BEREA — Berea coach Daniel Wilkerson delivered a prophetic message to his team prior to Tuesday's match-up at home with 44th District rival Model Laboratory.
"Every single game with them is insane," Wilkerson said playing the Patriots. "I told the boys before the game that I've never seen a Berea-Model game end normally."
This one didn't either.
The Pirates (1-8) pushed across the only run in the game in the bottom of the eight inning on a balk. The 1-0 victory gave Berea its first win of the season and kept Model (0-9) winless.
The teams combined for just seven hits, but had six total errors.
"We will take it and we hope it will help to build some momentum," Wilkerson said.
Cameron Thompson reached with one out in the eight on an error. Koty Roberts followed with a single to right, moving Thompson to third.
With Ty Thompson at the plate, Roberts took off for the second base and intentionally stopped halfway there, causing Model pitcher Joey Reisig to react, which resulted in a balk that pushed across the winning run.
"It was risky, but that move will work on a lot of guys," Wilkerson said of the decision to send Roberts to second. "So, we went with it."
The Patriots had a great chance to take the lead in the top of the eight inning.
Connor Sayre reached on an error and Jackson Brown was hit by a pitch. Gavin Lamb, however, got a pair of groundouts ended the threat.
Ty Thompson started for Berea and went 7 innings. He allowed five hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. The junior threw 96 pitches.
"I didn't want to hurt his arm," Wilkerson said of Ty Thompson. "Then Gavin came in and did great."
Berea had only four hits — one each from Cameron Thompson, Roberts, Tommy Banderman and Rey Alejandro.
Reisiq (2-for-3) was the only player with more than one hit in the game.
Kayden Wade, Sayre and Grayson Eaves had the other hits for Model.
Brown started for the Patriots and went seven innings, allowing two hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.
Berea's last win came on May 16, 2019 — almost two years ago.
The victory, especially against a district opponent, was very special for the Pirates.
"We are so young and we have had to build up from a million different spots," Wilkerson said. "We've got some so many kids who had never even started before this seasoon. But, we knew we should have already had our first win, but we knew this was going to be our first win if we did the right things."
Berea is set to return to action Thursday at Burgin.
Model is set to return to action Thursday at home against Nichols County.