On a hot and dusty afternoon at Bruce Park, tucked tidily behind the Suffield town offices, a sluggish bunch of Bears faced a crew of hungry Tigers. Despite a good showing of Berkshire fans -- Chris Cooke's and Cody Lucey's families and Bryan Bohaty's mother, who provided cookies and Gatorade for the lads -- the road weary Berkshire nine were unable to overcome another slow start and saw their last-inning rally come up short.
Unable to get anything going in their first licks, the Bears took to the field and immediately relinquished five runs. Berkshire starter Mo Amin, dismayed to watch the ground balls creep under his teammates' gloves and the pop flies drop just beyond their grasp, kept firing strikes in hopes that his squad would tighten up their defensive performance. The Bears struck back for four in the top of the second, then relinquished another three to the Tigers. At this point, it looked as if the offensive deluge would never end.
Over the course of the next four frames, a quicker pace ensued as Henry Thomas took over on the hill. Berkshire managed just one run, while Suffield added three to build an 11-5 lead. The visitors, fresh off their gamechanging seventh inning at Avon, headed to the play with hope still alive for their last at bats. Three runs scored and another couple of runners on base was as close as they would get.
"We just weren't sharp today," noted Coach Kohlhepp. "The whole team was half asleep for the first couple of innings, and we put ourselves in too deep a hole to climb out this time." Specific shortcomings included errors (5 committed on the day), strikeouts (5 on the day) and enough missed signs and baserunning errors to yield only 8 runs out of 10 hits and 7 BBs. Some bad luck also contributed to Berkshire's downfall as some softly hit ball fell in for Suffield while some rockets off of the Bears' bats were snagged by the alert Tigers. On the positive side of the ledger, Jack Gustavson, Cooke, Nick Greco and Corey Wieczorek managed two hits apiece and Mo Amin drove in a pair of runs.