19 straight section titles for Knights
BRIDGEPORT – There isn’t a single player on Toronto’s roster who was alive the last time the Red Knight’s failed to win a Division IV Sectional title.
Toronto captured its 19th-consecutive crown with a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Shadyside Wednesday night on Niekro Diamond at Perkins Field.
The sectional’s other champion will be crowned tonight when Steubenville Central takes on Bridgeport, who was an 8-7 victor over Frontier in Wednesday night’s opener.
Tyler Owens smacked a two-run double in the sixth inning to lift the Red Knights to the victory. Owens also tossed a complete game three-hitter.
“Tyler was big on the mound for us and obviously came up huge at the plate in the sixth inning there,” Toronto skipper Brian Perkins said. “I had complete confidence that he would come though in a clutch situation and he did just that.”
Shadyside jumped out to 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a pair of Red Knight errors and a run-scoring single from sophomore Austin Dorris. Senior Jered Brooks brought in the other run with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze.
Toronto got one back in the bottom of the first on Owens’ sacrifice fly. The Knights tied the game up in the second on a Nate Stewart sacrifice fly.
Senior standout Adam Stupak got things going for the Tigers in the third with a one-out double. After an error, Dorris drove in his second run with a single to right center. Senior Cody Hudson pushed the lead to 4-2 by scoring on a wild pitch.
Toronto cut the deficit to one in the bottom half of the inning as Owens touched home on a wild pitch. The Knights then knotted things in the fourth as Blaze Glenn plated a run with a base knock to right.
Things stayed that way until the decisive sixth inning as Chez Glenn reached on a one-out bunt. After an out, John Romey’s ground ball was misplayed setting up the Knights with two on before Owens smoked a pitch into the left center gap plating both.
“We came out and made some miscues early,” Perkins explained. “But we settled down, regrouped and found a way to get the job done. Our kids just kept battling.”
Owens scattered three hits while fanning six and walking three.
Brooks allowed seven hits while striking out five and walking four.
“Toronto is a very good team and Coach Perkins always has them ready to play,” Shadyside head coach Mike Meintel explained. “When these two teams play its usually a good game and tonight was no different.
“You just can’t give a good team extra outs and we did that tonight.”
Toronto advances to district action Monday night at Cambridge. The Red Knights will meet the winner of Shenandoah and Hiland, which play tonight. Shadyside, meanwhile, ends with a 15-9 mark.
Toronto 6, Shadyside 4
Shadyside 202 000 0 – 4 3 2
Toronto 111 102 x – 6 7 4
SHADYSIDE: Brooks (LP, 5K, 4BB) and Dorris. Dorris 2S, 2RBI; Brooks RBI; Stupak D.
TORONTO: Owens (WP, 6K, 3BB) and Melville. Owens D, 3RBI; Stewart RBI; B. Glenn S, RBI; C. Glenn S.