By Ryan Kaczmarski
The Lorain County Hot Stove Baseball Tournament started last Saturday and two local teams survived the weekend to play in the regional semifinals.
Sheffield Lake Venom continued their winning ways Sunday, after having a first round bye, by routing Midview North Ohio M.E.T. 20-0 in a five inning-game in F division action. The game was played at The Oberlin Recreational Complex.
The Venom’s catcher, Jake Lacek, hit a grand slam and a three-run home run in consecutive plate appearances and scored four runs in the blowout. He also pitched the final inning in relief to secure the shutout.
“This is his field,” Venom manager Mark Racz said. “He’s done that before here (in Oberlin). He likes this field.” .
Midview North edged out the Sheffield Lake Cardinals 7-6 Saturday to meet the Venom team on Sunday.
“Everybody hit and everybody came to play (today),” Racz said. “We knew we had to turn it on and hit after watching that game yesterday (between Midview North and the Sheffield Lake Cardinals), so we came out swinging right off the bat. I expect heart and effort out of these guys every game. These guys don’t want to lose, and they haven’t lost all season.”
The Sheffield Steelers won their first two games in the G division to advance to this weekend’s semifinals. They beat North Olmsted Paulin Industries 16-6 Saturday at Columbia Station. The Steelers followed up with a 31-2 win over the Oberlin Kasper Auto Group Sunday at Keystone Penfield.
The tournament is being played in several local fields, including Columbia Station, Grafton, Keystone Penfield, North Ridgeville’s Palmer Field, the Oberlin Recreational Complex and in Spencer. Six teams remain in Saturday’s G league regional semifinals. The Sheffield Steelers will play Midview North Cavanaugh Electric in Columbia Station at 3 p.m. The Firelands Raptors will play the Amherst Cobras in Grafton at 10 a.m. The Vermillion Aramys will play Buck Samonsky’s Pizza in Oberlin at 12:30 p.m.
Eight teams remain in Saturday’s F league regional semifinals. Sheffield Lake Venom will face Columbia Viccarone in Columbia Station at 10 a.m. Medina Mayhem will face the Medina Indians in Grafton at 10 a.m. North Olmsted Leader Light will face the New London Eagles in Columbia Station at 10 a.m. Buck Cunningham and Association will face SA/Firelands Falcons in Keystone Penfield at 3 p.m.
The EE, GG and HH divisions begin tournament play next weekend.