Sheffield Village

The Brookside baseball team has endured a rocky start to its season, including its 9-6 loss to Keystone Monday, which drops the Cardinals to 2-5 overall and 1-2 in the Patriot Athletic Conference. Despite struggles early on, the Cardinals do have some key attributes to the team that will hopefully guide them in the right direction.

Keystone struck first, taking a 1-0 lead early in the top of the first. They added to the lead in the top of the second after senior pitcher Brad Masters loaded the bases on walks. A double resulted in a run. But the score soon evened out when Cardinals senior Eric Armbruster hit a double, knocking in 2 RBIs with two outs in the inning.

Throughout the ensuing innings, the Cardinals found themselves trying to keep up with Keystone’s high-powered offense and tough defense. There was hope in the bottom of the seventh as the Cardinals knocked in four runs, yet they fell short.

“We’re making fundamental mistakes,” Brookside head coach Dan Zagorsky said. “When you make fundamental mistakes, teams take advantage of you.

“We also need to work on run production. We’re hurting a little in the bottom of the lineup, and that plays a role in hindering our possible run production.”

While the Cardinals are struggling to find steadiness on the mound, Zagorsky believes consistent pitching will eventually lead to successful outings, and ultimately a tally in the win column.

Zagorsky is encouraged that the Cardinals have experience on the mound. Masters, a third-year varsity pitcher with four pitches, went four innings against Keystone, accumulating four strikeouts as well as four walks. Masters was replaced by reliever Luke Ackerman, who also recorded four strikeouts.

Other impact players include senior catcher Rocky Radeff, a third-year starting catcher with a good bat, junior Luke Ackerman who Zagorsky says is a “hustle player with power,” senior Stefan Moody, a second-year pitcher and “excellent athlete,” as well as Hunter Skolniki, a second-year shortstop “who plays excellent defense.”

“Our strength is in the middle of the infield, those guys are pretty solid,” Zagorsky said.

In addition to the middle infield the Cardinals strength lies in the right combination of players on the field.

“It’s when you start moving guys around that it’s a bit of a toss-up sometimes,” he admitted.

The Cardinals hope to get back on track and contend in the PAC, as well as improve upon last season’s 10-10 record. After traveling to Elyria Catholic Tuesday, Brookside will host Open Door Christian at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow. They travel to Wellington for a PAC contest Friday.

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