NUTTER FORT, W.Va. – Bridgeport Post 68 hadn’t defeated Morgantown Post 2 in nearly two seasons.
And when Post 68 was leading midway through Friday night’s Area 2 Tournament game, the Bridgeport players asked themselves if they were really winning.
They were. But they had to fight to finish the job.
A combined six runs scored in the seventh and final inning between the two clubs. But the seventh and tying run was tagged out between second and third base to end the game.
Bridgeport Post 68’s offense showed up when needed most, and starting pitcher Nate Cole went the distance and limited a potent Post 2 offense the best he could in an 8-7 thrilling win at Frank Loria Field to put Bridgeport in the title round.
“Yeah, this win meant a lot to us. We’ve been struggling against them all year. Played them a couple times and couldn’t beat them. Feels great to come out here and beat them in our hometown,” Cole said.
The game was back and forth from the jump. Both teams doing their damage in different ways.
Bridgeport scored by getting multiple timely hits, while Morgantown extended multiple innings with the help of the Post 68 defense.
That included the seventh inning, when a pair of miscues at first allowed the frame to continue. Even the final play had an error occur during it – a booted ball at third base that allowed a run to score, but ultimately led to the game-ended rundown.
“There were a few times throughout the game where us as coaches, and our players, had a few plays that were tough plays or didn’t go our way, or even a call in the game that didn’t go our way, that we did a great job of letting it go and coming back and playing on the other side of the ball, whichever side it was,” said Bridgeport manager Edward Oliverio.
It helped that he got the pitching he did from Cole.
Cole pitched all seven innings, striking out nine, and consistently got ahead of hitters with 21 first pitch strikes.
Bridgeport now awaits the winner of Saturday afternoon’s Morgantown/Fairmont game at 4 p.m.
Post 68 will play the winner at roughly 7 p.m.