Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Strong defense lifts Bridgeport to 1-run win in Game 1 of regional series over Morgantown

BRIDGEPORT — Bridgeport’s defense turned three doubles plays, including one with the bases loaded and no outs, as the Indians won game one of the Class AAA Region I championship series 2-1 at home over Morgantown on Monday evening.

“Not much offense today,” BHS coach Robert Shields said. “2-1 or 10-1, it doesn’t matter, we still got the leadoff victory in this best-of-three series. That’s really big.”

Both starting pitchers — Morgantown’s Dylan Travinski and Bridgeport’s Jacob Stavrakis — were excellent as both sides had very few scoring opportunities throughout the game.

The series now shifts back to Morgantown, where the Mohigans will host game two with their season on the line on Dale Miller Field today at 5:30 p.m.

“That’s our message,” MHS coach Pat Sherald said, “to win (Tuesday) and then bring it back down (to Bridgeport) on Wednesday and compete with an opportunity to go to state. It’s pretty simple.”

To force the winner-take-all game three, Morgantown (27-8) will need to make the most of its scoring chances, something the Mohigans couldn’t do on Monday. And it wasn’t so much that the Mohigans were squandering their chances as much as the Indians (32-4) just erased them.

In the top of the second, Noah Fields hit a leadoff single to get on base for MHS. He was quickly erased when Bridgeport third baseman Dylan Duvall started an around-the-horn double play.

The Indians then got their offense going in the bottom of the frame when Mark Biafore reached second base on an error and then came around to score on a second miscue on a ball hit between third and second base by Grant Lively.

Lively then came around on a ripping double by Conner Blake to put BHS up 2-0.

A couple of innings later, the Mohigans finally got their chance as Koa Silvers and Travinski set up at third and first base with no outs thanks to a pair of Bridgeport errors. Tristan Milik chopped a ball over the drawn-in infield to score Silvers and cut Bridgeport’s lead in half.

Noah Fields then singled to load the bases, still with no outs.

That’s when Bridgeport’s defense showed up again. Nate Wolfe blistered a ball that was caught on a line by Duvall at third base. Duvall was able to catch the line drive and dive back to the bag to double off the MHS courtesy runner.

“Dylan Duvall played an excellent third base today,” Shields said. “The line drive double play, for him to have his body going one way and then get back and beat the guy to the bag, that’s an ESPN play right there.”

Morgantown’s next batter grounded out to Duvall to end the inning.

BHS catcher Michael Romano threw out a base stealer to end the top of the fifth and then Stavrakis exited the game after Silvers’ lead-off single in the top of the sixth. Closer Justin Duvall came on and started a 1-6-3 double play to erase that threat as well.

All the while, Travinski was getting better and better as the game went on. After Bridgeport’s two-run second inning, Travinski allowed just two more baserunners in the final four frames, a single in the third that was erased on a caught stealing and a walk in the sixth.

“That is what we’ve seen all year out of him,” Sherald said. “That’s why he gave him the ball in game No. 1. To win these games you have to have quality starts and he gave us a chance.”

Wolfe got on base to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but Justin Duvall struck out the next two batters and induced a groundout to secure the 2-1 victory.

“They took care of the ball defensively in some key situations that allowed them to stay in the ballgame,” Sherald said. “I felt like with one swing of the bat, we could’ve changed the game.”

Stavrakis got the win, throwing five innings of one-run ball with six hits, one walk and five strikeouts. 

Travinski held Bridgeport to two runs on just three hits with two walks and five punchouts.

“We just sat back,” Shields said of his hitters. “(Five) strikeouts and three hits aren’t going to win you a lot of ballgames, but today it did.”

Morgantown will now give the ball to senior left-hander Hunter Dakan, who will take the mound for game two at Dale Miller Field today at 5:30 p.m.

Bridgeport 2, Morgantown 1
MHS 000 100 0 — 1 6 3
BHS 020 000 x — 2 3 2
MORGANTOWN (27-8) — Bowers 3 0 1 0; Silvers 2 1 1 0; Travinski 3 0 1 0; Milik 2 0 1 1; Fields 3 0 2 0; Wolfe 2 0 0 0; Jeffries 2 0 0 0; Montague 1 0 0 0; Nutter 3 0 0 0; Mazey 3 0 0 0. Totals 24 1 6 2.
BRIDGEPORT (32-4) — Baun 3 0 0 0; Pierce 3 0 1 0; Rohrig 3 0 0 0; D. Duvall 2 0 1 0; Biafore 3 1 0 0; Lively 2 1 0 0; Blake 2 0 1 1; Curry 1 0 0 0; Romano 2 0 0 0. Totals 21 2 3 1.
2B: BHS (Blake).
WP: Stavrakis 5ip, 1r, 6h, 1bb, 5k
LP: Travinski 6ip, 2r, 3h, 2bb, 5k
SV: J. Duvall 2ip, 0r, 0h, 1bb, 2k