STEUBENVILLE - New season, new Ohio Valley Athletic Conference class, same result for the Edison baseball machine.
Behind a strong mound performance from Ryan Kramarich, and a trio of early runs, the Wildcats claimed their third OVAC baseball title in a row, 3-1, over Cambridge Saturday at Vaccaro Field.
This year's 5A crown goes with last season's 4A title, and a 3A crown from two years ago.
CLASS 5A CHAMPS — The Edison baseball team defeated Cambridge, 3-1, Saturday at Vaccaro Field to win the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 5A championship. It was the third straight OVAC title for the Wildcats, each in a different classification.
"It feels good," said Edison head coach Mike Collopy of his team's OVAC crown. "We never set that out as one of our goals. We just try to get better every day.
"We had the opportunity to win it, and obviously we didn't turn it down. I told these guys they worked their tail off to put themselves in this situation, and it wasn't about anything else than but just going out and getting it done."
Kramarich surrendered six hits and gave up one run over a complete seven innings of work. He pitched out of several jams throughout the game, and was backed up by a strong defensive performance that saw the Wildcats commit just one error. Kramarich struck out four on the afternoon.
Edison 3, Cambridge 1
Cambridge 001 000 0 - 1 6 3
Edison 111 000 x - 3 5 1
CAMBRIDGE: Standiford (LP, 2K, 2BB) and Fettes. Wilkinson 2S, R; Standiford 2S, RBI; Hardesty S; Francis S.
EDISON: Kramarich (WP, 4K, 4BB) and Glasure. Pasek R; Marcus S, R; A. Jones 2D, RBI; Allese S; Horan S, RBI.
"Ryan pitched a heck of a game," said Collopy. "He's been pitching well for us all year. He new this was going to be his game coming into the week. He did what you ask any senior to do.
"He stepped up, he threw strikes, kept them off balance, and we made the plays behind him when we needed to."
Edison manufactured its' first run in the bottom half of the game's opening frame courtesy the legs of Josh Pasek. Pasek drew a one-out walk to reach base. The ball went to the fence on a pickoff move to first, allowing the speedy Pasek to round all the way to third base. He then crossed on a passed ball to make the score 1-0 Wildcats.
Edison produced its' next run in the second inning. Storm Allese connected for a single. He advanced to second base on a Dylan Glasure sacrifice bunt, and to third base on a Chance Wilkin ground out to third. Austin Horan then made the score 2-0 with an RBI single.
Cambridge cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the third off the bat of pitcher Ben Standiford. Standiford singled home Trevor Wilkinson, who reached on a walk, to cut the lead to one.
The Wildcats answered right back in the bottom of the frame. Nolan Marcus reached on an one-out single, and then took second on an errant throw in from left field. Alec Jones then connected for his second double of the game, this one driving home Marcus to make the score 3-1 Edison.
"We had some aggressive base running that paid off," said Collopy. "We had some timely hits. Alec Jones and Austin Horan each had a big hit, and we were able to scratch out a run on a wild pitch."
The Bobcats threatened in the top of the seventh with two on and one down, but Kramarich proceeded to sit down the final two batters on strikes to set of the Edison celebration.
"We've got a great baseball team," said Cambridge head coach Dave Gray. "We've struggled here at the end putting the ball in play with runners in scoring position, and this is what happens.
"We left 11 guys on base in crucial situations, we had first and third here in the seventh, and we don't get a big hit."
Standiford had a strong effort on the hill for the Bobcats despite the loss. He gave up just five hits while going the distance and striking out two.
Ben Standiford came in and did a good job today," said Gray. "He's 5-0 with two saves, and probably our number two guy. He threw a good game, we just couldn't help him out."
The Wildcats moved to 17-3 on the year and look to keep things rolling Monday when they travel to East Liverpool.
"I feel great for our seniors," said Collopy. "Sometimes they get forgotten by people between last year's class and next year's group, but they've done a great job and I'm really happy for them."