BRUNSWICK— A promise Kyle Goessler made to Brunswick’s baseball team is looking pretty good right now.
Goessler opted to sit out last season to concentrate on basketball. If he got the college opportunity he wanted early enough, he would play as a senior.
With a commitment to play basketball at Hillsdale (Mich.) in hand, it was no problem for the senior to be in the lineup at shortstop and produce two big hits Thursday in a 9-3 Barberton Division I Sectional final win over fifth-seeded Archbishop Hoban.
The fourth-seeded Blue Devils (14-12) advanced to play top-seeded Wadsworth (18-7) on Tuesday at the Barberton Sports Complex in Norton.
“We were so happy he came back,” Brunswick coach Grant Relic said of Goessler, who saw varsity action as a sophomore pitcher. “There’s no doubt he’s been our MVP all spring.”
Goessler’s biggest hit was a hard double into the left field corner in the fifth inning with Brunswick already up 5-3. Starting pitcher Scott Rouse started the rally with a looping hit, followed by a bunt single from Kyle Kuchta. The Goessler double plated both runners.
A walk to Mike Williams, a single by Josh Kross, a hit by pitch by Mike McFadden and a fielder’s choice finished the four-run rally.
“I was just looking for a fastball,” Goessler said. “It’s been cool to be around these guys again.”
Earlier in the game, Goessler helped fuel a second-inning rally with a hard smash off the third baseman’s glove. Brunswick trailed the Knights (9-14) 2-0 after the first.
Rouse (3-3, 2.38 ERA) labored with 30 and 25 pitches in the first and second innings. Despite the pitch count, the junior right-hander steadied himself, retired the side on nine pitches in the third and allowed but one more run through six innings, throwing 108 pitches. He retired his final seven batters.
Noah Herron shut Hoban down in the last inning.
“My teammates helped out on the scoreboard,” Rouse said. “It helped my confidence, and I just tried to throw it over the plate and let my fielders do the rest.”
Adding to the rally was a high-arching solo homer to left by senior center fielder Derek Kutrubs in the fourth.
“It felt really good,” Kutrubs said. “I’ve been in a slump the last few games. I got a fastball up and right down the middle, and it carried. I’m really excited about what comes next.”
Brunswick battered Hoban starter Jake Snyder (86 pitches in 3 innings) and reliever Alec Haas (47 in 2⅓).
Brunswick 9, Archbishop Hoban 3
Barberton Division I Sectional Final
HOBAN 200 100 0 — 3 4 0
BRUNSWICK 041 040 x — 9 13 0
WP — Scott Rouse (3-3) 5 innings, 3 runs, 4 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts. LP — Jake Snyder (2-6) 3 innings, 5 runs, 5 earned, 7 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts. Hoban (9-14) — Dylan Feltovich 3 singles. Brunswick (14-12) — Derek Kutrubs home run; Kyle Goessler single, double, 2 RBIs; Mike Williams double; Mike McFadden 2 singles, RBI; Kyle Kuchta 2 singles, RBI.