WHEELING - The calendar has just flipped to April, but Edison already looks in midseason form.
Greg Stagani pitched a complete-game four-hitter with 13 strikeouts and Chad Wickham doubled, singled and drove in four runs as the Wildcats downed Wheeling Park, 9-1, in the first of two prep baseball encounters Saturday at chilly Patriot Field.
Edison, the defending OVAC Class AAA Champs, won Game 2, 6-3, to move to 5-0 on the season.
''We're pretty happy with our pitching and, defensively, we're making the routine plays,'' Edison coach Mike Collopy said following Game 1. ''We're just trying to get consistent in different areas.
''We're basically trying to get better every day.''
The Wildcats did almost everything right in the opener, staying aggressive on the mound and at the plate until the final out.
Stagani set the tone early.
The Mount Vernon Nazarene University recruit fanned four of the first five batters he faced and allowed one hit and two baserunners through four innings.
''He threw the ball really hard,'' first-year Wheeling Park coach Mike McLeod said. ''At this level, when you're throwing curve balls for strikes, it's hard to handle. So, you tip your hat to him.''
What Collopy didn't mention earlier was the performance of his offense. The Wildcats pounded 13 hits off Park starter Matt Brooks (4 innings, 1 strikeout, three walks) and reliever Nick Harrison (3 inn., 2 strikeouts, two walks).
All told, five Wildcats had more than one hit, led by Wickham from his leadoff spot.
''Offensively, we put the ball in play hard,'' Collopy said.
Wickham provided Edison with its first two runs with a two-out double in the second that scored Philip Hilt and Koby Sronce.
Mark Smyth singled to lead off the third. Two batters later, DH Warren Rawlings knocked him in and Edison led 3-0.
The Wildcats scored a run in the fourth and fifth innings before opening up the floodgates in the sixth.
With two outs, Harrison walked Smyth. Stagani followed with a single. He moved to second on a throw to third in an attempt to tag out Smyth.
Rawlings collected two more RBI when his double drove in Smyth and Dylan Jones, Stagani's pinch runner, to make the score 7-0.
Rawlings later scored from third on a double steal to make the score 8-0.
The Patriots (2-5) found a chink in Stagani's armor in the sixth.
Cameron Amend (single) and Kyler Fitzpatrick (walk) both reached to start the frame.
Three batters later, Andrew Kowalo's single plated Amend to make the score 8-1.
Wickham provided the Wildcats' final run with a single that scored Dylan Glasure in the seventh.
''We're still trying to figure out who we are,'' McLeod said of his young squad. ''We're looking for an identity. We're like a football team. We don't know if we want to pass or run.
''But we'll get there.''
Edison 6, Wheeling Park 3
Wickham doubled, singled and drove in three for Edison in Game 2.
Fitzpatrick had two doubles and two RBI for the Patriots