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Spartans go 4-1 with thriller over Green

April 19, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

An enormous comeback victory last Saturday afternoon at Cene Park capped a great week of baseball for the Boardman boys.

Boardman went 4-1 over the week stretch of games, including that thrilling 15-14 win over Green. The Spartans trailed the Bulldogs by as many as 10 runs before they began to bludgeon Green's pitching staff. Junior Cam Kreps had two hits and two RBIs to pace Boardman's offense, but it was his hit in the last of the seventh that was the biggest of the day. Kreps had the game winning walk-off single in that inning to secure the victory for the Spartans. He also was the winning pitcher in relief working two innings and picking up four strikeouts. Senior Evan Knaus had three hits and three ribbies in the win. Following the nearly miraculous triumph, Boardman head coach Joe Gabriel had nothing but great things to say about his bunch.

"Today was big because we were down 10-0 and came all the way back," Gabriel said. "I think it says a lot about the character of this team and the seniors."

True to the coach's words, many of the Spartans' seniors had large weeks. Dom Stilliana had six RBI's combined in a pair of major wins over All American Conference Red Tier foe Warren Harding. Boardman beat the Raiders 13-6 and 10-2 to start off last week's schedule. Senior Alex Cardona clubbed three hits, had two ribbies and scored three times in the first game against the Raiders. Senior Luke Cardillo had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Boardman blasted the Raiders for six runs in the second inning to blow that game wide open.

The Spartans' third Red Tier win in a row came the following day against Harding at home. Four runs in the bottom of the third and four more in the sixth rocketed the Spartans to victory. In that sixth inning, senior Mike Melewski, Charlie Davis and Knaus all hit doubles.

Two of the seniors were back at it again in Boardman's 7-3 handling of Akron Hoban last Wednesday. Stilliana went 3 for 3 at the plate. Cardona captured the pitching win working a complete game giving up three runs on six hits and striking out nine. Knaus and junior Mike Fetsko each went 2 for 4. The Spartans had 11 hits against Hoban giving them 35 hits over a three game span.

The only hiccup in an otherwise perfect week for Gabriel's group was a 5-3 loss to Toronto at home on Friday the 13th. Boardman was up 2-0 when the visitors spooked the hosts for four runs in the top of the fifth inning. Cardillo went 2 for 3 with an RBI in the losing effort. Stilliana, Melewski and junior Travis Henry all had a hit and a run scored.

A home-in-home series with conference rival Canfield is set to kick off this week for the Spartans. Non-conference clashes with Steubenville, Massillon Perry and North Canton Hoover are also on the slate. It is that pair with the Cardinals as well as upcoming battles with Austintown Fitch, Howland and Poland, however, that has Coach Gabriel pining for continued success.

"We are hoping we can take this week and build on it for (the rest of our) conference games," Gabriel said on Sunday night.



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