Your Prep Sports
SOLON – A key for Solon throughout an up and down start to the season was keeping consistent energy throughout a game or doubleheader.
Few things do more to boost the energy level than the presence of a rival in the opposing dugout.
Solon got the incentive it needed on Thursday with a visit from Highway 1 neighbor Mount Vernon and responded with a sweep of the Mustangs in a WAMAC Conference East Division doubleheader at the Solon Nature and Recreation Area.
“It’s always a fun time playing these guys, It’s not hard to get excited to play them,” Solon senior Kinnick Pusteoska said. “A couple of times coach (Keith) McSweeney has gotten on us about having energy throughout the year but that’s not hard for this game.”
Solon hammered 15 hits in a 13-4 win in game one and rallied from a 4-3 deficit with a six-run fourth inning on its way to a 10-7 win in game two.
With the sweep of Mount Vernon (11-15, 7-13) on Thursday Solon has now won nine of its last 10 games and three straight to push its season record to 18-13 including a 13-7 mark in WAMAC play.
“We are out here working at 8:30 a.m. every morning, the guys at the bottom of our lineup are picking it up and starting to hit really well and our freshmen and sophomore pitchers are stepping up and getting more comfortable,” Pusteoska said. “I think we are putting the pieces together and playing really well.”
Solon got production from everyone on Thursday but its senior first baseball was a big part of the sweep.
Pusteoska was 4-for-4 with three doubles and drove in four runs in the opener and finished with five hits and six RBI in the doubleheader.
The fourth double of the night for the left-handed hitting Pusteoska was a line drive into the left center field gap that plated two runs in a six-run Spartan fourth inning in game two and came after an intentional walk to sophomore standout Brett White.
“Brett got intentionally walked so I was obviously expecting them to throw me something,” Pusteoska said. “I fouled off a couple of fastballs, I was a little under them, so I tried to stay on top and got ahold of it pretty well to the opposite field.”
Mount Vernon took a 4-3 lead in game two with three runs in the third and a run in the fourth inning.
The Spartans responded in the bottom half with their biggest inning of the night.
Seventh place hitter Jacob Timmons started the rally with an opposite field double and nine hole hitter Tyson Wheeler had an RBI single.
“The guys at the bottom of our order have done a great job the last few games and that’s why we’ve been so hot,” White said. “The bottom of the order has been getting on any way they can, they are grinders, all of them are and they are getting on base any way they can.”
Pusteoska gave Solon the lead for good with his double to the left field fence that scored Blake Timmons and White.
“The talk we had when they scored three was just keep up the energy, keep grinding out at bats,” Pusteoska said. “I was proud of the way we competed through it.”
Gehrig Turner and Michael Pipolo added singles in the six-run fourth.
“In the fourth inning, we said, ‘we have to change this momentum right now’ and we did,” White said. “That’s the whole name of the game if we get people on we are going to win games.”
White was 3-for-4 with a home run in the opener and was one of eight different Solon players to score a run in the nightcap.
Five different Spartans had a hit in game two with six Spartans driving in runs.
“It was similar to the Mount Vernon football game,” White said. “We rallied as a team.”
Mount Vernon 010 300 0 – 4 2 5
Solon 125 032 x – 13 15 0
W – Parker Pentico L – Ryne Moeller
2B – SOL: Kinnick Pusteoska (3), Gehrig Turner. MV: Dawson Fluharty
3B – SOL: Brett White
HR – SOL: Brett White
Mount Vernon 003 130 0 – 7 6 2
Solon 030 601 x – 10 6 1
W – Logan Gruchow L – Nolan Jackson SV – Tyson Wheeler
2B – SOL: Kinnick Pusteoska, Jacob Timmons, Logan Gruchow. MV: Colin Crawford