- 1 of 2 Photos | View More Photos
TALLMADGE -- The Blue Devils might have had a few pitches catch too much of the plate.
They also made a few errors and probably wish they could have had a few at bats back.
In the end, though, the Tallmadge baseball team had a difficult day on the diamond April 10 because of one person.
His name is Tyler Hays.
The tall right-hander stymied the Blue Devils for seven innings as Copley handed the host Blue Devils a 5-0 defeat at Dave Young Field.
However, Tallmadge rebounded in a big way after handily defeating the Indians 9-0 April 12 on the road. With the win, the Blue Devils improved to 7-3 overall and 2-2 in the Suburban League American Conference. Copley dropped to 4-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
Hays wasn't overpowering April 11. He struck out two batters, walked one and hit another batter.
But the junior allowed just four hits as he kept Tallmadge off balance throughout the game.
"He throws it well," Blue Devils head coach Kenny Linn said. "We had a good scouting report on him. He pitches backwards and he throws curves on three and two. We didn't have a whole lot of balls hit hard."
Tallmadge hit its share of ground balls and also had shallow pop-ups.
Junior center fielder Jared Burick was the only Blue Devil to reach safely twice against Hays. He had a two-out single and a stolen base in the bottom of the first and a one-out double in the seventh.
Other than that, Tallmadge simply could not figure out Hays' pitching repertoire.
"I know we're in the same boat with everyone else, but we haven't played a lot of ball lately," Linn said. "It was our first time on the diamond since [April 5]. They [the Indians] played well. They were productive in their opportunities that we gave them."
Copley's offense didn't deliver a ton of hits. The Indians had seven hits and stranded seven runners.
But Copley had a knack for plating runs when the chips were down. The Indians scored four of their runs with two outs.
"They executed better than anything we did," Linn said. "They had some good two-out hitting."
The Indians scored their first run with no outs.
Junior right fielder Tylor Revetta led off the top of the second inning with a booming home run over the fence in left field.
Copley got another run in the fourth when junior second baseman Jordan Benson delivered a two-out, run-scoring single to right-center field.
The Indians made it 3-0 in the sixth when junior designated hitter Brandon Poundstone smacked a run-scoring single to center.
Copley put the icing on the cake when junior first baseman Will Lutes crushed a run-scoring, two-out, two-run double in the seventh in the top of the seventh.
Junior right-hander Zach Boyd (1-2) took the loss on the mound. He pitched into the sixth inning before being relieved by sophomore left-hander Sam Seeker, who finished the game.
Boyd struck out two batters and issued two walks. He also hit a batter.
"Zach Boyd has gone out four times," Linn said. "Every time he goes out there, he gives us a good chance to win the game. He could be 4-0 if there were a few different scenarios."
The Blue Devils' offense was much more potent April 12.
Tallmadge had a 1-0 lead heading into the fifth and then busted loose in the final three innings.
The Blue Devils scored three times in the fifth, once in the sixth and four more times in the seventh.
Tallmadge finished with eight hits and two errors. The Indians had four hits and two errors.
Burick, a right-hander, pitched six innings to get the win on the mound to improve to 4-0 in 2017. He struck out four batters and walked three.
Seth Gergely led the Blue Devils with two hits, including a home run, and two runs batted in.
Junior Mikah McGlaughlin had a triple and an RBI and Boyd and junior Garrett Sands each had a single and an RBI.
Tallmadge was scheduled to visit American Conference rival Barberton April 13 before playing Canton GlenOak April 14 at the Cancer Awareness Classic at Kent State University. Results of those games were not available at press time.
The Blue Devils are set to entertain American Conference rival Highland April 18 before visiting Granger Township to play the Hornets April 20. Tallmadge is scheduled to host Canton South April 21. All three games are set to begin at 4:30 p.m.