Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Geneva has district title hopes dashed in loss to Chardon

GATES MILLS–Mitchell Cormiea pitched a complete game with seven strikeouts leading Chardon to a 5-2 win over Geneva in a Division II district semifinal at Figgie Field on Monday.

Chardon struck early, scoring two runs in the first three at-bats and never looked back.

“I feel like we hit the ball every bit as good as Chardon did,” Geneva coach Josh Hartz said. “There were five or six balls that were hit right at people, or they made excellent plays on. If two or three of those fall, we’re probably sitting tied right now. Ultimately, that happens in baseball.”

Junior Vinny Varckette got the start for the Eagles, pitching three innings and giving up four runs.

Hartz replaced Varckette with senior Nick Stoltz in the top of the fourth. Stoltz would pitch the remainder of the game, giving up just one run.

“Small picture, people say you should always put your best pitcher out there to advance to the next round,” Hartz said. “I don’t believe in that. Sometimes I believe in the situation that I know another kid can get it done. I really felt like Vinny threw a good game for the amount of time I wanted him to throw. He gave up a couple hits here and there, but ultimately if we were 4-2, that’s still a winnable game when Nick comes in.”

Senior Tyler Lindberg started off the short rally in the bottom of the fourth with a single followed by a walk by Varckette.

A throwing error brought home Lindberg and a Ben Scibona single drove in Varckette.

“We started to get to the point where it was 4-0, then we knew we had to go,” Hartz said. “We brought it right back to 4-2 and I still felt good about where we were.”

Chardon looked to blow the game open in the top of the fifth as they got their first three runners aboard, but they were only able to bring home one run.

A great catch in deep center by senior Tyler Hartz saved two runs and kept the Eagles within striking distance.

The Eagles were unable to generate any runs in the final three innings.

“Ultimately, I think we overachieved this year,” Hartz said. “But, some of our young players got valuable time at the varsity level. I believe can get back here next year. Hopefully we can finally get over the hump.”

The Eagles finished the season with a record of 16-6.

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