WHEELING - Parker Dyson appears to be the type of pitcher you have to get to early, or it will be too late. Linsly was able to do so Wednesday at Hollaway Field, and because of that, the Bulldogs are no longer unbeaten.
The Cadets (8-1) scratched through for three runs in the bottom of the first and another in the second, then relied on right-handed pitcher Tyler Ashbrook for the rest, securing a 4-1 victory against the Bulldogs (6-1), who were riding high following a victory Tuesday against Martins Ferry, the lone team to solve Linsly to date.
''I have seen their program steadily improve the last several years, so this is a solid win,'' Cadets coach Jay Cartwright said. ''They're going to be very successful.
Photo by Shawn Rine/Linsly’s Zeke Scherich slides into third where Bridgeport on defender Andrew Hadzima attempts to tag him out.
''It's a good win for us, absolutely.''
The Cadets jumped out of the gates quickly as leadoff batter Arien Seymour reached on a bunt single. Colton Coss sacrificed him to second and Jameson Murray walked. Bridgeport coach Ted Downing elected to put Logan Goodnight on to load the bases, and Curtin followed with a single to center to score the first run.
Linsly wasn't finished.
Ashbrook laced a Dyson pitch to left to score a pair before the left-hander was able to retire the side on a strikeout. The Cadets kept the pressure on throughout the inning, stealing a pair of bases to get runners into scoring position.
''Our guys are really tough on the bases. They're instinctive and do a really nice job with their base running,'' Cartwright said. ''They read the ball well and make the right decisions when needed.''
The Cadets made it 4-0 in the second as Zeke Scherich led off with an infield hit, stole second and went to third on a passed ball. He scored when Seymour hit a sacrifice fly to center field.
That was all Dyson allowed, however. He took a complete-game loss, despite seven strikeouts.
''After the first five batters he basically shut them down,'' Downing said of Dyson. ''He got a little perturbed with me, I think, and the fire got lit under him.
''He's capable of pitching the whole game like that and we expect those types of things out of him.''
Still trailing 4-0, Bridgeport got the leadoff batter on in the fourth courtesy of Bradley Pritchett's double down the left-field line. He advanced to third on an overthrow but was cut down between home and third after the batter missed on a squeeze play.
Ashbrook, who retired five on strikes, struck out the final two to escape unscathed.
Bailey McGrath started the Bridgeport half of the sixth with a bloop single, one of his two hits. He went to second on an error and moved to third on Q.J. Williams' single between third and shortstop, but Ashbrook got out of the jam with a strikeout and a popout.
''We made a couple mental mistakes. We didn't make any physical mistakes,'' Downing said. ''We had our opportunities but just couldn't get a key hit.
''The difference was they took advantage of their opportunities and we didn't.''
The Bulldogs finally got on the board in the top off the seventh off Linsly reliever Jake Auten. Pat Britton led off with a walk and eventually scored on a fielder's choice with two outs. Auten then induced McGrath to fly out to left to end things.
''He's a competitor and changes speeds well,'' Cartwright said of Ashbrook. ''He is always a guy we can count on.
''He's only a sophomore and he started a lot of games for us last year.
''It's nice to be thinking he's going to be around here the next couple years throwing for us."