Walsh, Wadsworth, Hoover, Medina advance to Division I baseball district finals

·8 min read
Ryan Piech, Walsh Jesuit
Ryan Piech, Walsh Jesuit


Macedonia Division I District Semifinal

Walsh Jesuit 4, Ellet 0

Junior Ryan Piech recorded 19 strikeouts and limited Ellet to one hit in a shutout performance Tuesday to lead the Warriors (21-5) to a victory at Nordonia High School.

Ellet junior Cameron Allen singled in the top of the seventh inning to break up the no-hitter attempt by Piech, a Xavier University recruit. Piech (6-2) walked one and two other Ellet batters reached base on errors.

Allen allowed four runs and six hits en route to a complete game for Ellet (14-8). 

Walsh took a 1-0 lead in the third inning with two outs when senior Andrew Gormley hit a bunt single, stole second base and scored on an RBI single by junior Joey Canzoni, a University of Cincinnati recruit.

The Warriors' lead reached 3-0 in the fourth with seniors Will Harding and Kasey Kish scoring runs. Harding hit a triple and scored on a balk. Kish walked, stole second, went to third on a bunt single by junior Topher Salek and scored when junior Alejandro Covas hit into a groundout.

Kish scored the final run of the game in the sixth when he singled, stole second base, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Salek and touched the plate via an RBI single by Covas. 

Walsh is set to play Mayfield in a district championship at 11 a.m. Thursday at Nordonia. Mayfield beat Massillon 13-1 Tuesday.

Macedonia Division I District Semifinal

Mayfield 13, Massillon 1

Patrick Dinnen pitched a five-inning complete game with nine strikeouts to help the Wildcats (14-12) top the Tigers (16-9).

Mayfield's hitting leaders were Matthew Snider (2-for-3, two RBI); Sperling (2-for-4, RBI); Rocco Monestero (2-for-3) and Frank Ceraolo (2-for-3, three RBI).

John Allen of Wadsworth pitches against Stow during a regular season baseball game at the University of Akron earlier this season. Allen pitched a no-hitter to lead the Grizzlies to a win over the Bulldogs.
John Allen of Wadsworth pitches against Stow during a regular season baseball game at the University of Akron earlier this season. Allen pitched a no-hitter to lead the Grizzlies to a win over the Bulldogs.

Strongsville Division I District Semifinal

Wadsworth 3, Avon Lake 1

University of Akron recruit John Allen (7-1) struck out eight and allowed two hits and no earned runs in six innings to lead the Grizzlies (18-6).

Wadsworth's Jon Byers hit an RBI single and pitched a scoreless seventh to earn a save. Wadsworth's other top hitters were Aaron Keating (two doubles, RBI, run) and Ethan Green (single, RBI).

Wadsworth advanced to meet host Strongsville at 4 p.m. Thursday. Strongsville topped Parma Normandy 6-0 Tuesday.

Nick Vardavas, North Canton Hoover
Nick Vardavas, North Canton Hoover

Canton Division I District Semifinal

North Canton Hoover 3, Dover 0

Senior Nick Vardavas pitched a four-hit shutout with seven strikeouts to lead the Vikings (17-7) over the Tornadoes (21-4) at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium.

Ty Sowers led Hoover with two doubles, a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Hoover's Luke Roach and Deacon Heather provided the other RBIs for the Vikings, and Mason Ashby scored two runs.

“Baseball is a funny sport,” Hoover coach Bryan Ashby said. “It’s about when that team gets hot at the right time. And I think getting back to a consistent routine was important. These are high school kids, and when guys start to feel better about themselves it gets contagious.

Hoover advanced to p Boardman in a district final at 5 p.m. Thursday at Munson Stadium.

Hoover has wins in 12 of its past 14 games and is getting ready for its first district final since 2019.

Nick Vardavas of Hoover delivers a pitch during a Division I district semifinal against Dover at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium on Tuesday. Hoover won 3-0.
Nick Vardavas of Hoover delivers a pitch during a Division I district semifinal against Dover at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium on Tuesday. Hoover won 3-0.

Vardavas (6-2) is a Miami of Ohio recruit and threw 107 pitches Tuesday.

“The fastball-curveball combo, that was going for me,” Vardavas said. “I was getting up in the count, making sure they chased the curveball. That was the goal the whole time, and it ended up working.

Senior Ayden Hall (7-2) lasted until Sowers’ second double knocked him out after 6⅔ innings. Hall struck out seven and allowed three runs on seven hits.

Canton Division I District Semifinal

Boardman 1, Lake 0 (9)

Boardman (17-12-1) pushed a run across with two outs in the top of the ninth as junior Gavin Hyde bested Connor Campbell in a terrific pitchers’ duel.

Campbell (6-3, 0.46 ERA) did not allow a Boardman runner to touch third base until pinch runner Adam Konnerth rounded third on his way to home plate.

Campbell didn’t get to a three-ball count until the second batter of the ninth, Anthony Butto. That turned into his only walk of the day, which turned into the only run of the game when Hyde dumped a first-pitch single into right-center to score Konnerth, who was pinch running for Butto and had moved to second on a fielder’s choice.

Campbell, a right-hander and Mount Union recruit, threw 109 pitches — 83 for strikes — in his eighth complete game in nine starts.

Lake (17-11) scored one run combined in Campbell’s three losses.

Hyde (6-1) allowed four hits and struck out seven in eight innings. Griffin Widrig worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his fourth save.

“At some point in that game, someone was going to have to come through. Thank goodness our guy did,” Boardman coach Joe Gabriel said. “Gavin threw a heckuva game. He was incredible all night. So was their guy. He was awesome, too.”

Cleveland Division I District Semifinal

Medina 2, Highland 1

Hansen Huth pitched a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts to lead the Bees (19-8) to a win at Talty Field at the Brookside Reservation in Cleveland. Medina's Danny Stoddard had three hits, Nate Hill finished with a single, a double, a walk and an RBI and Owen Cavey had the other RBI.

Medina advanced to play Cleveland St. Ignatius in a district final at 5 p.m. Thursday at Talty Field. Ignatius beat Shaker Heights 5-1 Tuesday.


New Riegel Division II Regional Semifinal

Oak Harbor 6, Norton 0

Sometimes it’s a manner of timely hits.

The Rockets (23-8) had them. The Panthers (20-9) did not.

Norton had no problem reaching base, but putting the finishing touches on Oak Harbor pitcher Reagan Schultz (20-3) was the problem.

The Panthers went 1-for-10 with runners on. It hurt even worse as they stranded five runners in scoring position. Including a bases-loaded pickle that Schultz got out of in the fourth and another with runners on first and third in the sixth.

On the flip side, Oak Harbor’s first two runs came with two outs and the Rockets registered 13 hits to end Norton’s season two steps away from the state semifinal.

“Their pitcher moves the ball a lot,” Panthers coach Dick Castilow said. “We worked to be sure we stayed on top, but still had a lot of popups. She was good, but let’s hand it to them. They’re good. We had two opportunities when they were up two and we could have took the lead or tied it, but didn’t come through.”

Youngstown Division I Regional Semifinal

North Canton Hoover 10, Walsh Jesuit 2

Hoover (18-6) had 17 hits and limited Walsh to five in a matchup at Youngstown State University. The Vikings trailed 2-1 through three innings, and then took control with two runs apiece in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, and three runs in the seventh.

"Hitting is something we practice a lot," Hoover pitcher Sydnee Koosh said. "We know that it is an important factor when it comes to winning games when you get to this stage of the tournament. We know we need to be able to score runs."

Koosh (14-4) pitched a complete game for the win and Walsh's Natalie Susa took the loss.

No. 9 hitter Delaney Shannon put Hoover ahead for good with a two-out, two-run triple in the top of the fourth.

"She's come up with a few big hits for us this season so I wasn't surprised," Hoover coach Jerry Goodpasture said. "If you look at her numbers on paper they may not stand out to you, but that doesn't tell you everything. For some reason, she has a knack for coming up with big hits. Some kids just seem to have a way of making something happen in key situations, and she has it."

Faith Reicosky led Hoover with three singles, one double and three RBIs. Faith Kiko totaled three singles, a run and an RBI, Tess Bucher collected a single, a triple and two RBIs and Shannon finished with a single, a triple and two RBIs.

"When one of us gets a big hit it kind of gets the rest of us going," Kiko said. "I feel like we also do a really good job of sharing information with each other. We kind of pass down what we learn about the opposing pitcher and what they like to throw in certain situations, and that helps."

Hoover advanced to meet Austintown Fitch in a regional final at 5 p.m. Friday at YSU. Austintown Fitch beat Brecksville 5-2 Tuesday.


St. Vincent-St. Mary 25-25-25, Toledo Scott 6-9-6

Riles Guseman and Nick Hale had nine kills and seven kills, respectively, to lead STVM to a Division II tournament win. STVM's other key players were Cullen Sivak (14 service points, six aces), Ethan Wyszynski (20 assists, 12 service points), Jason Walter (10 service points, three aces) and James Warholy (nine service points, four aces).

Firestone 25-20-25-25, Medina 16-25-18-22

Brennan Chivers and Peter Green had 10 kills apiece to lead the Falcons to a Division I tournament victory. Chivers also had 23 assists, and Green's stat line included 15 service points and nine aces. Firestone's Trevor Boss totaled 23 digs and Porn Khai added 15 service points.

— Compiled by Michael Beaven, Brad Bournival, Cliff Hickman, Josh Weir and Jeff Deckerd

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Ryan Piech leads Walsh Jesuit to baseball district semifinal win