Eagles’ run stopped by Springfield

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Charles Marsh John F. Kennedy catcher Isaac Hadley tries to make a play Thursday in the Eagles’ 8-7 loss to Springfield in the Division IV Struthers District title game.

STRUTHERS — The Springfield Tigers returned to the scene of last season’s Division IV Struthers District championship victory Thursday — Bob Cene Park.

The John F. Kennedy Eagles had ideas of their own in Thursday’s title game.

Springfield’s Shane Eynon was last year’s hero for the Tigers. He was in the spotlight once against this year in an 8-7 win over JFK.

Eynon didn’t deliver a three-hit performance on the mound like he did against Lowellville. He did his damage at the plate with a clutch RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Tigers to another regional appearance.

Springfield plays Mathews, which won the Fairport Harbor District, in a Division IV Strongsville Regional semifinal Thursday at 2 p.m.

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Charles Marsh Senior Alex Hernandez comes to bat in his final game with JFK.

The Tigers (24-3) got on the board early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first.

The Eagles got back in it when sophomore Cameron Hollobaugh led off the top of the second by crushing the ball off of the center-field wall for a triple. Hollobaugh would come around to score and JFK (19-6) would add another before running themselves out of the inning. Poor base running cost the Eagles a chance at more runs when they had a runner picked off at second base and another thrown out at home on a wild pitch to end the threat.

Sloppy play on both sides resulted in each squad having six runs on three hits after three innings. JFK committed three early errors. The Eagles scored four times in the third on two bases loaded walks and a wild pitch. The pitching settled in from there.

Eagle starter A.J. Arp went the distance. Arp tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the third, and the game was tied 6-6.

Enyon began the fourth with a hit batsmen and was pulled in favor of junior Drew Clark. Clark shut down JFK for the rest of the inning. Arp pitched a scoreless fourth.

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Charles Marsh Kennedy's Gavin Shrum rounds third base in Thursday's game against Springfield.

Hollobaugh led off the fifth with a single. He would eventually round the bases and put JFK on top, 7-6. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the lead was short lived and the Tigers tied the game up in the bottom of the inning. Each team failed to put a run up in the sixth, and Clark put another zero on the scoreboard in the seventh.

With the game tied at 7, sophomore Clayton Nezbeth led off the bottom of the seventh with a single for Springfield. Nezbeth stole second, then third. With one out, Enyon pounded a ball up the middle for a walk-off district winner. Enyon went three innings, allowing six runs with five earned. Clark tossed the final four innings, yielding just one unearned run.