by Michael LeonardSports EditorPeninsula -- Woodridge coach Dennis Dever admitted his baseball team has been playing above his expectations most of the season."I expected that we would be good; I didn't expect that we would be this good," Dever said.How good are the Bulldogs? Thanks to last week's victories, chalk up a second straight Portage Trail Conference County Division title and a chance to earn a second straight district title.On May 10, Woodridge won a thrilling, come-from-behind 7-6 game over St. Vincent-St. Mary to win the Division III sectional crown at home. Then, Woodridge defeated Waterloo 3-0 at home May 14 and 23-3 in five innings May 15 on the road to sew up the County Division title. With the wins, Woodridge's record stood at 24-2, 13-1 in the County Division. "Obviously, one of the first goals we want to achieve is to win the league," Dever said. "The kids all wanted to win it. To achieve that feels really good."A lot of the kids are really overachieving, which shows off in our record," Dever added. "We've had some younger kids that have stepped up." Early in the game against St. Vincent-St. Mary, it looked like the Bulldogs' postseason run would only be a one-game affair. The Irish took a 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth as Bulldogs' ace Dave Krusinski had his first poor out of the season. Krusinski went 3-2/3 innings, giving up six runs. "Dave struggled with the strike zone a little bit in that game," Dever said. "The strike zone for both pitchers was kind of suspect, which didn't help Dave. He wasn't at his sharpest that day."However, Jordan Wilhite kept the Bulldogs in the game, giving up only one hit in 3-1/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs' offense got to work, scoring a run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth. "When it was 6-4 after five, we believe we had a chance of the winning that game," Dever said. "In the bottom of the seventh, the stars aligned for us."With one out in the bottom of the seventh, center fielder Nick Jones walked and catcher Mike DeBord singled. Krusinski then hit an RBI single to trim the lead to run.With runners on second and third and two outs, it was up to Wilhite to come through. Wilhite did just that, ripping a single to center. DeBord scored easily and Krusinski just beat the throw home to score the winning run. Sweep of Waterloo secures league titleIn game one against Waterloo, Woodridge's offense didn't have its best day. While Jones smashed his fourth home run of the year -- a three-run job in the fifth -- that was it for the Bulldogs' bats.Fortunately for Woodridge, Jones, Wilhite and Joe Lewandowski combined for a five-hit shutout against the Vikings. Wilhite got the win to improve to 7-1 on the year as the Bulldogs played errorless ball.Although the game was a textbook example of Earl Weaver's mantra "pitching, defense and three-run home run," Dever made it clear he wasn't satisfied. "The coaches let the players know we were not happy with their effort or attitude," Dever said. "We told them we better see a different team the next day."The Bulldogs responded.Woodridge exploded for 14 runs in the first inning May 15 and never looked back. Pitcher Anthony Westren improved to 5-0 with the huge run support. Andy Fay and Krusinski each pitched a scoreless inning.There were heroes all through the line up for Woodridge. Lewandowski had a single, two doubles and six RBIs. He is hitting .415 with a team-high 29 RBIs. Shortstop Allen James had two singles and his second home run of the season to improve to .456, while Wilhite had three singles to improve to .447.Jones had a single and a double (.487); DeBord had a single, a double and three RBIs (team-high .494); Westren had two singles; Krusinski had a single and double (.385 with 28 RBIs); and second baseman Joe Painter had two singles."We had 23 hits," Dever said. "It was a very fun offensive day."Woodridge was set to play Youngstown Cardinal Mooney May 17 in the Division III semifinal. The winner of that game was to play the winner of the East Palestine-New Middletown Springfield May 18. Result of both contests were not available at press time.Woodridge's regular season schedule is complete. The Division III regional semifinal game is set of 5 p.m. May 24 at Massillon.E-mail: mleonard@recordpub.comPhone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3113