Monday, May 20

    Late inning rallies lead North to win over Chardon

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    North pounded out 14 hits and scored 14 runs in the final two innings of a 17-5 six-inning win at Chardon on Friday.

    The win was the first of the season for the Rangers.

    “It was great to finally get that monkey off our back,” said North coach Mike Duncan. “We finally started to hit the ball like I thought we would this season, but I didn’t expect to get 17 runs against Chardon, but I’ll take it.”

    Chardon’s Stone Fawcett hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the first and the Hilltoppers scored three more runs in the second on a two-run double by Leo Colombi and Will Francis’ RBI single.

    North began its comeback with two runs in the top of the third.

    Braylon Rolf singled and Jacob Breen and Tyler Leasure reached on errors that cut Chardon’s lead to 4-1. Andrew Gunton followed with a sacrifice fly.

    The Rangers pulled to within 4-3 with a run in the fourth.

    Devin Nix reached on an error with two outs, moved to third on Rolf’s single, and scored on Breen’s groundout.

    An eight-run fifth gave the Rangers an 11-4 lead.

    “We started hitting the ball up the middle,” Duncan said. “They were a bit shaky on defense and we made them pay for that with some extra bases.”

    Leasure started the rally with a leadoff double, Gunton singled, and Ethan Grinstead walked to load the bases. Brady Pennza earned an RBI when he was hit by a pitch and Brady Trem followed with an RBI single. Nix and Rolf added RBI singles and after Patrick Keough singled, Leasure hit a two-run double that gave the Rangers a seven-run lead.

    North added six more runs in the sixth.

    Trem reached on an error, Gerardo Torres walked, and Nix loaded the bases with a single. Rolf was hit by a pitch that made it 12-4 and Keough singled home another run. Leasure picked up an RBI after being hit by a pitch and Rolf scored on a wild pitch. Grinstead singled home another run and Leasure scored on an error.

    “It was confidence,” Duncan said about the offensive explosion in the later innings. “I had one of my players when he got over to third base say to me, ‘You know, I had two strikes on me and I wasn’t worried. I felt so confident that I was going to get a hit again.’”

    Chardon’s Jayden Buth doubled and scored on Justin Smith’s groundout in the bottom of the sixth, but the Hilltoppers ran out of outs.

    Breen started the game and earned a no-decision after allowing one earned run on five hits in 3 1/3 innings. Keough picked up the win. He allowed one hit and one unearned run and struck out one in 2 2/3 innings of work.

    “Both guys did a nice job of keeping them off balance,” Duncan said.

    Rolf finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI. Nix went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. Leasure went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored, and four RBI. Keough and Grinstead also finished the game with two hits.

    North travels to North Olmsted for a doubleheader on Saturday.

    Colombi led the Hilltoppers at the plate as he finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.


    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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