WHEELING - Trailing by eight runs entering the seventh inning of Tuesday's OVAC Class 2A semifinal baseball game at Holloway Field, invading Shadyside scored six times without the benefit of a hit but still wound up falling 9-7 to Linsly.
Three errors, a trio of hit batters and one walk left the Tigers with the tying run at the plate when Jarred Brooks struck out to end the improbable last-ditch comeback attempt.
''That was one of the craziest innings I have ever seen,'' Cadets coach Jay Cartwight said after his team advanced to this weekend's championship game. ''But we are very excited to be back in the OVAC finals after not making the tournament last year. Our No. 1 goal, since we aren't in the SSAC, is win this tournament every year.''
Capturing the conference crown is something the Cadets have been very good at accomplishing during the last several decades. Linsly won 13 titles during Gary Sprague's long reign at the Cadets helm. They've garnered two more of those highly coveted pennants since Cartwright took the helm in 2007.
The trio of Linsly pitchers, Momo Felt, Jimmy Brinsky and Adam Jones, combined to pitch three-hit ball, all three being singles off the bat of right fielder D.J. Shoemaker.
Jones pitched the extended top of the seventh and did not allow a ball to be hit out of the infield but he committed two of the errors while the other was the result of catcher's interference with the bases loaded forcing in a run.
Shadyside coach Mike Meintel also was shaking his head after his team's record fell to 11-8. The Tigers had problems of their own in the field and several other balls fell safely that should have resulted in outfield outs.
''We had some balls we didn't catch, but we are very young in the outfield," Meintel said. ''Being down 9-1, I never thought it would come down to this. The little things early in the game that we didn't do turned out to really hurt us.
"But Linsly is a great team and an excellent program.''
The Cadets offense accounted for 11 hits off the lefty Brooks, who had beaten them 4-2 in their most recent game played at Shadyside.
''Jarred did not have his best stuff," Meintel noted. ''His curveball and slider were not working and they were good enough hitters where they could jump on the fastball."
Felt, the starter for Linsly (18-5), couldn't throw strikes early, walking five in the first two innings. Two walks after Shoemaker's leadoff single to right field in the top of the second resulted in a run as Luke Nardo picked up the RBI on a fielder's choice.
The Cadets bounced back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, starting out with back-to-back doubles by Michael Joseph and Neil Tennant. With one out, Jameson Murray's single down the right-field line put Linsly on top to stay at 2-1.
Cartwright's team then struck for five runs and six hits in the third inning. Joseph drove in a pair with a single, while Ryan Riethmiller and Colton Coss also had RBI hits. The fifth run scored on an error.
Alex Stephens' double in the left-center gap accounted for the Cadets other two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Haydon Stanley, Stephens, Joseph and Tennant collected two hits each for the winners. Five different Linsly players accounted for at least one RBI as Stephens and Joseph had two each while knocking home one tally apiece were Tennant, Riethmiller, Murray and Coss.