BSHS Baseball Team advances
Jared Spielman, a Class AA All-State special honorable mention selection a year ago, gave an All-State performance in the Region II, Section 1 title game at Morgan Field, on Saturday, May 12, as Berkeley Springs High School beat Frankfort, 9-0, to advance to the regional semifinals.
Spielman started and went the distance allowing no runs on two hits. He fanned 17 Falcon batters, while issuing only two walks, to earn his fourth win of the year against two losses.
He was masterful throughout, but really dug down deep in the final inning to preserve the shutout.
Frankfort got a lead off single in the top of the seventh, breaking up Spielman's no-hit bid. The next batter doubled to left, but, with runners on second and third and no outs, Spielman recorded strikeouts 15, 16 and 17 to end the game.
"What a fantastic performance," said Indian Coach Ron Bittinger. “You can usually tell early in the game how Jared is going to do. When he struckout the side to open the game we knew he was on. His pitches were moving, he had some pop on his fast ball, he got ahead in the counts and followed the game plan to a ‘tee.’ He was absolutely dominant."
The contest was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when the Indian offense erupted for four runs.
Jared Spielman started the fourth-inning rally with a sharp single to left. Brady Spielman reached on an error by the second baseman putting runners on first and second. Zane Mokhiber tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt that the pitcher was unable to make a play on, loading the bases with no outs. Scott Hessler followed with a sharp liner to second base for the first out of the inning. Jared Spielman then scored the first run of the game on a passed ball, with the other runners moving up a base. Brett Fultz drew a walk, before Brady Spielman made it 2-0 with a steal of home. Kyle Apple followed with a two-run double to give the Indians a commanding 4-0 lead.
"A big run for us was Spielman's steal of home," Bittinger. “We decided that if their pitcher continued to throw from a full windup that Brady would take off for home and that Kyle Appel would intentionally miss the bunt to distract the catcher. It worked to a tee and Brady scored with ease."
Berkeley Springs added one insurance run in the fifth, when Brady Spielman clobbered a ground-rule double to center field and then scored on a double by Hessler.
After holding Frankfort scoreless in the top of the sixth, the Indians tacked on four more runs in the bottom half of the inning for the final margin of victory.
With two outs, Tyler Holt doubled to right center. He was replaced by courtesy runner Bradley Kidwell who scored on a single to left center by Jared Spielman. Spielman, who reached second on an error by the center fielder, was replaced on the base paths by Colin McPeak. Brady Spielman then reached on an error by the first baseman, before McPeak scored the second run of the inning when Brady Spielman stole second.
Mokhiber followed with a single that scored Brady Spielman, and then scored the final run of the game on an error by the second baseman.
Berkeley Springs out hit Frankfort 9-2, with Tyler Holt going 3-4, including a double. Appel had a two-run double, Jared Spielman had a pair of singles, RBI, and a run scored, Brady Spielman had a double with three runs scored, Hessler delivered a double and RBI and Mokhiber came through with a single, RBI and two runs scored.
It was the the second time that Berkeley defeated Frankfort in the double elimination sectional. The Indians, behind the pitching of Tyler Holt and the senior leadership of Brady Spielman and Zane Mokhiber, eked out a 3-2 decision over the Falcons a day earlier, also played in Berkeley Springs.
"Tyler gave us another strong effort on the mound and both Brady and Zane gave us the senior leadership we needed to get the win," said Bittinger. “Brady did a good job, especially on the base paths. He got us our first run with some heads-up running and pure heart. Zane had an important fly ball in the second inning, that doesn't show up in the box score, and he came up with a big two-run double that gave us the 3-0 lead."
The Indians drew first blood in the second inning, when Brady Spielman reached on an error, stole second, advanced to third on a deep fly ball by Mokhiber and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Hessler.
Leading 1-0, Berkeley added two runs in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead.
With one out, Jared Spielman drew a walk, followed by a single off the bat of Brady Spielman. Both runners moved up a base on an error by the left fielder and trotted home on a clutch two-run double by Mokhiber.
Frankfort scored twice in the sixth off of Holt, but he settled down and finished the game for his eighth win of the year against only one loss.
Holt went 7.0 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
"As with Jared on Saturday, we told Tyler to use his curve to setup his fastball," said Bittinger. “He did just that and came away with another big win."
Mokhiber led the Berkeley Springs offense with a single, a double and two RBIs. Brady Spielman had a single and two runs scored, while Kyle Appel had the other Berkeley Springs hit.
"We are happy we won, but we have bigger fish to fry," Bittinger said. “It is nice to win a sectional plaque, but we believe we can win the whole thing; especially with the quality of our pitching staff."
The Indians, 16-13, will host Petersburg in the regional semifinal game on Monday, May 21, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Berkeley Springs swept Petersburg in a double header earlier in the year, 7-1 and 8-2, but Bittinger is taking nothing for granted.
"We can't get complacent," Bittinger said. “It is an old cliché, but you really do have to take it one game at a time. We won't take anything for granted."
Tyler Holt is slated to start the regional semifinal for the Indians.
A win over Petersburg and Berkeley Springs will travel to the other side of the region on May 23 for the regional championship game. The winner of regional final will advance to the Class AA state tournament in Charleston, which is scheduled to begin on May 31.