Saturday, September 24, 2022

Chagrin Falls tops Hawken with 12th-inning walk-off single

CHAGRIN FALLS—Pitching dominated the day in Chagrin Falls’ 1-0 12th-inning win over visiting Hawken on Tuesday.

Brett Vaccaro hit a one-out single in the bottom of the 12th and stole second with two outs to set up Nick Calabrese’s walk-off single to end the game.

“It was tremendous,” said Chagrin Falls Coach Michael Sweeney. “We always talk, that’s kind of the Chagrin Falls way, we pitch, play defense, and hopefully come up with some timely hitting, but better late than never I guess.”

Calabrese faced an 0-2 count before hitting a line drive into left field.

“After their second pitcher came in, we finally adjusted and started hitting the ball,” Calabrese said. “That hit was huge, and we finally got a hit that was actually meaningful. We had hits but none produced runs, so that was huge.”

Chagrin Falls starting pitcher Leo Fornara struck out 17 in the nine innings he pitched and allowed just one hit in the no-decision. Andrew Kirkpatrick threw three scoreless innings to pick up the pitching victory. He allowed two hits and struck out three.

“(Fornara) has been awesome all year,” Sweeney said. “The fact that he can throw three pitches for strikes, and when he’s really going, spotting his fastball and getting that off-speed curveball, and he was able to throw them in the strike zone.”

Calvin Hill led Chagrin falls at the dish going 4-for-5 with four base hits. Vaccaro added a pair of hits and had the lone run in the game. Calabrese, Andrew Bazzone, Gavin Stevens, and Drew Mergenhagen all recorded a hit for the Tigers.

“You knew someone had to score at some point,” Sweeney said. “To be honest, it was a little bit of a relaxed feeling. I went over and told the team this is it, they’re going to call the game because of darkness. We’re either going to tie, or win. So we thought we might as well give it a shot and see what happens.”

Devin Anthony pitched nine innings for the Hawks. He allowed eight hits and struck out eight batters. Lucas Brandt came on in relief and pitched 2 2/3 innings with five strikeouts.

Hawken coach Aaron Brandt feels confident about his team due to the experience the Hawks possess.

“The best thing I can say about my team is that we are a veteran team,” Brandt said, “They’ve been through adversity, but I would not term this as adversity. It was just a well-played game by two very quality teams.”

Tommy Clark led Hawken at the plate, getting a pair of base hits. Asher Kimball also recorded a hit for the Hawks, who fell to 6-1 on the season.

With the win, Chagrin Falls improved to 9-4 overall and 5-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division.


Brian Papesch
Papesch, an Orange High School and Notre Dame College graduate and life-long Cleveland fan, has a passion for all sports. He is focused on delivering accurate, informative, and amazing information on Northeast Ohio's finest teams and athletes.

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