By Matt Maher

POLAND, OH – If you wanted to watch baseball on Friday night you certainly would’ve seen a game in Poland but if you wanted to see a good game well you probably went elsewhere on YSN (unless your a Bulldogs super fan of course) because Poland absolutely obliterated their competition, routing Niles 31-2 after 5 innings to complete the season series sweep against the Red Dragons.


Poland showed poise on the mound from the onset. With Matt Paparodis on the bump to start he sat down the first 3 Red Dragons with a groundout and then back to back swinging K’s. The Bottom of the inning proved to be even better with a 7 run outburst that would make anyone’s jaw drop. Starting off with a single and a double Paparodis was able to get on via a fielding error and bring in the first run, from there it was an RBI double from Hayes, an RBI single from Elia, 2 Wild Pitches that brought home 2 more runs and an RBI double from Livosky. 


Niles would get 1 of those runs back in the 2nd with Landon Turner getting a leadoff double and then Brady Court batting him home with an RBI single. Paparodis struck out 3 more batters with 2 of them coming between the leadoff hit and the RBI and the third coming after a batter hit. 


Poland kept their foot on the gas and casually tacked on 8 more runs with an RBI single from Thompson, an RBI walk from Chambers, an RBI single from Jenkins, an RBI double from Boccieri, a 2-run RBI double from Paparodis and another RBI single from Thompson. Niles starting pitcher was able to strikeout Zach Livosky in the middle of the free for all Poland found themselves basking in. 


Niles found their 2nd and final run of the evening in the 3rd. After Hrosar led things off with a double, AJ Yost would hit a single that would prove to be difficult to field by the right fielder Livosky who would end up throwing the ball away and allowing Hrosar to score on the error. Another 2 K’s were earned by Paparodis in this half of the inning as well. 


Poland added another 6 runs to the board thanks in part to an RBI double from Boccieri, 2 runs scoring off of an error on the infield, a groundout from Elia that allowed a run to score and a 2-run RBI single from Livosky. The Bulldogs were swinging at everything within eyesite of the strike zone and couldn’t seem to miss and that continued to be the case in the 4th. 


Joseph Zuccaro came in for relief of Paparodis who finished the evening with 3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H and 7 Ks. Zuccaro would 1-up his teammate by striking out the side all with looking strikes to Finish off each batter. 


Some say lightning doesn’t strike twice but for Poland, it strikes 4 times with monsterous booms of thunder to follow and this inning brought the biggest boom because the Bulldogs capped off this game with 10 more runs! With the bases loaded, ELia brought in the first run with a single, Kopkash, in for THompson, earned his first RBI of the evening with a single, Malochi Sweeney, in for Livosky, got aboard via a fielding error that allowed 2 more to score, a wild pitch brought in the next run, a Zuccaro single brought in a run, a Hayes double score 2 more and finally an Elia double brought in run number ten. 


Poland has made a very convincing case for first place in the Northeast 8 this season, outscoring Niles 44-5 over 2 games. With numbers like that, it’s going to be very tough to beat Poland this season. Niles (0-3, 0-2) will be back home on Friday April 5th when they host Newton Falls at 5:00PM and Poland (3-0, 2-0) will hit the road and take on Edgewood on Tuesday April 2nd at 4:30PM.