AND YOU’RE OUT — The Rev. Phil Owen of East Concord (right) snags the game winner, while his teammates cheer him on. Photos by Jessie Owen.
BOSTON — A holiday break and inclement weather had kept the Berean Free Presbyterian Church softball team off the field, for more than four weeks.
Berean took on winless Big Tree Wesleyan on June 20, exactly one month after BFPC’s last game, a 17 – 16 win against St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
There would be a Cinderella upset in the matchup between Division III’s first and last place teams. This game turned out to be the Boston church’s largest margin of victory to date, as a 14 – 2 clobbering improved the team’s record to 4 – 0.
Designated the home team, Berean was in the field first and put away all three batters for Big Tree. Aaron Breindel of Springville was caught out, in the bottom of the first, but the next four batters made it home, to build a 4 – 0 lead, after one.
After no scoring for either team, during the second inning, Big Tree got on the board in the third, to cut the Boston team’s lead to 3. Berean’s bats got going again and both Drew Payne of Springville and the Rev. Phil Owen of East Concord rounded for home, to increase the advantage to 6 – 1, after three innings.
Over the course of the next two innings, Big Tree earned one hit, thanks, in part, to the pitching of Berean’s Eric Drake of West Valley.
In the meantime, Breindel, Manager Jared Owen of East Concord and Payne all came home, to pad the lead to 8 runs, heading into the sixth inning. Big Tree finally snapped its drought and scored on a solo home run. The Blasdell team followed that score up, by getting runners on first and third.
Those runners remained stranded, when Berean got the third and final out of the inning.
TWO ON BASE — Eric Drake of West Valley (left) gets on first, with encouragement from base coach Scott Overhoff of Colden, while the Rev. Phil Owen (right) heads to third, despite a futile attempt by a Tabernacle player to grab the ball in time.
The home team pulled away, during the sixth inning, as five of six hitters ended up scoring. Colden’s Scott Overhoff, Payne, Steve Salisbury, Phil Owen and Drake all ran the bases, to make the score 14 – 2. The 12-run lead initiated the mercy rule and allowed both teams to head out early.
On June 24, Berean set out against The Tabernacle of Orchard Park. No other team had fewer than two losses, heading into that night for the Southtowns Church League, so even a loss would have left the Boston team in first place.
Early indications were that Berean would need to settle for that fate, as fast pitching and hard hitting had The Tabernacle up 4 – 1, heading into the bottom of the third.
Jared Owen got the bats going for Berean, and Overhoff brought in a run, to cut the deficit to 2. Later in the inning, Overhoff scored off a hit by Salisbury, to make the score 4 – 3, but an out to Phil Owen cut the rally short. The Tabernacle responded, with 1 more run in the top of the fourth, to double its lead at 5 – 3.
The home team’s offense came to life, during the fourth, as five of six batters, including the first three of the inning, scored, to put the Boston team in the driver’s seat, for the first time in the game.
After the dust settled, Berean led 8 – 5, causing the opposing pitcher to throw his glove in frustration.
Once trailing by 3, Berean held a 3-run lead, going into the fifth inning.
EAT MY DUST — Drew Payne of Springville attempts to tag The Tabernacle’s Andre DeJesus at second base, but DeJesus later ran around, to home.
Neither team scored, during the fifth inning, and Berean shut down its opponents again, in the sixth. The Tabernacle had scored at least 1 run, during each of the first four innings, but failed to register any offense at all in the next two, as Drake held the batters at bay.
In the bottom of the sixth, the first four batters scored for Berean, to bolster the Boston team’s lead to 12 – 5, putting the threat of defeat in the past.
The influx of scoring ended with three straight outs, but the Boston team was in a winning position, heading into the final frame.
Although the Tabernacle managed 2 runs in the seventh, Berean improved to 5 – 0 on the season, with a 12 – 7 come-from-behind victory.
The Boston team left the field as the only undefeated team in its division.
Berean looked to defend its undefeated season, when it battled Hamburg First Baptist in a makeup game on June 27.
The Boston church’s next game is scheduled for Monday, July 1 at 6:30 p.m. against Marilla First Baptist, whom Berean defeated on opening night 14 – 5.
All games are played at the Hamburg Recreation Department, located at 2982 Lakeview Road in Hamburg.