BROOKSIDE – It wasn’t a masterpiece by any means, but it was still a win nonetheless for Shadyside Thursday afternoon at cold and windy Perkins Field.
The Tigers, boasting a pitching staff second to none in the OVAC that includes two D-I commits, kept their mound horses in the stable and turned to a trio of younger arms against Bridgeport.
The end result was a 12-5 workman-like victory over the game-and- scrappy Bulldogs.
In the process, Shadyside improved to 4-1. Bridgeport, meanwhile, dropped to 0-3.
“We tried to give our younger players an opportunity today. But give Bridgeport credit, they kept clawing back. They never quit,” Shadyside acting head coach Shane Florence said. “We didn’t hit very well and we were sloppy in the field. It was an ugly, ugly game.”
Junior Garrett Grover started on the mound for Shadyside. He gave way to classmate Grant Miller in the fourth.
Sophomore Tyler Stottlemeyer worked the final two frames, striking out the side in the seventh.
“I thought Stott did a good job of closing things out. He did a nice job for us last year as a freshman,” Florence said.
Shadyside never trailed in the contest after scoring three runs in the first inning, courtesy of a Mason VanNest single, three Bulldog errors and a Rhys Francis sacrifice fly.
The Tigers used a three-run fourth inning to push the lead to 9-1. Freshman Anthony Forgacs and Miller singled before senior ace Korey Beckett walked to load the bases. Standout cacher Ryan Florence drew another walk to force in a run before a fielder’s choice off the bat of Stottlemeyer brought in another run. Alex Baker coaxed another walk to push in the third run in the frame.
Bridgeport responded with a three-spot in the home half of the fourth.
Senior C.J. Fouty opened the inning with a single followed by another single from Asher Stockwell. Two walks, a balk and a Tiger error yielded three tallies, cutting the deficit to 9-4.
Each team added an unearned run in the sixth before Shadyside put the affair away with two runs in the seventh.
Freshman Cole Micker led the Orange hitting attack with three singles. Vannest delivered two singles before leaving with a sprained wrist while Baker slammed a run-scoring double.
Bridgeport trotted out four pitchers to the mound.
Junior Gary Widmor started before giving way to Fouty in the third. Senior Sean White relieved in the fourth while Aiden Tarr took over in the sixth.
The Bulldogs collected five hits on the day. Fouty sparkled at the plate with three singles. Widmor slammed an RBI double.
“We competed really well today. We kept battling back,” Bridgeport head coach Zach Winland said. “Several kids stepped up for us today. Our effort was there.
“No disrespect to anyone we have played before today but Shadyside is the best team we have faced by far. They have a great deal of talent,” he added. “We didn’t get the win but we did some good things today.”