BSHS Baseball Team secures top seed
Jared Spielman pitched six strong innings and his teammates provided the necessary offense, as the Berkeley Springs High School Baseball Team defeated Keyser, 9-3, on Tuesday, April 24 at Morgan Field. The win guaranteed the Indians the top seed in the upcoming sectional baseball tournament.
"This was an important win for us," said Berkeley Springs Coach Ron Bittinger. “It gives us home field advantage and should give us an advantage in our pitching rotation, too."
Keyser led 3-1 after the opening inning, but Berkeley Springs scored three runs in the bottom of the second for a 4-3 lead and then added three more runs in the fourth and two in the sixth for the final margin of victory.
Brady Crane, running for Scott Hessler, scored Berkeley Springs second run of the game in the second inning on a double by Kyle Appel. Kaleb Athey followed with a double down the left field line, scoring Appel, and then scored on yet another double by Tyler Holt giving Berkeley Springs its first lead, 4-3.
Berkeley Springs had another three-run rally in the fourth. Athey reached on an error and then stole second and third. Zach Wise walked and then stole second, followed by a two-run single by Holt. Both Jared Spielman and Hessler walked to load the bases, before Brett Fultz delivered a RBI single to put the Tribe on top 7-3.
That proved to be more than enough offense, but the Tribe added two insurance runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach.
Jared Spielman went 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on six hits (four coming in the opening inning). The southpaw struck out 14 and walked two. Appel worked the final inning allowing no runs on no hits.
"Jared settled down after the opening inning and was dominant," Bittinger said. “He has been really good in past two appearances. He's a great pitcher, and he's got great stuff, and you figure it's just a matter of time before he starts coming around. Once he settled in, he was movin'. He was changing speeds, hitting his spots, and that was the Jared that was all-state last year. This kid's got talent."
Holt led the Berkeley Springs offense with two hits, including a double and three RBIs. Appel had a single, double and one RBI, Zane Mokhiber had two hits and a RBI, while Athey, Fultz and Preston Hovermale had one RBI each.
The following day Berkeley Springs traveled to Shenandoah Junction to take on perennial Class AAA powerhouse Jefferson. The Cougars jumped out to an 8-0 lead and then held on for a 9-6 win.
"We just got in too big a hole," Bittinger said. “Tyler (Holt) didn't have his best stuff today. I think he might be a little arm weary, but he was bound to have an off day."
Holt started and went 3.2 innings allowing eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits, striking out five, walking two and hitting one batter.
The Cougars took a 2-0 lead after one inning and then drilled two, three run-home runs in the third and fourth innings for the 8-0 lead.
The Indians finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth when Athey cleared the fence in left for a solo home run, and then added four more runs in the fifth to get right back into the game. Jared Spielman hit another solo home run for Berkeley Springs in the seventh, but the Tribe was unable to mount the necessary rally and came home with their 11th loss against 12 wins.
Brady Spielman worked the final 2.1 innings for Berkeley Springs allowing one unearned run on one hit, striking out two, walking one and hitting one batter.
"Brady did a nice job in relief and kept us in the game," Bittinger said.
Jared Spielman had two of Berkeley Springs eight hits and a RBI. Appel added a single, double and two RBIs, while Athey delivered the home run and two RBIs. Hessler also had a RBI.
Despite the loss, Bittinger was pleased that his team did not give up.
"I really liked the way we fought back," said Bittinger. “I thought the kids showed a lot of heart and am proud of the effort."