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Cards make one of five in foul weather start

April 5, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

Like all other teams in Ohio, Canfield's baseball squad fell victim to the foul early spring weather that attacked the area.

Although there were five games on the Canfield kids' early slate, only one was able to be completed. At least that contest went decisively the way of the Cardinals.

Strong pitching by the starter and beautiful work by the bullpen enabled Canfield to hold host Louisville to just one meaningless run. The Cardinals picked up an important opening road win 8-1 over the Leopards.

"We haven't played since Louisville, but we did well (there)," said Canfield head coach Matt Koenig last weekend.

One of the reasons why this year's bunch of Cardinals is expected to contend deep into the state playoffs is their tremendous pitching. Senior ace Jack Rafoth toed the rubber at Louisville and picked up where he left off during his amazing junior campaign. Rafoth pitched four innings, giving up just one run on two hits. He struck out four en route to his opening day win. The sensational senior probably could have kept pitching, but with weather conditions less than ideal and a long season in front of him, Coach Koenig decided to stretch out some of his relievers. Seniors Anthony Longo and Ian McGraw stepped up for Canfield to pitch the remainder of the contest. Longo struck out four in his two innings of work and McGraw worked a masterful one, two, three seventh.

"We will count on our pitching," stated Koenig when discussing his club a few days before the Louisville game.

The coach can also count on Longo and the rest of his senior classmates as offensive threats. He had three hits against the Leopards and an RBI. Senior Angelo Petracci picked up two hits, including a double. Senior Spencer Woolley hit a double and collected two RBI's. Seniors Nick Ieraci and Jimmy Fitzgerald also hit doubles for the winners. Senior Alex Hernandez had two hits. The abilities of Canfield's upperclass certainly has them a huge favorite in the All American Red Tier.

Something that doesn't favor the Cardinals, or any other outfit for that reason, is the crummy weather. That's why a trip to a warmer climate made sense. Canfield was set to play Tuesday through Saturday this week in the annual Mingo Bay Classic in Myrtle Beach. The Cards first game was against East Rutherford from Forest City, North Carolina. Coach Koenig is thankful that good weather is usually the norm this time of year in South Carolina and is eager to get his troops on the diamond for an extended period in order to build some momentum.

"Hopefully we get in as many innings as possible and continue to grow as a team," Koenig said.



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