Archbishop Hoban's baseball team honored its graduating seniors Saturday, with a helping hand from Walsh Jesuit.
But after a pregame ceremony, Hoban had little to celebrate. Walsh (23-3, 9-1) gained immediate control and rolled to an 11-1 North Coast League Blue Division five-inning win over its rival in the last regular-season game for both teams
It was scheduled to be Walsh's home game, but the Warriors agreed to move it to Hoban for Senior Day. That would be the extent of their courtesy.
"When you're playing against your rival like this on a beautiful day, it's great to come out here and excel in all three phases of the game," Walsh coach Chris Kaczmar said.
It was Walsh's second win this week at Hoban. The Warriors beat the Knights 10-8 on Tuesday. Hoban lost 9-3 to Brunswick in a district sectional Thursday.
The Warriors did bat in the bottom half of each inning Saturday, as the de facto home team. And the first three hitters all walked in the first to load the bases.
Senior first-baseman Nathan Stahl then promptly unloaded them with a grand slam home run over the 347-foot sign in dead center on a full-count pitch for a 4-0 lead.
"I was just expecting him to throw some fastballs over the plate," Stahl said. "Just to try and not walk in a run. And so I was hunting fastball my entire at-bat, for that one."
It was the eighth home run of the season for Stahl, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-handed hitter and Indiana University recruit.
"We like to start off with a lot of runs," he said. "Just punch it right away and then step on it for the rest of the game."
The Warrors did just that. They scored single runs in the second and third innings, two more in the fourth and ended it with a three-run walk-off homer by Evan Swan with no outs in the fifth. That made it 11-1, enough for the 10-run mercy rule to kick in.
And while Stahl frequently provides power displays, Swan does not. The senior second baseman, who will play for Ashland University next year, said it was his first home run — on any level.
"It feels pretty good, since it was the first one of my life," said Swan, who hit an inside fastball. "I was thinking of putting the ball in play, doing something for my team. Get us some more runs."
Walsh took advantage of two Hoban errors for its second-inning run. In the third, Henry Kaczmar walked and scored on Bobby Perebzak's two-out single.
And in the fourth, Nick Vaccaro walked and rode home on Jake Armsey's two-run homer for an 8-1 lead. Aamir Qadri singled to lead off the fifth and Vaccaro reached on an error to set up Swan's blast to right center.
Right-hander Nicholas Leonatti (6-1) pitched the first 4 2/3 innings and Robert Shepherd got the last out of the fifth.
Hoban's Evan Pomeraning walked leading off the second, advanced to third on Nathan Montecalvo's double and scored on Matt Coyne's groundout for the Knights' lone run.
"It's hard to beat three home runs in a game," first-year Hoban coach Andrew Bonnette said. "And they don't make errors."
Although Hoban (9-14, 2-8) is out of the postseason, Walsh will next face Solon in a district semifinal at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Hudson High, and the Warriors will look to avenge a district final loss to Solon last year.
"Lot of work ahead of us," Swan said.