Aurora -- Head coach Tim Deering was excited to see some offense from his Greenmen varsity baseball team late in the regular season, but there's no guarantees in the postseason, even with a big offense.
As the No. 1 seed at the Struthers Division I sectional-district tournament, Aurora was to open play May 13 after a first round bye. Check the Advocate's website for final results.
Aurora (16-7) was scheduled to play the May 12 winner of the Twinsburg (No. 3 seed) and Bedford (No. 6) game. Deering was expecting the opponent to be Twinsburg.
The district games will take place at Bob Cene Park in Struthers.
"This district is tough and Twinsburg is playing well against a strong schedule," Deering said. "Twinsburg can really hit and play defense well."
Standout sophomore pitcher A.J. Kimes (4-1 this season) was expected to take the hill for Aurora in its crucial postseason games. The Greenmen's pitching staff is a team strength.
Also in play this week -- possibly -- is a share of the championship in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division.
Aurora was 6-3 in the CVC and is slated to host Kenston (7-2), which already has a share of the crown, today (May 14). Chagrin Falls (7-3) is also in the mix. The Greenmen are to play a non-league game at Canton South on May 17.
The Greenmen won 11-6 at Olmsted Falls (9-15) in non-league action on May 8 as Aurora had a pair of four-run innings to pull out the win after seven lead changes.
DEERING saw his troops score four runs in the top of the fourth inning, four more in the sixth and three in the seventh. Aurora had 11 hits.
Two athletes who are pacing the offense now -- juniors Nick Ely and University of Virginia recruit Andy Weber -- got into the act again.
Aurora took the lead for good in the sixth frame when Ely singled home Weber off Olmsted Falls losing pitcher Ryan Yako.
Weber, who is hitting over .340, had two hits and five runs batted in. He tripled in the sixth and seventh innings and scored both times.
Ely is batting .357 and he had two doubles, two RBI,and two runs scored as junior Josh Andexler got the win in relief of junior Devin Bradley.
Andexler (2-0) allowed two runs in 3.1 innings of work while striking out two batters.
"Our offense is working to score and right now Weber and Ely are extremely hot at the plate," said the coach. "They are our only hot hitters now, but that's good to see from your three and four hitters [in the lineup]."
A two-out run-scoring double by Weber scored junior Matt Carpenter in a two-run eighth inning to spark a 3-1 league win at Kenston (13-7) on May 7.
It was a pitcher's duel and Kimes won the battle with a 3-hitter in eight innings of work. Kimes didn't allow a run and had only one walk while striking out three batters.
"A.J. gave up one unearned run and was looking really good," said Deering, as Kimes threw only 80 pitches.
"KIMES really shot them down and he's just doing a great job," added the coach. "He's going right at hitters and letting our defense play behind him."
Aurora had only five hits in the win and Weber scored two runs as well.
Meanwhile, a four-run first inning keyed Aurora's 6-1 win over Perry (11-10, 4-5) in league action at Ed Sherwin Field on May 6.
Once again pitching was the key as junior Carter Semancik fired a complete-game 3-hitter to move to 2-0 this spring. He did not allow a single walk and was aided by the big 4-run first inning by the offense.
"Carter is a strike thrower and he just hit the plate," Deering said. "He had command and was throwing down in the zone. It was nice to get ahead with a big inning."
Aurora scored in the first on RBI singles by Weber and Ely, plus a two-run error by Perry. Ely was outstanding at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a double, two RBI and two runs.
Senior Luke Calcei took the ball on the hill in a CVC test at Perry on May 5, and proceeded to pitch a one-hit shutout in a 4-0 win.
Calcei's gem raised his season mark to 3-2, as the only hit he allowed was a single to left field early in the game. He fanned five batters and walked three.
"Luke was tremendous," Deering said. "He really picked up our staff, which was out of order a bit with some postponements. Luke did a great job for us."
The Greenmen offense managed only five hits, but the biggest was by junior Ryan Gambatesa -- a 2-run, two-out single in the top of the sixth inning to extend the lead.