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Old 06-04-17, 07:09 AM
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Division I state baseball

Strongsville loses title to Polar Bears
Tim Bielik

Columbus — Strongsville baseball coach Doug Cicerchi called Massillon Jackson a team with no weakness.

The Polar Bears showed that balance with their ability to hit for power, play small ball, defend and pitch as they beat the Mustangs, 8-2, on Saturday for the Division I state championship at Huntington Park in Columbus.
''There's not a phase of the game they don't do well,'' Cicerchi said. ''They glove it real well. They throw strikes with above-average velocity for high school.
''The thing that I think they're a little bit underrated on is they swing the bats well, too. Just because they choose to play small ball doesn't mean they can't hit. They absolutely can swing the bats.''
The win gave Jackson (30-2) its second state baseball title in school history. It won its first
in 2014.
The Polar Bears scored all of their runs between the third and fifth innings. They had two in the third, and three in both the fourth and fifth.
Cade Mottice and Ohio State commitment Dillon Dingler each had two RBI. Dingler, in his final high school game, was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate.
''We did a great job putting the ball in play no matter what it was,'' Dingler said. ''I feel that all throughout the lineup, we were putting the ball out. We were successful.''
On the mound, sophomore Yianni Skeriotis shined for the Polar Bears. He pitched a complete game and didn't allow a run until the sixth inning. He gave up six hits and struck out five in just 88 pitches.
RBI singles by Dingler and Kyle Nicolas in the third innings gave Jackson the lead for good at 2-0.
Nick Harrison hit a sacrifice
fly to make it 3-0 in the fourth. A bases-loaded walk and a bases-loaded balk scored two more Polar Bears, making it 5-0.
Cade Mottice had a tworun RBI double in the bottom of the fifth, and Dingler doubled to bring Mottice home and stretched the Polar Bears' lead to 8-0.
Multiple times throughout the game, Massillon Jackson showed a great ability to bunt, both for sacrifices to move runners up as well as getting bunt singles.
''That's something that we credit ourselves with, is putting pressure on the other team,'' Massillon Jackson coach Bill Gamble said. ''That's pressure baseball and that's passing the baton. That's what we do.''
Strongsville (26-9) scored both of its runs in the sixth on a throwing error by Dingler and a double by first baseman Noah Trizzino, who went 3-for-3 in his final high school game.