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Indians earn sweep in Classic

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

BRIDGEPORT -- For a while, the Bridgeport Indians made even the most routine plays look like an adventure.

Eight errors in the first game and five in the second led to early deficits. But the Indians got a save from Brandon Brumage and some late-inning heroics to pull out a pair of victories in the McDonald's Baseball Classic. Bridgeport (7-7) rallied to defeat Greenbrier West, 7-6, in the first contest and then defeated Shady Spring, 8-5, in the second game.

"It was nice to get a pair of wins and get back to .500," Bridgeport coach Robert Shields said. "It was good to see the kids battle back the way they did.

"Obviously the errors are a concern. We need to make the routine plays. If you would've told me we'd make that many errors and still win, I'd never have believed it."

Trailing 6-2 in the first game, Bridgeport sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth and scored five runs to take the lead. Dan Compton's infield single with two outs scored Mike Honce to tie the game. One batter later, Alan Robbins singled to right to score Tyler Dodd and give the Indians the lead.

Brumage struck out three of the four Greenbrier West batters he faced in the seventh to earn the save. Joe Ielapi had two hits for the Indians,

while Jon Beckley (1-0) picked up the win. James Farley was 3-for-4 to lead the Cavaliers (11-8).

"I thought Brandon Brumage did a great job for us today," Shields said. "We had to move some people around, and when they had to, they made the plays."

Robbins and Honce each had two hits in the second game to help Bridgeport come back from a 3-0 deficit.

Compton and Honce each had RBIs in a four-run fourth for the Indians, who took a 5-3 lead heading into the fifth. The Indians tacked on three more runs on an RBI single by Bobby Oliverio and a two-run double by Compton.

The Tigers (6-5) scored in the sixth and again in the seventh on Jason Redden's sacrifice fly deep to center, but that was as close as they would come.

Chris Lindsey (1-0) got the win for the Indians, allowing two hits in two and two-thirds.

n LIBERTY SPLITS: Liberty exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the second inning and held off a late East Fairmont rally to register an 11-9 victory. Thirteen Mountaineers came to the plate in the decisive frame, which was highlighted by a Jack Hurst home run.

Aaron Clevenger's single scored Dustin Morris to open the scoring. This was followed with a two-run single from Aaron Wolfe, an RBI-double from Denver Winters, Hurst's blast, a two-run double by Andrew Knight and another run-producing single by Clevenger.

East Fairmont answered with six runs in the top of the fourth. Matt Miller and Mike Kerns each banged out two-run doubles in the frame.

Single runs by the Mountaineers in the fourth and sixth innings proved to be enough for starter Andrew Knight. Freshman Josh Nutt came on in the seventh and held off the East Fairmont rally.

Six different Mountaineers produced two hits in the 16-hit barrage, while Knight struck out six in six innings.

"We were able to get some timely hits in that big inning, and the kids did a good job of holding on down the stretch," Mountaineers coach Pete Iquinto said. "We really played a lot of kids today. At the end of game two, we were using a complete freshman battery (Scott Toothman at catcher and Nutt pitching). It is a good thing when you have a lot kids getting some experience."

After the Mountaineer outburst, East Fairmont reliever Ryan Haddox turned in four strong innings on the mound to keep the Bees in the game. Miller's two doubles led the East Fairmont offense, which produced 11 hits.

Liberty plays Greenbrier West on today in their final game of the classic. This contest will follow the East Fairmont-Greenbrier West game, which starts at 10 a.m.

Shady Spring hurler Drew Bombardiere fired a two-hitter in the first game, leading the Tigers to a 6-1 victory over Liberty. Bombardiere, whose parents are graduates of Liberty, fanned 12.

Liberty's Chad Southern allowed only four hits but was hurt by five errors. Jimmy Medina's single scored John Conch, who had doubled, for the Mountaineers' only run in the third inning.

Shady Spring scored three sixth-inning runs to extend the 3-1 contest to the final five-run margin.

n IRISH LOSE PAIR: Notre Dame wasted a pair of outstanding pitching performances at Frank Loria Field, losing to East Fairmont, 5-1, and Greenbrier West, 1-0.

In the first game, Notre Dame's Jake Minges matched East's Dave Carpenter with a six-hitter but was victimized by four errors which led to two of the Bees' runs.

In the second contest, T.J. Wright fired a five-hitter and struck out 11, but the Irish could never come up with a timely hit to challenge West lefty Jason Robinson, who also pitched a five-hitter while striking out 10.

"We had the bases loaded in the first inning of both games and didn't get a run," lamented ND coach Mark Starkey. "We just couldn't get a hit when we needed it."

East Fairmont's


-- Noechel drove in a pair of runs with a single and a sacrifice fly.

Minges drove in the lone Irish run with a double in the third inning which gave them a 1-0 lead.

But the Bees scored two in the fourth, one in the fifth and added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh.

In the second game, Jarred Miller raced home with the game-winning run on an error in the third inning. Miller had led off the inning with a single to right, then stole second and third to put himself in scoring position.

Billy Swiger collected a pair of hits to lead the Irish attack.

The speedy outfielder had a one-out single in the seventh and then advanced to third base on a throwing error on an attempted pickoff.

But the Irish hopes ended when Swiger was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on a passed ball.

"You can't blame out pitchers," Starkey said. "They were just outstanding.

"But at some point, we've got to start hitting the ball with more consistency."

The loss dropped Notre Dame's record to 5-4.

Sports writers Mike Nutter and Greg Talkington and correspondent Jesse Skiles each contributed to this story.

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