Edison slips past East Liverpool
RICHMOND – Good teams find a way to win.
The Edison baseball team scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break open a close game en route to a 6-2 victory over East Liverpool Tuesday evening out at Jefferson Lake State Park.
“We had the one big inning,” Edison (15-3) head coach Mike Collopy said. “Coach (Ryan) Willis is doing a great job with those kids. He had his kids ready to play. I’m not really sure that we were.
“Our at-bats were not good, and that is a credit to their pitcher. We made the plays defensively when we had to. Austin (Horan) pitched a good game. We still have work to do.”
The Wildcats led the Potters (7-10) just 1-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
“We had one bad inning,” Willis said. “The fourth inning killed us. That has been the trend of our season. We have one bad inning, and that puts a damper on the game.”
Both teams tallied five hits and three errors on the day.
Horan recorded the win. He struck out four and walked three.
Offensively, Tanner Evans ended up with a double and two RBIs, Collin Scott collected two base hits and Dylan Jones delivered a single and an RBI. Also, Nolan Marcus and Collin Skeeles contributed RBIs, while Bryce Piatt tallied a single.
“Baseball is a game where you play every day,” Collopy said. “You have to leave the past behind you. You have to be ready to play every day. We were not really ready to play today. That falls on my shoulders. We did what we had to do to win.”
Hunter Maze took the loss for the Potters. He did not strike out a batter while issuing three free passes.
“He did everything we asked,” Willis said. “He threw strikes. He stayed in counts. He worked ahead in counts. He did everything we could have asked. We just fell apart in that one inning.”
Offensively, Tyler Recktenwald tallied two base hits, and Jay Lane, Briar Meek and Ryan Bombich each chipped in with one.
“We couldn’t come up with the clutch hit,” Willis said. “We left way too many runners on base, especially in scoring position. We left runners on second and on third. We couldn’t get the big hit when we needed it.”
The Potters got on the scoreboard in the seventh, getting two runs on an errant pick-off throw to third base.
“It’s there,” Willis said. “We are hitting the ball. We are putting it in play. We just hit it right at them. We played a really good team today. They are one of the better teams around. My hat is off to them.
“We hit the ball. We put in play. We just put it in play right at people.”
It is the final week of the regular season, and both the Wildcats and Potters are getting prepared for postseason play.
“Every game means a lot,” Willis said. “I don’t want my players thinking a game is not important. I want them to have that fire in the belly in every game no matter what time of the season it is. I want our kids to really want to win. I want them to play hard every game.”
Collopy agreed with his counterpart. “Every game is important,” he said. “We have to get better as a team. You get better the more you play. We play every day this week.”
The Wildcats defeated the Potters, 8-1, Monday at East Liverpool.
“We will be seeing a lot of them,” Willis said. “That is the name of the game. You are not going to get better unless you play good teams. They are a well-coached team. They make the plays. Playing teams like them will only make us better in the long run.”
Both teams are scheduled to play at 5 p.m. today at home. Edison will play Carrollton, while East Liverpool will take on rival Beaver Local.
The Potters are scheduled to play three straight games against the Beavers. The teams are also scheduled to meet Thursday at Beaver Local.
Beaver Local, the No. 7 seed, will play eighth-seeded East Liverpool at 2:30 p.m. in Ohio Division II Eastern District Sectional Tournament play at Vaccaro Field.
“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Willis said. “They are good competition. It is a good rivalry. That’s the name of the game. It is fun for the kids. That is what it is all about.”
Edison, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, will play the winner of the game between fifth-seeded Cambridge and No. 10 seed Indian Creek at 5 p.m. May 15. The Bobcats and Redskins will play at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“Whether you win or lose, that is in the past,” Collopy said. “We have a lot to prepare for. It all starts with us. It is not about what the other teams do. It comes down to if we do what we are supposed to do pitch by pitch, offensively, defensively, with our pitching, being aware of the situation and knowing what to do.
“We are striving to be consistent. We are not real consistent at the plate today. That is a credit to their pitcher.”
Edison 6, East Liverpool 2
East Liverpool 000 000 2 – 2 5 3
Edison 010 500 x – 6 5 3
EAST LIVERPOOL (7-10): Maze (LP, 0K, 3BB) and Meek; Recktenwald 2S; Meek S; Lane S; Bombich S.
EDISON (15-3): Horan (WP, 4K, 3BB) and Skeeles; Jones S, RBI; Marcus RBI; Scott 2S; Evans D 2RBI; Piatt S; Skeeles RBI.