BROOKSIDE - Beating a team three times in a season is not easy.
Doing it in six days makes the task even tougher.
Shadyside pulled off the feat Saturday afternoon with a 4-3 victory over Bridgeport in the OVAC Class AA baseball semifinals at Perkins Field.
SHADYSIDE’S Austin Dorris dives back into first as Bridgeport first baseman Cody Reed awaits the throw during Saturday’s OVAC?Class 2A semifinal on the Niekro Diamond at Perkins Field.
"Beating a team three times in six days is tough," Shadyside head coach Mike Meintel commented. "Bridgeport saw some adversity this past week, but you have to give them credit for bouncing back today and playing a great game.
"Our seniors have really stepped up and helped us gel at the right time," he added. "(Adam) Stupak, (Cody) Hudson, Jared (Brooks) and (Chase) Kinemond deserve a lot of the credit for getting our younger guys to focus game in and game out."
The adversity Meintel mentioned for the Bulldogs occurred on Thursday when the Bulldogs had a 10-0 lead at Shadyside, only to see the Tigers rally for a 12-11 victory.
"We played the game the right way today," Bridgeport skipper Ted Downing related. "Earlier this week we played not to lose, but today the kids battled and played to win. We just came up short.
"I am disappointed for our kids and our seniors," Downing said. "Our season is far from over. We have a lot of young kids and we want to finish the season the right way."
Shadyside advances to the OVAC 2A Championship game next Friday against Steubenville Central which was a 6-2 winner over Toronto. The game will be held at the Red Knight baseball complex in Toronto.
The Tigers got a very nice mound effort from Brooks who scattered six hits in a complete game effort. He struck out six and did not permit a free pass.
"Brooks gave us a great effort today," Meintel explained. "He's not 100 percent. He's been battling some allergies and sinus stuff, but he came through with a clutch effort today."
Shadyside struck first in the top of the second inning as sophomore Austin Dorris started things with a single. After a Zak Frizzi single, Brooks helped his own cause a run-scoring base knock to left.
Colton Campbell followed with a single to plate Frizzi before Cole Crow's fielders choice plated Brooks to make it 3-0.
The Tigers were right back at it in the fourth. Hudson started things with a single and scored on Dorris' double to right center which chased Bridgeport starter Parker Dyson.
Downing called on Bradley Pritchett and the sophomore got out of the inning.
With Shadyside leading 4-0, Bridgeport answered with senior Jonathan Kreiter smacking a leadoff single followed by classmate Cody Reed's base hit. Pritchett stepped in and crushed a three-run blast to left to pull the Dogs to within 4-3.
Shadyside loaded the bases the next two innings, but Pritchett was able to work out of the jam to keep the score 4-3.
Brooks found his groove again after the Pritchett home run and retired 11 of the final 14 batters of the game.
"We had a couple of chances to tack on some insurance, but Pritchett did a nice job of keeping us off balance and working out of some jams," Meintel related.
Shadyside improved to 11-5 on the season.
"Bradley obviously kept us in the game," Downing explained. "He hit the home run and did a nice job in relief which was big. Chance Watson also made some very big defensive plays at third base for us. We just couldn't come up with enough timely hits to get the win."
Bridgeport fell to 13-6 and will visit Bishop Donahue on Tuesday.
Shadyside 031 000 0 - 4 7 2
Bridgeport 000 300 0 - 3 6 2
Batteries: Brooks and Dorris; Dyson, Pritchett (2) and Christakis.