Rafalski does it with his arm and bat as Steelheads roll at Midwest Challenge

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AKRON, OH – Ryan Raflaski did a little bit of everything for the Erie Steelheads on Thursday.

The Steelies’ Prospects (Latona) team went 1-1 on Day 1 of the Summer Sizzler Midwest Challenge, with the Warren grad and Mercyhurst University signee putting on a show in a 13-2 Game 2 win over CFB.

He pitched five innings, striking out eight and allowing two runs on two hits. He also homered in the sixth inning. His pitching performance came on the heels of tossing six no-hit innings last week.

Fellow Warren products Ben Berdine and Mitch Grosch also played a pivotal roll in the win. Berdine, a rising senior, was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, driving in a team-high four runs, while Grosch, who will join Rafalski at Mercyhurst, walked three times, coming around to score on each occasion.

Matt Shepard (McDowell), another part of the Mercyhurst 2020 recruiting class, went 2-for-4 and also tossed a pair of scoreless innings in relief of Rafalski.

The Steelies lost Game 1, 9-6 to the Midwest Ironbirds. Grosch was 2-for-2 with a triple and an RBI.

Erie is back in action Friday, playing Lions Baseball at Canal Park in Akron, with first pitch slated for 4 p.m.

The team consists of Berdine, Rafalski, Grosch, Shepard, Conor Fitzgerald (Mercyhurst Prep), Matt Leehan (General McLane), Jack Malec (Cathedral Prep), Casey Smith (Harbor Creek), Cody Smith (Harbor Creek), Cam Williamson (Harbor Creek), Jackson Mattocks (Cathedral Prep), Austin Moore (Cathedral Prep)and Ryan Richardson (Conneaut).