Coulby Park in Wickliffe, OH- The Berkshire Badgers (9-7) made their way to face the host Wickliffe Blue Devils (7-11) for a Non-Conference matchup. Wickliffe was having ¨Senior Day¨ as seniors from both programs were honored pre-game.
Dominic Devincentis toed the rubber for the Blue Devils. The Badgers came ready with a 4-run 1st. Things got rolling as a 1-out single by Maxwell Jansen and Patrick Brancel was hit. Ethan Martin was able to advance Jansen to 3rd on fly out to right. The Badgers would then string together three consecutive scoring plays. Joey Czekaj doubled, both Lou Filby and Miles Miller reached on errors. Jack Jacobs walked and Jack Hastings grounded end the frame.
Troy Hornak started on the bump for Berkshire, as he worked a quick 1-2-3 first backed by his defense highlighted by Jansen and Miller recording all 3 outs.
Despite a 1-out walk by Hornak, the Badgers were held in check in the top of the 2nd. Jimmy Nemeth drew a walk to lead things off for Wickliffe. Liam Widemire popped out, the inning was ended as Miles Miller flashed the leather to record a 5-3 double play himself.
The Badgers, already up four runs, would double their score in the 3rd. Czekaj walked and stole 2nd, coming around to score on an error placing Miller on 1st. Jacobs singled bringing Miller into scoring position at 3rd. Hastings grounded into a run-scoring single. With two on and one out, Hornak drew another Badger walk, and Maxwell Jansen´s line drive single to center drove in two more runs, making it 8-0 Badgers. Brancel and Martin were both retired by the relief pitcher Brandon Henderson.
Troy Hornak continued to work efficently, but a pitcher-on-pitcher crime took place as he hit Henderson with one out. All for naught though, as Chase Bonadio and Nunzio Zivnoska did no damage andwere both retired by the Badgers.
A quiet 4th for both sides. The Blue Devil defense retired Czekaj, Filby and Miller. Vince Gargiulo and Jimmy Nemeth were set down by the Badger defense, Hornak struck out Logan Ruscin in between the two.
Berkshire got the train rolling again after Jason Brent and Jack Hastings were retried. Henderson returned the favor to Hornak by hitting him with a pitch of his own. Jansen´s strong game at the plate continued as he placed a single to center. Brancel backed him up with a single of his own to load the bases. Ethan Martin connected on a fly ball to center, resulting in a two-out two-run double. Czekaj struck out, but during the at-bat a balk from Henderson allowed Brancel to score. 11-0 Berkshire going to the bottom of the 5th. The Blue Devils fired back to score 3 in the 5th. A hit by pitch, error and single loaded them up for Wickliffe. Henderson came though with a big knock on a two-run double to center.
Bonadio was the first Wickliffe out of the inning, but their scoring didn't end yet as another Badger error allowed Bobby Plumb to score. Gariulo and Ruscin couldn´t add to the inning as the Badger defense helped Hornak escape the inning.
Filby and Miller both flied out to center. Jacobs collected a hit, but Noah Dohm threw out Hastings on a groundout. Wickliffe scored 5 in the 6th as they continued to mount a massive comeback. Nemeth singled, a pair of walks from Frankie Bucar and Bobby Plumb with 1-out had things started off the right way. Henderson continued to lead the Blue Devils with two more RBIs. Bonadio was struck out by Berkshire reliever Brancel. A two-run error followed by a single from Gargiulo plated 3 more runs for Wickliffe. Ruscin was called out on strike 3 to end the 6th.
After the Blue Devils cut the lead to 3 in a 5-run 6th, Berkshire one-upped them with a 6 run 7th. Hornak drew another walk, then back-to-back 1-out errors gave the Badgers a run. Czekaj added an insurance run with an RBI single to center. Following that Lou Filby smacked an RBI single, and Miller drew his 2nd walk to load them up for Berkshire. Jack Jacobs forced another run home with a walk. Hastings would drive in the last two runs of the game for Berkshire as a result of the Blue Devils 7th error. Hornak and Jansen were sat down to send the Badgers into the bottom of the 7th with a 17-8 lead.
A grim start for Wickliffe in the 7th was quickly turned around as three consecutive two-out singles drove in their last pair of runners. Miles Miller earned the save a Joey Czekaj fielded a ground ball to step on 2nd ending the game.
The Berkshire pitching staff was able to hold the lead. Troy Hornak started off going 5 strong innings. Paul Brancel and Miles Miller each worked an inning of relief.
TH(W): 5IP 3H 3R 2ER 1BB 3K
PB: 1IP 3H 5R 2ER 2BB 3K
MM(S): 1IP 3H 2ER K
The Berkshire Badger offense was stellar, scoring runs 4 of the 7 innings. They were led by Maxwell Jansen, Joey Czekaj, Ethan Martin and Jack Hastings.
MJ: 3-4 2R 2RBI BB
EM: 1-5 R 3RBI
JC: 2-4 3R 2RBI BB
JJ: 2-2 R RBI 2BB
Rough morning for the Blue Devil pitching staff. Dominic DeVincent worked 2-1/3 innings. Brandon Henderson went 4 innings to lead Wickliffe.
DD: 2.1IP 3H 8R 4ER 2BB K
BH: 4IP 7H 8R 3ER 2BB 2K
A quiet beginning for Wickliffe as they scored all 10 runs from the 5th inning on. Brandon Henderson led the way with 6 RBIs, Bobby Plumb and Frankie Bucar both scored 3 runs a piece.
BH: 3-3 R 6RBI
BP: 2-3 3R BB
FB: 1-3 3R BB