Toronto, SCC to meet for district title

CAMBRIDGE – Jefferson County rivals Toronto and Steubenville Catholic will play for the Ohio Division IV district championship at 5 p.m. Thursday on Don Coss Field.

The Red Knights defeated Strasburg, 3-1, on Tuesday on the same diamond behind the 10-strikeout, four-hit performance of Blaze Glenn.

“Blaze is a tremendous competitor,” Toronto coach Brian Perkins said. “In a big-game situation, I have all the confidence in the world throwing him out there. He’s a bulldog. He’s the type of kid you want to have the ball.

“He hasn’t pitched a lot for us this year. We just decided it’s tournament time and that’s the guy we wanted on the mound.”

The Red Knights tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the second as Ryan Cline singled home Tyler Antinone with two outs. They made it 2-1 an inning later when Antinone delivered a two-out base hit to plate Nate Stewart.

Glenn went the distance, allowing four singles.

The Tigers loaded the bases in the top of the fourth as two strikeouts sandwiched a walk and a single. The third out came on a fielder’s choice on a nice play from freshman second baseman Danny Zdinak, as he tossed it to the shortstop, Stewart, to get out of the inning.

“Our defense played well again,” Perkins said. “They made the plays behind Blaze.”

Toronto added an insurance run in the fifth. Chez Glenn singled with one out. Strasburg changed pitchers and, one out later, Glenn stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when the throw to third went into left field.

“We’re used to this type of game in the districts because we approach every game the same way,” Blaze Glenn said. “Every day. Every practice. Every pitch counts, no matter what.”

Perkins started the season with a young, inexperienced group, but never made excuses as they struggled early in the season.

“At the beginning of the year we weren’t playing well,” Perkins admitted. “They kept working hard and were resilient. I knew if we just kept playing baseball, we would eventually peak.

“We just hope to continue to play well and represent Toronto.”

The Red Knights and Crusaders were rained out in both games this season.