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Cards tame wildcats 13-1

May 1, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

Anytime a baseball pitcher tosses a no-hitter it's a rare and special occasion.

When it's done on a high school diamond it carries with it a little bit more panache, and it happened last Saturday at Cene Park in Struthers. Canfield's Ricky Havrilla harassed Struthers' hitters for five innings striking out three. His only blemish was a walk that came home to score in the Cardinals' 13-1 thrashing of the Wildcats.

"Huge congratulations to Ricky on such a great accomplishment," said Canfield head coach Matt Koenig. "It was pretty awesome. Guys were relaxed throughout the whole game."

Article Photos

Photos by Cindy DeRose, Town Crier

Canfield senior Jack Rafoth on the mound for Canfield to begin the game against Austintown on Friday, April 27. The game ended in a 1-8 loss to the Falcons.

If it weren't for that RBI groundout by the Wildcats, Havrilla would have tossed a shutout too. That didn't deter the junior from dominating the Struthers offense until the umpires finally called the game due to the Mercy Rule. It's the type of performance the Cardinals needed to light a fire underneath them heading into the final week of the regular season.

"Hopefully this propels us for a long week," said Koenig.

Although he didn't need much help, Havrilla got some from his offensive mates anyway. Jack Rafoth, Kyle Willis and Drew Havrilla each knocked home two runs for the Cardinals. Junior Jad Jadallah also had a double.

Canfield's only other win last week was in much less fabulous fashion than when Havrilla tossed his gem. The Cardinals clipped Warren Harding 4-2 in Warren on April 24. Havrilla wasn't as sharp as he was a few days later, but how could he be? He threw five innings and struck out five. Alex Hernandez had three hits to lead Canfield's offense. Dom Pilolli had two hits and two RBIs.

Koenig's club didn't play as well last Friday when they hosted Austintown Fitch. The Red Tier leading Falcons rolled into Canfield and clubbed the home team 8-1. The game was actually scoreless through four innings then things unraveled for the Cardinals. Canfield committed four errors in the top of the fifth enabling the Falcons to push home five runs. Havrilla had a double in an otherwise silent output by Canfield's batters.

With the Division II tournament getting set to commence, Coach Koenig would like to see more games like the ones against Struthers and Harding instead of ones like Canfield. He hopes he doesn't need a no-hitter to accomplish that either.

"We've got guys playing really well right now, but we're still searching for that complete game where we look really good in all facets," said the coach.

The Cards' busy week of baseball started with back-to-back battles with arch nemesis Poland. A few out of conference contests were also scattered throughout the week. Canfield is the number two seed in next week's district tourney and will host the winner of the opening round game between Alliance and Salem.



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