BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The Bridgeport baseball team won their seventh straight State Title in Charleston this past weekend and their first in Class Triple-A and that’s why the Indians are our Honda Athlete of the Week.
The Bridgeport baseball team accomplished what they set out to do in the beginning of the season- win a AAA State Title.
The School was bumped up a class this year and made the Indians want to win a championship even more to prove that they can be the best in any class, not just Double-A.
“I mean it feels great. I think we shocked a lot of people. I think coming into this year they didn’t expect us to come out and play as well as we did but it’s just like every other year, we come out and we compete and we play our best,” Nate Paulsen, senior outfielder, said.
The Indians were down 2-0 to Hurricane through the first two innings of the state title game but a spark in the top of the fourth shifted the momentum.
“One inning Nate sparked it, then one inning I sparked it. I mean, Phil Reed, with the big clutch hit scoring two runs. I had one to right center scoring two and then we had momentum going pretty good,” Drew Hogue, senior infielder, said.
But what sparked the momentum shift? Was it the team’s mindset? Or something said by Coach Shields? The shift was never pinpointed but whatever it was, it worked. The Indians never lost the lead in the game after that.
“You know, we really didn’t change much. We just wanted to go out there and keep doing what we’re doing. We got relaxed in the game and just went out there and saw the ball well and everybody started hitting it. It just turned out great for us,” Ryan Goff, senior short stop who pitched in the state title game, said.
“We just, I don’t know, we just got confidence, a big momentum boost and they just followed it and we capitalized on opportunities,” Christopher Harbert, junior first baseman, said.
Hogue led the team in RBI’s in the Championship game with three, followed by Phillip Reed’s two RBI hit and Harbert’s RBI single.
“I was struggling in the six hole a little bit and he moved me to the nine hole to see a little bit more fast balls and I felt comfortable in there and had a day today,” Hogue said.
“Just let the ball go deep and take it the other way. What me and coach Shields have been working on all year,” Harbert said.
The Indians proved to be the best in the state yet again. Goff, the winning pitcher, never doubted his team and attributes the success to his coaching staff and, of course, what the Indians like to do best- hitting.
“We have the best coaches in the state and they’re going to prepare us every day and our batting order, we’ve got one through nine, we can break the game open at any point no matter where we are in the order, doesn’t matter,” Goff said.
A storybook ending to a successful season as Bridgeport completed the “stairway to seven.”