Brian Brent recorded three hits and Evan McDermott knocked in five runs as Berkshire opened the season with a 14-7 win at Edgewood on Monday.
The win was the first for head coach Nick Burzanko.
“It was very nice to go out and get the first one of my career and first win of the year,” Burzanko said. “It was a very emotional day for me wishing my dad was here to be a part of it, but I’m very happy with how our guys played and went out to get their first one.”
Berkshire scored two runs in the top of the first.
Jack Jacobs reached on an error and Jacob Brown was hit by a pitch to set the table for Brent, who doubled to give the Badgers an early 2-0 lead.
“It was very key to get out to an early lead,” Burzanko said. “We got two guys on and Brian Brent put a good swing on the ball. Getting ahead like that helps guys kind of settle in and take that initial deep breath and play a little bit freer.”
J.T. Bergmeier singled and scored on Garrett Bosse’s groundout in the top of the third to push Berkshire’s lead to 3-0.
The Warriors scratched a run across in the bottom half of the inning but the Badgers responded with seven in the top of the fifth.
Brent, who finished the day 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two runs batted in, singled to start the rally.
McDermott then doubled to score Brent and Bosse singled. McDermott would later score on a wild pitch. Seth Jokinen singled and moved to second on Max Jansen’s single. Blake Jenkins then doubled home Jokinen and Jacobs hit a sacrifice fly to make it 8-1. Brown singled home Jenkins and then scored on a wild pitch.
Edgewood scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth and three more in the sixth to pull to within 10-7, but McDermott’s seventh-inning grand slam sealed the deal.
McDermott ended the game 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and he knocked in five.
“McDermott had a great day,” Burzanko said. “He was just being aggressive in the box and going after a good pitch he liked. We preach being aggressive early in the count and he definitely was one to do that a lot. His grand slam was big after Edgewood crossed a few guys to close in on our lead and that swing was kind of a back-breaker tonight.”
The Badgers, who host Edgewood on Tuesday, pounded out 12 hits in the game. Four of those hits went for extra bases.
“Everyone contributed today whether it was a situational offensive play or a great defensive play,” Burzanko said. “Brian Brent had a great day in the box as well with three hits and finished the game on the mound. Jake Brown came up with great defensive plays at shortstop with one play in my eyes that was a SportsCenter Top 10 play in a big inning.”
Bergmeier started the game on the mound for the Badgers and picked up the win after allowing just one run on two hits and fanning nine.
Brent allowed six runs in three innings of work although only two of those Edgewood runs were earned. Brent allowed five hits and struck out five.
“Our guys pitched ahead of hitters,” Burzanko said. “They got ahead early in the counts and that allowed our guys to throw pitches they like. They were hitting spots and keeping guys off-balance in the box, and that’s a recipe for success when you do that.”