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Despite some mistakes in the field last week, the Nordonia High School baseball team won three of five games and is in an excellent position within the National Conference of the Suburban League.
As a result, the Knights now own an overall record of 10-5, as well as a mark of 6-1 within the National Conference, giving the Knights the lead in the conference standings.
On April 24, Nordonia hosted conference counterpart Cuyahoga Falls. The Knights edged the Black Tigers by the score of 1-0, despite Falls pitcher Will Rightley throwing a no-hitter against Nordonia.
Senior Daniel Heiser accounted for the game-winning RBI, and senior Chris Nolan threw a complete game on the mound, giving up just three hits and striking out 11 batters.
The following day, Nordonia hosted conference rival North Royalton. The Bears beat the Knights by the score of 9-6.
Senior Trey Crockett led the way for Nordonia offensively; he was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. In addition, sophomore Robby Levak was 1-for-4 with two RBIs; senior Nate O'Donnell was 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored; and junior Peter Toula went 2-for-3 with a RBI.
Heiser pitched five innings, allowing two unearned runs and six strikeouts.
"We had the offense, but not the defense," said Nordonia head coach Drew Hoisington. We committed five errors, so seven of the nine runs we gave up were unearned. We kept putting ourselves in the bad spots by not keeping guys off base."
On April 19, Nordonia's game against conference foe Brecksville-Broadview Heights was postponed due to lightning in the top of the fourth inning. The Knights trailed 5-4 at the time.
On April 20, Nordonia traveled to North Royalton. This time, the Knights recorded a 3-1 victory.
Junior Blake Williams slammed a two-run homer to lead Nordonia, while Heiser had a RBI single. Senior Kyle Seither threw a complete game to record the pitching victory, striking out five batters.
Nordonia hosted a doubleheader April 22. In the first game, the Knights lost to non-league opponent Field by the score of 3-2 in 10 innings.
Crockett went 3-for-5 to pace Nordonia at the plate. Nolan started on the hill. He gave up two runs in the first inning, but neither of them were earned. Also pitching for the Knights were junior Nick Kovacs, junior Sammy Spagnola, and Williams.
Nordonia prevailed in the second game of the twinbill, downing non-conference foe Shaker Heights by a 3-1 margin. Levak was 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored and Heiser went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Junior Dylan Hiles earned his first varsity pitching victory for Nordonia. He accounted for six innings of work without allowing a run. Freshman Michael Hamrick recorded the save.
"We've struggled at the plate, but we've lost five times to teams with a combined record of 68-7," said Hoisington. "Two of those teams are undefeated, two have one loss, and the other one has five losses. We're playing good competition."
This week is a big one for Nordonia.
The Knights were set to play the rest of their postponed game against Brecksville April 24 and hosted conference adversary Twinsburg April 25, but results of these games were not available at press time.
On April 26, the Knights visit the Tigers at 4:30 p.m.
On April 28, Nordonia traveled to conference adversary Hudson. The following day, they visited non-league opponent Akron Firestone.
On April 30, the sectional/district tournament draw will be held. So if Nordonia does well this week, the Knights will be in good position for both the race for the conference crown and also the postseason tournament.