Holt fantastic in 9-inning loss
Bishop Walsh's Kevin Meyers and Berkeley Springs' Tyler Holt locked horns in a classic pitchers' duel on Tuesday, March 20, at Morgan Field. Neither was the pitcher of record, but both shined in the epic battle, especially Holt.
Holt worked eight innings allowing no runs on three hits. Although that in and of itself is impressive, it was the unbelievable number of strikeouts - 21 - recorded by Holt that really turned heads. Holt struck out the side on five different occasions, and was personally responsible for 21 of the 24 outs recorded in the first eight innings.
Berkeley Springs Coach Ron Bittinger said, coming into the season, that clutch hitting would be key and it certainly proved true against BW, as the Indians failed to capitalize on two game-winning opportunities in both the seventh and eighth innings.
"We had a couple of chances and couldn't put a bunt down," said a frustrated Bittinger.
The loss was certainly frustrating, but Bittinger came away impressed with his starting pitcher.
"Twenty-one strikeouts is insane," Bittinger said. “Tyler had an unbelievable game; he was just terrific. In fact, he has given us two very strong starts allowing only one run in 15 innings while striking out 29 batters. Tyler has a terrific curve ball, very good control and keeps batters off balance. His curve ball is so good that it makes his fast ball more effective. Through the first two starts he has a .047 earned run average and a 29/2 strikeout to walks ratio. It's too bad he wasn't rewarded with a win, but that doesn't take away from the performance."
Meyers, heading to Mount St. Mary's on a baseball scholarship in the fall, worked seven innings for the Spartans, allowing no runs on two hits. Meyers struck out 14 Indians.
Colten Ganoe relieved Holt in the ninth and was tagged with the loss, while Brandon Reed worked the final two innings for Bishop Walsh to get the win. Ganoe allowed two unearned runs on two hits. He struck out one batter.
The Indians played two other games last week and were shutout in both.
Berkeley Springs started the week with a 7-0 loss to Musselman in Berkeley Springs.
Darrin Zombro and Scott Mock combined for a perfect game against the visiting Indians. Preston Hovermale started and took the loss for Berkeley Springs. Hovermale worked the first 3.2 innings before leaving with an injury. The sophomore allowed three unearned runs on one hit, while striking out three batters. Ganoe worked the final 3.1 innings for Berkeley Springs, allowing two runs on six hits. Ganoe walked two batters.
"Our pitching was adequate, but we didn't produce any offense," said Bittinger.
On Thursday, March 22, Berkeley Springs lost its third game of the week, 2-0, to Hedgesville.
Once more the Indians got a strong pitching performance, but the offense was unable to deliver and the Tribe returned to Morgan County with their fourth loss of the season.
Colin McPeak got his first varsity start for the Indians and was tagged with the loss. McPeak pitched the first three innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits. He struck out one without walking a batter.
"Colin gave us three good innings," Bittinger said. “He really did a nice job of keeping the batters off balance."
Hovermale relieved McPeak and pitched the final three innings of the game, allowing one run on two hits, striking out one and walking none.
"We weren't sure if Preston would be able to go," Bittinger said. “He was coming off a slight injury against Musselman. He said he was okay, so we gave him the ball and he gave us three good innings in relief."
Zane Mokhiber had two hits and a stolen base, while Anthony Lafollette recorded a double, for the Indians.
"We have only given up three earned runs in five games, so our pitching has been outstanding," Bittinger said. “We haven't gotten the offensive production we need, but the boys on the basketball team return this week. It will make our pitching staff even stronger and should provide us with more offense, as well. We have a team earned run average of .060. So, if our pitching remains strong and we start generating some runs, we are going to win a lot of games."
The Indians have a busy week ahead. They travel to Martinsburg today, March 28, host Washington the following day with the JV game beginning at 4 p.m. followed by the varsity game, then host Petersburg in a double-header on Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m, Martinsburg on April 2 (4 p.m. JV, followed by varsity), and East Hardy on April 3 (4 p.m. JV, followed by varsity).