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Woodridge baseball snaps skid, sweeps Comets

By MICHAEL LEONARD Sports Editor Published: April 30, 2017 12:00 AM
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After a 6-1 start, Woodridge baseball had hit the skids in the middle part of the season.

The skid included losing both halves of a home doubleheader April 22 against Walsh Jesuit. The Warriors won game one 12-2 in five innings and took game two 4-2.

Thus, Dennis Dever's troops found themselves on a seven-game losing streak heading into their Portage Trail Conference Metro Division series with Coventry.

Two games, 23 runs and 28 hits later, the Bulldogs seemed to have their mojo back.

Woodridge won 11-1 at Coventry April 24 and then blasted the Comets 12-2 April 25 at home. Both games lasted only five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

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The Bulldogs hoped to keep the momentum going April 26 vs. St. Vincent-St. Mary at Old Forge Field in Akron. However, the Fighting Irish scored a 4-3 win.

Woodridge's record stood at 8-9, 7-2 in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division as of press time.

Dever said the series sweep over Coventry was a huge boost to team morale.

"It was great," Dever said. "We were clicking on all cylinders both days. I'm just hoping those two games will get us on a rol and keep us on a roll."

While Walsh Jesuit might not be having its best season, Dever said the Warriors remain a classy opponent.

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"They're a tradition-rich program," Dever said. "They always are very well coached. It was a pleasure playing them in the doubleheader."

Game one was close until the Bulldogs gave up eight runs in the third inning.

"We had a couple key errors and they were hitting the ball where we weren't," Dever said.

Ryan O'Leary (1-1) took the loss for the Bulldogs, giving up 11 runs (seven earned) in 2.33 innings of work. Jarrett Martin gave up one run in 2.67 innings.

Game two against the Warriors was a much tighter affair, as the game tied at 2-2 heading into the seventh inning before Walsh found the winning runs.

Junior Mark Bills (0-1) took the loss in his first start of the season, despite pitching what Dever called "a heck of a good game." Bills allowed one earned run off one walk in six innings of work. Kasey Kelleher came on in the seventh inning and got two strikeouts.

Woodridge's first run came in the first inning when Zane Patterson hit a sacrifice fly to score David Massey. In the third inning, Patterson doubled and came home on a two-out RBI single from Jacob Lovelace. Woodridge got six hits in the loss.

Going into the Coventry series with a seven-game losing streak, Dever said his team needed to refocus.

"They knew what we needed to do," Dever said. "[Coventry is] very good and we played well at the same time."

In game one April 24, senior David Graham (2-0) got his first start of the season and pitched a complete game. In five innings of work, Graham limited Coventry to one earned run off three hits.

Meanwhile, Woodridge's offense awoke with a 15-hit attack.

Patterson led the Bulldogs with a double, two singles and three RBIs, while Clark had a double, two singles and three runs scored. Lovelace added two singles and two RBIs, while senior Isaac Hosford had two singles and two runs.

Junior Brian Fay had two singles, while Kelleher belted his first home run of the season in the win.

"It was a win that cures all ills," Dever said.

In game two vs. the Comets April 25, Patterson took to the hill and improved to 2-3 on the year, allowing two unearned runs off five hits in five innings of work.

The Bulldogs banged out 13 hits in the win, led by senior center fielders Jacob Margroff, who had a single, two doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs.

Clark added two singles and two RBIs.

The game also marked the debut of junior Tanner Boston, who transferred to Woodridge from Stow-Munroe Falls and had to sit out the first half of the season due to OHSAA transfer rules. Boston made an immediate impact, finishing with two singles, two runs and an RBI against the Comets.

"Hopefully, he fits into the team scheme and he'll be able to contribute," Dever said.

Boston was given the start on the mound vs. St. Vincent-St. Mary and gave a solid effort, despite taking the the loss. In 5.33 innings, Boston gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits.

"We got up 3-0 early and they got on us mid to late [in the game]," Dever said.

Margroff led the Bulldogs' offense with a double, a triple and two runs, while Clark added three singles, two RBIs and a run.

Woodridge was set to face Cloverleaf April 27 and participate in the Cuyahoga Falls City Baseball Championship April 29 at Water Works Park, but results were not available at press time.

The Bulldogs will host Norton May 1, travel to Norton May 2 and host Massillon Jackson May 4. First pitch for all games is at 4:30 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC

Twitter:@MLeonard_RPC


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