Warriors send seniors off with D-II home baseball tournament win

May 14—ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Edgewood baseball coach Derek Stern said it's kind of tough to think of seniors Tony Hall and Logan Kray as just players.

"They're almost like an extension of my coaching staff," Stern said following the Warriors' 8-2 Division II sectional win over Ravenna at Higgins Field Monday evening.

For Hall, Kray and the other Edgewood seniors, it was their final home game in an Edgewood baseball uniform.

Both Hall and Kray have been four year starters on the baseball team, as well as key players in other sports.

Hall, the Warriors, was selected the Ashtabula County Offensive Player of the Year in the 2023 football season, while Kray earned D-II All-Ohio basketball honors in the winter campaign.

Asked about playing any type of sport in front of the home fans for a final time, though, both players said the moment did not really dawn on them until it was nearly upon them.

"To be honest with you, I didn't really think about it until the end," Hall said. "We just wanted to come out and get the win."

Kray also acknowledged that it wasn't really on his mind until it was all but over.

"Yeah, I was running out there and it hit me, this is the final three outs," he said. "I didn't think about it much, but it's been a great four years here. I really have to thank my coaching staff for that."

The coach is equally grateful.

"They've been around and they know the guys on the other teams," Stern said. "They bring scouting reports, they know where guys hit and how to get them out.

"They point out a lot of stuff in the game that I don't necessarily miss, but they bring it to my attention. They're definitely going to be missed and those are going to be some big shoes to fill next season."

The game itself featured what the Warriors are becoming known for late in the season — scoring runs.

The Warriors had put up double digit runs in their last two games, including 19 in a wild extra inning regular season game against Perry on Friday.

"After that game, we knew we were hitting the ball well," Hall said. "We knew we had to come in here and do the same thing today. Guys got here at 3 for batting practice and were hitting the ball well, so I figured it would translate to the game."

The Edgewood bats set the tone early.

They scored four runs in the first inning and two more in the sixth to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Kray led the hit attack with three hits and two RBI. Aiden Hernandez, Hall, Alex Sperduto and Riley Baldwin each had two.

Sperduto had a game-best three RBI.

"Our offense hasn't been struggling," Stern said. "We've been scoring runs at a good clip lately, so I was really confident about the bats getting going tonight and they did."

While the offense was busy early, the Edgewood pitching was a combined effort that will allow Stern to have an arsenal of fresh arms for Wednesday's sectional final game at Alliance.

Sperduto started and went three innings, before Geno Measel took over and worked into the sixth. Baldwin came on in the sixth to get the final out, then worked a scoreless seventh.

"Everybody was kind of on a pitch count [Monday]," Stern said. "We wanted to keep everybody fresh for Wednesday and we were able to do that."

The Warriors to 10-11 on the season. They face an Alliance team that enters the sectional final at 18-6. Both Stern and players say Edgewood is ready for the challenge.

"We've had some good momentum at the end of the season here," Stern said. "The bats are coming along at the right time, defensively, that's a solid effort to build upon and move forward. We just have to come down and play the game."

Kray added, "We're putting it together right now. We're hitting the ball and fielding the ball well, so I feel like we can beat any team right now."