Monday, June 17

    Kirtland’s Drew Thaler throws no-hitter in varsity debut

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    Kirtland sophomore Drew Thaler threw a five-inning no-hitter in his varsity debut on Thursday, a 29-0 win over visiting Maple Heights.

    Thaler walked three batters but didn’t allow a hit or a run and struck out nine in the victory.

    “It was very exciting,” he said. “I walked out with confidence and did my best at the end of the day. On top of that, it was really cool to have my brother, Trip, out there with me.”

    Trip Thaler did his part to help support his brother.

    He went 5-for-5 with five runs scored, three runs batted in, and a walk.

    After a slow start in the first inning, the Hornets scored seven runs in the second to prop up their sophomore pitcher.

    “It gave me more confidence,” Thaler said of the early lead. “But, I knew I still had to give it my all.”

    Thaler retired the first six Mustangs he faced before issuing a pair of walks in the top of the third. He pitched out of that jam and then hit a batter to start the fourth.

    He set down the next three Maple Heights hitters to end the threat and then struck out three of the four batters he faced in the fifth to seal his win.

    “My fastball assisted me very well, but the help from my slider was throwing them off,” he said.

    Thaler never lost confidence on the mound, in large part due to the offensive support he received, but also because Kirtland’s defense played flawlessly.

    “There wasn’t really any stress,” he said. “I knew that I had a great defense behind me and with the help of Nate Chuko behind the plate, I knew would be fine.”

    Gino Blasini went 4-for-5 in the win with three runs scored and five RBI. Tyler Turk, Lucci Cantini, Vito Cantini, and Chuko each recorded two hits for the Hornets, who improved to 3-0 on the season.



    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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