Indians split with sectional rivals
The Berkeley Springs High School Baseball Team split a pair of sectional road games last week, losing to Frankfort 8-3 on Monday, April 9, before bouncing back for a 2-1 victory over Keyser the following day.
The loss to Frankfort did not sit well with Indian coach Ron Bittinger.
"I was pretty disappointed with our effort," Bittinger said. "Baseball is a funny game. You can beat the likes of Washington or Martinsburg one game, then turn around and lose to a team that is struggling like Frankfort. We would have been in the driver's seat in securing the number one seed for the section with a win, but we just didn't come to play. Preston (Hovermale}, the starting pitcher, didn't have his best stuff today, but he battled through four innings and kept us in the game. We went with Kyle (Appel) in the fifth hoping that he could continue to dominate like he has recently, but he struggled with his control and Frankfort took advantage of the opportunities we provided to them. I knew we would struggle to score runs this year, but I didn't count on it being quite like this. It seems that one or two guys in the lineup hit well for a game or two, then they fall back off. We haven't had a complete offensive game yet where the whole lineup top to bottom is hitting well."
Frankfort drew first blood in the bottom of the first with a single run. Berkeley Springs tied the game with a run in the third, but Frankfort scored twice in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead for good.
Berkeley did cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fourth and 4-3 in the fifth, but Keyser scored three times in the bottom of the fifth, and then added an insurance run in the sixth for the final margin of victory.
Hovermale started and went the first four innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits, striking out five and walking two. Appel worked 1.1 innings allowing four runs on two hits. He struck out two and walked four. Ryan Songer finished the game, allowing no runs, on no hits. Songer walked one batter.
Jared Spielman was 3-4 at the plate, including a triple and RBI. Zane Mokhiber had a triple and RBI, Holt and Zach Wise each singled, while Appel collected a RBI.
Tyler Holt took the mound the following day and got the Indians back on the winning track with another impressive performance, as Berkeley Springs took down Keyser, 2-1.
Holt limited the Golden Tornado to a single run on only three hits, striking out five and walking one.
He has been masterful in 2012 and is currently 4-0, with an impressive ERA of 0.72. The talented righthander has struck out 52 batters against only six walks in 39.0 innings.
"I was pleased with the win, but still very disappointed with our lack of offensive output," Bittinger said. "Fortunately, Tyler Holt pitched fantastic again today. We did hit the ball hard a couple times, but they were right at somebody...that's pretty much been the case all season so far. We only had a couple of scoring opportunities and we were able to capitalize on them to win the game, but we cannot continue to expect our pitchers to be dominant every time out. We have to do a better job manufacturing more offense if we expect to have any success."
Holt allowed a run in the bottom half of the first that tied the game at 1-1, but then shutdown the sectional rival over the final six innings to collect his fourth win of the year. He also produced at the plate, where he laced a double in the opening inning that scored Brady Spielman and then laid down a sacrifice bunt in the sixth that helped provide the winning run.
The Indians scored the deciding run when Brady Spielman reached on a walk, took second on Holt's sacrifice bunt, and then scored on a sharp single up the middle from third baseman Mokiber. Holt did the rest, setting Keyser down in order over the last two innings, and ending the game with back-to-back strikeouts.
Mokiber finished with two hits, including the game-winner, while Holt (2B) and Kaleb Athey had the other Indian hits.
The win over Keyser improved the Indians to 7-9 on the year.