Barber, Crusaders defeat host Shadyside

SHADYSIDE – Don Young walked away from Fleming Field with mixed emotions Tuesday.

Yes, his Steubenville Catholic Central baseball team topped Shadyside, 5-1, behind 6-plus innings of no-hit ball from sophomore hurler Tony Barber. But with sectional play starting Saturday, Young knows his team needs to be peaking. And, frankly, at this point, he doesn’t think it is.

”Pitching and defense … we did a lot,” he said. ”But, again, we have to do a better job of swinging the bats. We left a lot of guys on, let them hang around and put some pressure on our young pitchers.”

That’s all true. But at the end of the day the Crusaders did what they had to do to stave off a gutsy Tigers squad that had the tying run at the plate in the sixth.

”We made some some big strides (Tuesday),” Tigers head coach Mike Meintel said. ”(Monday), we made some big strides from (Saturday). So, hopefully, we keep working to get better.

”Coach Young has a pretty decent ballclub there. We made a lot of improvements, but we still have room for more.”

The Crusaders garnered a 2-0 lead after two innings on just one hit – a Mike Barber single in the second. A combination of walks, stolen bases, hit by pitch and balls in the dirt at home plate helped account for both runs.

Catholic Central loaded the bases in the fourth, but only scored once when Josh Merriman came home.

The Crusaders left seven men on base.

Three of SCC’s six hits came in the fifth when the Crusaders scored their final two runs. The highlight of the inning was a two-out RBI single by designated hitter Austin Oliver that plated both.

Alec Porreca added two singles for the Crusaders, who open Division IV sectional play against Beallsville at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Niekro Diamond at Perkins Field in Brookside. Before that, though, is a rematch against Bellaire at Chase Field today. The Big Reds rolled to a 20-0 victory in the meeting between the teams a week and a half ago in the OVAC Class 3A semifinals.

”I’m not real happy with how we’re swinging the bats,” Young said. ”I don’t know how many called third strikes we had. Their kid did a nice job.”

Shadyside’s Travis Fulton went the distance, striking out nine.

But Tony Barber was the star on the mound. He struck out seven and walked three before being relieved with one out in the sixth by Mark Rest.

”I thought he did a really nice job,” Young said of Tony Barber. ”He’s usually our closer and that’s the first start he’s ever had.

”We wanted to limit his pitches so we brought Mark in, and he’s also a sophomore.”

Shadyside (6-7) got both its hits off Rest in the sixth – singles by Zach Frizzi and Colton Campbell. Frizzi’s plated leadoff man Bill Johnson with the team’s lone run.

”We’re a very young team,” Meintel noted. ”They kept battling.”

Catholic Central 5, Shadyside 1

Catholic Central 110 120 0 – 5 6 2

Shadyside 000 001 0 – 1 2 0

CATHOLIC CENTRAL: T. Barber (WP, 7K, 3W), Rest (6, 2K, 0W) and Romano. Porreca 2S; Oliver 2S, 2RBI.

SHADYSIDE: Fulton (LP, 9K, 4W) and McFarland; Frizzi S; Campbell S.