Indians sweep Paw Paw in regular-season finale
After losing five games week before last, the Berkeley Springs baseball team needed some momentum heading into the sectional playoffs. But it wouldn't be easy with the Tribe facing three double headers in four days. They opened the week with a double header sweep of Hancock by respective scores of 6-4 and 16-7, then lost a twinbill at Musselman 4-3 and 15-3, respectively, before ending the season with a sweep of county rival Paw Paw 11-0 and 5-4, respectively, for some much needed momentum as the post-season begins.
It was senior night in Berkeley Springs when visiting Paw Paw showed up for a double header on Thursday, May 3. And, it was one of those seniors that shined most brightly on the cool evening. Nate Sirbaugh, Berkeley Springs starting hurler, mixed his pitches well and kept the Pirate batters completely off balance, according to Berkeley Springs coach Trey Barcus, in route to a five-inning no hitter in game one.
Sirbaugh allowed no runs on no hits, striking out five and walking two as the Indians won the first game 11-0.
Berkeley Springs scored twice in the opening inning on a run scoring single from Nick Campanelli and a sacrifice fly by Jake Freels. Joey Berens, another of the four seniors playing their final regular season home game, delivered a run scoring double in the second to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Berkeley Springs added two more runs in the third and six in the fourth for the final margin of victory.
Senior Sean Diehl had a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to score Berkeley Springs' 10th run of the game.
Freels, Michael and Berens had two hits each and Campanelli one for Berkeley Springs.
Jacob Waugh, the other Berkeley Springs senior, started the second game but was only able to go one inning because of a sore arm. Waugh allowed two runs, one earned on one hit. He struck out one, walked one and hit one batter.
The Indians scored three times in the bottom of the second to take a 3-2 lead. Twigg and J.T. Thomas led off with back-to-back singles, before both Matt Griffith and Lucas Redick were retired on strike outs. Berens then reached on an error to load the bases and Michael delivered a three-run triple to give the Indians the lead.
The score remained 3-2 until the top of the fifth, when Paw Paw scored two runs to take a 4-3 lead. The lead didn't last long, however, as Freels walked to lead off the Indian fifth and scored an unearned run to tie the game at 4-4.
Michael then delivered again, with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, his third home run of the week, to give the Indians a 5-4 lead. Campanelli, Berkeley Springs' third pitcher of the game, did the rest to preserve the one-run victory.
Paw Paw definitely came to play and gave the Indians all they could handle in the nightcap. But, clutch hitting from Michael and solid relief pitching from Twigg and Campanelli saved the day for the Tribe.
Berkeley Springs had seven hits in game two. Twigg, Thomas, Campanelli, Freels and Berens had one hit each, to go along with Michael's triple and home run.
Twigg relieved Waugh and worked three plus innings allowing one run on no hits. He struck out two and walked two. Twigg was relieved by Campanelli, who worked the final three innings for his second win of the year. Campanelli allowed one run on one hit, striking out six and hitting one batter.
"This was just like a lot of double headers where the second game is never the same as the first," said Barcus.
Two days earlier Berkeley Springs wasn't so fortunate, dropping the double header to Musselman.
Twigg, who has given the Indians quality starts all year long, was the hard luck loser in game one against the Applemen. Twigg allowed four runs, two earned on six hits in six full innings of work. He walked two and struck out five.
"Twigg gave us another good performance," Barcus said. "He gave us a chance to win, but errors were very costly."
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when Musselman scored four times thanks to some shoddy fielding by Berkeley Springs. The Indians quickly answered however, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to a single run, 4-3.
Mark Carter led off the fifth with a harmless grounder to the mound, before Michael drew a one-out walk. Sirbaugh followed with a single, before Campanelli loaded the bases with a walk of his own. Freels followed with a walk to score Berkeley Springs' first run of the game. Twigg delivered the second RBI of the inning when he grounded into a fielder's choice, before Thomas' single scored Campanelli to cut the lead to one run.
The pitching dominated the rest of the contest and Berkeley Springs lost their third one-run game to a Class AAA opponent in the past week.
Musselman dominated the nightcap 15-3 in five innings. They out hit the Tribe 14 to 5 and took early command of the game, scoring twelve runs in the opening two innings."This was our second double header in two days," said Barcus. "It took a major toll on our pitching and you can't out-slug Musselman."
Campanelli started and was tagged with the loss. He worked 1.1 innings allowing six runs on four hits while walking two batters.
Twigg had a two-run double in the first inning and Griffith delivered a run-scoring single in the second for Berkeley Springs. The other three Indian hits came off the bats of Michael, Campanelli and Freels.
The Indians started the week hosting their longtime rival Hancock in a double header on Monday, April 30.
Things didn't look good for the Tribe in game one as the Panthers scored four runs in their first at-bat off of Sirbaugh to take a 4-0 lead. The Indians were set down in order in the bottom half of the inning, but responded with a five-run second to take the lead.
Freels reached on an error and then stole second, before Thomas singled to put runners on first and third. Redick and Berens then delivered run-scoring singles, before Carter picked up the third RBI of the inning on a fielder's choice. Michael, who had a terrific week at the plate, then hit a two-run home run to give the Indians the lead.
Berkeley Springs added an insurance run in the third when Freels reached with a leadoff walk and scored on a Panther error.
Sirbaugh did the rest, shutting Hancock out over the final four innings (the coaches agreed to play two five-inning games because of the number of games each had coming up during the week) for his third win of the year. He allowed four runs, one earned on four hits, walking two and striking out three.
Thomas, Redick, Berens and Michael had one hit each for the Tribe.
Berkeley Springs jumped out to the early lead in game two as Campanelli had a two-run double and Thomas a solo home run in the bottom of the first to give Berkeley Springs a 4-1 lead. They added a single run in the second, five in the third and six in the fourth for the 16-7 win.
The Indian offense was on fire as they connected for thirteen hits, six for extra bases, including three home runs and two triples, in dominating their cross river rival.
Thomas had a home run, a triple, a single and two RBI, Michael a home run, a single and two RBI, Campanelli a single, a double and three RBI, Sirbaugh a triple and three RBI, Freels a home run and a RBI, Berens a single and RBI, Griffith also had a single and RBI, while Twigg and Redick rounded out the offense with a single each.
Campanelli, Berkeley Springs third pitcher of the game, pitched 1.2 innings for the win. He allowed no runs on one hit with two strikeouts.
"That was two big wins for us after what happened last week," said a relieved Barcus. "Sirbaugh pitched very effectively in the opener and we got the bats going in the nightcap. This was a good way to come out of a slump."
Berkeley Springs enters the sectional this week with a record of 13-12, but more importantly with the confidence that they can beat Frankfort for their second consecutive Region II, Section I title. After all, they beat Frankfort twice during the regular season and finished the final week of the season with four wins against two loses.
Sectional play began on Monday, May 7, in Berkeley Springs. The second game was played at Frankfort the following day and should a third game be needed it will be played today, May 9, in Berkeley Springs.
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Berkeley Springs defeated Frankfort 8-7 in game one of the Region II, Section I Tournament in Berkeley Springs on Monday, May 7. Details in next week's paper.