Berea Drops Two to UPIKE in Home Openers

Berea Drops Two to UPIKE in Home Openers

The Mountaineers started off their first game of the Wednesday doubleheader by being held to zero hits through the first three innings of the game. Berea's offensive attack was stifled by UPIKE pitcher Michael Vaquera, who went for the complete 7-inning game, allowing only one run, and striking out 6. Brandon Gonzalez, who went 4.1 innings, started off the Mountaineer's pitching strong, keeping the game at a 2-0 deficit for Berea through the first four innings. He found himself in trouble in the top of the fifth, allowing three runs before leaving Tyler Pope with the responsibility of stranding two more runners in scoring position with only one out. Pope delivered with a ground out and pop out to get out of the inning and close the book for his starter, Gonzalez (4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 3 BB).

Berea finally was able to manage a hit in the bottom of the fifth inning, and from there battled to score one run off an RBI groundout from Chris Works. Ron Overstreet (1-3), Jake Taylor (1-3, 2B), and Kenny Cullings (1-2) were the only three Mountaineers that were able to get a hit off the dominant Vaquera, leading to the dismal score of 8-1 in favor of the UPIKE Bears.

Berea looked to bounce back in the second game against the Bears, throwing RHP Patrick Elzinga on the mound for the second half of the home opener. The Mountaineers showed much more promise with the bat in the bottom of the first, as both Ryan Akins and Ron Overstreet doubled to jump BC up to a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

The good times would not last for Berea, however, for three errors led to two runs for the Bears in the top of the second. After UPIKE tallied another run in the top of the 4th, Berea came back and loaded the bases with no one out. But on a sacrifice fly from Alex Helm, Berea's Tyler Plageman was caught running back to first base to tag up. Berea scored one and stranded one, still trailing by a run. Berea's Patrick Elzinga pitched a great first five innings of the ballgame, allowing only two earned runs through his first five frames. He ran into some significant trouble in the top of the 6th, leading to him being relieved by Michael Smithers, who allowed one of Elzinga's runs to come in, leaving the right-handed Michigander with a final line of 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, 1 BB.

Berea finished their titanic struggle with Pikeville with a sacrifice fly by freshman Chase O'Connor in the bottom of the 7th, but still ultimately leaving the Mountaineers down 9-3 at the end of the second game.

These losses drop Berea to a record of 1-8. They'll play their next game this weekend at Oakland City, with their first double header on Saturday, and their second doubleheader on Sunday. Make sure to keep up with their games by following Berea Baseball and Berea Athletics on twitter @BereaColBase and @BlueCrewNews.

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