Berthoud baseball sweeps Frederick, extends win streak to 3

By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor

While the wet spring weather has wreaked havoc on the high school sports schedule over the last couple weeks, the Berthoud High School baseball team has not been adversely affected on the field. The weather cost the Spartans a home game against Frederick, originally scheduled for March 31, as the teams elected to play a double-header in Frederick on Saturday, April 2. Both games were won by the Spartans.

Berthoud bested Frederick by a 2-0 final in game one and then 3-2 in the second affair. The pair of victories pushed Berthoud’s record into positive territory at 4-3 overall and at an even .500 (3-3) in Tri-Valley Conference (TVC) play. The Spartans currently sit in fourth place in the eight-team conference with series against Erie, Mead, Roosevelt and Skyline remaining on the schedule.

In getting his first win of the season, Berthoud superstar Issac Bracken threw a complete-game shutout, allowing only one hit and one free pass while striking out 11. Thanks to Bracken’s masterful work on the mound and a solid defense that committed just a single fielding error, Berthoud did not need – nor did they get – much offensively.

Sophomore Hunter Pearce notched two of the Spartans four hits on the afternoon and drove in Berthoud’s second run of the game on an RBI double in the top of the seventh inning. Bracken and sophomore first baseman Connor Balliet, who contributed an RBI single in the fourth, also recorded hits for the Spartans.

In game two, Berthoud’s bats were even quieter – the Spartans notched only three hits in the game – but ace Josh Archer did not allow an earned run in six innings on the hill as Berthoud completed the sweep of Frederick.

The Warriors scattered seven hits against Archer and two more in the seventh off of Chris DeSousa, but Archer allowed only one free pass and struck out eight. Pearce reached base twice for Berthoud, once on a hit and another time by working a walk, and scored his sixth run of the season. Balliet gave Berthoud an early 2-0 lead by driving in a pair of runs in the top of the first. Senior catcher Patrick Barron also tallied a hit for Berthoud and contributed a sacrifice bunt.

The sweep of the double-header pushed Berthoud’s winning streak to three games, giving the team some positive momentum as the season nears the midway point. Pearce and Bracken are each batting a team-best .391. Pearce also leads among every-day players with a .481 on-base percentage while Bracken tops the team with a .608 slugging average and Balliet leads the team with six RBI. Archer has tallied 29 strikeouts in 20 and one-third innings of work on the mound.

Berthoud (4-3, 3-3 conf.) will continue in the Arvada Tourney on April 8 and 9 before returning home for a non-league game with Green Mountain on April 12. The Spartans will return to TVC play with a two-game series with Erie on April 14 and 16.