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Aurora High diamondmen go 3-1 for the week

By STEVE BATKO Correspondent Published: April 19, 2017 1:00 AM
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AURORA -- Sometimes you have to have a short memory when it comes to baseball.

Aurora High junior Michael Sapp bounced back in impressive fashion from a tough league outing at Medina Highland to earn a big non-league 6-2 win at Nordonia four days later on April 14.

Sapp, a 5-foot-9 righthander, earned the win and is 2-1 this spring after scattering two hits over 5 innings in which he didn't allow an earned run.

With solid command of his pitches, Sapp fanned 5 batters on 75 pitches and walked 2.

The win pushed Aurora to 6-1 overall, while Nordonia is 7-3. The Knights are 4-0 in the powerful National Conference of the Suburban League.

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"Nordonia is a good quality opponent and this was a good win for our team," said head coach Michael Brancazio.

In the April 10, 10-2 league loss at Highland -- the Greenmen's first loss (5-1) in the American Conference -- Sapp was roughed up early by the red hot Hornets (5-4, 2-0).

Highland tallied 6 runs in the first inning and 3 in the second as Aurora also had three infield errors.

"Michael bounced back really well and forgot about Monday's performance," said Brancazio. "He did really good with strong command of his off-speed pitches and his fastball. We knew he'd have a short rest. I wanted to keep him at 70 or 75 pitches or so."

Aurora had 4 errors in the win at Nordonia as Brancazio is still looking for improvement and consistency from his infield, which can be a young group at times.

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"We have spoken to the guys about eliminating mistakes and hitting with runners in scoring position," stressed the mentor. "We know there is a lot of improvement ahead for us to be able to achieve we the goals we want."

Junior shortstop Evan Fromwiller continues to swing a hot bat as he is in the middle part of the Aurora lineup, which is tough to beat with seniors Bubba Arslanian and Ben Stawicki.

Fromwiller went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double, one run and one RBI. Hitting .577 through seven games, Fromwiller has 15 hits, 12 RBI and 4 stolen bases.

"Evan has been an extra base hitting machine and we knew we have some good bats and power at our 3, 4 and 5 spots in our order," said the coach. "He has gotten stronger in the off season and he has much better plate discipline."

Aurora showed its muscle in a 19-3 league win at Revere (2-9-1, 0-5) April 13. Fromwiller went 4 for 4 with 3 RBI, 2 runs and a double. Stawicki (.524 and 7 RBI) and Arslanian belted back to back home runs to left field.

Junior catcher-outfielder Jacob Blue had a big game at Nordonia with 2 hits, 2 runs and a double. He is hitting .346 with a team-leading 11 runs scored. Third baseman Brent Henderson had 2 hits, including a double and the junior had one RBI.

Another junior also contributed in Drew McVay, who is hitting .600 in a part-time role in the infield. McVay had one hit, one run and one RBI, while junior catcher-third baseman Joe Capretta had one RBI and one run.

Arslanian and freshman second baseman Will Carpenter each had 4 RBI in the win at Revere. McVay and junior infielder Jacob Loudon each had 2 hits, 2 runs and one RBI.

On the year, Loudon is 4 for 4, while junior outfielder Will Hermanowski is hitting .667. Hermanowski went 2 for 2 with 2 runs. Senior Jaret Rose and junior Tate Larrance also are swinging well off the bench. Rose is at a .333 clip, while Larrance is at .400.

"We have so much depth this season and we're trying to get people at-bats, and trying to keep people fresh," said the coach. "Closer to May, we should have a set lineup."

Dominic Tyburski, a senior, had one RBI as did senior Jonathan Blue and junior utility player John Retton. The latter also had a hit and one run.

Rose was the winning pitcher and is 1-0 this spring along with junior Chase Coady, junior Trevor Mitch and Tyburski, who earned his victory in the 10-5 league win against Barberton on April 12.

Senior Connor Bizjak pitched well with 2 innings of scoreless ball against Revere and had 2 strikeouts. Junior Zach Elsawy has also pitched well in relief.

Henderson had 2 RBI, a hit, 2 stolen bases and one run in the win over the Magics. Hermanowski added 2 hits, one RBI and a run, while Arslanian had 2 runs, a double and one RBI. Jacob Blue had 2 hits and 2 runs and Stawicki had 2 hits.

"It's been good to get Bubba back and get his back behind the dish [at catcher]," said the coach.

Jon Blue contributed 2 steals, one hit, one RBI and one run, while Larrance and Carpenter each had one RBI. Retton and McVay each had one steal and one run.

In the loss to Highland, Jon Blue had 2 doubles, Fromwiller had 2 hits, a double and one RBI, and Rose and Jacob Blue had 2 hits each.

Elsawy tossed 4 innings of scoreless ball and is getting his energy back after off-season injuries.

Aurora is slatede to host Shaker Heights in non-league action today (April 19), plus has home league games against Copley and Highland on April 20 and 21, respectively. The locals host Westlake in a doubleheader on April 22 and will host University School on April 24.


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