BROOKSIDE - It may have only taken 1-hour and 34-minutes of actual game time to play, but the two-day wait was worth it for Steubenville Central.
Chris Murphy and Tony Barber combined on a five-hitter as the Crusaders finally defeated Shadyside in the completion of their Division IV co-sectional baseball championship contest, 6-0, Friday on the Niekro Diamond at Perkins Field.
The game began on Wednesday and was delayed for 30 minutes due to lightning in the second inning. It was then suspended with the winners at bat in the bottom of the fifth, a runner on first and one out. It took a mere 28 minutes to complete Friday.
"We had our chances. We had the bases loaded in the third inning with our No. 3 and No. 4 hitters and couldn't get the big hit when we needed it," Shadyside head coach Mike Meintel said. "Then we had the bases loaded in the sixth and couldn't get it done.
"Those are the little things that we need to work on during the off-season," he continued. "These games aren't won from April and May, they're won in the offseason. Our kids need to put work in in the offseason. We've got to start doing that.
"These kids are really involved in football and basketball, but they've got to start putting the baseball work in during the off-season," he added.
Trailing 5-0 entering Friday's action, Meintel said his team's mindset was to come out swinging.
"We told the kids to just swing the bat," he noted. "We got the bases loaded in the sixth ... we tried to make a little run there, but just couldn't get the hit we needed."
The top-seeded Crusaders (18-5) tacked on a sixth tally once the game resumed. Kutch Clark's single up the middle scored pinch-runner Nick Ivkovich.
Zach Frizzi took the mound Friday for the Tigers (9-9) in relief of Austin Dorris. The lefthander struck out two, didn't walk a batter and allowed just one hit.
Barber fanned three and walked two in relief of Murphy, who struck out half-a-dozen with no free passes.
"Steubenville Catholic is a fantastic team," Meintel added. "Their coach (Don Young) is one of the better coaches around, and he is one that I respect. We wish them all the luck in the district."
The Crusaders advance to district tournament action Monday at Don Coss Field in Cambridge. The first pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Shadyside 000 000 0 - 0 5 2
Steubenville Catholic 100 140 x - 6 6 1
S-Dorris lp (0K, 3W), Frizzi (5), (2K, 0W) and McFarland
SC-Murphy wp (6K, 0W), T. Barber (6), (2K, 2W) and Romano; Murphy S, rbi; Oliver S, 2rbi; Clark S, rbi; Merriman T, rbi