Martins Ferry tops Bridgeport
BROOKSIDE — Martins Ferry used some timely hitting and a key defensive twin-killing to post a 6-2 decision over Bridgeport on Niekro Diamond at Bill Jobko Stadium Tuesday afternoon.
The Purple Riders got some offense from the bottom half of their order in the second inning as Robert Vargo started them off in the 5 spot with a single. Mike Oberdick walked aboard setting the table for Jeremy Plants who stroked a double into the gap plating both base runners.
Parker Dyson was on the mound for Bridgeport and got out of the inning by bracketing a pair of strike outs around his second free pass.
The Bulldogs got their first offense from the top of their order courtesy of a Martins Ferry error. The miscue put Bailey McGrath at first and a passed ball moved him into scoring position. QJ Williams’ RBI single chased the goose egg off the scoreboard before Jonathan Kreiter doubled scoring Williams to knot the contest at 2 apiece.
It remained tied until the top of the fifth inning when Martins Ferry second baseman Brenden Baire drew a walk. With two outs, Marcus Sutton ripped an RBI double. Andrew Chlon singled in Sutton but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double ending the inning for the Purple Riders.
In the bottom of the frame the hosts began to make some noise. Williams kicked off the rally with his third single. Kreiter singled and Garrett Speilvogel got a free pass loading the bases with just one out. Pritchett hit a sharp line shot that Baire flagged down and turned two as he got the force at first as Speilvogel dived back for the bag.
“If we don’t get that ball we are probably looking at a different game,” said Martins Ferry head coach Anthony Reasbeck. “This is pretty much a one play game at that moment; if that ball gets through they score two runs and all of the sudden it is a different story, but that’s baseball.”
The Purple Riders added a pair of runs in the top of the seventh as Plants singled, and Seth Scott reached on a error. Baire moved the pair with a sac bunt setting up RBI opportunities for Baire and Sutton.
Bridgeport got one more single from McGrath in the bottom of the seventh but that would be all for the boys in blue as they fall to 7-2.
“We needed that win but we still have a long way to go,” said Reasbeck as his Purple gang improves to 3-5. “We are still making some mistakes we shouldn’t, we still have some guys who make too many easy outs, we need to put more pressure on teams but hey, we’ll take a win when we can get it.”
It was a puzzling turn of fortune for Bridgeport head coach Ted Downing.
“For some reason, you would think after a big win last night we would have come out ready to play,” Downing offered. “Give credit to Ferry, they outplayed us tonight. We were flat.
“You know we thought all we had to do was show up,” Downing assessed. “We are a decent baseball team but we are not good enough just to show up and expect to win.
“We have got to show up ready to play and I just felt tonight, for whatever reason, we were flat. We did not get up and we did not do anything to get us up.”
The Bulldogs head downstream to rival River this afternoon while the Purple Riders travel to Morristown against Buckeye 8 opponent Union Local.
Martins Ferry 020 020 2 – 6 6 1
Bridgeport 002 000 0 – 2 6 3
Batteries; Lloyd and Scott, Dyson, McGrath (7) and Teeman.
Palmer can be reached at email@example.com