Timely hitting paces Shadyside

BELLAIRE – It’s not always about how hard you hit the baseball or how many hits you pile up.

The timeliness of those hits, often times, is just as important.

Shadyside (2-1) got timely hit after timely hit and ran away from Bellaire for a 8-2 Tuesday afternoon victory at downright cold Chase Field.

“We did the same thing in our win against John Marshall (last Saturday),” Tigers’ skipper Mike Meintel said. “We didn’t get a lot of hits, but we put a few together when we needed them.”

On top of the timely hitting, Shadyside ran the bases well, only committed two errors and received solid starting and relief pitching.

“We keep preaching to our kids that they have the makings of a good team,” Meintel said. “They have to believe in themselves. I thought we played very fundamentally sound today and we came out swinging.”

Bellaire, meanwhile, fell to 2-2 on the young season entering today’s home encounter with Union Local. The Big Reds were never able to string together a really big inning as Shadyside sophomore Austin Dorris was strong early and senior southpaw Jared Brooks, came on in the fifth to nail down the save.

“We had a couple of opportunities, but we didn’t do much with them,” said Bellaire head coach John Patrone. “They had guys all over the bases and made us pay. You can’t give good teams two and three extra outs per inning and you can’t give them base runners with free passes.”

Leading 1-0 after two, Shadyside blew the game open with a 3-spot in the third. Senior Chase Kinemond doubled, classmate Cody Hudson reached on an error and Dorris walked to load the bases.

Meintel dug into his bag of tricks and called for the speedy Kinemond to break for home. The ball skipped away from the Bellaire catcher and Kinemond scored without a play.

Patrone went to his pen and lifted starting pitcher Hunter Westlake in favor of Nathan Steele. He fanned the first batter he saw, but Brooks and then he plunked Luke Nardo, forcing Hudson home.

Dorris was driven home on a sacrifice fly to left by frosh Cole Crow, making it 4-0. Dorris drove in Kinemond with a base hit in the fourth and Kinemond plated Zak Frizzi in the fifth.

The Big Reds got to Dorris in the fifth. Tyler West singled to start the inning and Abay Horvath drew a walk.West eventually scored on a throwing error and Horvath was driven in by senior Dalton Conroy.

However, Brooks was able to get out of the inning without further damage.

Shadyside added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. Kinemond, who was on base in all five of his at-bats, scored on a slicing triple down the right-field line by Hudson.

“Chase and Cody are really swinging the bat well right now,” Meintel said. “It’s just like football with those two guys leading the way again.”

Kinemond, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, scored three runs, had a double, single and RBI, swiped two bases and played outstanding defense. Hudson also had a single to go along with his triple.

Dorris, who drove in two runs, earned the victory on the bump. He fanned only one, allowed four hits and walked one. Plus, he plunked a hitter.

Bellaire’s offense was led by Steele’s two singles. Junior standout Nick Patrone also had a base hit.

“I am happy with some things today,” Patrone said. “We saw some positive things that we can build on. We play again (Wednesday), so there’s no time to hang our heads over anything.”

Shadyside 013 110 2-8 8 2

Bellaire 000 020 0-2 4 3

BATTERIES: Dorris, Brooks (5), Stupak and Dorris (5). Westlake, Steele (3), Conroy (5) and Patrone.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleader-online.com