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Kenston Advances to Final 4 on Arm, Bat of Nikko Georgiou

Canton, OH - The Kenston Bombers and Notre Dame Cathedral Latin Lions returned to Thurman Munson Stadium a mere 24 hours after advancing to the round of 8 yesterday. It was another hot one, with temperatures flirting with 90 degrees at first pitch. Lucky for all parties in attendance and partaking in the game, the sun and heat were on the decline as the game went along.

The Kenston Bombers huddle following their 4-2 victory over NDCL Lions

The Lions bats didn't take long to heat up in this weather, with lead-off hitter Frankie Clark leading the game off with a single. Knowing runs would be at a premium, 2nd batter Philip Davidson squared to bunt, laying down a nice sacrifice bunt that was fielded by pitcher Nikko Georgiou and tossed over to first for the first out. Following a groundout to short, clean-up hitter Nick Dietrich hit an RBI single, bringing Clark home from 2nd. Georgiou would then walk Griffin Moskal before striking out Nick Miller to escape the jam with no further damage.

In the bottom of the second, the Bombers were able to capitalize on a lead-off walk by Tommy Pecoraro, who stole 2nd to get into scoring position. Following a Parker Munday fly out to left, Georgiou helped himself by sending a rocket to the left-center gap. The ball would bounce all the way to the wall, scoring Pecoraro from 2nd easily and ending with Georgiou strolling into 3rd with a stand-up triple. The next batter was Bridger Bischof, who bounced one out to short but was able to bring Georgiou home to take a 2-1 advantage.

Following his success at the dish, Nikko Georgiou settled down on the mound, putting up zero after 0. The Lions were able to get a hit in each of the 3rd and 4th but there was never any real threat.

The score remained 2-1 as the game entered the bottom of the 4th. Once again, as was the case yesterday, it was the middle to bottom portion of Manager Joseph Hritz' lineup that did the damage. Leading off the 4th with a single was 3rd baseman and clean-up man Jimmy Cerha. Following a strikeout, yesterdays hero Parker Munday slapped a single as well. Next up was the MVP of this evening for the Bombers, Nikko Georgiou. Georgiou again laced a shot to the gap, this time for a double, bringing Cerha home and Munday to third. Next up was Bridger Bischof again, who once more would ground out but get the run home. The Lions were able to get the 3rd out with no further damage, but the Bombers had extended their lead to 4-1 as play entered the 5th.

Both teams would go down in order in the 5th and it was on to the 6th. The Lions were able to string 3 singles together and shrink the lead by one on Nick Millers RBI single in the top of the 6th. The Bombers threatened in their half of the 6th, getting runners on 2nd and 3rd before Braeden Kinnaird was able to get Georgiou to go down on strikes and Bischof to pop out to shallow center field.

The Lions were down to their final 3 outs to try and extend the game. Pinch hitter Dom Sintic was able to get a 1 out single, followed by leadoff hitter Frankie Clark getting a single of his own. With 2 on and only 1 out, the Bombers held a team meeting at the mound. After the game, coach Hritz stated they had a reliever ready, but as he approached the mound he could see in his starters eyes that he wasn't going to take no for an answer when the question arose if it would be him or a reliever to slam the door.

Refocused after the meeting, Georgiou struck out Philip Davidson and got Gianni Spetic to fly out to right field to end the game. The Kenston Bombers advance to the State Final 4 and will play at 10:00 am at Canal Park in Akron, Ohio next Friday, June 9th.


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