2017-05-17 / Sports

Keenan & Hovermale pitch Tribe into Sectional final

by Jamie Harris


Junior Michael Hovermale pitched the winning game, 9-1, against Frankfort on May 10. to photo by Anita Kesner Junior Michael Hovermale pitched the winning game, 9-1, against Frankfort on May 10. to photo by Anita Kesner What a year it has been for Berkeley Springs High School Indians baseball coach Les Morris, his staff and his team. The second seeded Indians beat Phillip Barbour and top seeded Frankfort last week and only need one win to advance to the regionals.

The Indians started the season playing competitive baseball and recording some key wins up to the mid-point of the season. Then with the weather causing cancellations the Tribe seemed to be out of synch as they limped to a 2-6 record over the final eight regular season games. However, the last two sectional baseball playoff games the Tribe has roared back to life and now find themselves in the Region I Sectional baseball championship game that will be played today, Wednesday, May 17.

The Indians started their quest to the championship final hosting Philip Barbour last Tuesday, May 9. The last time the two teams met on April 7 Berkeley Springs needed an RBI double from Justin Stone in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge the pesky Colts 4-3.

This time the game was a defensive contest as both teams went through the first five and a half innings with zeroes on the scoreboard as senior pitcher Brandon Keenan was in dominant control of the Philip Barbour batters.

In the bottom of the sixth inning the Tribe put together some momentum. Junior Michael Hovermale took a Colts pitch and doubled. One batter later sophomore Anthony Clark ripped an RBI double to the outfield and Hovermale scored to put the Indians up 1-0.

In the top of the seventh, with one out and one on Keenan fielded a grounder back to the mound and completed the 1-6-3 double play to end the game and give the Indians a 1-0 win.

Berkeley Springs was led by Hovermale (1-3, 2B, and a run), Clark (1-3, 2B), Hunter Andrick (1-2), and Ayden Lackey (1-3). Defensively, Keenan (7 innings, faced 21 batters, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks, and three hits) was in the zone pitching. Keenan was also helped by some great defense from outfielders Andrick and Tobin Whittington.

With the 1-0 win the Indians advanced to a Wednesday, May 10 game at top seed Frankfort. The Indians and Falcons split during the regular season with the Tribe picking up the 2-1 win on April 11 and the Falcons returned the favor by shutting out Berkeley Springs 8-0 on May 2.

This time around the Tribe continued to play off the momentum of the previous night’s win as they quickly put three runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning.

The Falcons responded with a run of their own to cut the lead to 3-1, but from there on out junior right hander Hovermale mowed down the Falcons batting order each inning.

The hard throwing junior scattered seven hits and struck out four batters while at the plate Hovermale went 2-3 with a double and an RBI as the Indians scored a run in the top of the fourth, three runs in the top of the fifth and two more runs in the top of the seventh inning to cruise past the Falcons 9-1.

The Indians also got some offensive production from Andrew Butts (2-3, 2 runs and RBI), Whittington (2-3, 2 runs), Colby Farris (RBI) and Clark (2 runs and RBI).

With the win over Frankfort the Indians (14-14) advance to the Region I Sectional Championship game today, Wednesday, May 17, 5 p.m. when they play the winner of Frankfort and Petersburg/ Keyser game that will come out of the loser bracket. With the Indians undefeated 2-0 in the championship final whomever they face will have to beat the Tribe twice to claim the sectional championship. Berkeley Springs needs only one win to advance to the regional championships.

If a final game is needed it will be Thursday, May 18 at 5 p.m. with a location to be determined

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