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Aurora High baseball team prevails in storm-delayed semifinals

By MICHAEL LEONARD Sports editor Published: May 24, 2017 1:00 AM
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HUDSON -- The district semifinal game between Hudson and Aurora on May 18 was running high on emotions under the lights at the Ballpark at Hudson.

Then the rains came, as a lightning storm forced the game to be suspended until May 19 with Aurora leading 5-4. When the two teams resumed play, emotions and the weather had cooled, and the Greenmen took care of business.

Aurora held on to win 5-4 as Hudson saw its season end with a 21-7 record. AHS coach Michael Brancazio praised his team for coming from behind and maintaining its focus after the 19-hour delay.

"I think we just needed a spark," Brancazio said. "Certain situations happened that I won't comment on. I think we had a much better approach in that fifth inning."

Hudson coach Buddy Dice noted his team's defense misfired at the wrong time. "As I remember it, we kicked the ball around in that fifth inning," Dice said. "Whenever you get to this level, you have to make plays no matter who you are playing."

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Hudson starting pitcher Troy Brown (4-3) and Aurora starter Zachary Elsawy each were in command early. Elsawy gave up 3 earned runs on 6 hits with 3 strikeouts in four innings of work.

Hudson scored first in the top of the third. With third baseman Johnny Colesi on first, Hudson executed a hit-and-run as center fielder Matt Oscarson hit a double to left-center field.

Oscarson then scored on an RBI single by left fielder Nolan Laughlin to make it 2-0, and Hudson made it 3-0 in the top of the fourth on an RBI by catcher Grant Gedeon, but the Explorers left the bases loaded.

Aurora got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Shortstop Evan Fromwiller doubled and scored on an RBI single by first baseman Ben Stawicki.

Aurora sent Chase Coady to the mound to start the fifth inning, but Hudson showed its power again when a double by shortstop Hayden Knox was followed by an RBI triple by rightfielder Bryce Kilfoyle. However, the game seemed to turn on the next play.

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Hudson first baseman Seth Draper singled to short center, but a great throw from Jonathan Blue allowed catcher Bubba Arslanian to tag Kilfoyle out. Kilfoyle actually collided with Arslanian at the plate and both benches seemed upset thereafter.

With emotions running high, Aurora took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. After a leadoff single from Brett Henderson, Drew McVay was hit by a pitch. After the next two batters were retired, Jacob Blue was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

A sharply hit ball by Fromwiller resulted in a two-base error and 2 runs scoring. A balk then allowed Blue to score and Fromwiller to move to third. Arslanian was intentionally walked and another error off the bat of Stawicki allowed Fromwiller to score.

Brown took the loss for Hudson, going five innings and giving up 5 runs (1 earned) off 4 hits with 5 strikeouts.

With Aurora up 5-4, the storm hit in the top of the sixth inning, forcing the suspension. When play resumed May 19, Coady was in good form. "It was kind of a quick bullpen session for him," Brancazio said. "We refocused very well."

Coady (3-1) got the win, going three innings, allowing one earned run on 3 hits. Johnny Merrill pitched a scoreless sixth inning for Hudson.

In the top of the seventh inning, Kilfoyle drew a two-out walk, but Draper flied out to rightfield to end the game. "When you look at our 11 seniors, we had very good leadership this year," Dice said. "They had a great season."

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4190


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