by John Fanta ’13
STRONGSVILLE – On a crisp Saturday morning in “Mustang Village,” only one could ride home with the Strongsville District Title. The Wildcats battled the Normandy Invaders for a shot to reach the Cleveland Regional Round in the OHSAA Baseball Tournament. The day belonged to pitchers, that’s for sure.
Nick Margevicius threw a one-run complete game, as his fastball blew away the Invaders and his curve ball could not be sniffed. On the other side, it was Nick Morano who threw for the orange and black. He was nothing short of fantastic, but he left one big pitch out over the plate in the 5th inning. Dan Rowbottom’s RBI triple brought in Joe Khoury to give Saint Ignatius a 2-1 lead, as it was a lead that the ‘Cats would hang on to for the Strongsville District Championship.
After two innings of scoreless ball, Saint Ignatius would find some offensive production to get men aboard, as they took advantage of a Normandy error. Alex Panstares scored on a passed ball that went by the Invaders’ catcher, Anthony Lewis, with two outs in the 3rd inning to give Saint Ignatius the lead. An RBI single by Normandy’s Anthony Raimondo would answer the ‘Cats in the bottom of the 3rd, though.
It did not come until the top of the 5th when Joe Khoury got production going for the ‘Cats. He ripped a single into left field, when the lead-off man in the order, Dan Rowbottom stepped in. Taking advantage of a pitch that Nick Marano left out over the plate, Rowbottom hammered a fly ball to straightaway left field. The Illinois recruit had shown why he is so worthy of the Big Ten offer. He flew around the base paths, as Joe Khoury came around to score for Saint Ignatius to take a 2-1 lead.
Coach Brad Ganor would not go with anybody other than Nick Margevicius, who was close to perfect. “It was a District Championship performance,” said his catcher, Alex Panstares, after the game. Assistant coach Mark Terlep said it best though. “Survive and advance,” Terlep exclaimed.
The Wildcats now await the winner of the Lorain District Championship Game between Midview and Avon Lake, which is at 6 pm at the Lorain Pipeyard on Saturday night. The ‘Cats will take on the winner at Case Western Reserve University on Thursday at 5 pm in a Cleveland Regional Semifinal.
The game will be broadcasted on the SIBN, and you can look at the full schedule for the ‘Cats baseball team at ignatius.edu/sibn. Take a look at the OHSAA Cleveland Region Bracket by going to http://brackets.ohsaa.org/regionalbracket.aspx?t=3957&ts=8988¬=4.
They say “pitching is as far as you go,” and the Wildcats’ Nick Margevicius put on a display of that saying in Strongsville on Saturday. Congrats to Normandy on a terrific season and their district semifinal upset of Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 2-0.
Congrats to Brad Ganor and the ‘Cats, who win the Strongsville District for the second straight year.