WARREN - Ed Shaker is in his second stint as baseball coach at Warren G. Harding. He led the Raiders from 1995 to 2000 and joined the team again in 2005.
But on Thursday at Volunteer Field, Shaker experienced something for the first time in 15 years.
A 20-3 loss featuring nine errors.
"We've never been beat this bad," Shaker said. "It was just the wrong game to have that many errors."
Boardman batted around twice - in the third and sixth innings - and scored 17 of its runs in those two frames.
"We have a chance to turn a double-play in the third," Shaker said. "A simple, two-hop play and its botched. The floodgates open and they pile on seven runs."
The Raiders didn't get a hit until Jordan Hernon's pinch-hit single in the fourth and tallied three total. Boardman pitcher Jake Baun wasn't overly dominant, striking out six and walking four. He strictly used a fastball until Harding got its first hit, then mixed in a curveball.
"We saw pitching like that all year," said Raiders center fielder Derrick Brogdon. "We just didn't come out and hit the ball."
The Spartans (11-13) committed four errors themselves. Alex Fitzgerald and Matt Jones had Harding's other two hits.
"It wasn't more of (Baun) fooling us," Harding's Jared Paige said. "Personally, I wasn't getting my foot down and my timing was off. I was thinking too much, I guess."
Paige pitched four innings of relief, struck out two and only allowed two earned runs, though he hit two batters.
Nico DiIanni, a Lake Erie College recruit, led off the game with a triple and was driven in on Scott Lendak's sacrifice fly to left field. The Raiders answered with a run in the bottom of the first when Brogdon scored on an error.
This is the third year in a row that Boardman has beat Harding in a Division I sectional semifinal.
"They're not a bad team by any means," Boardman coach Bob Beam said of the Raiders. "It was one of those days where we just got the bounces and they didn't make some plays. It is what it is. That could happen to any team."
Howland hosts the Spartans today at 4 p.m. in a sectional final. Harding finishes the season at 11-8.
"We feel we had higher expectations," Shaker said. "We thought we had a real good shot at winning the Lake Erie League. We faced a lot of adversity throughout the year."
There were kids "dropping off the team left and right," Zack Martin said. There were injuries "that were tough to deal with," Shaker added.
Fitzgerald, who pitched 2 innings, played in his first game in two weeks. Martin, the catcher, took a ball off the mask, throat and shin behind and at the plate.
"Zack's been a bulldog all year," Shaker said. "He said, 'I'm not coming out coach,' so even if we had to bring a stretcher on the field, he wasn't coming out."
"Not even if I had any broken bones," Martin added. "It was good pain. I'd do it all over again."
Brogdon, Martin and Paige are three of Harding's five seniors (Jones and Ryan Mathews are the other two), they all have plans of going to college and playing baseball.