Cardinals handle Panthers

SOUTH DAYTON – The Randolph Cardinals scored early and often Friday to take down the Pine Valley Panthers, 13-5, in non-league high school baseball action.

The visitors scored four runs in the first inning, two in the second and three more in the third to take a 9-3 lead.

“That was encouraging,” Randolph coach Nate Armella said. “To be able to jump out of the gates like we did was great. I thought we did a fantastic job early on.”

In the first inning, Randolph’s Kyle Brown doubled and had RBI singles from Ryan Stiles and Nate Beaver. Devyn Nelsen added an RBI sacrifice fly.

Randolph tacked on two runs in the second as Styles plated Brown and Alex Mintry.

The three-run third inning for the visitors was aided by an RBI single from Beaver.

“Those weren’t bad hits either,” Pine Valley coach Chris Buczek said. “Those were good hits. Take your hats off to Randolph for coming out of the gate ready to go. They were more ready to play baseball than we were.”

Randolph also received solid contributions from the bottom third of the lineup as they reached base nine times.

“When you can get the bottom of your lineup out there contributing, that’s a good sign,” Armella noted.

“Even in the first inning when they scored those runs, they only put one or two in the outfield,” Buczek said. “Everything happened in the infield. They put the bat on the ball to make us make plays and we didn’t.”

The Panthers scored a run in the first inning as Spencer Sticek led off with a single and scored on an RBI groundout by Lucas Trombley.

Pine Valley made the score 9-3 in the third as Talon Snyder led off with a single and scored on an error. Sticek scored on an RBI single from Lucas Trombley.

The closest Pine Valley would get was 9-5 after six innings. Pine Valley added a run in the fifth as Dylan Granger scored on a Kilian Abers RBI single, and Russell Hayes crossed home plate on an RBI double from Shayne Matteson. All four players came in as replacements, and their efforts did not go unnoticed by Buczek.

“We didn’t give up,” he said. “We stuck around and kept playing. We had a few subs who played just as hard as the starters. To battle back with the guys we battled back with was refreshing.”

Randolph was led by Beaver’s three hits, two RBIs and two runs. Stiles went 3 for 3 with four RBIs. Andrew Hvizdzak had two hits and crossed home plate twice while Nate Ploetz had a double and a run scored. Austin Mitchell came in as a replacement and had two hits with an RBI for the winners.

“It was awesome,” Armella said about playing Pine Valley in a non-league contest. “Pine Valley is as good as it gets. It was a good game for us.”

The Panthers’ Lucas Trombley had an RBI single.

Mitchell Maycock was the winning pitcher as he went three strong innings giving up three hits and two strikeouts. Hvizdzak pitched two innings of relief and allowed just one hit. Styles pitched a perfect seventh inning for the winners.

Tyler Swanson was the losing pitcher as he gave up 13 hits, seven walks, three hit batters and seven strikeouts.

“Give credit to Randolph, again,” Buczek said. “They were good hitters with two strikes on them. We benefited from some of their errors today, but they benefited from more of our errors.”