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    Finkler throws five-inning no hitter as Kirtland rolls over Richmond Heights


    Kirtland’s Matthew Finkler kicked off the 2015 season with a five-inning no hitter as the Hornets cruised past Richmond Heights, 25-0, on Tuesday.

    Finkler struck out 12 and didn’t walk a batter. The only Richmond Heights base runner reached on an error.

    “Matthew looked like he was in mid-season form,” said Kirtland coach Luke Smrdel. “He came out and had great command and hit his spots and got ahead of batters. He was very dominant.”

    Finkler, who signed to play football at Bowling Green, was equally as dominant at the plate.

    He finished the game 2-for-2 with two runs batted in and five runs scored after walking twice and being hit by a pitch.

    Sophomore Andrew Hutton also had a big game as he finished 3-for-3 with a double, three RBI and a run scored.

    “He had a great mind set at the plate,” Smrdel said. “He was making solid contact with the ball and hitting line drives all over the place. He had a very solid day. It was great to see.”

    A senior-laden roster limited Anthony Fortuna’s at bats last season but the junior quickly stepped into a new role with a 2-for-3 day with an RBI and a run scored against the Spartans.

    “He’s going to be a middle of the order guy for us,” Smrdel said. “He stepped right in and hit solid line drives. Even his out was a solid line drive.”

    The Hornets (1-0) showed a lot in their first outing of the season.

    Defensively, they committed just one error and took care of business at the plate.

    “From start to finish they were focused, doing all the little things right,” Smrdel said. “It was great to see in opener that our guys came out with mentality that they were going to do everything right and they came through.”

    The Hornets travel to Gilmour Academy on Thursday.

    Steve Hare
    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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