By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
Fresh off a fairly successful trip to Myrtle Beach, the East Fairmont baseball team was looking to gain some respect in its own state by toppling No. 4 Bridgeport on the road. Instead, the Bees came home with an 8-3 loss after a slow start spoiled their upset bid.
The first inning set the tone for the game, Bridgeport scoring six of its eight runs in the bottom of the opening frame, while Indians’ starter Huston Morris sat
down the Bees in order.
“Hats off to Bridgeport,” East coach Joe Price said after the game. “They hit the ball early on. They hit the ball where we were not.”
Bridgeport started their side of the game off offensively with back-to-back singles and a walk that led to Tyler Skidmore walking and bringing in the game’s first run.
It was downhill from there.
Zach Hineman singled, and AC Caldera and Hunter Fain each doubled, collectively driving in five runs to break the game wide open.
East Fairmont pitcher James Bolander allowed eight hits, eight runs and two walks through three innings of work, giving way to Cam Stewart in the fourth inning.
The rough outing, though, should only help Bolander, who is just a sophomore, Price said.
“Every good pitcher has a hiccup along the road and that’s all it was,” Price explained. “What we do is prepare for the future and focus on the now. And that’s now in the past. James will be ready to go the next time out.”
Stewart’s 3.0 innings on the mound fared better, allowing just one hit and registering five strikeouts and sparking a little bit of life into the Bees.
East finally got on the board in the fifth inning when Travis Gordon and Colton Toothman each reached on timely errors. Tyler Weiss, who had two of the Bees’ three hits, then singled to score Gordon. Weiss would later score on a pass ball but not before Stewart would help his cause and drive in Toothman with a single.
“It all starts with the dugout preparation. You’ve got to get up when you’re down 8-0,” Weiss said. “We mounted a comeback but it wasn’t enough.”
Morris pitched a complete game for the Indians, holding East to a meager four hits on the night.
“He did a good job,” Price said. “We swung at a lot of his pitches and not our pitches.”
Caldera led the way offensively for Bridgeport, going 2-for-2 with two RBI.
The Bees don’t have long to think about the loss as they’ll turn right around today and travel to play Lincoln at 7 p.m. But getting a tough loss to a quality team out of the way at this point in the season provides a building block for the coming stretch of games.
“It’s definitely something to learn on,” Weiss said. “You win some and you lose some, but you have to learn on it and prepare for tomorrow.”
The coach’s sentiment was exactly the same.
“These guys have a short memory and they know that,” Price said. “We’re looking forward.”
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.