Baseball | Depth of pitching staff stands out for Greenmen

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Aurora pitcher Colin Skolaris earned the win recently against Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin with five strikeouts .

It has taken some time in a unique season, but the pitching for the Aurora baseball team is coming around.

With senior leader and Central Michigan recruit Jack Fecko out for the season, the Greenmen’s staff took a hit right from the get-go this spring, but hard work continues to reap benefits.

Behind an upper 80-miles per hour fastball and good off-speed stuff, junior starter Colin Skolaris will be a big key along with fellow right-hander and senior Mark Luke.

Both hurlers had strong outings for the Greenmen (8-4) last week.

Skolaris (1-0) earned the win as host Aurora toppled Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin 13-3 on April 23. Going five innings and not allowing any earned runs while scattering six hits, Skolaris struck out five batters to snag his first victory of the year.

“Colin has had great back-to-back showings against Nordonia and NDCL,” said Aurora coach Michael Brancazio. “It really carried over from the Nordonia game.

“We have been focusing on mechanics and Colin’s arm slot and he continues to get better,” added Brancazio. “Hopefully, it will continue for both Colin and Mark [Luke] as we will really need them both moving forward.”

Luke (0-2) had a strong outing spoiled at Copley earlier in the week as he fired a complete game, four-hitter. He fanned five batters and allowed only three earned runs to Copley (6-3), which moved to 2-3 in the league with a 4-1 win.

Aurora is 3-3 in the league.

Despite some command issues with six walks, Luke did a great job.

“Mark had a few command issues, but I felt like I probably kept him in there too long,” said Brancazio. “Mark has had back-to-back good outings and that’s great to see.”

Senior Sean Fritinger had a strong overall game against NDCL. At the plate as the club’s leadoff hitter, Fritinger went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, a sacrifice fly and had three RBIs in the win.

In addition, Fritinger had a hitless one-inning relief stint on the mound.

“Sean moved to the leadoff spot and did an outstanding job,” said Brancazio. “He’s a senior and knows what to do.”

Senior Andrew Horvath had a strong outing with a pair of hits, two runs, one RBI and a stolen base.

Senior Sean Fritinger had a strong game against NDCL. As the leadoff hitter, Fritinger went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, a sacrifice fly and had three RBIs. He also had a hitless one-inning relief stint on the mound.

On the year, Horvath is 3-0 out of the bullpen, which has been bolstered by junior Hunter Lane (1-0, one save and a 0.00 earned run average) and Fritinger (1-0).

“Andrew’s hitting has improved so much — he is hitting to all fields and there is a reason he is going to play at the University of Akron,” said Brancazio.

Junior Kurtis Miller had a good game. going 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a run and a steal.

“Kurtis is one of the guys we have been using at second base and he has really stepped up with his batting,” said Brancazio. “He has continued to work on his fielding too.”

Tyler Fernandez is getting healthy and went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. Also contributing to the offense were juniors Ryan Weber (two hits) and Kepler Rhoden (one hit, two stolen bases). Fernandez had an RBI in the top of the first frame at Copley as he brought home junior Chase Gerbrick (.429 batting average), who reached on a fielder’s choice.

Aurora got off to a solid start against Copley right-hander Tyler Walker, but that was all of the offense the Greenmen would get against Walker (3-1). Horvath, Fritinger, and Rhoden each had a pair of hits.

This week the Greenmen have games scheduled at Kent Roosevelt at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and at home Saturday against University School at 1 p.m.

Andrew Horvath is 3-0 out of the bullpen this season.