Friday, June 2, 2023

Mentor sweeps Elyria with two versatile NOC Valley wins

One day after winning a pitcher’s duel, the Mentor Cardinals showed the versatility required to win a game with their bats as well.

Tyler Thompson went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored, and Matt Eiswerth and Tommy Noll each had a pair of hits to help Mentor outlast visiting Elyria, 15-12, in a slugfest on April 22.

Five different Cardinals drove in two runs, including Thompson, Noll, Nathan Birtley, Dominic Dengel and Michael Hritz.

Mentor (8-3) scored three runs in each of the first three innings, but Elyria rallied to take a 10-9 lead in the top of the fifth inning. The Cardinals responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame to go back on top, 13-10, and scored two more runs in the sixth to finally put the win away.

“It was ugly and cold, but it was a ‘W,’” Mentor coach Jeff Haase said. “Thompson had a huge day at the plate for us.”

Eiswerth and Zak Schaefer each stole three bases for the Cardinals in the victory.

The win completed a home-and-home sweep of the Pioneers and pushed Mentor’s NOC Valley record up to 3-2.

On April 21, Hritz pitched a complete game to spark the Cardinals to a 4-2 win over Elyria on the road.

Birtley was 1-for-2 with 4 stolen bases for Mentor. Thompson, Dengel and Rob Mealey all drove in a run in the win.

“It was another ugly game, but it’s a ‘W’. Need to have a better approach at the plate,” Haase said.

“We seemed to always be one big hit away from a big inning. We are taking baby steps as a team and it is time to take the big step.”

After another NOC Valley game on April 23 at home vs. Medina, Mentor is scheduled to play at South in a non-conference showdown on April 24. The Cardinals defeated the Rebels in the 2014 Division I Euclid District title game.

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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