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

Berthoud baseball ends season with memorable final week

May 17, 2019 | Baseball

By Jordan Schachterle

The Surveyor

From cheese balls and inside jokes to riddles in the dugout and eye black Fu Manchu mustaches, the final week of the Berthoud Spartans baseball season was one memorable way to end a group of seniors’ careers.

On Saturday morning, 11 Berthoud High School (BHS) seniors, many of whom had played together since elementary school, started their final week of baseball with a double header against the Fort Morgan High School Mustangs.

Photo by Melanie Johnson – Brock Johnson snares a fly ball in Berthoud’s double-header with Fort Morgan last weekend.

Game one was a high-scoring affair between the Spartans and the Mustangs, ending in a Berthoud loss 17-6. Even with a strong offensive push, there was no way to keep up with Fort Morgan’s hot bats. Game two was a heartbreaker for BHS, as they fell 5-2. The game was tied at one heading into the top of the seventh, but the Mustangs strung together a couple of singles to put up the winning runs.

The Spartans seniors and their families went through the bittersweet “Senior Day” festivities before the double header – the usual presentations of flowers to the families, small speeches and photos. It was a little out of the ordinary when the seniors were presented a bucket of cheese balls. The story of the snack traces back to when the boys played on a little league team in middle school.

“We were at a tournament in Steamboat and we weren’t doing too hot. That day Melanie Johnson brought us a big ole bucket of cheese balls,” senior Tim Sontag said. “We beat a really good team after that and we credited it all to the cheese balls. Then we started keeping cheese balls in the dugout.”

The simple presentation of the snack food brought back memories for the Spartans, as they all recognized the story immediately. The simple gift was a way for the seniors to not only remember their time as baseball players, but also remind them what the game was all about.

Maybe it was the cheese balls, maybe it wasn’t, but nonetheless, the Spartans were on fire for the final two games of the season. They traveled to Battle Mountain High School on Monday afternoon and dominated in a 17-4 win. Berthoud’s offense was hot as each of the 11 players with plate appearances had a least one hit, which included a home run from Aaron Hardy.

The offense stayed hot overnight and the Spartans jumped on the Centaurus High School Warriors early. The Spartans tallied their first of 12 runs after senior Anthony Trojahn was walked in the second inning. Trojahn, playing in his first high school season, was an important part in the win.

“It was a really cool thing to develop that brotherhood again,” Trojahn said about his return to baseball with his friends and fellow seniors. “To end it like that, it couldn’t have been written any better.”

The Spartans had a strong eight-run lead in the bottom of the seventh, with two outs and one pitch to go. A Warriors pinch hitter reached for an outside pitch and tapped a fly ball in foul territory down the first baseline. Senior first baseman Grant Vomacka laid out and snagged the ball to secure the 12-8 victory, the final out of the season, and the final out of his career.

“It felt really good to end it on something I will always remember,” Vomacka said, “it was almost like a highlight reel play.”

The final week was full of excitement and fun and it will be something the seniors will always remember about their time playing baseball as a BHS Spartan.

“I’m gonna remember turning double plays, doing riddles in the dugout, and laying out and diving for balls I know I can’t get to,” senior Danny Pelphrey, who sported a painted-on mustache on Tuesday night, said as his baseball career closed.

It was all smiling faces for the Berthoud seniors as they wrote the final words to close out this chapter of their lives.  

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