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Cards post four wins last week

April 18, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

Strong pitching and even better hitting propelled Canfield's baseball team to four wins last week.

The most important victories over that span were the two against All American Conference Red Tier foe Howland that started the week. The 2-1 and 7-3 wins at Cene Park were the types of triumphs that can propel the Cardinals in their quest to capture a Red Tier title.

"We had two good league wins," said head coach Matt Koenig last weekend. "We had some timely hitting. Angelo Petracci, Alex Hernandez, Dom Pilolli, Spencer Woolley and Nick Ieraci were offensive standouts and we got two great pitching performances from Jack Rafoth and Ian McGraw."

Rafoth was indeed wonderful in Canfield's first win over the Tigers. The senior subdued Howland, giving up just one run in a complete game gem. He also struck out eight Tiger hitters. Woolley had the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the sixth inning to secure Canfield's victory.

The Cardinals got a little more offensive in the second game of the week versus their Red Tier adversaries. Down 3-2 heading into the top of the seventh, Canfield crushed Howland for five runs to earn the comeback win. Petracci had a triple and a double to lead the offensive attack. Anthony Longo had two RBIs. Pilolli had two hits and Hernandez scored a pair of runs from his leadoff spot. Junior Ricky Havrilla came out of the bullpen to secure the pitching win.

Havrilla was hot offensively with two hits in Canfield's next game at Girard. The Cardinals put the clamps on the Indians 8-3. Woolley whacked four hits and earned three RBIs. Hernandez had three hits himself. Senior Jared Yohman worked four innings to pick up his first win as a hurler.

After the Cardinals blew leads of 4-0 and 7-5 in a 9-8 loss to West Branch on Friday, they bounced back at Ravenna last Saturday afternoon. Perhaps it was the warm weather or maybe it was Canfield's offense molding into form, but it exploded for a ton of runs in a 23-2 wipeout of the Ravens. This time Rafoth was the hero at the plate instead of from the mound. He had two hits and five RBIs on the afternoon. Petracci picked up three ribbies. Hernandez and Longo had a couple of hits apiece. Senior Michael Johns kept his hot hitting going and is now batting .1000 for the season. Sophomore southpaw Brayden Beck was the winning pitcher for the Cards.

While the pitching has been pretty special as of late for Koenig's club, the veteran coach would still like to see some improvement. With a string of conference games scheduled next against the likes of Boardman, Austintown Fitch and Warren Harding, better placement of pitches by Canfield's slingers will be vital.

"We still need to be more consistent throwing strikes," said Koenig. "We need to continue to grow mentally and eventually we'll be really tough."



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