One day after winning a pitcher’s duel, the Mentor Cardinals showed the versatility required to win a game with their bats as well.
Tyler Thompson went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored, and Matt Eiswerth and Tommy Noll each had a pair of hits to help Mentor outlast visiting Elyria, 15-12, in a slugfest on April 22.
Five different Cardinals drove in two runs, including Thompson, Noll, Nathan Birtley, Dominic Dengel and Michael Hritz.
Mentor (8-3) scored three runs in each of the first three innings, but Elyria rallied to take a 10-9 lead in the top of the fifth inning. The Cardinals responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame to go back on top, 13-10, and scored two more runs in the sixth to finally put the win away.
“It was ugly and cold, but it was a ‘W,’” Mentor coach Jeff Haase said. “Thompson had a huge day at the plate for us.”
Eiswerth and Zak Schaefer each stole three bases for the Cardinals in the victory.
The win completed a home-and-home sweep of the Pioneers and pushed Mentor’s NOC Valley record up to 3-2.
On April 21, Hritz pitched a complete game to spark the Cardinals to a 4-2 win over Elyria on the road.
Birtley was 1-for-2 with 4 stolen bases for Mentor. Thompson, Dengel and Rob Mealey all drove in a run in the win.
“It was another ugly game, but it’s a ‘W’. Need to have a better approach at the plate,” Haase said.
“We seemed to always be one big hit away from a big inning. We are taking baby steps as a team and it is time to take the big step.”
After another NOC Valley game on April 23 at home vs. Medina, Mentor is scheduled to play at South in a non-conference showdown on April 24. The Cardinals defeated the Rebels in the 2014 Division I Euclid District title game.