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Toronto tops Buckeye, 12-4

TORONTO – A sign of a good team is the ability to come from behind.

The Toronto baseball team is such a team.

For the second straight game, the Red Knights rallied from a deficit en route to a win as Toronto toppled Buckeye Local, 12-4, Monday evening at the Knights Baseball Complex.

“I am really proud of the kids,” Toronto (4-0) head coach Brian Perkins said. “Buckeye Local came out ready to play. Buckeye Local had some good at-bats, and they scored four runs. Our kids are resilient, and they came right back in our half of the inning and answered with six runs. It was a new game after that.”

The Panthers have held the lead in four of their six games, but Buckeye Local has not been able to hold on to them.

“Anytime you put four runs on the board in the top of the first inning, it is a good thing,” Buckeye Local (0-6) head coach Jeffrey Patrick said. “We did that, but then we let them back into the game. We misplayed a couple of balls in the outfield. We walked some guys. Toronto also had some timely hits. When you score four in the first, but don’t score the rest of the game, it’s tough. You have to make them earn it – every pitch, every at-bat.”

The Red Knights scored 12 unanswered runs to secure the victory.

The Panthers produced four runs in the first only to see the Red Knights counter with six in the home half of the inning. The hosts tallied one run in the third before scoring a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings before plating a run in the sixth to cap the scoring.

Both teams used multiple pitchers, and neither starter made it beyond the first inning.

The Red Knights used three pitchers.

Evan Wolter started on the mound for Toronto, and he ended up with a no decision. Wolter allowed four runs on three hits without striking or walking a batter in his one inning of work on the mound. Chris Parker relieved Walter to start the top of the second, and Parker ended up picking up the win. Parker did not allow a run while giving up two runs, while striking out six and walking two in five innings on the mound. Dom Bouscher came on to pitch the seventh. Bouscher did not allow a run or a hit while striking out two and walking one in his inning of work.

The Panthers had to use four pitchers.

Gavyn Romanyak started and took the loss. Romanyak did not record an out as he allowed six runs on four hits without recording a strikeout or a walk. Corey Olisnki came on in the first, and he pitched a total of four innings. Olinski gave up three runs on two hits while striking out six and walking three.

He was replaced by Noah Kourim to start the fifth. Kourim went 1 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs on one hit while striking out two and walking two. Nick Sipes came into pitch with two outs in the sixth. He allowed one run on two outs while not striking out or walking a batter.

“We have to understand as a team what it takes to win a game,” Patrick said.

“We were playing the defending state champions in their division. To be able to put four runs up on them in the first is a big deal. we have to understand how to hold a lead. If we do that, we are going to win some games. The kids have to have the right mindset. They have to believe we can do it.”

Buckeye Local swung the bats well early on Matt Scott doubled scoring Tyler Donahue, who reached on an error, and Ethan McHugh, who doubled, giving Buckeye Local a 2-0 lead. After a groundout, Trey Hoover launched a two-run home run over the fence in left giving the visitors a 4-0 advantage.

The visitors had the lead, but it did not last long.

Parker and Brycen Miller, who tallied three RBI on the day, each recorded a run-scoring single to tie the score at 2 in the bottom of the first. Then, Avery Wiegand delivered a two-run double to knot the score at 4-all. Brant Reeves followed with an RBI groundout giving the Red Knights a 5-4 advantage, and the sixth run ended up scoring on a wild pitch.

“It is baseball,” Perkins said. “You do not know how the game is going to go. There is not any quit in our kids. That is what makes them special.”

After a scoreless second inning, Caleb Leasure ripped an RBI single in the third to increase Toronto’s advantage to 7-4.

The Red Knights scored their final five runs on a two-run double by Reeves, a two-run single by Ryan Matyas and on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Miller.

“It is just baseball,” Perkins said asked if he was concerned about his team having to play from behind. “You don’t know what is going to happen in a baseball game. It is a matter of how you react. Our kids are ready to compete for seven innings.”

For the Panthers, McHugh had a single in his second at-bat to go along with the double in his first at-bat, and Jake Berry recorded a base hit.

“I don’t know if any of our kids have played on turf before,” Patrick said. “I have played on both, and the biggest difference to me is things are a little quicker and you get true hops. There is a difference, but it is the same game. There is a difference when you pitch and at the plate. You can’t dig in in the box, and you can’t dig in on the mound. Also when you slide, you may slide so hard you slide past the base.”

Toronto is scheduled to play rival Wellsville at 5 p.m. today back at the KBC.

“We are having really great at-bats,” Perkins said. “We are running the bases well. We are getting good pitching. We are fielding the ball behind our pitchers. We just want to continue to get better. We want to continue to improve throughout the season.”

Buckeye Local is scheduled to play Bellaire at 5 p.m. today at home.

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