FAIRVIEW - With an ever-increasing pitch count working on a surgically repaired arm, Eisenhower coach Jon Vincent wanted to lift Knights' pitcher Aaron Jackson from Wednesday's game with Fairview.
"Coach, I got this," Jackson replied.
Did he ever.
Times Observer photo by Allen Seybert
Bringing the heat
Warren pitcher Eddie Dorunda delivers a pitch to a Slippery Rock batter during a baseball game between the teams Wednesday at Old Legion Field. Warren improved to 2-0 with a 14-0 victory.
Jackson pitched all nine innings - striking out 15 and allowing just three hits - and delivered a game-tying RBI double in the seventh for good measure, helping the Knights to a 5-4 victory over the Tigers.
"Aaron was absolutely phenomenal tonight," said Vincent. "He pitched the game of his life. He threw too many pitches and I wanted to take him out. But he told me he had it. I told him his arm is important to me - but go get them. He was throwing as hard in the ninth inning as he was in the first."
Jackson got a comebacker to the mound and two consecutive punchouts in the bottom of the ninth to close things out.
Early on, it didn't look as if this would be Eisenhower's day.
Fairview scored all four of its runs in the first three innings, and led 4-0 entering the top of the fourth. In the first three innings, Eisenhower sent nine batters to the plate and eight of them were sat down via the strikeout.
Things changed in the fourth.
"(Fairview pitcher Nolan) Roberts is a hard-throwing lefty and we haven't seen anything like him before," said Vincent. "I kept telling the kids to not give up. The second time through the order we started to hit the ball."
Freshman Kyle Hunt got things going with a one-out double in the fourth. Jackson was then hit by a pitch and Aaron Lundmark singled to load the bases. Trevor Spicer followed with a two-run single to cut the deficit in half. Ryan Williams also drove home a run with a single to make it 4-3.
"We were stressing to the kids to run everything out, put some pressure on them in the field," said Vincent. "Lundmark and Spicer both got on base by sheer hustle. We were making them hurry and they made a couple mistakes."
Still, Ike trailed 4-3 as the game entered the top of what was supposed to be the game's final inning. The Knights had other plans.
Jeb Fedorchuk led off with a walk and was run for by Josh Deppas. After a pair of strikeouts, Hunt walked to put runners on first and second. That brought Jackson to the plate and the senior came up big with a double to drive home Deppas and tie the score at 4-4.
With Jackson cruising on the mound, the contest remained tied until the ninth when Eisenhower brought home a run without even securing a hit. Eric Hastings, Shane Arford and Hunt all walked to load the bases and Hastings scored on a passed ball to provide what would be the winning run.
The Tigers went down in order in the ninth and Eisenhower improved to 1-2 on the campaign.
"In my three years here, this is the hardest the guys have ever played for me," said Vincent. "It was a special win."
Eisenhower will seek to even its record at 2-2 Monday when it welcomes Seneca to Werner Park.
EISENHOWER (5): ab-r-h-rbi: Hastings, 2b, 4-1-1-0, Hunt, 1b, 3-2-1-0, Jackson, p, 4-1-1-1, Arford, rf, 4-0-0-0, Lundmark, c, 5-0-1-0, Spicer, ss, 3-0-1-2, Williams, 3b, 3-0-1-1, Fedorchuk, cf, 3-0-0-0, Deppas, pr, 0-1-0-0, Baker, lf, 2-0-0-0, Lewis, ph, 1-0-0-0, Garris, ph, 1-0-0-0, Totals: 33-5-6-4
FAIRVIEW (4): LaRocca, ss, 4-0-0-0, Connell, c-p, 3-2-1-1, Roberts, p, 3-1-1-0, Jackson, 2b, 4-0-1-2, Matthews, 1b, 4-0-0-0, King, 3b, 3-0-0-0, Jameson, rf, 4-0-0-0, Samsell, lf, 4-1-0-0, Tregaski, cf, 3-0-0-0, Totals: 32-4-3-3
Eisenhower 000 300 101 - 5 6
Fairview 103 000 000 - 4 3
2b-Hunt (E), Jackson (F). WP-Jackson. LP-Connell.
Warren 14, Slippery Rock 0
With the day off from school, the Warren Dragons appeared sluggish early in their Wednesday contest against Slippery Rock.
When they woke up, it was over in a hurry.
Warren scored nine runs in the fourth inning - all unearned - and improved to 2-0 on the young season with a 14-0 victory over the Rockets at Old Legion Field in North Warren.
"We were a little sluggish, but I thought we played a pretty good game overall," said Warren coach Jeff Passaro. "We did a great job defensively and they helped us out a lot in that fourth inning. When the kids don't have school, it always seems to take a little extra time to get going."
The Rockets nearly struck first in the contest, loading the bases with just one out in the top of the first. Dragons pitcher Eddie Dorunda then got a Rockets batter to ground to second baseman Brad Walters, who flipped to shortstop Kory Thomas. Thomas threw to first baseman Preston McMeans for a 4-6-3 twin killing to end the threat.
The Dragons then scored a run of their own in the bottom of the inning after Thomas led off with a double and scored on Hank Morrison's groundout.
It remained 1-0 until the bottom of the third where the Dragons broke through with four runs to make it 5-0. Andrew Bevevino started things with a walk and stole second before scoring on Morrison's RBI triple. Morrison scored on Matt Jaskolka's sacrifice fly. Dorunda added a two-run single before the inning was over.
If the game wasn't over by the end of the third, it was certainly over after the fourth; Warren plated nine unearned runs - all after two outs in the inning.
The scoring barrage was highlighted by a Jaskolka RBI double and RBI singles by Chris Danielson, Preston McMeans and Dan Maeder.
Dorunda was the winning pitcher for Warren; he improved to 2-0 on the year. Morrison pitched the fifth for the Dragons.
The Dragons return to action Wednesday, hosting Strong Vincent.
Matt Hultquist was 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in the second inning, and Jason Stanton had a double and triple, in Warren's 11-2 junior varsity win. Collin Fantaskey had a three-run triple in the sixth inning to give the pitching win to Tanner Teconchuk, who worked the first three innings, allowing one earned. Hultquist finished it off with three strikeouts over the last three innings for Warren J.V. (2-0).
SLIPPERY ROCK (0): ab-r-h-rbi: Hogue, 3b-p, 3-0-0-0, White, ss, 1-0-0-0, Robinson, c, 2-0-0-0, Geraldpowski, 1b, 2-0-1-0, Stephenson, p-3b, 2-0-1-0, Northcott, lf-rf, 2-0-1-0, Pelletier, rf, 0-0-0-0, Arienzo, rf-lf, 2-0-1-0, Buhler, lf, 0-0-0-0, Lauster, cf, 2-0-0-0, Leonberg, 2b, 2-0-0-0, Totals: 18-0-4-0
WARREN (14): ab-r-h-rbi: Thomas, ss, 4-3-2-0, Bevevino, c, 2-1-0-0, McIntosh, ph, 1-0-0-0, Morrison, 3b-p, 3-2-1-2, Cerra, ph, 1-0-0-0, VanOrd, dh, 2-1-1-0, Stanton, pr, 0-1-0-0, Walters, 2b, 0-0-0-0, Jaskolka, rf, 2-1-1-2, Danielson, cf, 3-2-3-1, Dorunda, p-3b, 3-0-2-2, Fantaskey, cr, 0-1-0-0, McMeans, 1b, 3-1-1-1, Maeder, lf, 3-1-1-1, Totals: 27-14-12-9
Slippery Rock 000 00 - 0 4 5
Warren 104 9x - 14 12 0
2b-Thomas (W), VanOrd (W), Jaskolka (W), Danielson (W), Dorunda (W). 3b-Morrison (W). WP-Dorunda. LP-Stephenson.
Junior varsity game
Slippery Rock 100 100 1 - 2 4 3
Warren 250 103 x - 11 8 1
2b-Jason Stanton (W), Tanner Stanz (W). 3b-Stanton (W), Collin Fantaskey (W). HR-Matt Hultquist (W). WP-Tanner Teconchuk. LP-Horner.