Woodridge baseball coach Dennis Dever is not a happy man.
It's not that his Bulldogs have been a bad team this spring; it's just that Dever doesn't know which team will show up on a game-by-game basis.
"It's just inconsistent," Dever said. "We'll play well one game and not so great the next. If we could figure it out, we'd probably be winning a lot more games."
The past week was symbolic of Woodridge's travails.
On April 27, Woodridge played a "home" game at Cloverleaf, due to the Colts having transportation issues. The Bulldogs won 6-4.
Rain then washed out the Cuyahoga Falls City Baseball Championship April 29.
Woodridge got back to work May 2 at Norton and scored a 6-2 win.
However, on May 3 at home, the Bulldogs dropped a 7-0 decision to the Panthers.
As of press time, Woodridge's record stood at 10-10, 9-3 in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division. The loss clinched the Metro Division for Field.
"Cloverleaf played a lot better the second time we played them," Dever said. "They played a lot better defense and their pitcher was much more effective."
Woodridge trailed the Colts 4-0 after two innings, as staring pitcher Ryan O'Leary went 3.33 innings, giving up four earned runs. However, reliever Jarret Martin (1-1) pitched 2.67 innings of scoreless relief to pick up his first varsity win.
"He's been doing a nice job for us, but he's been not very consistent this year," Dever said of Martin. "He's only a sophomore, so we're looking for big things from him in the future."
Senior Kasey Kelleher struck out the side in the seventh inning to get his first save.
Woodridge took the lead in the sixth inning, thanks to a two-run home run by senior Jake Margroff. Margroff also singled, scored two runs and had two RBIs. David Massey added a single, a double and a run, while shortstop Preston Clark had a single, a double, three RBIs and a run.
In game one against Norton, Woodridge got another quality start from junior Zane Patterson. Patterson (3-3) went five innings, giving up two earned runs off five hits with five strikeouts. Junior Mark Bills pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first career save.
Clark led the Bulldogs with a single, a double and three runs, while Patterson had a double and three RBIs. Catcher Brad Goodyear had a single and two RBIs in the win.
In the second game, Woodridge wasted a solid effort by pitcher Tanner Boston (0-2). Boston pitched six innings, giving up two earned runs off three hits, while striking out eight.
The problem was Norton starter Luke Bosley was even better. Bosley pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing only two Woodridge hits.
"He carved us up. We had a lot of guys out on the front foot," Dever said for Bosley. "We only had three balls hit hard all game, two of them for hits. We had a lot of guys waving at stuff. The kid pitched a great game."
Norton blew the game open in the top of the seventh inning with five earned runs, as Woodridge committed three errors and gave up one hit.
Woodridge had a busy weekend full of Division I opponents, as the Bulldogs were set to host Massillon Jackson May 3, travel to Hudson May 4 and play Stow-Munroe Falls May 5 at Kent Roosevelt. Results of these games were not available at press time.
Despite its struggles, Woodridge was given the No. 3 seed at the Division II Euclid district draw. As such, the Bulldogs were given a first-round bye and will open the playoffs by hosting a sectional final game May 9 at 4:30 p.m. against the winner of the Streetsboro-Cleveland Central Catholic game.
Woodridge closes out its Metro Division schedule by hosting Akron Springfield May 10 and traveling to Springfield May 11. First pitch both days is at 4:30 p.m.