Stow baseball coach Bryan Celik opened the 2013 season a happy man.
Solid pitching and timely hitting, combined with good defense, helped Celik’s Bulldogs earn two wins Saturday over host Firestone and Walsh Jesuit.
Stow beat Firestone 8-2 in the season opener and then defeated Walsh 3-1.
“It was a really good way start to our season,” Celik said. “It was nice to finally get outside and play on a baseball field. We have the field turf on our football field so we were able to get out a few times when weather permitted.”
Celik, a graduate of Firestone and the University of Akron, is in his second season as coach at Stow.
Senior pitcher Nate McMaster and junior pitcher James Taylor combined to limit Firestone to two runs and five hits. Bulldogs senior KC Kolke hit two singles and had an RBI. Junior Mike Urban singled and had two RBI.
“The first game of the season, as always in baseball, the pitchers are ahead of the hitters,” Celik said. “That is the story from youth baseball all the way up to professional baseball. We put the bat on the ball and we definitely took advantage of some Firestone miscues.”
Stow senior Bryan Reginald singled, doubled and had two RBI against Walsh.
“We threw five pitchers at them and all five competed very well, and our defense played well,” Celik said. “In the sixth inning we had an amazing diving catch by KC Kolke in right-center field. We pitched well in both games.”
Junior reliever Alex Haynes notched the win against the Warriors. Junior Brett Hartman, junior Josh Porto, sophomore Ryan Pitts and senior Troy Johnson also pitched.
Stow plays at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney today, at North Royalton on Wednesday, at Ellet on Friday and hosts West Branch on Saturday.
Mockbee tosses no-hitter
Senior left-hander Joe Mockbee tossed a no-hitter in Walsh’s 10-0 victory over host Firestone on Saturday.
Mockbee, a University of Cincinnati recruit, struck out 15 in seven innings.
Warriors senior Rory Ziegler hit two doubles, and sophomore Azim Qadri had two hits and four RBI. Freshman Christopher Machamer and juniors Trevor Ray, Nate Romans and Tim Benner also had doubles.
Dice nabs two victories
Hudson baseball coach Buddy Dice won his first two games Saturday in the Kevin Calia Classic in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
The Explorers defeated Sullivan East (Tenn.) 11-1 and Tates Creek (Tenn.) 9-4.
Dice is in his first season as a replacement to former coach Chuck Schilling, who retired last year after guiding Hudson to a 461-218 record during 25 years.
Dice served as Hudson’s associate head coach last season and is in his 13th season with the baseball program.
The Explorers return 12 letter winners, including four key pitchers, senior Brian Malerick and juniors Nanak Saran, Jono Chafe and Kevin Zullo.
Seniors Ross McLelland, Tim Kennedy, Alex Agra and Mitch Schoenman will lead an offense that also features junior Joey Cahill.
Panthers sweep Smithies
Manchester started its baseball season off right Saturday with triumphs over Smithville by the scores of 7-5 and 9-5.
Junior Josh Seidel had a three-run double in a seven-run second inning to give the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish.
Seniors Allan Betz and Jake Bumgarner also contributed key hits along with juniors Evan Griffiths and Chandler Stahl and freshman Mason Nist.
Gabelt wins No. 300
The Marlington baseball team swept a doubleheader Saturday against visiting Garrettsville, and in the process gave coach Scott Gabelt career victories No. 299 and 300.
“It is always nice to start the season off sweeping a doubleheader,” said Gabelt, who is in his 20th season as coach.
“The kids were really excited and the coaches were also. We had 27 days in the field house, so getting outside was very nice. That was one of the major things really. We wanted to start off fast.”
Sophomore Brock Balderson pitched a seven-inning complete game in the first game and junior Shawn Kirk tossed a five-inning complete game in the second game.
The Dukes’ hitting stars were freshman Tyler Tokos, junior Conner O’Brien and sophomore Tony Rupert.
Gabelt said Marlington had one scrimmage at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium versus Canton McKinley to prep for the doubleheader.
North Canton Hoover will dedicate its softball field to longtime coach Jerry Goodpasture before the Vikings play Canton McKinley today. The dedication ceremony will start at 4 p.m. and the game will be at 5 p.m. Goodpasture has led the Vikings to back-to-back Division I state championships and four overall in his eight years as coach.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.