By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Berea Community Pirates (15-7) picked up their third consecutive shutout Saturday, downing Williamsburg 10-0 in six innings.
The Pirates banged out 15 hits off Yellowjackets pitching while Berea ace Gabe Long threw a three-hit complete game, striking out seven while walking five.
The win avenged a loss to the Yellowjackets last week in Williamsburg in which the Pirates committed several errors and blew a six-run lead late in the game.
Berea Coach Sean Linville said his team has played some of it’s best baseball the last three games as the district tournament draws near.
“The boys showed a little spunk and a little fire after a couple of losses we’ve had the last couple of weeks. They really wanted this one,” Linville said. “That’s two straight games we’ve had really solid performances in the field and it is coming at a good time. In the district you’ve got to make those tough plays that we’ve been making. This time of year, we’ll take them.”
The Pirates got one run in the first, then scored three more in the second on consecutive singles by Devin Strong, Daniel Wilkerson, Hunter Wilson and Gabe Long to go up 4-0.
Berea added a run in the fourth to take a 5-0 with Wilkerson, Wilson and Gabe Long once again doing the damage.
The Pirates finished off the scoring with five runs in the sixth, the last three coming on consecutive bases-loaded walks to Trevor Woods, Gabe Long and Jon Smith.
The top of the Pirates batting order did most of the damage on the day.
Strong went 4-for-5 with a double, three singles and an RBI, Wilkerson was 3-for-4 with three singles and three RBI, while Wilson was 4-for-4 with four singles before leaving the game with a sprained ankle, and Gabe Long was 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBI.
Bradley Adkins and Neil Claytor added one single each, while Woods and Smith had one RBI each.
One night after winning a 1-0 game in which McCreary Central stranded 13 runners, Saturday it was the Pirates who left men on base in several innings.
But unlike the Raiders, the Pirates got enough big hits to get the job done with Long pitching six strong innings.
“When you’ve got your best on the mound, if you can just get a couple of gappers and a couple of balls through you can still win and that’s what we did,” Linville said. “Gabe did a great job today. Some of his walks were unintentionally intentional ones because of what they had going on behind that batter. But when he needed a big strikeout he climbed the ladder with his fastball a couple of times and got them to stop their rallies. That’s the type of pitcher he is, when he needs to he can make the big plays.”
Berea will be back in action Monday when they travel to Whitley County to take on the Colonels at 5:30 p.m.