Bridgeport rolls past North Marion
by Charles Casey
CORRESPONDENT
    BRIDGEPORT — Bridgeport was more than ready to bounce back from Tuesday’s debacle against Robert C. Byrd.
And how. Bridgeport pounded out 13 hits and capitalized on 11 walks for a 15-0, 5-inning win over North Marion Wednesday at the Bridgeport Athletic Complex.
    “This is early in the season and I was mainly concerned with their attitude,” Shields said. “We had a different spirit and attitude for this game.”
    Bridgeport (2-1) scored seven runs on three hits in the first. North Marion (6-5) also walked four and committed two errors in the inning.
    NM starter Mike Marcuzzi walked the bases full of the first three Bridgeport batters he faced, and Adam Belcastro followed with an RBI on a fielder’s choice. Another run scored on an error to put Bridgeport ahead 2-0.
Justin Belcastro followed with a two-run single for a 4-0 lead.
    T.J. Linkous then reached on an infield single to put runners on first and third. Linkous and pinch-runner Mike Honce pulled off a double steal, with Honce scoring Bridgeport’s fifth run.
One out later, Paul Graeber added an RBI single to center to score Linkous and Graeber scored the final Bridgeport run of the inning on Chris Liebig’s RBI groundout. “We got the bats going and we were very patient at the plate,” Shields said.
    Bridgeport’s Neil DeFazio tossed a two-hitter over four innings. He walked none and fanned six. “Neal is going to give me everything he’s got on the mound,” Shields said. “He is a very crafty pitcher and is in control of most of his pitches.”
After a quiet second, Bridgeport scored seven more in the third — all with two outs — for a 14-0 lead.
    Joe Honce walked and Liebig followed with a ground-rule double to right center. Chris Cunanan and Adam Belcastro both drew walks with Belcastro’s forcing in the first run of the inning.
    Justin Belcastro added an RBI infield single, Linkous followed with a two-run single and C.W. Dent came through with a three-run home run over the left field fence. Justin Belcastro was 2-for-3 and had four RBIs and Linkous was 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs to pace Bridgeport.


Bridgeport rolls
past Liberty
From Staff Reports
    Bridgeport had 15 hits to beat Liberty 14-4 in five innings in high school softball Wednesday at the Bridgeport Athletic Complex.
    Angie Handschumacher was again the catalyst for Bridgeport (6-2). The sophomore got the win in her first start on the mound, while also going 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs. Teammate Erica Rome was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, while Jaclyn Ross went 2-for-2. Tiffany Southern was 2-for-3 to lead Liberty (1-5).
    ROBERT C. BYRD 17, Grafton 5: RCB had 16 hits in beating Grafton in six innings. Kristen Goff was 3-for-5 to lead RCB (6-2). Kim Richison was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Lynsey Martin was 2-for-3 with a double, homer and three RBIs, Katie Critchfield went 2-for-3 and Amanda Mazzie was 2-for-4. Shawna Elder was the winning pitcher, while Casey Auvil took the loss.

Baseball

    UNIVERSITY 9, Lincoln 1:  Lincoln managed four hits, all singles.
Jimmy Riley was the losing pitcher, giving up nine runs through five innings.
    NOTRE DAME 12, Clay-Battelle 3: Jeremy Wright pitched a complete game, allowing just four hits and striking out nine, and went 4-for-5 with a double and four RBIs to lead Notre Dame.
    Notre Dame (3-2) had 15 hits and scored five runs in the fourth to jump to a 6-2 lead. Chris Hall had a double and triple for Notre Dame, while Morgan O’Brien added two hits and Jake Minges three.
    BRAXTON CO.9, Doddridge 8:Braxton scored three runs in the sixth to tie the game at 8, then won it in the seventh inning.
BenJo McKinney went 3-for-5 with a double and 3 RBIs for Doddridge, while Rick Gray had two hits.

WVC

    WESTLIBERTY 6-6, Salem-Teikyo 5-5:West Liberty rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh in the nightcap to take the sweep. Thomas Perry and Chris Durant each homered for S-TU (17-19-1, 2-6 WVC), while Russ Faden went 3-for-4 with a double in the nightcap.
    FAIRMONT STATE 3-12, Davis & Elkins 1-15:  Mike Meador’s two-run homer led FSC (15-12, 7-1) in the first game, while Ernie Galusky’s RBI single in the sixth inning led D&E (12-12, 4-2) to a comeback win in the nightcap.
    WESLEYAN10-6, WVUTech 5-4:Wesleyan’s baseball team (9-7, 2-0)remained unbeaten in conference play with a sweep of WVUTech.
    WESLEYAN8-4, Charleston 0-3: Wesleyan’s softball team (17-16, 7-1) hit four home runs, including two from Beth Bauer, in gaining a sweep of visiting Charleston.



South Harrison’s Short
signs with Potomac State
by Greg Talkington
SPORTSWRITER
    South Harrison’s Chad Short has a goal of playing Division I football. But with a senior year cut in  half by mononucleosis, Short didn’t have much time to show off his talents. With that in mind, Short chose Plan B.
    Last week, the 6-foot, 170-pound defensive back signed to play at Potomac State Junior College. “I hope to gain enough experience and exposure to interest some Division I schools,” Short said.
    He also needs more size. “Somewhere between now and two years from now, I need to get up into the 185-pound range,” Short said. “I should be able to accomplish that.”
    South Harrison coach Brad Jett believes Short can be successful as a college player. “He’s a very hard-working kid and it’s a shame he missed part of his senior season because of illness,” Jett said. “He missed four ballgames and the team really missed him when he was out,”Jett said. “Still, he led the team in interceptions and on offense he was one of our better blockers.”
    Short played extensively during South Harrison’s first five games, four of which were wins. But South Harrison fell off during the second half of the season, losing three of its last five games.
    Short also led the team in interceptions as a junior, with four. “I enjoy playing defense,” Short said. “Mentally, it’s more challenging than offense.”
    In limited action on offense, Short caught six passes for 63  yards and one touchdown while rushing 18 times for 109 yards  and another TD. “I played some flanker and upback and mostly blocked,” Short said.
    Short likes the idea of attending a small college. “I like the fact that everything’s so close,” Short said. “It will be easy to get to classes and I shouldn’t get into any trouble.”
    Short hopes to get a two-year degree that will eventually lead to an athletic training degree. “That’s where my interests lie,” Short said. “I’d love to be trainer for a sports team someday.”


Ever wonder what it’s like to golf a round at Pete Dye?
One lucky area reader will have the chance to find that out soon!
From Staff Reports
    Later this month — on Friday, April 30 — the Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram will publish its annual golf special section.
    Last year, we asked a special panel of area golfing experts to identify the top 18 holes in North Central West Virginia.
Then, we ran stories and photos in the special section. This year, our special panel of experts is — YOU!
In the coupon on Page B4, we have a series of questions we’d like you to complete and return to us by 6 p.m. April 19.
We’ll compile the results of this informal poll, then write stories for our special section on the winners in each category.
There’s also an extra incentive to participate.
    Everyone who fully completes a ballot and gets it to us by 6 p.m. April 19 also will be eligible for the prize we’re giving away:A round of golf for two with Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram Publisher Terry Horne.
    Once the ballots are received, all will go into a special container. The lucky winner will be selected in a random drawing. We hope you’ll take the time to participate.
    Remember, ballots must be completed fully to be considered for the contest. And they must be received by 6 p.m. April 19.
Ballots may be mailed to us at Sports Department, Clarksburg Publishing, 324 Hewes Ave., Clarksburg, WV26301; or they can be dropped off at that address.
    Also, ballots can be faxed to 624-4188.
Fore!


Roast set Sunday for coach  Joe Marra
From Staff Reports

    A roast for area coaching legend Joe Marra will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Philip’s Restaurant in Clarksburg.
Tickets, which include a meal, are $30; front row tables for eight are $500.
    Marra, 77, a 1939 graduate of Washington Irving, coached at Shinnston High School from 1959-63, at Washington Irving from 1963-83, and was principal at Notre Dame from 1985-87.
    Marra holds the West Virginia record for most consecutive wins in basketball, and once led Shinnston to an upset of then-No. 2 Victory to eliminate the Eagles from the state playoffs.
    He also has been named Clarksburg Columbian Club Man of the Year and had the Harrison County junior varsity basketball tournament named in his honor.
    Notre Dame’s Athletic Booster Club is sponsoring the roast. Contact Ron Watson at 745-5209 for more information.



Robert C. Byrd splits pair with Falcons
by Eric Stoneking
CORRESPONDENT
    Robert C. Byrd split a doubleheader with Frankfort on Wednesday at Frank Loria Memorial Field. Byrd won the first game 12-6 but lost the nightcap 10-8.
    In the opener, Byrd’s nine-run fourth inning was the difference. RCB (5-1)had seven hits in the inning to erase Frankfort’s 3-0 lead. Keith Small and D.J. Byrd each had two hits in the inning.
Frankfort, a Class AA state tournament team in 1998, had scored three in the first behind back-to-back triples from Joe Polly and Mike Miller.
    “I am glad we scored a lot of runs because we made eight errors,”RCBcoach Felix Veltri said. “It is always nice to win a game when you commit that many errors. “We have been hitting the ball well all season and our hitting continues to carry us,” Veltri said. “We have a good hitting and defensive team and sometimes those things are going to happen.” James Funk and Craig Kelley each had three hits for RCB. James McCullough had two hits for Frankfort.
    Frankfort (7-3) scored three runs in the seventh to snatch the second game from RCB’s grasp. Mike Lopez’s two-run homer was the big hit in the inning.
    Joe Miller shut down RCB in  the seventh to secure the win. “We hit the ball well enough. We just beat ourselves,” RCB assistant coach Scott Robey said. “On defense we made some errors that really hurt us. Not to take anything away from Frankfort, but you cannot beat a team of their caliber with the mistakes we made.”
    Frankfort coach John Barger was upset with his team. “We usually do not make lots  of errors and today we made lots of them,” Barger said. “The fourth inning hurt us both games. “We can play a lot better,” Barger said. “We have been in every game we lost, and you take out the fourth inning in the first game it would have a lot closer.”


WVU’s Sherrod bounces back from injury
by Joedy McCreary
SPORTSWRITER
    MORGANTOWN — Like any 19-year-old college student, Rick Sherrod thought he was invincible, at least on the football field.
    But it took a freak injury — on a fair catch of a punt, no less — in Sherrod’s first game at West Virginia for him to gain a new perspective on football, and on life. “I thought I would never get hurt,” Sherrod said. “And then, in my first game, I got hurt.”
    Early in the second half of WVU’s 1998 season opener against Ohio State, Sherrod was covering a Buckeye punt return. The Ohio State player called for a fair catch, and Sherrod tried to slow himself.
    Problem was, his left foot got stuck in Mountaineer Field’s artificial turf. And just like that, the knee gave out and Sherrod’s freshman season was over before it really got a chance to blossom. “I knew it was downhill from there,” Sherrod said.
    “It hurt me at first,” Sherrod said. “But then I told myself, all things happen for a reason. Maybe I wasn’t strong enough to play yet. “So I worked out in the weight room during the season, and I’ll work hard and I’ll keep working.”
    Sherrod knew he had a valuable resource in David Saunders, a WVU receiver who, like Sherrod, had sustained a season-ending knee injury. “Right after the (Ohio State) game, he knew before I did (that my season was over),” Sherrod said. “He told me that everything was going to be all right. He worked with me in the weight room. I would ask him questions (about rehabilitation) and he told me that I could come back.”
    Sherrod even surprised himself by working his way back onto the football field for spring drills. “I didn’t really expect to be back by spring ball,” Sherrod said. “I still feel a little weird and rusty. I hope I can get back to where I was.”
    Sherrod finds himself competing with Jerry Porter for the starting free safety position. And to reinforce himself as a viable contender for the job, Sherrod will dedicate this week — WVU’s spring break — to strengthening himself.
    More than that, though, Sherrod’s spring break could be seen by the WVU coaches as a symbol of his sacrifice.
“While I’m off, I’m going to work in the weight room,” Sherrod said. “That way, when I get back (to practice), I can feel better about running, stopping and planting.”


Bowden holds no grudge toward state
by Joedy McCreary
SPORTS WRITER
    BRIDGEPORT — It was supposed to be the “Bowden Bowl,”  a 1999 season-opening matchup between Florida State, coached by Bobby Bowden, and Auburn, led by Bobby’s son Terry. It was to be the first father-son coaching matchup in NCAA history.
    But a not-so-funny thing happened on the way to history: Midway through a dismal 1998 season at Auburn, Terry Bowden found himself pushed out as the Tigers’ coach. And earlier this year, Auburn backed out of its opener with Florida State.
Oh, there still will be a “Bowden Bowl” in 1999. As fate would have it, Terry’s older brother,  Tommy, was hired as Clemson’s head coach this winter. Clemson is home against Florida State Oct. 23.
    “Dad and I worked it out a few years ago that Auburn-Florida State was going to be the first game between father and son coaches,” Terry Bowden said Wednesday.  “But it’s a funny thing ... we got to keep it in the family.”
    While Terry Bowden unceremoniously exited Auburn’s coaching staff, Tommy led Tulane to a 12-0 season and the family patriarch, Bobby, led Florida State to the national championship game.
Such is life as a Bowden. “As our family goes, when one of us has a tough year, another one has success,” Terry Bowden said.
    Naturally, Terry Bowden lists his father as his mentor. But also, Penn State’s Joe Paterno and Brigham Young’s LaVell Edwards influenced the younger Bowden if for no other reason than their long tenures.
“Longevity is the true measure of coaching," Bowden said. “I told my father about me being the youngest coach in the country and he said ‘Terry, the object’s not to be the youngest. It’s to be the oldest coach.’"
    Terry Bowden harbors no ill will toward those West Virginia fans who hanged Bobby in effigy in the mid-1970s, virtually running him out of town.
    After all, Terry was pushed out at Auburn under similar circumstances. “I went through something 100 times worse than what he went through because he had the university president behind him," Bowden said. “Mine didn’t.
    “And fans are not a lot different at West Virginia, Florida State and Auburn," Bowden said. “At times, fans want to win so badly that their judgment doesn’t overrule their feelings. “I’ve had no animosity," Bowden said. “It’s not a big deal in daddy’s life. Maybe West Virginia was just a phase in his life."
    The Mountain State has played an integral role in Terry’s life, though. Bowden graduated from Morgantown High 25 years ago and won two letters as a running back on WVU’s football team. And at the age of 26, Bowden became the youngest college football coach in the nation, coaching Salem College for three seasons (1983-85).
    “My roots go back to playing in Morgantown," Bowden said. “I spent three great years in Harrison County. It’s home. My mom and dad were from Alabama, and I thought that was home. But I guess I was wrong."


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