TWINSBURG — When playing the roll of favorite, it's essential to jump on the underdog early.
Twinsburg baseball did that May 3 against Cuyahoga Falls, which led to a frustrating afternoon for the Black Tigers.
Twinsburg junior pitcher Sean Williams (2-1) tossed a no-hitter against the Black Tigers as Twinsburg’s bats struck early and often. The result was an 11-1 win for Twinsburg in six innings, as the game was shortened by the 10-run mercy rule.
Twinsburg’s record moved to 14-8 with the win The Tigers finished 9-5 in the Suburban League National Conference. Cuyahoga Falls fell to 4-17, 1-12 in the National Conference with the loss.
Williams struck out the side in the first two innings. He finished with 10 strikeouts and four walks in the six-inning no-hitter. Twinsburg also played error-free ball behind him.
By contrast, Twinsburg jumped on Falls starter Alex Valente (2-2) for five runs in the bottom of the first.
Shortstop Jason Stahlman led off with a single, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Tyler Gairing.
Catcher Chad Szydlowski then singled home his cousin — second baseman Jon Szydlowski — to make it 2-0, followed by a walk to first baseman Jake Carinci.
An RBI single by right fielder Ethan Bernhard made it 3-0 and forced Koenig to relieve Valente with Kyle Borton.
A wild pitch allowed Carinci to score and Bernhard scored on an error to make it 5-0.
Bernhard had a great day at the plate, going 3-of-4 with three singles and four RBIs.
Twinsburg made it 6-0 in the second inning when Gairing doubled and Carinci hit an RBI single.
In the fourth inning, Stahlman led off with a double and scored on a two-out double from Chad Szydlowski. After a single by Carinci, an RBI single from Bernhard made it 8-0.
Falls was able to break up the shutout in the top of the sixth inning. First baseman Ben Kinker walked, stole second and went to third base on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Pat Horrigan.
Pinch hitter Caleb Puchajda then hit sacrifice fly to deep left, allowing Kinker to score.
In the bottom of the sixth, however, Falls’ reliever Alex Kolvey hit both Gairing and Chad Szydlowski with pitches and was relieved by Zak Allen.
The runners moved up on a ground out and Bernhard hit a two-run single to right to to make it 10-1.
Bernhard was retired on a fielder’s choice by third baseman Dylan Jackson, which brought Williams to the plate.
Williams smacked a single to right, which was mishandled by the right fielder. The bobble allowed Jackson to score all the way from first base to invoke the mercy rule.