GAME-CHANGER — Left Fielder Steve Salisbury throws the ball into the infield, to make an out. Photos by Jessie Owen.
SPRINGVILLE — Players from the Berean Free Presbyterian Church softball team can recall the team’s inaugural game on May 10, 2012 against Hamburg Assembly of God, a contest that ended in a lopsided 22 – 9 loss for the Boston church. That game still marks the BFPC team’s largest margin of defeat.
As the season progressed, Berean mustered a single win against HAG, within four tries. The Hamburg crew ultimately cost Berean a shot at advancing from Division III in the Southtowns Church League.
On July 8, coming off its first loss of the season, the Boston squad took on HAG for the first time, this season, not only seeking to avoid its first losing streak of the year, but also looking to prove it could compete with the team that dominated it, last year.
With one of its most consistent efforts from both the batters and the fielders, Berean handled the opponent and improved to 6 – 1 on the year, with a 16 – 7 win against HAG.
ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER — Aaron Breindel of Springville gets around to third base.
With this loss, the Hamburg team dropped to 3 – 4 on the season.
Springville resident Drew Payne led the way, scoring 5 times on five at-bats. The offense produced 13 runs in a four-inning span.
Jared Owen of East Concord and Aaron Breindel of Springville got the first inning scoring started, with an RBI each. Payne scored, after getting on base without touching the ball. The ball hit him, giving Payne the automatic walk.
HAG looked to counter after its first three batters hit base hits, but those three hits were followed by three outs, including two runners stranded on base, at the close of the inning, thanks to a catch by Left Fielder Steve Salisbury.
Berean led 2 – 0 after one inning.
The Boston team failed to pad its lead in the second inning, after both the Rev. Philip Owen of East Concord and Brett Moody of Chaffee were responsible for two outs, because of failed attempts to steal bases. That goose egg allowed HAG to cut the lead in half before the teams headed to the third, in which the clubs exchanged 3 runs.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME — Catcher Mike Sargeant of Hamburg keeps a close eye on the ball.
Payne, Scott Overhoff of Boston and Jared Owen all scored, Owen on a 2-run home run that brought in Overhoff. The inning would be cut short, after Salisbury’s fly ball was turned into a double play. The other out was another failed stealing play, this time on account of Breindel.
The Boston team began to pull away, during the fourth inning, racking up 5 runs.
During the fourth, Catcher Mike Sargeant of Hamburg got on base off a bunt, for the second time that evening. Both tries resulted in no outs.
The defense held up, in the bottom of the same inning, allowing no runs on four batters, although HAG came close to scoring a run before the runner was tagged out, at home plate.
Berean led 10 – 4 at that point in the game.
A few more runners came home for Berean, during the fifth, after six batters.
Breindel brought his base-running to the table, during that inning. He got on base with a single, before stealing two bases on one play.
Owen brought Breindel home and Pitcher Eric Drake of West Valley rounded home, as well, bringing the score to 12 – 2.
HAG’s first three batters in the bottom of the frame scored, but Berean held the rest of the opponent’s offense at bay for the rest of the game, keeping the home team at 7 runs.
Salisbury, Payne and Overhoff scored, during the sixth, to up the team’s lead to 15 – 7.
Overhoff’s hit was an RBI triple. Payne’s solo home run in the sixth closed out the scoring, for the 16 – 7 win.
Owen’s stop and immediate throw to Overhoff on first base gave Berean the third out of the inning and its sixth victory of the season.
This game also marked the return of Craig Moody and his son Brett Moody, Chaffee residents who both appeared on the field for Berean, last year.
Craig Moody scored one run, while Brett Moody nearly scored, during the fourth, before he was thrown out at home.
Three of the team’s 5 runs were scored immediately after that play, which was the second out of the inning.
Salisbury, Overhoff, Owen and Drake all had 2 runs each. Breindel, Craig Moody and Sargeant all added a single run, in addition to Payne’s 5.
Not only did the church avoid back-to-back losses this season, but it held onto its first place standing. At six wins, Berean is one win away from matching its franchise-high win total for a single season, with five games’ remaining.
The Boston team’s next game will be held on Monday, July 15 against Hamburg First Baptist, weather permitting. The Boston church will look to avenge its only loss.
That game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. All games are played at the Hamburg Recreation Department, which is located at 2982 Lakeview Road in Hamburg.