Wednesday, May 18

    Kirtland earns five-inning win over Berkshire

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    Kirtland made quick work of visiting Berkshire on Monday as the Hornets needed just five innings to down the Badgers, 13-2.

    The Hornets, who improved to 10-8 overall and 6-4 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division, pounded out 14 hits and Gino Blasini went the distance on the mound.

    “Overall, it was a great team performance today,” said Kirtland coach Luke Smrdel. “The offense got it done, Gino got it done on the mound, and we played good defense as well.”

    With Blasini on the hill, the Badgers had few opportunities to manufacture runs.

    Blasini allowed two runs on three hits and fanned five.

    “He’s got a lot of talent and we knew that coming into this year,” Smrdel said. “It was a little bit of a development process just getting him work but he’s come a long way. He knows the importance of throwing first-pitch strikes and he’s getting the job done.”

    Offensively, the Hornets spread the wealth.

    Pierce Boyd was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three runs batted in. Gage Sullivan was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a run scored, and a team-best four RBI. Mason Rus and Tyler Turk both finished with two hits and Rus added a double.

    Tommy Gogolin, Luke Chuko, Jonathan Withrow, Micah Reynolds, and Trip Thaler each had one hit for the Hornets.

    “It was awesome,” Smrdel said of the offensive output. “They had the right approaches at the plate and that’s what we’ve been preaching all year. We want them to put the ball in play and move runners around to manufacture runs and that’s starting to happen. Good things happen when you do that.”

    Kirtland travels to Berkshire on Tuesday.


    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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