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    Kirtland win over Harvey clinches share of CVC Valley Division title

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    The planets aligned for the Kirtland baseball team on Tuesday as the Hornets played their way into at least a share of the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division title.

    Kirtland first had to defeat visiting Harvey, which they did, 23-0 in five innings, and they needed Cardinal to defeat first-place Berkshire.

    Add another check mark as the Huskies edged the Badgers, 2-1, allowing Kirtland to earn at least a share of the title. Berkshire closes out its conference slate at Wickliffe on Thursday. The Badgers edged the Blue Devils at home on April 25, 2-0.

    “We had a tough, tough conference schedule,” said Kirtland coach Luke Smrdel. “We had a lot of close games and good battles and now we’re going to end up on top.”

    The Hornets split with both Cardinal and Berkshire, which also split with Cardinal.

    Berkshire’s fate now comes down to Thursday’s game at Wickliffe. The Badgers need a win to share the title with the Hornets.

    Kirtland, meanwhile, will pull for Wickliffe to win that game, allowing the Hornets to win the conference title outright.

    “That was huge to win the conference because that it something we always try to achieve every year and it’s a big confidence and momentum booster going into the playoffs,” said Kirtland senior Will Bates of the conference-title clinching win over Harvey. “It’s really big for the seniors just to really show our leadership and set an example of what it’s going to take to win these kinds of achievements for the future of the program. It was also to have such a great game offensively and for really everyone to get the bats going and get out of the slumps some of us were in. It really gets us ready for the playoffs and gets us prepared for the next games to come.”

    Kirtland pounded out 15 hits in the win, including four for extra bases.

    Macguire Boyd finished the game 3-for-3 with three runs scored and a team-best three RBI.

    Bates, Vito Cantini, and Gino Blasini each recorded two hits. Both of Blasini’s hits were doubles.

    Blasini also picked up the pitching victory after allowing one hit and fanning six in 4 1/3 innings. Otto Loschert closed out the game with one strikeout in 2/3 scoreless and hitless innings.

    With the win, Kirtland improved to 16-6 overall.

    The Hornets host VASJ on Wednesday, South on Thursday, North on Monday, and close out the regular season against Madison on May 17.

    Kirtland opens the postseason on May 15 at home against the winner of the Chagrin Falls/Brookfield sectional semifinal.

    “We are all super thrilled for the playoffs and feel like we are all super ready to get going and hopefully make a run,” Bates said. “It was also huge to get all the bats going before we do go into the playoffs and really feel like we all can hit the ball and can go into the box with confidence. The ceiling for this team is however far we want it to be. Talent-wise, I feel like we can go as far as we want and we just have to limit all the mistakes and put the ball in play, and need our pitchers to really be on their game, and then the sky will be the limit for our team.”

     

     

    Steve Hare
    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, 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 IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com 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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