Meadville Tribune

Sports

May 7, 2014

Junior lifts Bulldogs to win over Grove City

MEADVILLE — Brock Biggs was maybe a foot away from potentially winning the game in the fifth inning. With one on and two outs, Biggs smashed a pitch deep into left field. But Grove City’s outfielder Dustin Maine made the catch right in front of the fence to end the inning.

Don’t feel too bad for Biggs, though.

His next time up, the ’Dogs’ junior bounced a two-out, full-count single through the left side of the infield, driving teammate Teddy Williams home off of second base and handing the Bulldogs an exciting 4-3 victory over Grove City during a Region 6 showdown on Wednesday.

“It was a great game on both sides,” said Biggs, who was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs yesterday. “But I think we deserved this win, especially with the season we’ve been having. I think this one will definitely pick our spirits up. And going forward we can definitely build on this.”

Biggs wasn’t the only hero for Meadville yesterday.

Pitcher Trevor Smith hurled a complete-game three-hitter at the Eagles with one walk and four strikeouts.

“We couldn’t have asked anything more from Trevor,” said Biggs. “Trevor pitched a great game. He did what he needed to do. And he actually got better as the game went on.”

Indeed. Smith retired the Eagles’ last 12 batters in order, and struck out four of the last six he faced.

“Smitty pitched a heck of a game,” said MASH head coach Bruce Stewart. “He’s had two or three good starts in a row now. Ever since that Saegertown game he’s been on.”

And it wasn’t so much Grove City’s offense that was doing any damage. It was Meadville’s defense. The Bulldogs committed two errors in the second inning, which led to two Grove City runs.

Then a two-out error in the third helped Grove City’s Matt Gordon to score after his double, putting the Eagles in the lead 3-0.

None of the three runs that were charged to Smith were earned.

“We knew we hurt ourselves,” said Smith. “It wasn’t like, ‘Oh man, they’re hitting us. They’re beating us.’ We hurt ourselves. And when you hurt yourself, all you’ve got to do is turn it around. They’re a good hitting team. But it’s not like they were shooting it to the gap. We had to make the plays. And we turned it around after those first couple innings.”

The Bulldogs didn’t hang their heads after falling behind

“They haven’t given up all year,” said Stewart. “We’ve been pretty good at coming back, at getting back in games. It’s just been finishing them off that’s been our key issue. But they did a great job of that (Wednesday).”

In the bottom of the third, Zach Darling, in his first varsity start since returning from an injury, got the MASH offense rolling with a bunt single. Then Zach Grill followed it up with a hit up the middle.

Darling later came around to score on a balk. And then Biggs made it a 3-2 game when he hit home Grill.

That’s where the score would stay until the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Kirk Mumau recorded his second hit of the ball game, then stole second and later advanced to third on a passed ball.

Antonio Ferraro — who finished the game 3-for-3 — brought Mumau home to tie the game when he sizzled a knock up the first base line.

That set up Meadville’s big seventh inning. Williams drew a walk to lead the inning off. Darling sacrificed Williams over to second. Then Grill drew an intentional walk.

Up came Biggs.

“Brock’s been crushing the ball, but he’s been frustrated because he’s in one of those spells where you hit it right at people,” said Smith. “He had the one (in the fifth) that just died in the wind.

“Then they gave (Grill) the intentional walk. And I yelled, ‘Brock, they want your bat. Give it to ’em,’

“And he did.”

Meadville ended up out- hitting Grove City 11-3 in the game.

With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 4-11 overall and 1-6 in Region 6. Grove City dropped to 6-6 on the season and 4-3 in the region.

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