BRIDGEPORT— With its 15th straight win, homestanding Bridgeport won its way to this week’s Class AAA state baseball tournament in Charleston.
The Indians took a first-inning lead against Washington on Saturday and eventually had scored enough runs to lead 8-1.
Even with the four runs it scored in the seventh, the Patriots fell, 8-5, in the finals of the Region II tournament.
Washington completed its season with a 19-15 overall record and its first-ever Region II, Section 1 title.
The Indians took an immediate lead in their half of the first when they rallied against Washington starting pitcher Austin Larcomb. John Koon and Corey Mann drove in early runs with their doubles. Koon’s RBI sacrifice fly gave the Indians a 4-0 lead in the second. Larcomb had issued enough walks to load the bases before Jared Silva was summoned as his pitching replacement.
Silva, who had warmed up the day before in case the Washington-Musselman game called for a Patriot to pitch in the top of what could been the eighth inning, checked Bridgeport until a shaky defense in the fourth helped the Indians move in front, 8-1.
Until the seventh when Washington scored four times the Patriots only run had scored on Kendell Smith’s sacrifice fly.
Trailing by seven runs in the top of the seventh, Washington loaded the bases with one out. Singles by Hunter Weaver and Ryan Mumaw had already happened when Dorian Hetzel was hit by a pitch. A Colin Gustines’ RBI single was followed by Larcomb’s RBI hit. Ryan Pansch had a single to drive in two more runs to make it an 8-5 game.
But Pansch was thrown out on the bases and Bridgeport’s pitcher, Brady Weaver, closed out the Patriots by fanning the last batter he saw.
Bridgeport faces Princeton in the state tournament while Nitro plays Fairmont Sr. in the other first-round game.
Weaver allowed nine hits and a walk while fanning only four.
The Indians will take a 29-7 record to Charleston.