EUCLID — When Woodridge baseball met Revere Wednesday in the Division II Euclid district final, it marked the second time in a week to the two teams played.
Game one between the Bulldogs and Minutemen took place May 11 for Woodridge’s Senior Day – and devolved into a wild shootout. Revere pulled out a 16-15 win in a game that saw both teams play nearly their entire rosters.
While the district final was a low scoring affair, the baseball gods didn’t favor the Bulldogs any more after the hour-long trip to Euclid.
After Woodridge rallied to tie the game at 2-2, Revere pushed across two runs in the top of the seventh inning — without a hit — to score a 4-2 win Thursday at Stanic Field in Euclid.
Revere improved to 13-14 and claimed the first district title in school history. The Minutemen will play Tallmadge next Thursday in a Division II regional semifinal at The Ballpark at Hudson. Woodridge dropped to 21-8.
Despite the loss, Woodridge coach Dennis Dever said he will take nothing but positives from the 2018 season.
"I’m going to be 100 percent honest: This team overachieved this year," Dever said. "I am so proud of this team. They get along so well and were a joy to coach this season. This team accomplished some amazing things. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.
"It didn’t end well for us," Dever added. "They put some pressure on us after those first two walks in the seventh inning. They did just enough to walk away as district champions."
Revere coach Jason Cottrell said he could only be thankful fortune smiled on his team.
"I don’t even know what to say," Cottrell said. "It’s the way the game goes sometimes. You thank the baseball gods they were on your side."
The contest saw both starting pitchers battle as both Woodridge’s Jarrett Martin and Revere’s Charlie Fink each worked out of several jams. Neither figured in the decision.
Martin was under fire on in the top of the first inning. Revere got a single from Aurdric Wertz, a sacrifice bunt, a single from Eden Wertz and a throwing error to take a 1-0 lead.
However, the Bulldogs defense limited the damage. With the bases loaded, Martin got Ian Ash to hit into a 5-2-3 double play to end the inning.
"I thought, after the first inning, Jarrett threw the ball very well for us," Dever said.
Martin pitched six innings, allowing two earned runs off five hits with two walks, one hit batsman and five strikeouts.
Woodridge answered in the bottom of the first with some small ball. After a leadoff single from Ty Mygrants, a sacrifice bunt and a balk, first baseman Zane Patterson tied the game at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly.
Revere retook the lead in the third inning when Audric Wertz hit another leadoff single. After a walk and a hit batsman, Minutemen catcher Paul Liccardi hit a sacrifice fly to right to make it 2-1.
Woodridge had issues getting timely hits all afternoon, as the Bulldogs left eight men on base. Woodridge also was foiled by a great play in the fourth inning.
After a single by Brian Fizsimmons with two outs, left fielder Kyle Mottice doubled to right. Dever sent Fitzsimmons home, but a great relay throw from Eden Wertz forced Fitzsimmons to be tagged out at the plate.
"You’ve got to send him at that point of the game," Dever said. "We’re trying to scratch a run across. If the kid doesn’t make a perfect throw, he’s safe."
The Bulldogs battled back in the bottom of the sixth inning. Catcher Brad Goodyear was hit by a pitch and Jacob Lovelace reached on an error, which spelled the end of the day for Fink.
However, Woodridge right fielder Brandon Albright greeted Revere reliever Nick Perrott with a single to load the bases and Goodyear scored on a groundout by designated hitter Andrew Mekeal to tie the game.
Perrott, however, would retire the next two batters — and the nightmare would begin for Woodridge.
Senior reliever Tanner Boston started the seventh inning, but did not throw a strike, walking the first two batters he faced. Boston (4-2) would take the loss.
"He’s very upset," Dever said. "He’s a senior. He doesn’t want to go out like that."
Senior Logan Palmer then came on. After a sacrifice bunt, Dever intentionally walked Eden Wertz to set up a force out. Palmer, however, walked Liccardi and then hit Bryce Holt with a pitch to make it 4-2.
Mygrants drew a walk to open the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Bulldogs hope, but Perrott set the next three Bulldogs down in order to get the win.
Woodridge was set to close the season out Friday by hosting North Royalton.