A Page -- March 24, 2010

North Royalton High alumnus 

Steve Weber baffles Cleveland

State hitters in Viking debut in 

The Freight; Vermilion’s Tim

Clark shines in relief role for CSU


March 24, 2010


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor





AVON – In a non-league Division I college baseball affair, Eastern Michigan's 8-0 win over Cleveland State leveled the figment of a black cloud over the Vikings’ season home opener today here in All Pro Freight Stadium, the new digs for CSU.


After a pitchers’ dual for four innings that kept any runners from crossing the plate, Eastern Michigan knocked Viking hurler Travis Miller out of the box in the fifth inning with a six-run rally for starters, which prompted CSU Coach Kevin Kocks to insert Vermilion High alumnus Tim Clark in relief.


The  freshman lefthander hit the first batter he faced and then gave up a two-run single to Aaron Crooks before finally ending an Eagle streak of 10 consecutive batters reaching base safely with getting the next two batters to fly out to end the inning and the guests leading 8-0.


Meanwhile, North Royalton High alumnus Steve Weber was doing the trick on the mound for EMU, earning the first win of his college career. The freshman right hander, who was making his fifth appearance but first start as a collegian, struck out seven batters in the first three innings before the Vikings started making some contact.

Former Bear Steve Weber gets first college win

Listen to post game interview with North Royalton native Steve Weber by clicking on link to download

From there, Weber’s defense behind him took over from there. First St. Ignatius alumnus Alex Johnson opened up the fourth inning with a double, but then tried to stretch it into a triple with no outs in a scoreless game and was thrown out at first base by Eagles second baseman Zack Leonard, a Canton McKinley grad..


McKinley's Leonard

With two outs in the fourth, Akron Garfield alum Kyle Shaffer walked, but was picked off by Weber, getting thrown out in the pickle by Leonard.

EMU Logo

CSU had the fragments of a comeback attempt in the seventh inning when Weber hit Shaffer with a pitch and Tyler Wynn got only the second hit of the afternoon off the EMU hurler, but the southpaw bore down and retired the final two batters, including his ninth strikeout of the game.

Horizon League

Weber was finally relieved with two outs in the eighth, leaving the game with 10 Ks, only two hits, no runs, and three walks. In the process, he lowered his ERA significantly from the 14.62 mark he had coming into the game


After closing out the fifth inning, Clark picked up the stride, facing the minimum six batters the next two innings. He was aided by 6-4-3 (Tom Carter-Alex Gnezda-Tyler Wynn) double play in the sixth.

Tim Clark
Vermilion's Tim Clark

Listen to post game interview with Vermilion High alum Tim Clark by clicking on link to download

It was the sixth appearance of the year for Clark and by far his best. After giving up 22 earned runs in his previous 11 innings as a collegian, Clark gave up no runs in  four 2/3 innings pitched, allowing only four base runners and among those was only one hit. He retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced. He struck out five batters.

Kevin Kocks

Coach Kocks

Listen to post-game interview with CSU coach Kevin Kocks
Click on link to download

CSU third-base coach Drew Saylor was right at home in this park. Saylor, a Wadsworth native and Kent State alumnus, was a key part of the 2009 Lake Erie Crushers’ Frontier League championship team and will be back for another season this year. 

CSU 3B coach/Crusher 2B man Drew Saylor


New food special highlights season ticket promotion


By Nicolle Meyer

AVON — The Lake Erie Crushers are pleased to announce a special promotion to help launch the second season at All Pro Freight Stadium.  For a limited time only, the next 500 full season tickets sold for 2010, the Crushers are providing 25% off concession stands purchases for the entire season.


The special offer will be available on all full season ticket packages purchased by Friday, April 23 and limited to the first 500 sold.  Full season ticket packages can be purchased for as low as $395.  Fans are encouraged to call the Crushers office at 440-934-3636, visit the websiteLakeErieCrushers.com, or visit the ballpark to speak with a Crushers representative to purchase their tickets or to learn more.


“We are very excited to launch this extensive season ticket campaign on the eve of our 2010 season,” said Crushers General Manager, Ryan Gates.  “Crushers full season tickets already provide a savings for our fans and with the food special in place, fans have the chance for great savings for their families or business.  Our goal for year two is to continue to grow our fan base and this exciting promotion is just the tip of the iceberg for what the Crushers have planned in 2010.”


The 25% discount will include all food and beverages purchased at the Lake Erie Crushers 1st and 3rd base concessions stands excluding any alcohol purchases.


The Lake Erie Crushers, the 2009 Frontier League Champions, play ball at All Pro Freight Stadium located in Avon, OH. Beginning in 2010, All Pro Freight Stadium will also be home to the Cleveland State University baseball team. The Frontier League is an independent baseball league with 12 teams operating throughout the Midwest. Season tickets for the 2010 season are on sale now! For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website at www.LakeErieCrushers.com or call 440-934-3636.

Softball - Mount Union 

Freshman Rachel McAninch 

Throws No-Hitter in Split At 

Ohio Wesleyan

March 24

By Ryan Fishleigh

Game 1: Ohio Wesleyan 1 - Mount Union 0
Game 2: Mount Union 5 - Ohio Wesleyan 0

(DELAWARE, OH)-- Freshman pitcher Rachel McAninch (West Jefferson/West Jefferson) threw the first no-hitter of her career in the second game of a doubleheader as Mount Union's softball team split the two games against Ohio Wesleyan today at Margaret Sagan Field in Delaware, OH.



The Purple Raiders now stand at 12-6 on the season after losing the first game 1-0 and winning the second 5-0.  Mount Union will open Ohio Athletic Conference play Saturday as they travel to Tiffin, OH to take on Heidelberg for a doubleheader at 1 pm.

Ohio Wesleyan now holds an 8-6 record on the year.

In the first game, sophomore pitcher Bre Willis (Navarre/Fairless) took the mound for the Raiders and gave up only one run through six innings.  Though, that one run would prove to be the deciding factor as the Raider offense was shut out for the second time this season.  Leading the way for the Raiders at the plate was junior second baseman Alex Lucak (Maple Heights/Trinity) who went two-for-three.


Trinity alumna Alex Lucak

In game two, McAninch improved her record to 6-0 on the season as she threw the first no-hitter since Lindsey Royer threw a 2-0 no-hitter against Capital on May 6, 2005.  At the plate, senior shortstop Meghan Simons (Minerva/Minerva) went two-for-three with a double and two runs batted in.  Senior third baseman Anna Horning (Cuyahoga Falls/Woodridge) went two-for-four with a double and two runs batted in as well.


Cuyahoga Falls native Anna Horning

No. 17 Bishops Prove to Strong for the Yeomen
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3/24/2010 9:42:13 PM

By Mike Mancini

Oberlin, Ohio – Perennial nation power Ohio Wesleyan defeated the Oberlin College men’s lacrosse team 23-3 tonight at Fred Shults Field. 

After an impressive first quarter that saw the Yeomen keep the 17th-ranked Bishops in check, in addition to getting a score from Dylan Holmes, it was all OWU from then on. 

Ohio Wesleyan used its speed and power to build an 11-1 half-time edge. 

Erik Strand would get the Yeomen back on the board early in the third period with his third goal of the season and Holmes would later cash in a man-up opportunity with an assist coming from Rob Bond to complete the Oberlin scoring. 

Unfortunately, the Bishops’ offense would not slow down as 16 different players were able to find the back of the cage on the night. 

Jon Weisburst, who played the three first periods in goal, made 17 saves in the contest. 

Despite being out-shot 67-27, the Yeomen still won the groundball battle 35-31 and were a respectable 13-of-29 on face-offs. 

Oberlin will now embark on its week-long spring break trip down south. The first opponent for the Yeomen is Sewanee on Saturday afternoon. The opening face-off is set for 2 p.m.

Big Second Half Defeats Yeowomen
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3/24/2010 9:09:25 PM

Oberlin, Ohio 
– A second half barrage of goals from visiting Trine University was enough to derail Oberlin by a score of 20-8 in non-conference women’s lacrosse action this afternoon.

Oberlin College opened up the scoring with an early goal by first-year Molly Bloom. Trine attacker Rebekah Duncan answered the early Oberlin goal with a score of her own two minutes later. Oberlin was able to answer the goal, in an unassisted manner by fellow first-year starter Grace Amber. Once again the visitors would answer and back and forth action prevailed for much of the first period. 

Bloom scored her second goal of the game to tie knot things up 3-3 about midway through the first period. This time Trine responded with three straight goals to open up a 6-3 advantage. With less than two minutes in the half sophomore Alice Zicht put the Yeowomen back on the board with an unassisted goal of her own. But as they seemed to have all day long there was another answer by the Thunder. Oberlin did grab some momentum going into the break as Bloom scored again, this time with just eighteen seconds on the first-half clock.

The momentum was short-lived for the Yeowomen who trailed 7-5 at the half. The Thunder scored five consecutive times to open the second frame and effectively put things out of reach. Grace Amber did put three second-half goals on the board for Oberlin, but the second half storm led to a 20-8 non-conference defeat. Trine outshot Oberlin 44-27 in the contest and 24-10 in the second-half surge. 

Oberlin will try to get back into the win column as they travel to LaGrange College on Sunday for a 2 pm non-conference tilt.

Baseball - Mount Union Drops 

Marathon Game at Notre Dame, 

6-5 in 15 Innings

March 14

By Lenny Reich

(EUCLID)--Mount Union's baseball team scored four runs in the first inning but managed only one more run over the next 14 innings as the Purple Raiders fell, 6-5 in 15 innings to Notre Dame today in Paul Serra Field in Euclid, Ohio.

Ryan Weaver
Ryan Weaver, whose walk-off single ended it

Ryan Weaver hit a single with bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the 15th inning to win the game for Notre Dame as the Falcons are off to the best start in team history at 16-5.
Brad Morrison
Madison High alum Brad Morrison

Brad Morrison raced home with the winning run on Weaver's hit.

Craig Knott
Ty Wood

Greg Ferrell (Uniontown/Green) and Ty Wood (Hudson/Hudson) each had three hits for a Mount Union squad that is now 7-4 overall.

The Raiders took advantage of two Notre Dame errors and a Britt Williams (Canton/Massillon Jackson) single in the first inning to plate four runs and take an early lead.

The Falcons scored a run in the third and Mount Union came back with a RBI single from Matt Tracy (Pittsburgh, PA/Central Catholic) in the fourth to take a 5-1 lead.

Notre Dame chipped away with a run in the sixth and two in the eighth to close to 5-4, then Weaver would get hit by a pitch and later come around to score on a ground out in the ninth inning to tie the game.

Both teams each used six pitchers but Notre Dame's final four hurlers did not allow a run and only four Mount Union hits over the final 10 innings.  Simon  Davis allowed one of those hits over the final 3.0 innings to pick up the win.

Cory Douglass was the hard luck loser for the Raiders as he scattered six hits over the final four innings.

Mount Union opens Ohio Athletic Conference play Saturday at 1 pm with a doubleheader at No. 10 in the nation Marietta.

Academic All OAC selection 

Justin Novak from Strongsville

gets down to business on 

the mound, in B-W classroom 

and in the work world

March 24, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor




BEREA – Justin Novak, a senior pitcher from Strongsville who is the ace of the Baldwin-Wallace staff, is one Student/Athlete who is all about getting down to business.


Novak realizes that baseball is here today and will be gone tomorrow for him and has all his ducks in a row when it comes to his future. On the 3-plus-2 program, Novak already has his first time job lined up that he will be going right into upon the completion of the current athletic season and academic semester. He has had it planned out in a business-like manner much as a pitcher selecting pitches to various hitters personal tendencies.


Instead of playing summer baseball like most college ball players do, Novak took his leave from the sport during the summer months and engaged in internships with Ernst and Young, planning the seeds early, since E&Y is where he will soon be employed full time as an accountant. In the meantime, he will complete his studies for his CPA and his MBA at B-W, which he is studying for with his undergraduate degree in accounting and business.


“I played in the Wooden Bat League the summer after my freshman year at B-W,” said Novak, an Academic All-OAC selection. “Summer ball can be helpful, but I had enough of it by then and wanted to concentrate on doing these internships. They were as much of my academic program as baseball has been. That way, I lessened the risk of injuring my arm and I got in enough work during the spring and fall seasons and winter workout sessions.”


Even though he has been playing baseball for a decade and a half, Novak is putting it behind himself after this spring and while he might miss it a smidgen, he is ready to retire and has no desire to get a minor ball contract or adult amateur situation, opting instead on getting down to business and having his education go to work for him.


“It is sad to say, but this is probably going to be it,” Novak said.  “I’ve used all the work I put into it to get ready for a competitive college season. Once I am done with that, I am done with that. I’ve gotten more out of this game than I can possibly ask. I have no regrets. I hope the last pitch I throw here will be for winning a conference or national championship or winning something.”


At Strongsville High, Novak was used to being the ace of the staff and had quite a degree of success, leading the Mustangs to the big-school state championship his senior season. Being the guy who B-W coach Bob Fisher hands the ball to in pivotal league games, puts quite a burden on his shoulders, but it is a situation he has calculated repeatedly and is ready for the big-ticket call.


“Since I was the No. 1 man in the rotation both my junior and senior years in high school, I know what that pressure is all about and quite frankly enjoy those situations,” Novak said. “I like the pressure of when all is on the line people are looking to me to get it done. I can easily say, ‘Let’s get it done.” I have the utmost confidence in my teammates and I know they have it in me.”


Strongsville has had a strong tradition of success in baseball dating all the way back to the Timmy Miller days in the mid 1970s, and Novak was on wining teams throughout his four years as a varsity player, playing on Pioneer Conference, sectional, district, regional and state championship teams. The situation is different in the high school game in which the coach needs his ace for both key league games and key tournament games since both are going on simultaneously, unlike college.


“It is easier here in the sense of knowing ahead of time when I am throwing, but not easier overall because the Ohio Athletic Conference is a tough league in which to pitch with not many easy games on the schedule,” Novak said. “I like that the last couple seasons I have thrown predominantly OAC games. I like the challenge since it only makes me better. I know that if I don’t have my A game against the best teams in the league, it is going to be a long day for me.”


About eight or nine of the current 10 OAC teams can compete at the national level.


“Personally, I always love to play against Heidelberg (the dominant team in the league in recent years) because my best friend is the shortstop (Strongsville high alum Jason Lash) over there,” said Novak. “We have competition going back and forth between us. I get up for any time, but I do like playing Heidelberg. We know we have to beat Heidelberg, Marietta, Mount Union and teams like that if we are going to get to the tournament.”


That is one thing Novak missed his first three seasons at B-W, making the NCAA tournament after having so many years of extended games at Strongsville. That is one piece of baseball business he would like to join with his mates in taking care of before he hangs up the spikes for good in a couple months. 


“The top four teams in the OAC make it every year and each year I have been here we have been one or two spots from making it into the tournament,” Novak said. “Something always has happened in the last week or so preventing us from making it. I came from a great program at Strongsville and I want to make it here so that we can win the conference championship and go as far in the tournament as we can possibly go. Once in the NCAA tourney, anything can happen.”


Strongsville hit a dry spell in baseball for a dozen years in terms of the Pioneer Conference, but then the Stangs broke that spell his junior year by wining the league title, capped off by the state crown his senior season.


“It was expected of us to work hard; we knew that winning would follow if we did,” Novak said. “The discipline I learned there made me work harder here since I have no interest in being in the bottom of the dog pound. We have everything we need; we just have to get down and do it and prove it.”


Novak played second base at Strongsville and came in the fall three and half years ago with being a position player in mind as well as being a pitcher, but after fall ball was told he could have an immediate impact if he would elect to concentrate on pitching only.


“Pitching in college is almost a full-time job,” Novak said. “It is not as much in high school.”


He has had eight or nine appearances on the mound in each of his three seasons as a Yellow Jacket.

What Heights Tigers lack in 

experience on the court, they 

make up for with attitude and 

enthusiasm; 14 of 17 

members on the team are 


March 24, 2010


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor




CLEVELAND HEIGHTS -- With only two players with any varsity experience returning, Cleveland Heights’ boys’ tennis team will have to bank in youth to challenge in the Lake Erie League and/or make any strides in the Coaches’ Cup Team Tournament.


The Tigers graduated their entire starting lineup from last season and will look toward sophomore Brandon Fernando and senior Oliver Ernst for leadership. Ernst and Fernando did get some spot starts on varsity while also playing exhibition matches in the past.


“Practice has been competitive; I have made it clear that all positions are up for grabs Said coach John Laskarides. “We set daily and weekly goals for ourselves as individuals and team.  As far as a league goal, we want to be competitive in the LEL.”


Among those coming into the Tiger den with the goal of being in the starting seven are Ethan Tucker, Ashish Ferguson, Jake Stern, Bryan Kent and Evan Cerne.


“All five of those are freshmen competing for varsity positions,” Laskarides said. “We have a solid 9th grade group.”


Of the 17 boys in the group, 14 are either freshmen or sophomores, lending relative new meaning to the term “youth.”


“We’re so young and lack experience at every flight,” said Laskarides. “This isn’t going to happen overnight and the boys know that.  We hope the change in expectations and the attitude of the boys will help improve our performance in the future. “


Still, the young guys bring desirable qualities to the Heights tennis family.


“Our young players are competitive and confident,” the coach said. “We will have to grow up in a hurry.  We lack experience but make up for it w/enthusiasm.”

Women's Basketball – Mount Union No. 13 in Final WBCA USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 and D3hoops.com Top 25

March 24

By Lenny Reich

(LILBURN, GA)--Mount Union's women's basketball team finished No. 13 in the final Women's Basketball Coaches Association USA Today/ESPN Top 25 National Poll and D3Hoops.com Top 25 Poll for the 2009-10 season.

The Purple Raiders won the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament title, made it to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to eventual national champion Washington (MO) and ended up winning 26 games which was the second highest single-season total in school history.   

Mount Union will return four starters in 2010-11 and had just one senior on the roster this past season.

B-W Baseball Team Falls at

Malone in First Northern Action 

of the Spring; Hartville's Coblentz 

gets second win on mound for 


March 24

By Nick Minerd

BEREA -- After a 10-day layoff, the Baldwin-Wallace College baseball team returned to the diamond for its first northern action of the 2010 season and lost to Malone University, 9-5, this afternoon (Wednesday, March 24) at Thurman Munson Stadium in Canton.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Jesse Coblentz from Lake Center Christian H.S. and Hartville started on the mound and picked up his second win of the season (2-0) after tossing the first five innings, surrendering three runs (two earned) on seven hits while striking out five.


The Yellow Jackets, who had not played since Florida spring trip action on March 13, fall to 4-5 overall. B-W is back in action this Friday, March 26 versus Lake Erie College at Kiwanis Recreation Park in Painesville, Ohio. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.

Strongsville's Josh Scott

Malone, now 16-5 overall, scored early and often en route to the nine runs. Yellow Jacket sophomore Josh Scott (Strongsville) started and threw the first four innings in the loss. Senior Scott Luthman (Celina) also pitched in relief.

Avon Lake alum Scott Nealon

Leading the offensive attack for Malone was senior catcher Alex Schmid (Canton Central Catholic H.S.) who went 2-for-5 with an RBI single in the first and a two-out RBI double in the eighth.


Canton Central Catholic product Alex Schmid

Sophomore first baseman Matt Anderson (Jackson H.S.), the reigning AMC Player of the Week, posted two hits in three at-bats with a double, three runs scored and one run batted in. 

Jackson alum Matt Anderson

Sophomore shortstop Joe Goddard (Wadsworth H.S.) also went 2-for-3 with a double two runs scored and one RBI. 

Wadsworth native Joe Goddard

At the plate, three Yellow Jackets recorded two hits including senior second baseman Matt Rollins (Walbridge/ Millbury Lake), senior third baseman Scott Nealon (Avon Lake) and senior catcher Matt Bush (Grafton/ Midview). Bush also drove in a pair of runs to bring his season total to a team-high nine RBI.

Midview grad Matt Bush

Following action at Lake Erie on Friday, B-W is set to play a doubleheader at Walsh University on Sunday, March 28 at 1:30 p.m.

Hiram College Softball Sweeps Grove City (Pa.) College

March 24, 2010

By Jeff Hoedt

GROVE CITY, PA.  –  The Hiram College softball team won both games against Grove City College today (Wednesday, Mar. 24) in a non-conference doubleheader in Grove City, Pa.  The Terriers defeated the Wolverines, 3-0, in game one, and won the nightcap, 5-1.  

With the victories, Hiram improves to 7-9 overall, while Grove City falls to 1-5 overall for the season.

In the first game, the Terriers got on the board with a run in the top of the second inning and tallied two more scores in the third thanks to a two-RBI single by junior first baseman 

Kelly Langland (Batavia/McNicholas).


The three runs would be all that Hiram would need as senior All-NCAC pitcher/outfielder Whitney Dropsey (Ashland/Hillsdale) struck out 10 batters, her second 10+ strikeout performance in her last three games, to secure a 3-0 shutout.

Hiram had five hits in the game, and was led by sophomore third baseman Ashley Pike (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) who finished two-of-three with two RBI.

Dropsey pitched the entire game and picked up her fourth victory of the season to improve to 4-5 overall. 

She allowed no runs, to claim her second shutout victory of the season, on just two hits with 10 strikeouts.

In game two, Hiram scored the game’s first run in the top of the third inning on a RBI fielder’s choice by sophomore outfielder Kristen Cooney (North Lewisburg/Triad) with bases loaded.  

The Terriers would not record any more runs in the inning, but later added four runs in the fourth to increase the lead to 5-0.  Grove City scored its only run in the bottom of the fifth as Hiram would retire six straight Wolverines in the final two innings to preserve the 5-1 win and the two game sweep.

Hiram posted eight hits in game two and was led by Dropsey who went three-of-four with a run scored and a RBI.  Five other Terrier players each recorded a hit.

Junior pitcher Alati Gagne (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) pitched five solid innings to earn the win and improve to 1-2 overall for the season.  She allowed just one run on eight hits and struck out two batters.  Junior Sarah Padilla (Ontario, Calif./Colony) came on to pitch two innings of relief giving up no hits and no runs, while striking out three batters.

Hiram is scheduled to host the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg tomorrow (Thursday, Mar. 25) in a non-conference doubleheader at Myrtis E. Herndon Field.  The first game is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.