PHILIPPI, W.Va. — Berkeley Springs was fortunate to get past Grafton in walk-off fashion Monday to start Class AA Region I, Section 1 play.
It may have been just the break the Indians needed.
One day after a 2-1 victory over the Bearcats, No. 3 seed Berkeley Springs made the three-hour trip to Philip Barbour and claimed a 5-3 victory over the second-seeded Colts.
“They got us early in the season, but we committed six or seven errors,” Indians’ coach Gary “Spook” Spielman said. “We knew we could play with them and thought we were just as good. We came out with a little chip on our shoulder to prove that.”
Berkeley Springs (15-10) went on top for good with a four-run fourth inning, which was enough offense to back the strong pitching of Cole Morris.
Trailing 2-1 after three innings, the Indians took control of the contest after connecting for five straight hits in the fourth.
With runners at the corners and one out, Morris accounted for the second of those five hits — a double past the third base bag that allowed Sam Amrbose to score the tying run.
Luke Spielman followed with a double to centerfield that plated E.J. Barkley and Morris, while Colby Farris’ single brought home Spielman for the fourth and final run of the frame, giving the Tribe a 5-2 lead.
“Our philosophy coming into today was to work on the things that we’ve been preaching all year long — sitting on your pitch, good directional hits and do the things you know how to do,” coach Spielman said.
The Colts (16-9) had a chance to immediately answer after Will Knight was hit by a pitch and Gage Bibey singled to start the home half of the fourth.
But after Chase Collier’s successful sacrifice bunt, Morris struck out Alex Wilson, before inducing a bases loaded fly out from Austyn Fletcher to end the inning.
Knight allowed a leadoff triple to Larry Miller in the fifth, but Berkeley Springs was unable to capitalize and took its three-run lead into the bottom of the inning.
The Colts connected for three singles in the fifth, including one from Gage Bibey that scored Nick Hamrick to cut the deficit to two.
But that was the final baserunner Philip Barbour would muster as Morris retired the final seven batters to go the distance.
Morris struck out eight, walked just one and scattered six hits.
“Cole’s been good for us all year. He keeps the ball down and works his off-speed stuff well,” coach Spielman said. “I think as the game went on, he kept them more off-balance than what they were used to and we played good defense behind him.”
Knight took the loss after allowing 12 hits over seven innings. He struck out seven and walked a pair.
“Other than the one inning, I thought Will was pretty dominant,” PB coach Jonathon Carpenter said. “But he got a couple things up and baseball is a funny game because it’ll humble you quick.”
The Indians’ first four hitters were responsible for nine of the team’s 12 hits, with Spielman going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and three RBIs.
Morris, Farris and Carson Orndorff added two hits apiece, as did No. 6 hitter Larry Miller.
Knight and Bibey had two hits each, but the rest of the Colts managed only two.
Berkeley Springs will play again Thursday against the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between No. 5 Petersburg/No. 1 Frankfort. The Colts welcome No. 4 Keyser on Wednesday for an elimination game.
“It comes down to the leadership of the team and we’ll see if they’re able to get everybody to focus tomorrow,” Carpenter said. “Hopefully we can get off to a good start and go from there.”