Shadyside trailing SCC when rains came

BROOKSIDE – Top-seeded Steubenville Catholic appeared to be headed to another Division IV district baseball tournament before Mother Nature stepped in the way Wednesday night.

The Crusaders (17-5) held a 5-0 lead over No. 4 Shadyside on the Niekro Diamond at Perkins Field with one out in the bottom of the fifth when the skies unloaded a deluge of rain, suspending play. According to tournament director Rob Zitzelsberger, the game will resume today, weather permitting, at 6 p.m.

“If we can’t play Thursday, then we’ll play Friday,” Zitzelsberger explained. “If rain halts play Thursday, the Bridgeport-Toronto game would then be moved to Saturday.

“That’s the plan right now. It’s all up to the weather.”

Steubenville Catholic scored once in the bottom of the first off Shadyside starter Austin Dorris. Brenton Colabella singled with one out and stole second. Stone Romano’s single to right advanced Colabella 90 feet, and he would race home on Austin Oliver’s groundout.

Josh Merriman’s two-out triple to the rightfield corner chased home Aleks Porreca, who had walked, for a 2-0 in the fourth.

The Crusaders bumped the count to 5-0 in the fifth – and are still batting with a runner on first and one out – before the game was halted for the second time. It was delayed 30 minutes in the bottom of the second due to lightning.

Chris Murphy and Oliver had run-scoring singles, while a third run crossed the plate on a throwing error.

Dorris was relieved by Frizzi moments before the game was stopped. Dorris didn’t strike out a batter, while walking three. He gave up five hits and threw 64 pitches, but only 28 were strikes. He threw a first-pitch strike to just 10 of the 22 batters he faced. Frizzi didn’t throw a pitch.

Murphy, meanwhile, was cruising along through five despite the Tigers having at least one baserunner in each inning except the fourth. The right-hander struck out six and didn’t issue a free pass.

He scattered four singles, two of the infield variety, and hit a pair of batters. he tossed 71 pitches (46 strikes) and got ahead of 15 of the 20 Tigers that went to the plate.

Shadyside got a runner to second with one out in the first before Murphy got back-to-back punchouts. It had runners thrown out attempting to steal second base in the second and fifth innings, but the best scoring chance came in the third when the Tigers loaded the bases with one out on an infield single by Cole Crow and consecutive hit batsmen.

However, Murphy got a strikeout and flyball to left-center to end that rally and kept them off the scoreboard.

Linescore:

Shady 000 00 – 0 3 2

SCC 100 13 – 5 5 1

S-Dorris (0K, 3W), Frizzi (5), (0K, 0W) and McFarland

SC-Murphy (6K, 0W) and Romano; Murphy S, rbi; Oliver S, 2rbi; Merriman T, rbi

North can be reached at knorth@timesleaderonline.com