Monday, June 17

    North blanks Kirtland, 10-0

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    EASTLAKE—Kirtland loaded the bases in the top of the first inning, but that’s as close as the Hornets would get to scoring as North cruised to a 10-0 nonconference win on Thursday.

    The Rangers broke the scoreless tie with a run in the second, then added three more in the fourth, and invoked the run rule with a six-run fifth.

    Jacob Breen did a real nice job of just throwing strikes and getting outs,” said North coach Mike Duncan. “It took us a little while, but we finally got our bats going.”

    Breen allowed just one hit and struck out six Hornets on his way to a complete-game victory.

    “I tried to just stay focused on the next pitch,” he said. “I felt good and was hitting my locations. I knew this lineup would be tough and wanted to do what I could to help the team win.”

    Breen was at his best in the clutch.

    After striking out Kirtland’s leadoff batter in the first, Breen issued a walk, hit the next batter, and loaded the bases with his second walk of the inning.

    He pitched out of that jam with a strikeout and a groundout.

    “It’s always good to get out of a jam,” Breen said. “It is a confidence boost. It helped build my momentum for the rest of the game. The team backed me up with their bats today. Solid hits with runners in scoring position helped push us to the win.”

    Patrick Keough singled to start North’s second-inning rally and Andrew Gunton followed with a one-out single. A balk positioned Rangers at second and third, and Gunton scored on a fielder’s choice.

    Keough again started North’s fourth-inning rally with a double. Brady Pennza then hit a two-out RBI double that made it 2-0 and Brady Trem followed with an RBI single, and he scored on Gerardo Torres’ RBI single.

    Ashton Richardson was hit by a pitch to start the Ranger fifth and Breen drew a walk. Ethan Grinstead hit a two-run single, Gunton added an RBI single, and later scored on a wild pitch. Devin Nix added an RBI single, and Richardson reached on an error that allowed the 10th run to score.

    “The weather definitely made some things interesting,” Duncan said. “There were some balls that looked like they were going to go to the outfield and ended up in the infield, but once we started hitting, everybody was chipping in. It was a great team effort.”

    Keough and Gunton both finished the game 2-for-3. Keough doubled and scored a run while Gunton knocked in one run and scored twice.

    Grinstead posted a team-high two RBI and Nix, Breen, Pennza, Trem, and Torres each had hits for the Rangers.

    Trip Thaler tripled to record Kirtland’s only hit of the game.

    North hosts St. Vincent-St. Mary on Friday while Kirtland hosts Berkshire on Monday.



    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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