The Indians enter as the hottest team in the entire three-class field, with 15 straight victories.
"We had some kids that needed to start doing a better job with their plate appearances and I tweaked the lineup just a little bit and it paid dividends,'' Shields said.
Junior Cullin Cutright is Bridgeport's top hitter with a .409 average to go along with 29 RBIs. Seniors John Koon (.368, 26 RBIs), Tyler Furbee (.356, 17 RBIs), Brady Weaver (.32, 14 RBIs), Luke Ash (.307, 27 RBIs) and Corey Mann (.287, 33 RBIs), junior Troy Anderson (.326, 28 RBIs) and sophomore Tyler Skidmore (.338, 18 RBIs) round out the offense.
"They wouldn't be here if they didn't have the kids that could possibly do it,'' said Wilburn of Bridgeport. "They've got several kids in their lineup that can hit for power.''
Corey Quick paces the Tigers with a .592 batting average and 51 RBIs while Seth Rose (.426, 53 runs), Austin Southcott (.398, 33 RBIs) and Alex Quick (.354) are capable hitters.
The pitching matchup should be a dandy with Bridgeport's Weaver (10-2), who started the championship game against Nitro in 2010, facing Princeton senior J.C. Pennington (8-0, 1.38 ERA).
Weaver, who commands an 85 mph fastball, has struck out 113 in 802/3 innings with just nine walks. Also in a 1-0 sectional win over Robert C. Byrd in 13 innings, Weaver yielded no runs and fanned 17 with just three walks in a 10-inning performance. Pennington carries a 1.43 earned run average.
"We've just got to come out and get a good pitching performance and put the barrel on the ball and give ourselves an opportunity to win,'' Wilburn said. "Just try to put pressure on the defense. I think we have a good chance.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.