By Todd Hummel
For The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- The looks on their faces said it all on Wednesday night. Midd-West had given two-time defending District 4 Class AAA champ Jersey Shore all it could handle for 8 1/3 innings.
However, the Mustangs missed opportunities to score at Historic Bowman Field, and when the Bulldogs' Zach DePasqua lined the game-winning single with one out in the bottom of the ninth for a 1-0 victory, Midd-West wore the weight of those missed opportunities on their faces.
"I can't take anything away from (Jersey Shore)," Midd-West coach Ron Flood said. "We had opportunities and didn't take advantage of them. They had one real good chance and they took advantage."
That golden opportunity for the Bulldogs (17-3) came in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Kaiden Brungard reached on an error and Chris Glunk walked. DePasqua, who had grounded out twice against Midd-West pitcher Colton Keister, lined a 1-1 pitch into left field for the game winner.
It gave Jersey Shore its third consecutive shutout victory in the District 4 Class AAA championship game, despite netting just 10 hits in those three games. The Bulldogs face Abington Heights, the District 2 Class AAA champion, on Monday at Bowman Field.
Keister was the hard-luck loser for the Mustangs, who finish the season at 12-9. The righty threw 162 pitches in 8 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run. Fifty-nine of those pitches came in the first three innings.
"The umpire was a little high and a little low at times. It took me a while (to get used to the strike zone)," Keister said. "I just got into a groove (in the later innings)."
Keister finished the game with eight strikeouts and five walks.
"You can't ask for a better team (behind you)," Keister said.