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The Baseball Cats Advance as District Champions

By Eli Maistros '24, 05/27/22, 1:15PM EDT


Despite rain showers late in the contest, the Wildcats defeat Medina 9-4 to advance to the Regional Semifinal.

CLEVELAND, Oh - On an ominously cloudy Thursday evening, the Saint Ignatius Varsity Baseball Wildcats played in the OHSAA District Championship game against the Medina Battling Bees. It was a packed house at Talty Field at Brookside Reservation, as Saint Ignatius was able to take the sting out of the Bees.

Senior right-hander Gabe Nard got the ball to start the District Championship and set down three straight Bees. The offenses began early as Billy Adams drew his team-leading tenth walk and Nard drove him in with a laser double. Nard eventually crossed the plate when left fielder Max Palinski drove him in when he reached on an error by the first baseman.

In the second, Nard did much of the same, retiring Medina 1-2-3 before the Cats' offense exploded. Anthony Paskell reached and Adams singled him in. Nard doubled for the second time putting two in scoring position for Sawyer Solitaria. He cashed them both in with a single right up the middle. Palinski followed that up with a bloop triple, pushing the Wildcat lead to 6-0.

The Bees blew up Nard's perfect game with two two-out runners, but Nard struck out the last batter to end the frame. Micah Murtha and Pauly Mancino were in scoring position, but the Wildcats could not cash in.

Nard loaded the bases with one out to start the fourth frame, but Nard limited the damage to only one run scoring on a weak single through the right side. Nard led the inning off with a single and Murtha drove him in with a single through the left side.

Solitaria entered the game with two on and no out in the fifth, ending Nard's night. Nard's final stats were four innings, four walks, four hits and one run. Two runs were able to cross the plate via a Nard throwing error. The Bees loaded the bases, but Solitaria struck a man out to strand three.

Adams laced a two-out triple and Nard was intentionally walked, but the Cats could not pounce on the golden opportunity.   

Solitaria re-entered for the sixth and gave up a two-out run from a single before the heavens opened up in Cleveland.

SIBN Players of the Game vs. Medina: Pauly Mancino and Gabe Nard

After sheets of water poured from the sky and we had resumed play, the Bees hit a sharp groundball that snuck past the second baseman. No need to fear, however, as Mancino came up firing and got the advancing runner at home plate to end the inning.

Saint Ignatius added two more in the seventh when Micah Murtha doubled down the right-field line, scoring Jake Fix and Andrew Apanasewicz. Solitaria came out for the seventh but walked the first two and was replaced by Mancino. The junior induced three straights outs, two of them strikeouts, and sealed the wild District Championship for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats advance to take on Strongsville in the Regional Semifinal on Thursday, June 2 at 5 p.m. from North Ridgeville High School. The SIBN will continue to have live video coverage.