Saturday, September 23

    Kirtland uses Moneyball approach in win over Brooklyn

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    Kirtland coach Luke Smrdel gave his players a unique homework assignment that paid dividends in a 14-4 five-inning win over visiting Brooklyn on Tuesday.

    In an effort to get his players to understand the importance of getting on base to manufacture runs, Smrdel instructed his players to watch the 2011 film Moneyball. In the film, Brad Pitt stars as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who used an analytical approach to winning a divisional title and setting an American League record with 20 straight wins.

    The Hornets went out and scored 14 runs on just seven hits against the Hurricanes.

    “The big thing we’ve been talking about is really just manufacturing runs,” Smrdel said. “We want to get guys on base, so I told them all the go watch the movie Moneyball and see how the on-base percentage thing works and they’re starting to get it a little bit. Hopefully, we can just keep getting runners on base and manufacturing runs.”

    Kirtland drew 10 walks and recorded three extra-base hits in the win.

    “It was nice to see these young guys getting more comfortable in their roles,” Smrdel said. “It’s team baseball. We win as a team and we lose as a team. Do your part and we’ll be OK.”

    Gage Sullivan and Pierce Boyd led the charge as both finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three runs batted in. Boyd recorded two doubles and Sullivan tripled.

    Tommy Gogolin, Mason Rus, and Luke Chuko also had hits for the Hornets.

    Rus went the distance on the hill.

    He allowed three earned runs on five hits and struck out seven in the five-inning complete-game victory.

    Kirtland travels to Grand Valley on Thursday.



    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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