Baseball - Boys Junior Varsity
2015 SEASON RECAP
Rolling into another spring, Coach Kohlhepp, that wily campaigner, was uncertain about the hand he had been dealt. He knew he held three Jacks, but would his Bears prove themselves royal in relation to their New England foes? Had Coach Gappa’s pillaging and pilfering left enough in the cupboards, or would the Saints and Beavers and Tigers and Falcons feast on these green Bears? Would Coach K’s new lieutenant, one of the oldest rookies in baseball, be able to parlay his upstate outfield technique and college-placement wizardry into a strong showing in the first base box? Would any field ever be playable in April, and would the baby Bears have to rumble their bigger brethren for time on the diamond? And who the heck would pitch?
The last question proved easiest to answer, as the j.v. club benefitted from a lend-lease program with the varsity bullpen, which sent down a starter on most game days. Once the Gaynor Nation and Wilson Wave were used up, a corps of j.v. hurlers hit the hill, including newcomers Jack “Of All Trades” Martin & Luke “Seldom Silent” Scarafoni & Manny “Being Manny” Familia. Cody “Big Lead” Lucey found a new role as middle reliever, and Duncan “Do It All” Anderson dazzled in a closing capacity late in the season.
With so many arms firing so many pitches, the Bears needed worthy receivers. Who would don the “tools of ignorance” on those sweltering (and not-so-) spring days? A pair of Jacks stepped ably into this role, with brothers Martin & Siff “-ing Out a Victory” strapping on the gear.
Siff and Martin also logged multiple innings in the infield, where they were joined by Alex “My Way” Meehan manning the hot corner and Reid “Rocket Launcher” Lemker picking it across the diamond with a borrowed glove. Up the middle, Scarafoni and Jack “Largely Laconic” Lloyd anchored the defense.
The outfield proved to be an expansive arena for adventure and advancement. Manny “Being Manny” Familia, in self-imposed exile from the infield, found a comfortable spot among the likes of Pedro “Squeeze It” Alvarenga, who dazzled with his brand of Brazilian ball; Willie “Speed Merchant” Perekslis, who crushed it at the plate, gloved it in the field and churned it around the basepaths; Lucey, whose baserunning struck fear into the league’s pitchers and, on occasion, family members in attendance; and Anderson, patrolling in center, waiting to annihilate baserunners with his laser-like throws.
Once the lineup was lined up, a question remained. Could these Bears hit, in the woods or anywhere else for that matter? And the answer, once the boys’ bats thawed out after a long winter hibernation, was hell, yes. The Green warriors destroyed numerous starting rotations and earned run averages, not to mention the aspirations of several NEPSAC j.v. pitching coaches. The Bears broke into double digits in half of their games and, unsurprisingly, won all five of those tilts.
But these victories weren’t all blowouts, to be sure. Among adversaries, Avon proved especially worthy, as Berkshire needed 16 runs over 9 innings to even up the series and 15 over 8 to break the tie. These epic victories helped to take the sting out of a couple of heartbreaking defeats, as we fell to Suffield 4-3 and Canterbury 6-5.
The coaches enjoyed the camaraderie; the parents remarked upon the improvement; the #1 fan and unofficial nephew Sean McCauley was thrilled to gain so many uncles; and the opponents walked away knowing they had been in a battle as Berkshire went “all in” when the chips were on the table. These battling Bears didn’t win ‘em all, but with a 5-5 overall record and a ton of great moments, these thirsty ballers sipped all season long from a glass half full. I’d call that a full house worth of memories.