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

Spartans sweep Frederick in first conference series

April 01, 2019 | Baseball

By Jordan Schachterle

The Surveyor

The Berthoud High School (BHS) baseball team grabbed two wins against fellow Tri-Valley conference opponent Frederick in a two-game set played on Thursday and Saturday.

“We talked about it to the boys on Wednesday that they’re two games that we had to have,” Berthoud Manager Buddy Kouns said, “We took care of business and different guys stepped up in both games.”

The Spartans emerged on top after a late offensive push and a solid outing from the mound. They topped the Warriors 8-2 in their first league game on Thursday evening.

Berthoud’s Robbie Ross delivers a pitch in last Thursday’s game in Frederick. Ross did it all for the Spartans, compiling a pair of hits, an RBI, and throwing six innings as Berthoud won the first game of the series.

Berthoud jumped out quickly in the top of the first. Centerfielder Aaron Hardy led off with a walk, Danny Pelphrey moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Matt Jorissen drove him in on a sharp line drive to left field. The “old-fashioned” baseball play gave Berthoud a 1-0 lead.

In the second, sophomore Kellan Oliver crossed the plate after a two-out infield single from Hardy. For the next four innings Berthoud sunk into an offensive drought; recording no runs, no hits, and leaving three runners stranded on base.

Junior Robbie Ross took the mound for the Spartans on Thursday for his first career start. He threw two quick one-two-three innings to start the game. The third got away from him and Frederick scored their only two runs off of one hit and two walks.

Ross’ six strikeouts helped the Spartans pull it back together, allowing only two more baserunners going into the seventh. The endurance in Ross’ solid start showed just what he’d been working for.

“I’ve worked so hard in the offseason. I’ve been in the gym practicing every day,” Ross said, “It’s huge for me.”

With the game tied at two, it was the top of the lineup for Berthoud. Hardy stepped up to the plate ready to lead the team into a rally, the same as he had done in the first.

“Being able to start the offensive part with a hit really helps the team with confidence, and it helps other people get some hits too,” Hardy said on being a leader to kickstart the BHS offense.

Hardy started the inning with another single and advanced to second on an error. Danny Pelphrey knocked him in for the lead and for the first of six runs in the inning.

Pelphrey, Grant Vomacka, Ross, Adrian Shor, and Ryler Schelle all drove in runs in the final frame to solidify the victory. Short closed the game for BHS and collected the final out with his first career strikeout.

That was not the last the Warriors would see of the sophomore in the series. Short got the nod on Saturday morning, his first start on the varsity field. Behind him the Spartans collected a 7-4 victory.

Berthoud’s offense was hot yet again in their first at bat. Hardy and Pelphrey delivered a strong one-two punch each grabbing a single. Ross drove them both in on a hard ground ball to left, lighting up the Spartans side of the scoreboard.

With the bases loaded, Oliver was hit by a pitch, allowing another run to cross the plate, giving them a 3-0 lead to finish the frame. A quick and quiet second inning followed. 

The game began to slip away from the Spartans early in the third. After back-to-back walks, Warrior runners sat on second and third with the leadoff hitter up to bat. A ball to center field plated one for Frederick and another to center scored two more, tying the game.

In the bottom of the third, a single from Ross directly followed by two quick outs put Berthoud in a tough spot. Senior Brayden Pickett kept the inning alive, however, reaching first on an overthrow and advancing Oliver, who reached on an error, to second. Jacob Lettieri, the senior DH, knocked Oliver in on a single. Hardy followed with his first of two RBIs on the day with yet another infield hit. This put Berthoud up 5-3.

Both the Spartans and the Warriors were shutout in the fourth. Frederick challenged the BHS lead with three singles in the following inning, but they were only able to score their fourth and final run of the game being stopped short by a strikeout and a routine groundball.

Berthoud answered back again with another rally in the fifth, starting with a single from Short. Oliver notched a single of his own, advancing courtesy runner Grant Novak to second. Tim Sontag laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners and finished the play standing on first base himself after a fielder’s choice.

Novak crossed the plate as Lettieri grounded into a double play. Oliver scored his second, team’s seventh and final, run of the night off of a fly-ball double by Hardy.

Short pitched his sixth and final inning, recording his sixth strikeout on the day. Sophomore Matt Jorissen finished the game with a swift seventh inning, sending the Spartans to shake hands with a three-run victory.

The Spartans, and Kouns, will continue their season on Friday night against the Thompson Valley Eagles.

“We have to continue to stay focused and grind. If these guys will stay focused and grind we will win some baseball games.”

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