Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Baseball gets mercy-rule win in season finale

By: Dan Karpiel | The Surveyor | May 19, 2022 | Baseball

The story of the 2022 Berthoud High baseball season is one of misfortune and some missed opportunities. Despite going through a 13-game losing streak in the heart of the season, the Spartans were in virtually every single contest but let seven games slip through their fingers. They let out some of that frustration, however, in Tuesday night’s season finale as they put a whopping on visiting Weld Central, winning 15-0 in a mercy-rule shortened five-inning affair.

“It was good for them, this team, we were snake bit, we found a way to give away seven games that we had the lead in the sixth inning or later,” Berthoud Manager Buddy Kouns said following the final game of the year. “We were competitive with every team in our league. I lost so much sleep this year over what we could do to try to get this group over the hump. If something could go wrong late in a game it did, be it an obstruction call, we should have had an interference call yesterday, it’s a woulda, coulda, shoulda.”

While Kouns was critical of some of his decision-making during the year, he made a point of emphasizing how his squad never hung their heads or made excuses for some of the bad luck they experienced over the year.

“If we could go back and replay some of those games, there are a couple of moves in those games, in hindsight, I wish I would have done something differently,” Kouns said. “There have been so many of those instances throughout the year. Now, I don’t do a lot of doubting about how we prepare them, but I want so much for them to be successful.”

Case in point, in facing conference rival Northridge at Jack Sommers Field in Berthoud on Monday night, originally scheduled to be the season finale before the bad weather makeup game against Weld Central was scheduled for the following night, the final score of 12-4 Northridge in extra innings was not anywhere close to indicative of how well Berthoud played and how closely the game was played.

In the sixth frame, Berthoud’s Adam Hays launched a long fly to deep left-center, scoring Evan Erickson. With Hays on third, Nolan Young laid down a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt to bring Hays home and give Berthoud a 3-1 lead.

The snake came back to bite the Spartans, however, in the top of the seventh as Northridge squeaked out two runs to put the game into extra innings. Leading off the seventh, sophomore standout Reece Stratmeyer belted a Northridge pitch deep into the outfield where it got past the Northridge centerfielder. As Stratmeyer flew around the base pads and approached third, Kouns gave the signal to continue on home before seeing the perfectly placed relay throw on its way to home plate. Kouns put up the stop sign and as Stratmeyer slammed on his proverbial brakes, he lost his footing, got caught in a pickle on the third baseline and was ultimately tagged out. After a scoreless eighth where Berthoud pitcher Brandon Wageman retired the side in order, Northridge went on to score a whopping 9 runs in the ninth inning to take the game.

Kouns said the team will miss the graduating seniors – all of whom contributed mightily this year – the team is very well poised for success next season with both starting pitchers returning and a young roster that is both deep and talented.

“It gives me confidence for our young kids, we have some really, really good young kids and at the same time it disappoints the heck out of me for my senior class, I don’t feel like the kids failed, I feel ‘what could I have done to get them there,’” Kouns said. “We will really be someone to tangle with next year.”



related Baseball