Brooke/Park Called Off Due to Rain
WELLSBURG – Justice Jackson was on a roll.
The Wheeling Park senior was giving the Brooke Bruins fits with both his arm and his bat as the Patriots built a 5-1 lead against their Class AAA rivals in a semifinal of the Region I tournament.
The weather, however, didn’t allow Jackson to finish his impressive afternoon.
The rain started falling in the top of the fifth and, by the time of the inning switch, it was a full on downpour as the game was postponed untill Monday at 5 p.m. and will be finished as part of a doubleheader. Should the teams split, a winner-take-all third game will be played Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Jackson retired the side in both the second and fourth innings and held the Bruins to four hits. His two-run shot over the right field fence gave the Patriots a 3-1 lead following Daniel Baciak’s solo shot to leadoff the inning.
”Baciak go us started off,” Park coach Mike McLeod said. ”When you play this type of quality opponent, you need to come out strong. With Justice pitching, we typically don’t need to score too many runs to win.”
Baciak drove in Nathan Hardman with a sacrifice fly in the third and Jackson doubled in Michael Grove in the fourth to give the Patriots a 5-0 lead.
Russell Schwertfeger, who reach on all three of his plate appearances, singled in Luc Pannett in the fifth to cut the deficit to four.
While his team was beginning to string some offense together, Brooke coach Ron Ujcich wasn’t necessarily opposed to two games on Monday.
”I know our guys here at Brooke High, we always love to play those Saturday doubleheaders, especially if you take that first game, you got your momentum flying in your favor heading into Game 2,” he said. ”Being that we have (today) off, pitchers are going to have an extra day to rest and comeback with their full capabilities. I don’t think either kid threw a lot of pitches for me, so they can come back and maybe even be a little bit better.”
Mario Lombardi was the starting pitcher for the Bruins and allowed seven of Park’s eight hits before being relieved by Aaron Walker in the third.
”We haven’t had a lot of work in the past week,” Ujcich noted. ”We’ve only played one game in the last seven or eight days and that doesn’t help us at all. With just the little bit of work they had, we’ve been going six or seven innings with 100-110 pitches per guy, I think we’re going to be just fine.”
The winner of this semifinal will play the winner of Parkersburg/Parkersburg South in the regional championship.