By Andres Reyes
On a cloudy afternoon at Eastfield College, the Brookhaven College Bears were handed their 11th loss of the season April 17 at the hands of their rival, the Eastfield Harvesters, with a score of 9-2. The Harvesters scored most of their runs in the fourth and sixth innings as the Bears were not able to climb back from the deficit.
The damage was done in the fourth inning, as Eastfield’s offense was given a break by two costly errors from the Bears. The Harvesters pounced on the opportunity by running for extra bases. The next batter up for the Harvesters was hit by the pitch and given a walk. The bases were loaded as the next hit by the Harvester’s batter was a double out to the middle of the field. Two runners scored for Eastfield, and two others were left on base.
Eastfield led 4-0 at that point, and the next batter up hit an RBI out to right field as Eastfield’s runner on second sprinted toward home plate. The Harvester’s next at bat repeated the result, giving Eastfield a commanding 5-0 lead.
“They had a big fourth inning,” Brookhaven Bears head baseball coach Brandon Rains said. “We had two outs and then had a couple of errors. They scored four runs after that. Their pitcher was throwing really well the whole game. He changed speeds, he moved it up and down – we had a tough time hitting him.”
Bears’ catcher Cord Perea was up to bat next to start the fifth inning. He hit a popping ball out to center field with the potential to be a home run on bases ran, but the center fielder for the Harvesters had his eye on the ball and made a huge diving catch to rule Perea out.
It was that kind of day for the Bears.
Eastfield sent out Tanner Dickerson who, in the sixth inning, hit a powerful home run. Dickerson jogged around the bases, giving the Harvesters a 6-0 lead on the Bears. Later in the sixth, the Harvesters had two runners on base, and their next batter was up.
As the pitch was thrown, the Harvester swung and the ball took a crazy spin out to right field. It looked like it was going to be a foul ball. The ball came back inside and just barely missed touching the line when it hit the ground. It was a fair ball, and Eastfield had another three runs on the board. The Harvesters led 9-0.
Bears pitcher Tyler Keegan stopped the bleeding with a strikeout. First basemen Kaleb Warden and Trevor Ahin both got on base from walks. The Harvesters couldn’t quite handle pitches and bobbled the ball many times throughout the game, leading both Warden and Ahin to take a base off the mistake.
Next up to bat was catcher Jason Nicholson. With hope of a miraculous comeback, he hit a single out to help Ahin and Warden score runs for the Bears, leaving Nicholson with 2 RBI.
The Bears got on base again, but the next bat was a grounder that led to a double play, killing the momentum for the Bears. The Harvesters ended up holding the lead and winning the game 9-2.
Rains said: “They’re one of the best teams in the nation, there is no doubt. Every year, it’s us and them in every offensive and defensive category … We just have to do a better job of taking care of the baseball a little bit more, and hopefully we won’t have that big inning that bit us today.”
The Bears played the Harvesters twice the next day on April 18 in seven-inning matches. The Bears won the first match 7-5 and lost the second 4-3, leaving the team with a 24-12 record in overall play and 16-7 record in conference play.