NOT ON MY WATCH — Team Manager Jared Owen looks for the ball, as a player from The Tabernacle, who was attempting to steal a base, dives back to first. Photos by Jessie Owen.
BOSTON — An 0 – 2 start hindered Berean Free Presbyterian Church’s aspirations, in its inaugural season last year, in which it finished 7 – 5.
During his first year as the team’s manager, Jared Owen of East Concord said that he stressed the need for a strong start and that a 14 – 5 blowout win, in game one, was not enough.
Designated the away team on May 16, against The Tabernacle, Berean batted first and stormed out to a 3 – 0 lead, thanks to runs from Steve Salisbury, Owen and Drew Payne, a Springville resident.
NO PAIN, NO GAIN — An injured Jared Owen, the team’s manager, steps up to bat.
Three 2-run home runs to right field put The Tabernacle up 6 – 3 after one inning. During that one inning, Berean surrendered more runs than the team had, during its entire first game.
During the second inning, by the time BFPC player Alan Ahr was counted for the third and final out, Berean had regained an 8 – 6 lead. The opposition countered with 3 runs of its own, to hold a 9 – 8 advantage, after two.
Berean found its second wind, in the third.
The entire lineup, except for Scott Overhoff of Boston and Craig Moody of Chaffee, came home, during the third inning, as Berean compiled 8 runs, for a 17 – 8 lead.
Increasing the headaches for The Tabernacle was the fact that the Orchard Park team went three up and three down, during that inning, to be outscored 8 – 0, despite leading, after each of the first two innings.
EAT MY DUST — Drew Payne of Springville rounds first base, en route to a left-handed home run.
From that point on, Berean never trailed and won the game 25 – 17.
Owen credited his team’s intensity, in the win, pointing out that 15 of his team’s 25 runs were scored, with two outs made.
Berean improved to 2 – 0, on the season.
Also helping the cause was the fact that Salisbury, with a game-high 6 runs, came home, each time he stepped up to bat. Payne was never called out, but was left stranded on second, after each of his last two hits.
The team was involved in another high-scoring affair on May 20, when it was named the home team, against St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
St. Paul’s scored 1 run, to start the game. After Salisbury was out, on the first at-bat for Berean, Owen smashed a home run, that tied the score at 1 – 1.
Coupled with an out on Eric Drake of West Valley, the inning came to an end, when the Rev. Philip Owen struck out, leaving Payne on second base.
Berean held the offense to no scoring, during the second, and took a 2 – 1 lead, after two.
The fielding unraveled in the third and Berean surrendered 4 runs, but the church made up for the deficit and then some, when Jared Owen failed to get on base and was one of two players to not make it home.
The damage against the opposition was 8 runs, good for a 10 – 5 Berean lead, after three.
The Boston team’s defense did not improve, in the next inning, and allowed 5 runs, to tie the game at 10-all.
During the bottom of the inning, Payne, a natural right-handed batter, decided to go lefty. He hit a home run that put his team in the lead 11 – 10.
After that run, Phil Owen, Moody and Will Duff accounted for three consecutive outs, to end the inning.
The rest of the game was back and forth, as both teams scored 2 runs, during each of the last three innings.
Heading into the bottom of the frames, St. Paul’s held leads of 12 – 11, 14 – 13 and 16 – 15, needing one defensive effort, in any one of those innings, to hand Berean its first loss of the season.
An RBI base hit by Salisbury tied the game and Jared Owen’s hit moved the runner into scoring position.
Drake stepped up, looking to end the game, and did so, with a base hit. As soon as Salisbury touched home plate, the game was over and Berean won, in a come-from-behind victory, to improve to 3 – 0 on the season.
The loss put St. Paul’s down to 0 – 3 and in last place in Division 3 of the Southtowns Softball League.
Only St. Paul’s and Big Tree Wesleyan have yet to win.
As the only team in its division that is still undefeated, Berean sits in first place, ahead of The Tabernacle, at 2 – 1. The Orchard Park team’s losses have come from BFPC and Hamburg Assembly of God, which is also at 2 – 1, on the season. First Baptist Church of Hamburg and Marilla First Baptist are both 1 – 1.
After playing three games in one week, the Boston team gets a couple of weeks off, before playing First Baptist of Hamburg on Thursday, June 6. That game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. All games are played at Hamburg Recreation Park in Hamburg.