Steelies 17U Prospects roll in season opener

DUBLIN, OH – Behind a 6-run first inning, the Erie Steelheads 17U Prospects rolled to an 8-0 win over the Dublin Diamonds in their opening game of the summer season at the Worthington Wood Bat Tournament on Thursday.

The team, consisting of players from Warren, McDowell, Harbor Creek, Fairview, Union City and Brownsville, got a dominant outing from Aidan Kelly (Harbor Creek) on the mound.

Warren’s Mitch Grosch and Harbor Creek’s Cody Smith each had three hits to lead the offense, as well as an one RBI apiece.

The first six batters of the game reached safely for the Steelies (1-0), starting with a free pass to Casey Smith, who was doubled in by Cody Smith. Grosch followed with a single, Luke Jackson (McDowell) had an RBI base hit, Warren’s Ryan Rafalski drew a walk and Kelly singled before the first out of the frame.

That was followed by a base hit from Warren’s Micah Passmore and an RBI groundout off the bat of Brownsville’s Roco Frisco.

On the mound, meanwhile, Kelly was brilliant. In his six innings of work, he allowed just five hits, struck out five and walked two, throwing 48 of his 67 pitches for strikes.

Matt Shepard (McDowell) hit a sac fly in the fifth inning and Grosch ripped an RBI base hit to bring in high school teammate Nick Hussey to cap the scoring in the sixth.

The Steelies return to action with a pair of games today – against the Premier Ohio Heckler (Ohio Dominican University, 9 a.m.) and vs. the Southern Ohio Athletics (Westerville Central High School, 1 p.m.).

The roster is as follows: Jared Bielanin (McDowell), Casey Smith (Harbor Creek), Matt Shepard (McDowell), Cody Smith (Harbor Creek), Mason Bender (Fairview), Ryan Rafalski (Warren), Jamon Higley (Union City), Cameron Williamson (Harbor Creek), Mitch Grosch (Warren), Aiden Kelly (Harbor Creek), Luke Jackson (McDowell), Nick Hussey (Warren), Micah Passmore (Warren) and Roco Frisco (Brownsville).

They are coached by Jake Marinelli.

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