Wednesday, April 3, 2013
In recent years, a Berkeley Stags win over Cane Bay was cause for major news.
Not so in 2013.
Berkeley defeated the Cobras 12-2 and 7-3, the last win coming on Thursday night at Jim Bradley Field.
This season is different than years past. The Cobras moved up to Class AAAA at the start of the 2012-2013 school year and both teams had come off important region wins the night before, the Stags downing Hilton Head and the Cobras defeating Wando.
Scheduling a game on the heels of two big region contests wasn’t the best idea.
“I think we’re both a little crazy for doing this,” said Berkeley Coach Landy Cox. “We’re a little sluggish tonight, very flat, and that’s coming on the heels of a big win against Hilton Head. It probably wasn’t the best idea to schedule Cane Bay the next night but we didn’t want to play on Good Friday.”
Cobras Coach Shane Todd,a former Stags coach, is back in Class AAAA and enjoying moderate success so far with a 5-9 record. But their Wednesday night win over Region 8AAAA leader Wando was a crucial one for his team.
“We are capable of playing good baseball this year and we showed it against Wando,” Todd said. “But tonight we come out and put ourselves behind the eight-ball, where we have an inning where we don’t necessarily catch the ball or throw it like we’re capable of doing and we’re down 4-0. It limits what we’re able to do to get back in the game.”
After a scoreless first inning Cane Bay loaded the bases in the second after Bobby Downey walked and was moved to second on a sacrifice. Blaine Peck singled to center as Downey advanced to third. Davon Higgins was then intentionally walked to load the bases against Stags starter Joe Glauser.
B.J. Thompson roped a low liner to right that Andrew Lockliear laid-out to snare off the grass tops, doubling up Peck at second to get out of the inning. “That line drive gets through and three runs score,” Todd said. “It changes the whole complexion of the game.”
Berkeley took quick advantage of their defensive good fortune by putting four runs on the board in the bottom of the second.
Lockliear led off and was hit by a pitch from Cane Bay starter Justin Shelton. Dylan Baker then reached on an error as Lockliear advanced on a bad throw. Joseph Dress followed with a single down the right field line scoring Lockliear and advancing Baker to third.
The hit parade continued as Brandon Browder laced a single to left scoring Baker. Cane Bay committed its second error of the inning, again on a wild throw at second as Dress came around to score the inning’s third run.
Eric Orton plated Browder with the Stags fourth run on a safety squeeze to cap the scoring.
In the bottom of the third Berkeley threatened to blow the game wide open as Lockliear doubled to right-center and Baker followed with his second home run of the season, a two-run pond shot curling around the left field foul pole. In the fourth Browder came within a hair of matching Baker’s shot with a double high off the left field wall. He would later score on Orton’s sacrifice fly.
Cane Bay rallied with three runs in the fifth.
Peck singled, Higgins walked, and Thompson singled to load the bases with no one out. Reliever Bryce Kunkle had problems finding the plate, hitting Cody Blewer and walking Brian Coleman to force in two runs. Austin Timm plated the Cobras third run with a sacrifice fly to center scoring Thompson.
Zach Gonzales pitched out of the bases loaded jam and shut down Cane Bay over the final two innings to secure the win.
“A letdown was kind of expected after the Hilton Head game but we battled and found a way to win,” Cox said.
For Cane Bay, Todd said winning more games is all about avoiding that one bad inning: “If we can eliminate that one inning we’ll be fine.”
Both teams take part in the HIT Tournament this week, Berkeley hosting the first round at home and Cane Bay traveling to James Island.
Dan Brown can be reached at email@example.com.