SHADYSIDE The pressure was on as Harrison Central was looking to halt a 2-game skid and Shadyside is in a 3-way contest for its position in the OVAC 2A standings coming down to the wire for tournament pairings.
In the final tally, it would be the Huskies snapping their losing streak 6-1 and Mike Meintel getting out the calculator and watching the scoreboard to see where his Tigers would finish in the standings.
"Tonight was about getting everything set up for OVACs," the Tigers' veteran coach said. "We are in a battle with Bridgeport and Steubenville Central and the way it looks right now, if all the games are rained out tomorrow, it is going to be close. Two through four would be split by a tenth to as little as one hundredth of a point."
Harrison Central’s shortstop Dustin Redish makes a diving stop on a ground ball behind second base. He recovered for the unassisted force at the bag to end the sixth inning for Shadyside. The Huskies won, 6-1.
While Harrison Central is firmly perched at No. 1 in 4A, leading Steubenville by 25 points, head coach Justin Clifford was relieved to get the win. "When you lose two straight ball games your confidence gets shaken. We needed this to get our confidence back.
"I though Ryan (Rose) gave a big pitching performance tonight, he kept their hitters off balance and threw strikes," Clifford related. "You throw strikes and field the ball, it sounds like pretty simple stuff."
Rose allowed just three hits and one unearned run as he struck out a pair and walked just one Tiger batter.
Meanwhile Trey Myers was making his first varsity start on the mound for Shadyside.
"Trey did a real nice job for us," Meintel complimented. "A sidearm pitcher like that you usually run through the rotation twice and then replace him, but Trey went through the lineup four times and they eventually timed him up but you have to save the arms for OVACs."
The score was even at one apiece after the opening frame and the Huskies would take the lead with a lone run in the fourth. It was in the sixth inning that Harrison Central got a break with two outs and a runner in scoring position as Kalub Mitchell reached on an error. As is often the case, Dalton Rutter came to the plate and made the Tigers pay with a 2-run single.
Rutter paced the Huskies with three singles and the pair of RBI. Dustin Redish, Kalub and Rashaen Mitchell, and Rose all had identical stats at the plate with two singles and an RBI. Austin Kowalski reached twice, once drawing a walk and once hit by a pitch, scoring on both occasions.