The John F. Kennedy Eagles pose with their Division IV district baseball championship trophy following their win over Heartland Christian on Thursday at Cene Park in Struthers.
STRUTHERS — The Kennedy Eagles have a phrase by which they consult with themselves — the “Electrical Eleven.” With solely 11 gamers on the roster, the Eagles have confirmed to beat the chances.
“That is my first season right here and though we solely have 11 guys, one senior and 6 freshmen, they labored their butts off,” Eagles coach James Ciambotti mentioned. “They’re particular children which have been introduced up the proper manner, and we’ve got gotten 1 / 4 of the way in which we wish to go.”
On Thursday, the fourth-seeded Eagles erased a two-year-old bitter style of their mouths by profitable a Division IV district title with a 10-0, five-inning mercy-rule victory over third-seeded Heartland Christian at Cene Park.
“We misplaced to Springfield. This implies all the things. This was our revenge recreation and we obtained it. There isn’t a higher feeling,” JFK’s lone senior, Cam Hollobaugh, mentioned concerning the 2019 baseball season.
Hollobaugh restricted the Lions to only one hit whereas hanging out seven. He issued solely two free passes within the contest. The Lions’ Jake Kling dribbled a single via the left facet of the infield within the fifth inning to interrupt up Hollobaugh’s no-hit bid.
“I used to be desirous about all of it day, to be sincere. Eager about what I used to be going to do. I’ve been locked in all day,” Hollobaugh mentioned.
“He’s achieved it in each sport,” Ciambotti mentioned. “It at all times begins on the mound, on the rubber, and he established the tempo. We obtained a few key hits and took benefit of a few their errors. However Cam is a brilliant athlete and we wished him to have the ball on this scenario.”
Heartland Christian coach Chris Gault additionally praised Hollobaugh.
“He’s a unbelievable participant. We knew we had been going to see him tonight and we had been girding up our power to face him,” Gault mentioned about Hollobaugh.
“All the perfect to JFK. They’re a wonderful opponent. I believe they will go deep in these playoffs.”
The Lions threatened to get on the scoreboard within the second inning when Nate Garzanich drew a two-out stroll after which superior to 3rd on an error. However Hollobaugh buckled down with a strikeout to strand the 2 baserunners.
It was the Eagles that obtained on the scoreboard within the third inning by being affected person and drawing three walks. In addition they took benefit of a dropped ball on a possible double-play.
Caleb Hadley hit an RBI sacrifice fly and Jared Rishel got here up with the primary of his game-high 4 RBI’s with a single to heart. That gave the Eagles a 3-0 benefit after the third body.
The Eagles broke the sport open within the fourth with two hit batters, a pair of walks, and a dropped pop-up. The Eagles took benefit of Lions’ miscues by pushing 5 runs throughout the plate within the inning to extend their benefit to 8-0.
The Eagles reached the mercy-rule margin by scoring twice within the fifth. Michael Mauro drew a bases-loaded stroll to attain Michael Condoleon who had led off the inning with a single to heart. Eagles’ proper fielder Rishel then lined a single to proper to attain Gavin Shrum for the game-ending run.
Rishel was an ideal four-for-four on the plate with singles within the second, third, fourth, and the game-ender within the fifth. He additionally drove in 4 of the Eagles’ 9 RBI’s on the night time.
“I used to be actually seeing the fastball effectively,” Rishel mentioned. “I used to be selecting it up proper out of his hand. We had been making an attempt to get them to throw strikes, in search of the proper pitch.”
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