Grosch throws no-hitter; Steelies win pair

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Warren teammates Mitch Grosch, Nick Hussey, Ben Berdine, Ethan Wilson, Ryan Rafalski and Micah Passmore gather following their respective travel teams games during the Brownlee Showcase Tournament in Cleveland Thursday, June 27, 2019. Grosch, Hussey, Rafalski and Passmore are playing for the Erie Steelheads 17U Prospects, while Berdine and Wilson are part of the Erie Steelheads 17U Travel. Both teams are participating in the Brownlee Tournament this weekend.

CLEVELAND – Warren pitchers dominated the first day of the Brownlee Showcase Tournament in Cleveland as the Erie Steelheads 17U Prospects picked up a pair of wins.

Mitch Grosch fired a no-hitter in a 4-0 win over the Brownlee Lookouts to open the day, and Ryan Rafalski threw a complete game 3-hitter in a 10-1 win over the LE Warhawks Jossey.

The Steelies picked up three runs in the third inning of the game against Brownlee. Casey Smith and Matt Shepad hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Cody Smith doubled in Casey Smith and Shepard scored on Luke Jackson’s groundout to make it 2-0. Mason Bender’s RBI double brought in Cody Smith for the 3-0 lead.

Erie tacked on another run in the fifth. Shepard led off with a single and Cody Smith followed with a double. One out later, Bender singled in Shepard to cap the scoring.

Meanwhile, Grosch was fantastic on the mound. Brownlee put a total of four runners on base all game, two via dropped third strikes. Grosch threw 103 pitches in his seven innings, 62 went for strikes. He walked just two and struck out 11. Grosch’s gem was the second no-hitter a Dragons pitcher has thrown for the Steelheads this season. Nick Hussey had one during the Commonwealth Classic in Lynchburg, Virginia on June 19.

The Steelies jumped out to an early lead to start Game 2.

Casey Smith hit a leadoff single to start the bottom of the first and Shepard was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Both runners advanced on a passed ball, and, with one out, Casey Smith scored on a second passed ball to put Erie up 1-0.

For the second time, they scored three in the third.

Shepard was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Cody Smith followed with a single. Jackson’s RBI single brought in Shepard to put the Steelies ahead 2-0. Bender fly out to deep center allowed Cody Smith to advance to third and he came home on an error on the play. Jackson was able to move to third on the play and scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.

The Warhawks got a run across in the fifth, but the Steelies answered in a big way.

Casey Smith hit a leadoff double and scored on Shepard’s single. Cody Smith singled and both he and Shepard came home on Jackson’s double. Bender followed with a single and Grosch’s RBI single brough in Jackson to make it 8-1. Bender came in on an error. Micah Passmore singled and Grosch scored on an error on the play to close out the scoring.

Rafalski gave his offense time to get going by keeping the Warhawks off balance all game. He allowed just one earned run on three hits in the five inning win. He walked just one and struck out six.

The Steelies are back in action this morning when they take on the Solon Stampede 17U. First pitch is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Oberlin College.