the fifth inning.
"It’s been huge," Simchon said of the run support. "I don’t remember there being a team I’ve played for that hit this well. I don’t think there’s been a game this year where I’ve pitched and we haven’t had five runs."
Oberthaler got the final out of the fifth inning, while Carinci pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his fourth save of the year.
"It’s nice to have Zach come in from shortstop to close out the game," Luca said. "He’s become a real asset for us."
"Stow was into it," Luca added. "We did a nice job at the plate. We didn’t change our approach a bit when we got down. Our top four hitters had seven hits."
At the plate, Carinci and junior Justin Laley each went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Jackson went 2-for-3 with an RIB.
Bonnizzo had a double in the win, while catcher Joe Procop went 1-for-3.
With the postseason draw looming, Luca said his message to his team is very simple.
"Just stay focused and stay hungry," Luca said. "We’ve got to keep using the same approach we’ve had all year. They’ve been coming ready to play.
Twinsburg was set to host backyard rival Nordonia Tuesday.
The Tigers face another big National Conference game when they travel to Wadsworth Wednesday.