By Malen Blackmon
The Brookhaven College Bears baseball team floundered Feb. 7, suffering a five-inning loss against the Johnson County Community College Cavaliers in the second game of a double header. Playing in 38 degree weather, the Bears accumulated 10 errors in the 14-1 loss.
Cavaliers sophomore A.J. Shaw said he thinks the weather played a factor, especially for the pitchers on the mound.
Brookhaven sophomore Sam Campos started on the mound for the Bears. He went two and a third innings amassing 11 runs with only one earned. In the top of the first, the Bears got into a two-out jam with Johnson County runners on first and third, but got out of the inning after a pop-up to left field.
In the top of the second, the game spiraled out of control for the Bears. An immediate error put a Cavalier on base. Later in the inning, Johnson County scored their first run on a fielder’s choice by the Bears.
The Cavaliers scored again after a bad throw to first base, moving the runner to third. Brandon Rains, Brookhaven head baseball coach, took a long walk to the mound for a short exchange with Campos. When the game resumed, Campos hit a Cavalier with a curveball.
With runners on first and third, Cavaliers sophomore Anthony Amicangelo smacked a laser shot down the right center gap scoring both runs on a triple. On the next at bat, Cavaliers sophomore Malik Williams hit one over the right fielder’s head that walked in the runner on third base. Campos stopped the bleeding with a strike out.
“When you get good pitching and you get solid defense, you got a chance to win some games,” Kent Shelley, Johnson County head coach, said.
The Cavaliers continued applying pressure after a lead off single by sophomore Evan Bergman. Next, Campos hit his second batter of the afternoon. Johnson County then played small ball by hitting a bunt single that loaded the bases.
The next batter hit a dribbler back to Campos and he was able to make the out at home. On the next at bat, Campos hit his third batter of the game which gave Johnson County another run.
After the walk-in run, a Cavalier hit a pop-up into right field. The fly ball led to another error for the Bears and two more runs scored. Bears freshman center fielder Jake Ryan made an error of his own, which scored another two runs for the Cavaliers.
Shortly after, Rains swapped Campos for freshman Trent Clark. With one out, the next batter struck out looking. On the following at bat with Clark down in the count 2-0, he threw a wild pitch that scored another run for Johnson County.
In the top of the fifth inning, an error from left fielder, sophomore Chase Cos, put a runner on first and second. Clark walked the next batter which loaded the bases, and Rains made another mound visit as the wind speed picked up. On the next at bat, a Cavalier hit a blooper to center field, scoring another run.
Eventually, the Bears were able to get out of the inning, but could not overcome the deficit when it was their time to bat. The mercy rule was enforced, and the umpire stopped the game.
Johnson County is sixteenth in the Division I NJCAA rankings and the Bears are sixth in the Division III rankings.
The Bears will look to turn their season around as league play creeps closer. They are in pursuit of their third consecutive conference title.
“Our goal since day one as a team [has been] to go to the World Series and compete for a national title,” Bears sophomore Sergio Esqueda said. “We have a great team and I have faith in my teammates and coaches to achieve that goal.”
The Bears will face Southwest Collegiate Prep in a doubleheader at 12 p.m. Feb. 18 at home.