PHILIPPI, W.Va. — Class AA No. 1 Bridgeport scored eight runs over the final two innings Tuesday, rallying from a one-run deficit to remain unbeaten with a 14-7 victory at Philip Barbour.
The Indians (7-0) scored four runs in the sixth and seventh innings and escaped a bases loaded jam when the Colts (9-3) came to bat in their half of the sixth.
“There are little things that people just don’t see out there that we have to get better at. But it was a great comeback,” veteran Bridgeport coach Robert Shields said. “Some guys hit the ball hard and we hit the ball on the ground a lot. Their shortstop made a lot of nice plays, but that’s good, because I want to see our kids put the ball in play.”
With Philip Barbour clinging to a 7-6 lead at the start of the sixth, the Indians got consecutive singles from Evan Ogden, Ryan Goff and Nick Stalnaker to load the bases. Trey Pancake followed with a single just out of the grasp of shortstop Nick Hamrick, allowing Ogden and Goff to score and putting the Tribe in front for good.
Later in the inning, after Colts’ starting pitcher Will Knight was removed from the mound, the Indians added to their lead with RBI groundouts from Vincenzo Cava and Drew Harbert.
Bridgeport carried its 10-7 advantage into the bottom of the sixth, before singles by Hamrick, Trent Tallman and Knight allowed the Colts to load the bases with one out.
But Indians’ pitcher Tyler Wilkinson buckled down and struck out cleanup hitter Chase Collier, before getting Gage Bibey to groundout to second.
“The difference was when they had chances, they found a way to get guys in,” Colts’ coach Jonathon Carpenter said. “Especially late in the game, they were able to do that and not always pretty even. That’s a compliment to coach Shields. We had the same opportunity and we just didn’t make it happen, but hopefully we can change our mentality and live and learn.”
A costly two-out error in the top of the seventh allowed Ogden and Goff to score with two outs. BHS added to its lead on a Cava single that plated Pancake and a double steal that allowed D’Andre Hollaway to come home for the game’s final run.
“At times we had a chance to go make a play, but we were kind of hesitant trying to hold on rather than seeing what happens if you go all out trying to make a play,” Carpenter said.
Philip Barbour got off to the start it desired with Knight pitching a pair of scoreless frames and the Colts scoring four in their half of the second.
Austyn Fletcher broke the scoreless tie with a single to center that scored Bibey and the Colts doubled their lead on Hamrick’s single to right, which scored Fletcher.
Later in the second, Trent Tallman singled to center to bring home Hamrick and Tanner Corder, giving the Colts a 4-0 advantage.
“We have to get a little bit more of a bulldog attitude and get a little bit more aggressive in nature,” Shields said. “That’s what we’re lacking.”
The Indians answered immediately, scoring six runs in the third inning to erase their early deficit.
Goff singled to left and an error on the play brought Ogden home for the team’s first run. Pancake’s single to center allowed Goff and Stalnaker to score, before an Ethan Perry single scored Pancake for the tying run.
Harbert and Austin Sponuagle connected for run-scoring singles later in the inning to give the Tribe the 6-4 lead.
PB answered right back and got to within 6-5 on an Alex Wilson double, which scored Collier.
That brought Wilkinson on for starting pitcher Mark Lavezza and the Colts tied it at 6 moments later on Fletcher’s single that scored Bibey. A wild pitch allowed Corey Martin to come home and put the Colts on top for the final time.
Goff had a team-high three hits in the win, while Pancake was 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Ogden, Stalnaker and Cava had two hits apiece.
Tallman led the Colts with three hits, while Fletcher was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs in defeat.
Wilkinson earned the win with five strong innings in relief. He struck out four, walked one and did not allow a run despite scattering six hits.
“He did a really nice job and his last two outings he’s done that,” Shields said. “We need that, because we’re still trying to figure out what roles guys are serving in our rotation. He’s come in to be that longterm relief guy for now and possibly could get a start or two.
“He was in command pretty much and kept the ball down, which is a good sign.”
Knight took the loss. He allowed 10 runs on 13 hits in five innings.