Edison drops sectional final to Cambridge

STEUBENVILLE – A couple of costly fielding miscues and one controversial call brought an end to Edison’s stellar baseball season Friday.

Cambridge turned the Wildcat mistakes into three runs on its way to posting a 4-2 victory in the Division II sectional co-championship game at Vaccaro Field.

The victory sends the Bobcats into next week’s district at Vacarro. Cambridge, now 20-8, will battle West Holmes on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Edison, which won the Buckeye 8 and OVAC Class 5A titles, finishes at 22-4.

“Cambridge did a good job of taking advantage of our mistakes,” Edison’s Mike Collopy said. “We had some communications breakdowns which didn’t allow us to execute in certain situations. It came down to communications and them taking better advantage of our mistakes than we did of the ones they made.”

The Wildcats, who clipped Cambridge to earn the OVAC championship, manufactured a run in the home half of the first. Dylan Jones delivered a lead-off single up the middle. He moved to third when Josh Pasek reached thanks to a Cambridge error. Dylan Jones was able to score after a Bobcat throwing miscue on Nolan Marcus’ fly ball, The Bobcats were guilty of three errors in the frame but Edison couldn’t capitalize, stranding runners at second and third.

Marcus, who started on the hill for Collopy’s club, retired the first six batters he faced, four via strikeouts. Dillon Sunnafrank, Cambridge’s starting pitcher, started the third with a triple to deep left. He scored on Devon Francis’ grounder to second.

The next hitter, Caleb Tingle, laced a double down the third base line. Marcus recorded the second out and appeared ready to avoid more trouble. Unfortunately, an Edison throwing error on Kyle Ritz’ infield bouncer allowed Tingle to score. The throw pulled Wildcat first baseman Brian Straka off the bag but he still appeared to slap a forceful tag on Ritz. The base umpire saw things differently.

In the chaos that followed the call, Tingle raced home.

Edison tied the game in the fourth, thanks to a pair of Cambridge errors.

Dylan Glasure reached on a miscue then advanced on Dylan Jones’ third hit of the game. He scored when the Bobcats committed another error trying to nail D. Jones at first.

Cambridge added another run in the fifth; Francis reached on an error and scored when Trevor Wilkinson singled.

The final tally came in the sixth, Cody Huffman leading off with a base knock to right. Huffman’s substitute runner took off for second and Edison had one of those communication breakdowns since nobody covered. The catcher’s throw sailed into center. Then an overthrow to third allowed the run to cross home.

Sunnafrank threw an outstanding game for Cambridge, allowing five hits (as mentioned Dylan Jones had three before leaving the game with an injury) and fanning 11. Marcus and Collin Scott also singled for Edison. The Bobcats finished with five errors.

Marcus took the loss, despite fanning 5 and issuing no walks. Ryan Kramarich took over in the fifth. He recorded three strikeouts. Combined, they allowed just four hits.

“This hurts now and it is supposed to,” Collopy stated. “Anytime you give everything you have and come up short, it’s going to hurt. And that’s OK. At the end of the day or in a week, whenever this thing wears off, our kids can be proud of what they accomplished.

“There’s not one team in the state that is happy to lose. We’re extremely disappointed that we lost. But, when it is time to reflect, these guys will have every reason to be proud of the season we had and the tradition they passed on to the next class.”

Collopy added he expects his teams to “play well at the right time,” adding “today it just didn’t happen for us.”

“The expectations we have are our own,” he continued. “We don’t expect anything different regardless of who graduates or who is coming back. We expect to get better every day and play consistent baseball.”

Friday’s loss ended the Edison careers of five seniors (Straka, Alec Jones, Glasure, Chance Wilkin and Kramarich).

“The best part about our five seniors is they may graduate in another week or so but their season is going to live on,” Collopy noted. “They gave our younger kids motivation on how to move forward when things don’t go your way.

“Ryan (Kramarich) was a JV player and Straka was hurt all over last year. Dylan went from starting his sophomore year to sharing time as a junior. Chance and Alec did great jobs. Those guys all contributed. They are a big reason why we had the season we did. They could have easily listened to everyone else’s expectations, which there were none. I’m most proud of them for that.”