Friday, February 23, 2024

Hornets manufacture runs in 9-3 win at Perry

Kirtland did all the little things right in beating Perry, 9-3, on Friday in the opener of the 2015 Perry Wood Bat Classic.

The Hornets, who improved to 13-7 overall, collected 11 hits and manufactured several runs in clutch in situations.

“It was a very nice win,” said Kirtland coach Luke Smrdel. “Everybody was on the same page as a team, playing together. The pitchers did a great job too.”

Matthew Finkler, who suffered his worst outing of the season in a loss to Berkshire on Monday, threw the first three innings of the game on a very limited pitch count. Seth Carn pitched the last four to pick up the win.

“We wanted to get Matthew some work and Seth came in and finished it,” Smrdel said. “They both got ahead in the counts and didn’t walk many guys. They got us the ground balls and pop ups we needed.”

The Kirtland offense was just as effective.

David Allchin, who finished the game 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, led off the game with a single and scored on Anthony Fortuna’s double. Jacob Boyd then singled to score Fortuna to give the Hornets an early 2-0 lead.

Perry tied it in the bottom of the second but Kirtland scored one in the third and two in the fourth to make it 5-1. Both teams scored a run in the sixth to make it 6-2.

Kirtland put it away with three security runs in the top of the seventh.

Carn led off the inning with a walk and Palmer Capretta’s sacrifice bunt attempt turned into a single. Vinny Matticoli then doubled home both runs and moved to third on Brendan Williamson’s sacrifice bunt. Joey Bates singled in Matticoli to make it 9-3.

Smrdel was pleased with his team’s ability to manufacture runs in pressure situations.

“I told the boys that’s the stuff we’ve got to work on,” Smrdel said. “Late in the game we need to have that in our tool bag. If we need a bunt to score a run against a good team we’ve got to be able to do it. The team is getting much better at that.”

Allchin wasn’t the only Hornet to have a big day at the plate.

Matticoli knocked in three runs and Capretta and Bates both had two hits for the Hornets.

“David is right on it,” Smrdel said. “He’s been hitting the ball hard all week but it was right at the third baseman. Now they’re getting through. Bates is hitting it hard too and Capretta had a couple of hits. Let’s hope they all stay hot moving forward.”

Kirtland hosts Cuyahoga Heights on Saturday.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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