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In the opening week of the 2017 season, Cuyahoga Falls baseball has shown signs of improvement.
However, some untimely lapses have cost the Black Tigers -- and coach Scott Koenig is not happy about it, as his team is off to an 0-3 start.
In its opener March 28 at Water Works Park, Falls had a 2-1 lead over Revere through five innings, thanks to a solid outing from pitcher Will Rightley. However, after Rightley left the game, Falls bullpen and defense imploded.
Six Falls errors helped contribute to 13 combine Revere runs in the sixth and seventh innings, leading the Minutemen to a 14-3 win.
Koenig was much happier after his team's game with Lakewood St. Edward March 27 at Water Works Park.
It wasn't enough for Falls to win, but it was enough to make Koenig feel better about his team moving forward.
St. Edward jumped on a Falls' error in the top of the first inning to take a 4-0 lead, but the Black Tigers played the Eagles even from that point, losing by a final of 5-1.
"We played a much better game [March 27]," Koenig said. "When you give up an error like that to a team as good as St. Edward, they will take advantage of it every time. After that inning, though we played them close."
The game opened with Eagles shortstop Danny McGuire reaching base on a error. After a sacrifice bunt and a hit batsman, Eagles catcher Mark Mohnickey made it 1-0 with an RBI double.
A two-run double by Eagles' first baseman Thomas Iemma and an RBI double by center fielder Riley Baumbick made it 4-0 after a half inning.
After that outburst, Falls starting pitcher Kyle Borton settled down. Borton (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs (one earned) in four innings of work, allowing six hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Falls' Jack Kramer and Zach King combined for three innings of scoreless relief.
"Our pitching did well to keep us in the game," Koenig said. "Will [Rightley] made a great play for us at third base."
St. Edward got its fifth run in the top of the second inning. McGuire walked, stole second and came home on an RBI single from designated hitter Quinn LaVelle.
That would be it for the Eagles' offense.
While Falls had numerous chances to get back in the game, it squandered them, leaving 12 men on base.
"We kept loading up the bases, but we couldn't get the hit we needed," Koenig said. "This team's a lot better than it was last year. They weren't intimidated by a team like St. Edward."
Falls finally broke up the shutout in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Falls got a one-out double to center from Rightley. After an error allowed right fielder Alex Kolvey aboard, center fielder Michael Hoedt came through with and RBI double.
Before Falls could really get the rally going, however, St. Edward closer Kyle Clegg came on.
Kolvey was caught stealing at third base and catcher Derek Waffen flew out to short right to end the game.
The result against St. Edward had Koenig looking forward to Falls' Suburban League National Conference opening series with Brecksville-Broadview Heights.
However, Falls' defense let it down again March 29, as the Black Tigers lost 6-0 at Brecksville.
Koenig said Zak Allen (0-1) threw four solid innings, as he, Kramer and Kolvey combined to give up just four hits to the Bees.
However, Koenig noted Brecksville scored three unearned runs on passed balls in the contest.
Meanwhile, Bees pitcher Jared Schrader pitched a two-hit, complete game shutout.
"We just didn't the ball really well," Koenig said.
Falls had its home game with Brecksville postponed due to weather. Results from that contest and a doubleheader with Kent Roosevelt April 1 were not available at press time.
Falls has a full week ahead. The Black Tigers play Cleveland St. Ignatius at Baldwin Wallace University April 3 at 5 p.m., visit National Conference rival Wadsworth April 4 at 4:30 p.m., host Wadsworth April 5 at 4:30 p.m. and host Akron North April 6 at 4:30 p.m.