Beidelschies’ no-no leads Canfield to 10-0 win over Poland
Ben Slanker adds four RBIs in “Battle of 224” victory
CANFIELD — Between hitting the road to face off against some out of state competition, the less than ideal weather, and just the weird circumstances that came to be, Canfield’s home field advantage has essentially been non-existent this season.
Wednesday evening, the Cardinals welcomed rival Poland for the Division II Struthers sectional final, which was only the third time Canfield had the opportunity to play at home this spring.
The matchup was also the Cardinals’ first with Poland since the 2019 state tournament.
Contagious hitting will give a team an opportunity to win in most situations, but when senior lefty Landon Beidelschies fans 10 hitters and tosses a six-inning no-hitter, the Cardinals were all smiles following their 10-0 victory to advance to the district semifinal.
“Anytime we have Landon on the mound, this is his third no-hitter of the year, against a young Poland team, but it’s a rivalry game so when we saw who we were going to have we were pretty amped for it,” Canfield coach Gary Knittle said following the playoff win. “I think our kids came out right out of the gate, hit the ball hard right at them a little bit. I kept telling them they’re going to fall, keep putting quality at-bats for us, and they’re going to fall.”
Leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning, junior Ben Slanker came up to the plate with two runners on and no-outs after hitting a shot that was caught by the Poland outfield earlier on.
Drilling another blast deep into left-center field, Slanker scored a pair and slid into third base after nearly losing his batting helmet while rounding second.
Now with a 3-0 lead, Slanker felt a sense of relief following his two-run triple after hitting a rut earlier in the week versus Jackson.
“Fixed up my swing last night after a rough night on Monday, not too much at the plate, but just came back today and got things right,” Slanker said. “I tried to quiet down my swing, come back into the dugout after my pop-up, tried to get my mindset right and get a base hit.”
Leading 5-0 heading into the top of the fourth, Beidelschies ran into a bit of jam after hitting Teagan McCurdy and Chris Denny, but he buckled down and set the next two Bulldog hitters down with the strikeout.
“I was just going out and executing my pitches, my pitching coach Matt Wymer and Michael Pattellis called a great game from behind the plate, they did a phenomenal job,” Beidelschies said. “We’re going to do our thing, I’m just going to pitch how I usually pitch and not change anything.
“We were excited once the draw came out and we had the chance to play them, with beating them in football and basketball this year, it was nice to keep the trophy here in Canfield.”
Nate Shaw scored a trio of runs for Canfield (18-4), along with swiping four bases and adding an RBI. Ryan Petro, and Patellis added an RBI, with Josh Juliano and Slanker each scoring twice, Canfield stole seven bases in total.
It wasn’t the way Poland (10-12) wanted their campaign to conclude, but Bulldogs coach Rich Murray gave credit to his opponent.
“Their pitcher was outstanding, he took us right out of the game, we knew we had to maybe win a low-scoring game,” Murray said. “They hit shots all day, they’re just a well-rounded team and we’re young and just not a good combo.”
Canfield’s homecoming was short lived as the Cardinals will advance to square off against No. 11 Niles next Monday at Bob Cene Park in Struthers. It’ll be their first meeting since a 6-0 tournament win over the Red Dragons in 2018.