Rocky River beats Columbia 6-3 on senior day – Morning Journal

For a tune-up game before the sectional finals, a state-ranked matchup for Columbia and Rocky River on May 14 is as good as you can get.

Honoring their seniors on senior day in Rocky River, Pirates senior captain Thomas Rossi got things back on track for the Pirates in the fourth with a leadoff single, while brothers Jack and Luke Petrus scored the tying run later in the inning and scored the leading points. for an eventual 6-3 Pirates victory over the visiting Raiders.

“It’s a really good team we’re playing against,” Rocky River coach Ed Piazza said as he complimented his former school.

“I know we start today looking to prepare for the tournament, and that’s the best way to do it: against a great team like Columbia and Dan Durante. These seniors coming in, getting their starts and getting in the clutch and trying to win on senior day, you can’t ask more from the kids.

Rocky River got on the board first thanks to Rossi’s RBI groundout in the first inning, before Columbia put up three in the third to take the lead, 3-1.

The fourth inning was the turning point, with Rossi leading off the bottom half of the inning with a lined single to left field.

Rossi came around to score on a one-out error to cut the deficit to one. A walk and a pitching change for Columbia later, Jake Petrus hit a sharp fly ball that Ethan Meier had to throw in for the catch, but not before the Pirates tied the game and Griffin Hill ran home on the tag.

“We’ve been in this program for four years and my brother and I don’t get that many opportunities to play,” Jack Petrus said. “If we go back from two to three runs, it is very special to be able to contribute.”

Number 9 hitter Luke Petrus batted behind his brother Jack and kept his hands in and hit the ball the opposite way for the go-ahead RBI, with Rocky River scoring two insurance runs in the sixth.

“I think this might have been my first hit this year,” Luke Petrus commented. “It was really cool and fun to have that on senior day. We played here for four years and it was really cool to lead the team.”

It was also the first time since 1999 that the Rocky River baseball program had won 20 games in a season (20-5). The Pirates, the top seed in their Division II postseason bracket, will host No. 11 Tallmadge on May 15 for a possible trip to their second straight district tournament. Although from Rossi’s perspective a lot of that is down to Piazza’s arrival last year.

“It’s crazy to think about,” Rossi said of taking the win. “Me and the seniors have been with this program through super low highs and super high highs this season and last season. It was just crazy to see the transformation that has happened here. If Coach Piazza hadn’t been brought in here, I don’t think we would be where we are today.

For Columbia it is only the fourth loss of the season and drops to 18-4. The Raiders are also the top seed in their Division III bracket and will host No. 16 Rittman at home on May 15. Led by Dan Durante, the Raiders have been to three consecutive districts and a regional for 2021. Now they have a chance to make it an unprecedented four consecutive districts before the baseball divisions expand next season.

“Every year these guys know they have to be able to do the little things to reach a sectional final,” Durante explained. “They’ve earned the right to get a bye (round) and play in a sectional final at home. In the previous three section finals we were fortunate to come out on top.

“Obviously the players’ hope, and my hope right now, is for our fourth straight sectional – we’re going to win our fourth straight sectional final tomorrow at Columbia Park. That is the hope, and that is what we are working for.”

THE SCORE

Rocky River 6, Columbia 3