The Briarwood Academy junior varsity Diamond Buccaneers ended a short season on a positive note when they scored a 7-3 win over Nathanael Greene Academy of Siloam last Wednesday, March 30, at Briarwood.
"Inconsistency is the word that best describes the season," Coach Robert Waller said of the team's 3-4 year with four games cancelled because of wet weather. "The season was up and down. Sometimes we played really great, and sometimes we played like the 'Bad News Bucs.'
Briarwood's Cody Ewest slides in safely.
"Sometimes we'd lose focus and not make the play. In baseball, you can only give up three outs, and we'd give up four or five or six. You can't do that. There were times when everybody got a hit, and then there were times when nobody got a hit."
However, the Bucs do have a different philosophy from most of the other schools.
"Overall, I feel like we had a pretty good season," Coach Waller said. "Our focus is a little bit different here. We let every kid play in every ball game. Every kid gets playing time."
Coach Waller was pleased with the team's win over Nat Greene.
"We played good baseball," he aid. "We had good pitching and good catching. The defense was solid. A combination of good pitching and strong defense allowed us to take the win."
The score was tied at 3-3 until the bottom of the sixth with Matthew McElveen at third and Jackson Lyons at second. Ryan Gerlach laid down a suicide squeeze bunt to score McElveen from third and put the Bucs up one on the scoreboard.
Adam Hardy stepped up to bat and sacrificed on a ground ball to right field to score Lyons and add a second run to the Bucs' lead. With two outs, Price Chalker walked to first, and then Cane Gilmer stepped up to the plate and homered on a line drive to the hole in right centerfield for two more runs and a 7-3 lead for the JV Bucs.
The Bucs shut Nat Greene down in the seventh inning for the win. Gilmer went all seven innings for the Bucs on the mound.
"His fast ball was working early, and he went to off-speed pitches later and completely shut them down," Coach Waller said.
Six eighth graders -- Reed Wheeler, Jonathan Gay, Cane Gilmer, Price Chalker, Nick Dawson, Ryan Gerlach -- will move up and be able to contribute to the varsity next season, according to Coach Waller.
The JV Bucs had eight seventh graders -- Cody Ewest, Adam Hardy, Eric Johnson, Hunter Gray, Jackson Lyons, Matthew McElveen, Trey Corbitt, Carson Wiley -- and only one sixth grader -- Walker Hargrove -- on this year's team.