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Cardinals build momentum before trip to S.C.

Set to play tournament in Myrtle Beach

April 13, 2017
By Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

The start to the 2017 baseball season has gone very well for the Canfield High School boys.

After five games, the Cardinals sit with a 4-1 record.

The local boys will embark Friday on their annual trip to play in a tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Head coach Matt Koenig is aware that his team usually performs pretty well on this road trip, but he expects the team to continue to build momentum before encountering some of the stronger schools from the South.

The Canfield boys have been able to remain consistent and play well during the sloppy weather, but the coach hopes his boys take advantage of the better climate and slew of games during the new couple of weeks.

"(The season) has been good so far," Koenig said. "We know we have to play well (this week). We have some tough games (in Myrtle Beach)."

The toughest game the Cardinals played so far was a well-earned 3-2 win over Austintown Fitch April 4.

Koenig's kids also upended perennial state power Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 11-1, and Wheeling Park of West Virginia, 6-0.

The only blemish for Canfield on an otherwise perfect record was a 5-4 loss to the Falcons April 3 in Austintown.

It took a late run by Fitch to tie that game and send it to extra innings. After a couple of scoreless frames, the Falcons finished the game with a run in the bottom of the ninth.

Senior shortstop Mark Wittmann went for two hits in a losing effort for Canfield.

This week started with a home-and-home series Warren G. Harding Monday at home, where the Cardinals defeated the Raiders 9-2. The boys battled again Tuesday in Warren.

Although the Raiders aren't one of the All-American Conference Red Tier's heavy hitters, Canfield can't afford to take them lightly if they want to win a conference crown.

Two non-league games against Girard Wednesday on the road and Edgewood today at home were slated before the Cardinals pack the bus for the beach.

The better weather and strong competition will be welcomed by Koenig and his staff, but seeing the Cards pick up the pace offensively will be exciting, too.

"Our pitching is ahead of our hitting," Koenig said. "All of the guys have pitched extremely well and our defense has been really good, too. They're throwing strikes and letting the defense make plays. Our hitting will pick up once the weather gets better."

A potent offense to go along with the sound pitching and solid defense is something that should worry all of Canfield's upcoming opponents inside the Red Tier.



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