Baseball team downs East Hardy in extra innings
Berkeley Springs avenged an earlier loss to East Hardy by going into the backyard of the top rated Class A team in the state and coming away with a 5-4, eight inning victory.
Tyler Holt got the win with another strong performance. Holt went eight innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits. Holt struck out six and walked six.
"Once again, Tyler Holt was spectacular. He has consistently been able to keep the ball down, hit his spots, and keep the batters off balance...these are all the attributes of a great pitcher who understands how to literally pitch and not be just a ‘thrower.’ Tyler is now 5-0 on the season and we are now 6-1 in games Tyler has started, the lone loss being the 21 strike out performance he had against Bishop Walsh, but got a no-decision. If he keeps putting together performances like he has been, he will clearly have a future in baseball beyond high school. Good thing for us he's only a junior," said Berkeley Springs Coach Ron Bittinger.
The game-winning run was set up when Kaleb Athey drew a walk to leadoff the eighth. Zach Wise then ripped a double to right center, but Athey was gunned down at third, leaving a runner at second with one out. Holt followed with a hard ground ball that East Hardy's shortstop could not handle. With one out and runners on the corners, Jared Spielman came through with a sacrifice fly that scored Wise with the go ahead run.
Holt pitched a scoreless eighth to record his fifth win of the year, with a little help from his defense. In fact, Wise made a leaping grab at the fence in left center preventing a game-tying home run.
Berkeley was led at the plate by Wise with a double, single and two RBIs. Kyle Appel had a RBI double, Jared Spielman had two RBIs on two sacrifice fly's. Holt and Zane Mokhiber had the other two Indian hits.
"As a team, I'm really proud of the fight the kids put up. East Hardy beat us handily on our field last week, so we had something to prove. They had been the top ranked single A team in the state and that ranking is well-deserved because they have a solid team. I knew we were in for a close game, so we went to a ‘small ball’ strategy from the get go. Scott Hessler laid down two perfect Sac Bunts to put runners into scoring position and Jared Spielman hit two Sac Flies that plated two runs, including the game-winner," said a pleased Bittinger.
The following day Berkeley Springs dropped to 9-10 when they suffered a 14-0 road loss to Clear Spring, Md. The Blazers scored three runs in the first added four more in the the third and seven in the fourth to earn the lopsided win.
"Well, there's not a whole lot of positive to take out of this game; we were flat out terrible," said a disappointed Bittinger. “This has been our M.O. all season. We seem to follow an emotional win with an absolute stinker...we seem to have a Jekyll & Hyde team on our hands. I warned the boys about letting down in our pre-game, but it didn't seem to make a difference. We couldn't hit, couldn't field, couldn't throw, couldn't pitch...it was ugly. We've been in this same spot two other times though.
Martinsburg beat us 11-0 in our first meeting, then we beat them 6-5 in the rematch. East Hardy beat us 12-6, then we avenged that with a 5-4 win. We have Clear Spring in a rematch next Friday on our field, so hopefully, we can keep the trend of getting revenge going."
"In our post-game conversation, I told the boys that if we expect to go deep in the playoffs, we can't put together a strong performance in one game, then follow it with a lousy one. We have to learn to ‘bring it’ every game if we want to reach our goal of a sectional, regional, and state title," Bittinger stated.
Brady Spielman and Kaleb Athey had the two Berkeley Springs hits.