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Cards move into districts after 13-2 win over Alliance

May 16, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

It only took six innings for the Canfield baseball team to dispose of Alliance in the Division II sectional finals played May 9 at home.

That impressive 13-2 victory moved the second seeded Cardinals into the district round of the tourney. Canfield's boys were scheduled to host third seeded Cardinal Mooney at Cene Park this past Tuesday. The winner of that district semi would advance to play the winner of that day's other game between Niles and surprising Poland. On the eve of the clash with the other Cardinals, Canfield head coach Matt Koenig explained that their opponent is a dangerous one.

"Mooney is a strong team that we will have to play well against," said Koenig. "We've always had tough games in the tournament with them."

Koenig's kids didn't have a tough time in disposing of Alliance. Jack Rafoth was in command over the 4 and 2/3 innings he pitched limiting the Alliance offense to just two runs. Anthony Longo blasted a huge bases loaded double that blew the sectional final wide open for Canfield. He had four RBIs total. Dom Pilolli and Spencer Woolley each had three hits for the Cardinals with Pilolli picking up three RBIs and Woolley two. Ian McGraw had two hits and an RBI in a game that was dominated by the Canfield club from the outset.

"These guys were ready to play," said Koenig. "It was a big win for us and a great team win. We've been swinging the bats really well the last five or six games."

The Cardinals kept on swinging a couple days later when they played a district tune up game against a very good Chardon outfit. Canfield clipped Chardon 6-2 in the regular season tilt last Friday on the road. Alex Hernandez and Angelo Petracci picked up two hits apiece. Pilolli had an RBI triple. Anthony Longo worked well from the mound to earn the pitching win.

"This was a great win today," said Koenig following his team's trip to Chardon.

Another non-tournament game was completed last Saturday when the Cardinals outlasted South Range in ten innings. Longo pushed home Pilolli with a walk-off RBI single in the home half of the tenth to give Canfield a one run victory. Woolley walloped his second homerun during his three hit day. Youngster Brent Herrmann worked four innings of relief to pick up his first mound victory.

"Congrats to Brent Herrmann on his first varsity win," said Koenig.

Mooney entered the district semifinal fresh off an 11-2 hammering of Howland in its sectional championship. That win was made possible by a nine run fifth inning. If Canfield can eliminate the 15-4 parochial Cardinals, the potential matchup with Poland in the title game is mouthwatering. Of course, it really doesn't matter to Coach Koenig who his group would play for a district championship as long as they actually are playing for a district championship.

"Getting back to the district final would be great," he said. "I hope we play well enough to get there."



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