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Falcons improve to 15-5 after winning week

May 3, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

Fitch's baseball team has built some excellent momentum for the final week of the regular season.

The Falcons played three games last week and went 3-0 to improve their season record to 15-5. Even more impressive is Fitch's 7-1 record and top standing in the All American Conference's Red Tier. Thanks to those lofty marks, Fitch has earned the number 3 seed in their district of the upcoming Division I state tournament. It's a district that will force the eventual winner to play its best ball to gain the title.

"Our district is loaded," said Fitch head coach Joe Paris shortly after pulling the third seed. "Massillon Jackson is number one and Massillon Washington is number two. We'll need great pitching and timely hitting to come out of there."

Article Photos

Photos by Cindy DeRose, Town Crier

Austintown’s Kenny Misik throws out the first pitch starting for Austintown on the mound in Canfield on Friday, April 27. The Falcons ruled the roost in Canfield, beating the Cardinals 8-1.

Those two facets are exactly what the Falcons received in their trio of triumphs over Red Tier foes Canfield and Howland. Fitch swept a crucial home-in-home series from Howland to start last week by the scores of 5-2 and 11-1.

"We knew we had to sweep (Howland)," Paris said.

The Tigers tossed their best pitcher against Paris' club in game one at Eastwood Field, but that didn't faze Fitch's hitters. The Falcons planned on harassing the Howland hurler by being patient at the plate. They carried that assignment out excellently.

"We wanted to get deep into the count, have good at bats and draw some walks," Paris said. "We were able to get into their bullpen, which we wanted to do."

While Howland's ace was failing to find his groove, Fitch's Cole Constance was cooking with gas. The senior slinger threw 86 pitches in a complete game performance. Constance's consistency was a welcomed site to his coach.

"It was great pitching by our number two guy," said Paris. "And we played great defense behind him."

It was more of the same for Paris' pitching staff the following day at home against Howland. Senior Tommy Pitko gave up one unearned run over five innings on four hits. He also struck out seven Tiger hitters.

"We got great pitching from Tommy Pitko," said Paris.

The Falcons also got some great hitting. Nick Bianco blasted a grand slam and finished the game with six RBI's. Kole Klasic, Nick Belcik and Kenny Misik all chipped with an RBI. Klasic, Belcik and Jeremiah Papa had two hits each.

Last week ended with the Falcons flexing their muscle against rival Canfield in an 8-1 victory. Misik was marvelous on the mound as he tossed a three-hitter and fanned five. The game was scoreless in the top of the fifth when three Fitch hits and four Canfield errors led to five Falcon runs. Klasic did his best Noah impersonation as he did everything in two's. He had two hits, two RBI's and two runs scored. Cam Burton had a double and a single for the victors. Paris' strategy going into this clash with the Cardinals was eerily similar to the one he concocted versus Howland.

"(Canfield) threw their ace too so our game plan was the same," said the coach. "In our first game with Canfield we made some errors that led to unearned runs. Canfield made the errors in this game."

Fitch was scheduled to meet up with Boardman to start this week both at home and on the road. A pair of wins by Paris' kids will put them on the brink of a Red Tier championship. If the Spartans win their first round tournament game next week, they will face Fitch for a third time in less than 10 days. That makes Coach Paris a bit queasy.

"(Boardman) will always swing the bats," said Paris. "It'd be a huge challenge to play them three times."



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