Loss ends Berean Free Presbyterian Church softball team’s winning streak and sports season
BOSTON –– In an effort to clinch a spot in the second division in its first season, Berean Free Presbyterian Church took the field to begin its last game of the Southtown Church League’s softball season in the Boston church’s fourth and final meeting with Hamburg Assembly of God on Thursday, July 26.
Heading into the contest, BFPC held third place in division three and had a chance to move into second place with a win, coupled with a loss by Trinity Lutheran Church. That team was playing the same night against the No. 1 team, Orchard Park Community Church.
HAG held a 2 – 1 record over BFPC, heading into last week’s game, including a 22 – 9 win on opening night and a split of one-run games later on in the season.
HAG’s first four batters scored to take an early lead. BFPC got outs on each of the next three at-bats, but trailed 4 – 0 going into the bottom of the first.
Manager Drew Payne, Springville resident and the team’s shortstop, answered back in that inning, cranking in a three-run home run with two outs, to cut the deficit to one, but pitcher and University at Buffalo student Wesley Ellis was thrown out at first base, to end the inning.
BFPC’s fielding held the opposition to 1 run in the second and catcher Brett Moody led off the bottom of the inning with a base hit, followed by two stolen bases, to put him in scoring position.
East Concord resident and left fielder Jared Owen got a base hit that brought Moody home and Aaron Breindel, the center fielder from Springville, batted in Owen, who had stolen second base. By the time the inning was over, the score was knotted at five.
HAG scored 5 runs in that inning and BFPC’s offense could not counter, beginning with Scott Overhoff, a resident of Boston and the team’s first baseman, who bunted on the first at-bat. He was thrown out at first and Payne, who had gotten a base hit, was tagged for the second out while attempting to steal.
The Rev. Phil Owen’s hit was caught for the third out and all three batters for BFPC failed to obtain momentum on the Boston team’s side.
Three of four HAG batters were out in the fourth, but the same was true of BFPC’s batters, leaving the score at 10 – 5 heading into the fifth.
HAG’s Bryan Bauer hit an RBI double in that inning, to push the lead to 11 – 5 before BFPC got the final out. Breindel got the only base hit for BFPC in that inning and, at that point, 10 of the Boston church’s last 12 batters had gotten out.
In the sixth inning, HAG’s first two batters made it around the diamond before BFPC made three consecutive outs.
Going into the bottom of the inning with the score at 13 – 8, Overhoff said, “We haven’t had the inning we know we’re capable of. We know we can do this,” and BFPC came out swinging in the sixth.
Payne led off with a base hit and ended up on third after a couple of steals. Phil Owen, with his own base hit, brought Payne home, and Owen and Ellis scored after Moody’s double. The score was 13 – 8 with no outs.
From there, the inning took a turn against BFPC. A pop up by right fielder Will Duff led to the first out, while Moody could not tag up on third, resulting in the second out. BFPC was down by five with two outs on the board.
BFPC limited HAG to 1 run in the top of the seventh, but if the Boston team could not make 6 runs in the bottom of the inning, that would be the last inning of the season for both teams.
The first two batters were out, meaning BFPC would need to be perfect if it was going to pull off the upset. Overhoff came up and got a base hit and Payne brought Overhoff home, to get the first run of the inning. Owen also got on base, bringing home Payne and cutting HAG’s lead to 14 – 10. The season came to an end when Ellis’s hit to deep left field was caught, for the final out.
BFPC finished its first season 7 – 5, including a 1 – 3 record against HAG, which had an identical 7 – 5 record. The July 26 match gave the tie-breaker to HAG, pushing the Boston team to a fourth-place finish. Three of BFPC’s five losses were by 1 run.
The team ended the season with a plus-29 run differential, despite a 13-run loss to open the season.
That same night, TLC defeated OPC, to clinch first place, which would have eliminated BFPC from the second division regardless of the outcome of the HAG game.
As the top two teams in division three, TLC and OPC, both 9 – 3, will play in the league’s second division next year. BFPC was the only team to defeat TLC twice this season.
HAG took third place, while Nos. 5 and 6 were My Father’s House and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, respectively.