SHADYSIDE - Timely hitting and aggressive baserunning can prove to be a deadly combination for a baseball team.
Such was the case in the first game of a doubleheader sweep between Division IV rivals Beallsville and Shadyside Saturday afternoon at sun-splotched Fleming Field.
Mike Meintel's Tigers found themselves trailing the Blue Devils 4-1 entering the bottom of the third inning. However, Shadyside sent nine batters to the plate against Beallsville ace Logan Nippert, with five of them eventually scoring for a 6-4 lead.
Colton Campbell ignited the uprising with a leadoff single. With one out, Adam Stupak walked and Chase Kinemond followed with a hit-and-run single up the middle the plated a run and sent Stupak to third. Kinemond promptly swiped second and both runners crossed the plate on Cody Hudson's single back through the box. A bouncer to short by Austin Dorris resulted in a fielder's choice as the throw to third to get Hudson was a fraction late. After Dorris stole second uncontested, Jared Brooks laced a 2-run single to right to cap the outburst.
"The (Logan) Nippert kid was throwing all of his pitches for strikes, but give credit to our kids, after they saw him the first time around, they adjusted and started hitting him. That was really good on our part."
In that inning alone, the Tigers accounted for four of their five base hits. They also stole five bases and executed a pair of hit-and-runs.
"We've been real aggressive all year on the bases," he continued. "We'll continue to do that until we bow out of the postseason, which we hope isn't for quite some time."
Shadyside (5-1) tacked on an insurance run in the fifth when Hudson doubled to right-center. After a passed ball moved him to third, he trotted home when Dorris' shot to short was too hot to handle, making it 7-4.
That was good enough for Brooks, who came on to relive Hudson with no outs in the fifth and runners on first and second. The ball never left the infield as he induced a popup to short, recorded a strikeout looking and ended the inning with a routine grounder to second.
He issued a leadoff walk to start the sixth, but set down the final six Blue Devils to secure the win, with four coming on punchouts. He finished with five strikeouts and a walk.
"We've been working him out of the bullpen so far trying to get his innings and his pitch count built up," Meintel said of his senior southpaw. "He had a little arm soreness early in the year, so we're trying to work through that. He looked like he's in mid-season stride today."
Beallsville, which suffered its first loss of the early season, broke out to a 4-1 lead with a 4-spot in the third frame.
Chad Louden coaxed a leadoff walk, as did Robert Valentine with one out. Ricky Tubaugh's single loaded the bases and Dalton Secrest followed with a run-producing single to left. John Dietrich walked to force in another run and Logan Nippert's fielder's choice plated a run. Secrest would hustle across the plate after the ball got away in the Tigers' infield.
"They had those two base hits right up the middle that scored four runs and that shifted the momentum to them," Beallsville first-year head coach Joe Kress admitted. "Then we couldn't get the bat on the ball against the lefthander."
Brooks finished with three RBI as he chased home a teammate with a groundout in the second inning.
IN THE SECOND GAME, Shadyside didn't waste any time in jumping on the Blue Devils, scoring nine times in the first two innings before going on for a 14-2 victory in five innings.
The Tigers received strong pitching from Stupak, who had five strikeouts and one walk. He also helped his cause with a RBI single.
Kinemond, who has been on a tear during the first week, had a double, triple, single and two RBI. Hudson added three singles and four RBI. Dorris had two singles and a double.
Brooks got involved in the offense with two singles and two RBI. Zach Frizzi and Luke Nardo each had a single and three RBI.
Chase Mercer had a RBI single as did Valentine.