Kenston vs. Norwayne baseball: Bombers win district title, 5-4, over Bobcats

May 24—TWINSBURG — The Kenston baseball team was OK with being called Cinderella last season.

Don't try to slide that slipper on to the Bombers this year, though.

The Bombers scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning and then got two lockdown innings of relief from Nikko Georgiou to post a 5-4 win over Creston Norwayne in the Division II Twinsburg District championship game on May 24.

The win puts ninth-seeded Kenston (17-11) into a regional semifinal next week against the winner of Gilmour and Benedictine. Fourth-seeded Norwayne bows out at 20-5-1.

"This is huge for our program," Georgiou said after slamming the door in the seventh. "We had a Cinderella story last year. We're here to put it on kids this year."

It was a 3-3 game in the top of the fifth when Georgoiu walked and came around on Bridger Bischof's triple down the right-field line. Grant Beclay followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center to make it a 5-3 game.

Bischof had an RBI double in the fourth inning as well, having a productive day out of the eight-hole in the Bombers' lineup.

"It felt awesome," Bischof said of his big day. "I changed something right before the playoff and it worked. This feels amazing."

Staked to a two-run lead, Georgiou relieved Avery Siperky after Norwayne got the first two runners of the bottom of the sixth on base. Even though Lucas Dute delivered an RBI single to narrow the margin to 5-4, Georgiou picked Ashton Snyder off at second base and then struck out Bo Polen to end the threat.

"Carter Flynn called a beautiful play," Georgiou said of the pickoff play from Kenston's veteran shortstop. "Perfect timing and I ut it on the money. It was an easy tag."

After striking out the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh, Georgiou gave up a single. But a foul pop fly was hauled in by Kenston catcher LA Mighton to set off a raucous celebration in front of the Kenston dugout.

The Bombers, who were state semifinalists a year ago in Division I, are heading back to the regional tournament for the second year in a row.

"Man, this is fantastic," Coach Joe Hritz said. "Thee boys did it all year for us. It's a credit to them, their preparation and the work they do all year."

Hritz said his team's pitching depth was key in the game.

"We had the full house to throw at (Norwayne) after Parker Munday went the complete game the other day," Hritz said. "We knew we had to use everybody here today. Huge game. How about that pickoff move by Nikko, man?"

Kenston's 10-hit offense was spread around. Flynn had two hits out of the top spot, Bischof had two out of the eight-hole and Georgiou had a two-run double in the fourth. Every batter in Kenston's lineup had a hit, run, RBI or sacrifice bunt.

"It's huge," Bischof said of Kenston's top-to-bottom approach in the lineup. "We can hit from any spot."

Bischof took it a step further, noting his team's confidence going forward.

Cinderella? Not so fast, folks.

"This is a great team win," he said. "We can beat anybody in this area. Anyone in Ohio, to be honest. When we are playing our game, we can be so good."


Kenston 5, Norwayne 4