WELLSBURG - Brooke's observance of senior night didn't have a perfect ending, but it was pretty darn close.
Veteran catcher Nick Breen slid across the plate in the home half of the seventh on a passed ball, allowing the Bruins to nip Oak Glen 4-3 Thursday and finish the regular season dead-even at 14-14.
Ron Ujcich's club started its final at bat trailing 3-2. The Golden Bears scored a pair in the top of the frame thanks to a Steven Barr double and Tyler Steed's sacrifice fly.
Russell Schwertfeger got Brooke going when he punched a single to left. He advanced on Heath Hildreth's sacrifice.
Breen drew an intentional walk. He moved to second when Schwertfeger swiped third. Paul DiPasquale was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
The tying run came when Steve Jeffries also was plunked by Barr, Oak Glen's starter who went the distance. Alec Buchmelter was at the plate when a pitch skipped by the Golden Bear catcher allowing Breen to race home.
Breaking down the winning rally, Ujcich was quick to admit "that's usually not the way we score runs."
"I'm really proud of the guys for battling back, not laying down and dying," he said. "We had some good at bats in the seventh and we were working the pitcher. We talked to them about working him and he lost a little control.
"It was 90 degrees out there and we made him work. That paid off for us in the end."
The Bruins, who are seeded third for next week's Class AAA sectional, scored their first two runs in the third.
Austin Schambach drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on Schwertfeger's sacrifice and to third on failed pickoff attempt. Hildreth earned a free pass to put Bruins at the corners.
Breen ripped a long single to right, scoring Schambach and moving Hildreth to third. Hildreth was allowed to score on a balk call.
Senior Paul DiPasquale started on the hill for Brooke and worked four strong innings.
He scattered five hits, allowed one run and whiffed six. Fellow senior Brent Pellen took over in the fifth. Jeffries came on in the seventh and earned the win.
The Bears, now 14-11, got on the board in the fourth thanks to back-to-back doubles by Vince Haddox and Barr.
Oak Glen's seventh inning began when Trey Smith, who finished with two singles, was safe on an error. Jeff Hissam had a bunt single but was erased on Haddox's fielder choice, Smith reaching third. Barr followed with his second double, a screaming liner to left, plating Smith. Steed's fly ball to center scored Haddox.
On the night, the Bears stranded eight base runners. Two were left on in the fourth after an outstanding play by Schwertfeger. He fielded Kole Koper's single to center and fired a perfect strike to home, allowing Breen to tag out an Oak Glen runner and end a threat.
"We were a little dumb on the bases but overall I'm not disappointed," said Oak Glen's Lou Nagay. "We had a chance to win it but we couldn't hold them."
Barr allowed just five hits, cut down seven on strikes, walked three and hit three.
"He didn't have his best stuff, he wasn't really on but he battled," Nagay added.
Ujcich took time following the game to praise his four seniors (Pellen, DiPasquale, Jeffries and Breen).
"They have been great for me. They have done a great job and come a long way," he said. "This year, they have been very productive and efficient.
"Pellen has been super for us on the mound and pitched really well. DiPasquale has really stepped up after missing last year. He's done a great job, moving into the right field after being a catcher as a sophomore. Jeffries made a great transition. I thought he would have a good year last year, but he broke his hand in game two of the season. And you can't say enough about Breen. He has done a great job and his reputation speaks for itself."
Brooke will host Wheeling Park at 5 p.m. Monday in tournament play. The winner battles top-seeded John Marshall Tuesday. Oak Glen is home today against University.
Brooke 4, Oak Glen 3
Oak Glen 000 100 2 - 3 10 1
Brooke 002 000 2 - 4 5 2
Oak Glen (14-11): Barr (LP, 7K, 3BB, 3 HBP) and Koper; Barr 2D, 2RBI; Smith 2S; Haddox 2D; Koper 2S; Englehart S; Hissam S.
Brooke (14-14): DiPasquale (6K, 1BB), Pellen (5, 3K, 1BB), Jeffries (7, WP, 0K, 0BB) and Breen; Welch 2S; Breen S, RBI; Schwertfeger S; Schambach S.