"Little Things" Add Up To 8-3 Victory Saturday
By Matthew D. Stokes
BerryVikings.com Staff Writer
Berry jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Stephen Gaylor scored on Thomas Johnson's RBI ground ball. Meanwhile, Berry starting pitcher Casey Gray looked sharp early, retiring the first six batters he faced.
However, he ran into some trouble in the top of the third and fourth innings, surrendering one earned run in both innings.
Berry's offense came to his rescue in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings, scoring a total of six runs to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 7-3 lead. Johnson drove in the tying run with a RBI single while Farmer broke open the game with a two-run double past North Park's first baseman down the right field line.
After scoring one more run in the eighth, Berry called on Josh Dilbeck to shut the door in a non-save situation and he delivered, striking out two of the three batters he faced to end the ballgame.
In addition to Farmer and Gaylor, Cason Dremann also had a multi-hit game with a single and a double and Johnson had two hits.
Gray was the winning pitcher, raising his 2012 record to 3-0, while North Park's starter, left-hander Nick Soldano, took the loss. Gray pitched six innings of three-run ball and struck out six batters. Soldano tossed five and two-thirds innings and surrendered seven earned runs.
Berry head coach David Beasley said getting the team to return to what he feels Berry baseball stands for was important in setting up Saturday's victory.
"It was tough when we gave up eight runs in the ninth inning on Wednesday," Beasley said. "We came back and were rededicated to what Berry baseball's all about. I told our players 'I love where we're at talent-wise, but we're really not playing the game the way we're supposed to play it.' It's all about hustle, backing one another up and believing in one another.
"We had a three-and-a-half hour practice Thursday," Beasley said. "We made sure that they were staying disciplined in discipline situations, and it's something that I think helped us. Today was a game, that, from the inside of the dugout, flows well because we didn't hurt ourselves and we hustled. If we make a mistake hustling, that doesn't bother me at all. We just had to find a way to start playing Berry baseball again, and in today's game the players did a great job with it because we played the game hard, and we'll play that way for the rest of the year."
"We haven't played together. You would look at all our numbers, and say, 'Wow. They're doing pretty good.' But we haven't been playing hard. We haven't been doing the little things, and Thursday, Friday and today we did the little things. And as a coach I can tell you we're going to do the little things the rest of the year."
Berry will complete its two-game series with North Park tomorrow at Bowdoin Field at 1 p.m.
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