Thursday, December 7, 2023

Persistence pays off for Cardinal in 15-8 win at Harvey

It wasn’t perfect but Cardinal came up with the most big innings in a 15-8 win at Harvey on Tuesday. The Huskies, who improved to 1-2, twice came from behind and scored a combined 10 runs in the fourth and fifth innings to pull away from the Red Raiders.

“It was a little rough on both sides,” said Cardinal coach Brian George. “We made some errors and so did Harvey but a win’s a win.”

KC Cress overcame a tough start to allow just one earned run and struck out 10 in five innings of work to pick up the win for the Huskies. Andrew Miller pitched the final two innings.

“KC did a nice job,” George said. “It was a little bit cold and he kind of struggled at first. We gave a couple runs away but he went out there and did what he had to do for us and Andrew Miller came in and finished it up.”

Ryan Bruncak singled and scored on Cress’ sacrifice fly to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Red Raiders responded with two in the bottom half of the inning to lead 2-1.

The Huskies then exploded for four runs in the top of the third.

Cody Purpura and Bruncak both reached on an error and Clark Thurling singled to score Purpura. Bruncak made it 3-2 on a ground out and Thurling scored on Brant Zemelka’s sac fly. Evan List then doubled and scored on Joe Tucker’s single to center.

The 5-2 lead lasted until Harvey put up four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Cardinal responded with four in the top of the fifth and six in the sixth to pull away.

“I was pleased with the way we played,” George said. “I thought we swung the bat pretty well overall and situationally we did a nice job of taking advantage of some of their mistakes. We kind of cut down on swinging at bad pitches. Hopefully we can keep it up and keep going forward offensively.”

Thurling and List both finished 3-for-5 in the game. Thurling added three runs batted in.

“He hit the ball on the nose all day,” George said of Thurling. “Even his outs were line drives, right at fielders. He’s just tearing the cover off the ball. He was just excellent at plate for us today. Evan kind of broke out a little bit tonight. He drove in a run and swung the bat really well. He had some live outs right at guys.”

Zemelka had an RBI and two runs scored and Tucker was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI.

“Brant did a very nice job. He had a very key bunt, which was supposed to be a sacrifice, but it was bunt for a base hit there in the fifth inning, and he had a sac fly,” George said. “Joe Tucker had couple nice hits and RBIs in key situations. That’s really key for him to swing the bat well for us. He gives us a nice presence behind the dish and anything he can give us offensively is great.”

Purpura finished with three RBI and Bruncak had two hits for the Huskies.

Cardinal hosts Harvey on Wednesday.

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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