BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Coming off a 2013 campaign where they fell to Fairmont Senior in the state semifinals, the Bridgeport Indians (9-3) have been tomahawking their way up to the top Class AA, entering the week at No. 6.
“We’re a little bit better of a hitting team than last year’s,” said coach Robert Shields, inhis seventh season with Bridgeport. “I don’t do anything specific, the kids just want to get better.”
A couple seniors who have been producing notably at the plate are outfielder Anthony Bonamico and first baseman Tyler Skidmore. Entering the week, Bonamico was hitting .538 with two doubles and 10 RBIs, while Skidmore had posted a .412 batting average with 12 RBIs in Bridgeport’s first 10 games of the season.
IT’S MORE THAN LUCK FOR THE IRISH
Notre Dame came within one win of the Class A state title game last season, and the Irish returned everyone from that 23-11 team. The Irish have been ranked No. 1 in Class A throughout the young campaign, but have early instate losses to Gilmer County (3-1) and Madonna (4-3).
“It’s a big help,” Notre Dame head coach Patrick Marozzi said on returning his entire team from last year. “We probably have 12 players who have playing time and that makes it easier to shuffle players around.”
Senior shortstop and pitcher Chris Petrucci, a four-year starter, has helped carry the Irish to the upper echelon Class A.
“He is an all-around solid baseball player and can do everything for us,” said Marozzi. “He can lay down the bunt or go up there and get on base for us.”
Petrucci has aspirations of playing at the next level and is leaning heavily towards Marietta College, but Marozzi said he has been contacted by a handful of other schools as well.
Notre Dame this week has been participating in the Mingo Bay Classic at Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Irish lost to in-state Class AAA opponent Hedgesville 7-4 on Tuesday in the 80-team tournament.
MADONNA ON A HOT STREAK
The Blue Dons, who won state championships in 2010 and 2012, have been off to another blazing start this season. At 11-1 entering the week, Madonna had lost only to defending state champion Charleston Catholic, 9-8, last week.
With seniors Will Bowser and Ross Comis having recent offensive splashes, Madonna eclipsed the 10-run mark three of their last five games entering the week.
On the mound, senior pitchers Michael Rogers and Luca Fuscardo have been strong, making the Blue Dons, once a again, a force to win their third Class A state baseball title in five years.
HOOVER WINS CLASS AA TOP-5 BATTLE
Herbert Hoover (12-2) added to its impressive record earlier this week with a 5-1 win over Chapmanville on Monday night. Senior Hunter White rstruck out 11 for the Huskies in the complete-game effort, running his record to 3-0 and dropping his ERA 1.04.
The loss was Chapmanville’s second in a row after starting the season with 11 straight wins.