CUYAHOGA FALLS — Walsh Jesuit senior right-hander Nathan Stahl is growing accustomed to pitching in front of scouts from Major League Baseball teams.
Six men stood behind the fence beyond home plate Thursday and extended their radar guns forward as Stahl went into his windup and released pitches.
Only one Stow batter got a hit off Stahl as he led Walsh to a 10-0 win in a Division I sectional final that was shortened to five innings because of the 10-run rule.
“The first game this year, there was one scout, and ever since then, there have been one or two maybe a game,” Stahl said. “Today, was a lot bigger than anything that I have gotten so far. There were a lot more guys back there and it was a lot of fun.”
Walsh (21-3) will meet Solon in a Division I district semifinal at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Hudson. Solon won 6-1 over Kent Roosevelt on Thursday.
“Today, we were successful in all three phases of the game at a very high level,” Walsh coach Chris Kaczmar said. “One of the things that stands out for me is our defense. [Senior] Aamir Qadri made a great catch in center, [senior] Evan Swan made a nice play up the middle and [junior] Jamie Perebzak is doing a tremendous job behind the plate.”
Stahl, an Indiana recruit, struck out five, walked two and hit one batter during four innings.
“There have been a number of scouts at Nate’s past two starts,” Kaczmar said. “He has had an uptick in velocity the past month or so and it is really exciting to see.
“... He is right there with all of our top, top guys. Johnny Fasola, Tyler Skulina, Greg Greve, Chad Rogers, Pat O’Brien and Nate are very similar. That is the upper echelon. All of those guys went on to get drafted, and he has got a very good chance. We will see.”
Stahl (7-0) topped out at 92 miles per hour on his fastball. Sophomore Bobby Perebzak pitched the fifth.
Walsh senior Riley Feltner hit an RBI single in the first inning. Other key hits came from sophomore Jake Armsey (two-run double in the second), sophomore Erik Stern (two-run double in the third) and freshman Henry Kaczmar (solo home run in the fourth).
“That’s Henry’s first home run at Walsh Jesuit,” the elder Kaczmar said. “I am grinning now like I was grinning when he was rounding second base. I elected to forget about even trying to keep a straight face. I was dad completely. ... It was a special moment.”
Henry Kaczmar also hit two singles and scored three runs.
“It felt great to hit that home run,” Henry Kaczmar said. “It was just an incredible moment and I felt it right off the bat.”
Armsey and Swan each scored two runs, and Stahl, Feltner and senior Nick Vaccaro all scored one run. Feltner and Jamie Perebzak both brought in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Stow coach Aaron DeBord praised his players for their effort, including sophomore pitcher Mark Wilbur (6-1). Senior Colin Harris got the lone hit for Stow (11-13-1).
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com.