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Baseball Cats Take Down Mayfield in PBR Classic

By Joe Mertens '15, 04/12/22, 2:30PM EDT


Connor Gromen's three RBI game catapults Cats to a 12-5 victory over Mayfield.

GATES MILLS, Oh - After returning from their Spring Break trip in Florida, the Baseball Cats have been on an offensive tear, outsourcing their opponents 32-8 in three games. The Wildcats defeated Mayfield 12-5 in the PBR Classic on Sunday. The Cats pitching staff was masterful, allowing just two hits and two earned runs.

Junior Liam Baker got the starting nod on the mound at Gilmour Academy as the Cats took on the Wildcats of Mayfield. Baker would go four complete innings, not surrendering a hit, while striking out three Mayfield batters. "We started shaky in the first inning, but I brought my command up in the zone," says Baker. "I was able to find success and make it through the fourth."

The Cats opened the game with a pair of walks drawn out by Gabe Nard and Billy Adams. The Rider University commit, Anthony Paskell, would get the Cats on the board early with an RBI single to right field to score Nard. Sophomore Sawyer Solitaria hit an RBI sacrifice fly to center field to score Adams from third to make the score 2-0 in the first frame.

After a pair of walks and errors, Mayfield would come back in the bottom half to tie the game at two. Baker would allow three runs. However, none were earned. In the top half of the second, catcher Andrew Apanasewicz hit a lead-off double to open the inning. Micah Murtha would force a walk and Carson Herman would lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance Apanasewicz to third and Murtha to second. Connor Gromen took back the lead for the Cats with a one-out-two RBI single, making the score 4-2.

To allow the Cats' offense to blow the game open, Baker returned to pitch a 1-2-3 second and third inning. With an Apanasewicz single and Murtha reaching on an error, it set up Herman for an RBI opportunity in the fourth inning; Herman would rope a line drive to right field for a two-RBI double to make the score 6-2. Gromen would collect his third RBI of the night with a single to right field to score Herman, pushing the advantage to grow to 7-2. The rally would continue with an Adams RBI double, scoring Gromen. Pinch-runner Josh Putka would score on a passed ball, making it a five-run fourth inning for the Wildcats.

SIBN Players of the Game vs. Mayfield: Liam Baker

Mayfield would gain a run back on a fielder's choice in the bottom half of the fourth, but Baker worked out of trouble, not allowing a single hit in his outing. "Apanasewicz and I have always been close," says Baker. "Whenever I allow a hit or a walk, he always comes out to the mound and we laugh and go after the next batter."

Paul Mancino would come on for the Cats in relief in the fifth inning as it was a quiet inning for both teams. The Cats would add more runs in the sixth inning, as with two outs, Paskell hit a single that scored Gromen, who reached on an error, making the score 10-3 in favor of the Wildcats. Jacob Fix would score on a passed ball and Max Palinski would bring home Jacob Pfaff on an RBI double to give the Cats a 12-3 lead.

The first hit of the game for Mayfield would come in the bottom of the sixth as Matt Snider hit a two-run home run to left field to make the score 12-5. Mancino would finish the game on a strikeout as he would go three innings, allowing two hits, striking out five Mayfield batters.

The Baseball Cats improve to 4-2 after the victory in the PBR Classic. They will be back on the diamond on Tuesday, April 12, to take on the Jackson Polar Bears in Massillon at 5 p.m. The SIBN will not be able to broadcast; the next game on the SIBN will come on Wednesday, April 13, as the Cats will host Padua at Brookside at 5 p.m.