Posted by Beacon Journal sportswriter Nate Ulrich
Walsh Jesuit baseball coach Chris Kaczmar appears to be running a program that is able to win year after year - no matter what.
The Warriors lost one of the best players to come out of Summit County when left-handed pitcher Chad Rodgers graduated last summer. Rodgers helped the Warriors win Division II state titles in 2004 and 2006. The Atlanta Braves drafted him in the third round of the Major League Baseball Draft with the 100th overall pick. He’s now in the Braves’ Rookie Gulf Coast League.
Bobby Simone, a University of Akron recruit, is among other key seniors the Warriors lost after the ‘06 season.
Last season, Rodgers and Simone shared pitching duties as the Warriors defeated Cuyahoga River Baseball Conference rival Lakewood St. Edward 4-2 in the Cleveland Indians Charities Hardball Classic at Jacobs Field. The two Warriors combined to out duel St. Edward then-junior right-hander Scott Moviel, a 6-foot-10, 245-pound North Carolina State recruit.
It was the 20th win for the Warriors.
On Saturday, the Warriors faced Moviel again and defeated St. Edward 6-2 at Jacobs Field. This time, Walsh senior right-hander Josh Raggi, a Cleveland State recruit, won the battle against Moviel, and the Warriors improved to 19-3, 5-2 in the CRBC.
Raggi (5-0), 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, threw 94 pitches in five-plus innings of work, allowing just four hits while striking out three and walking four. Moviel, whose two older brothers are in Major League farm systems, threw 113 pitches in six innings, giving up three earned runs and six hits, while striking out eight and walking one.
Junior Tom Charles helped the Warriors break the game open during a three-run fifth inning. Charles hit a two-run single off Moviel to give the Warriors a 4-1 lead over St. Edward (16-7, 2-3).
It will be interesting to see if Walsh will be able to succeed in the state playoffs like it has in the past. Right now, the Warriors seem to have a very good chance.