The William Chrisman baseball team hasn’t had too many opportunities to celebrate a win this season.
The Bears did so in a unique way following a 13-0 mercy-rule win over crosstown rival Van Horn Thursday at Roper Stadium, ending a seven-game losing streak.
During a postgame interview, head coach Miles Shelton was surrounded by his players, listening intently to the interview. The soft-spoken Shelton seemed to be caught off guard as he chuckled while answering a question. Afterward, the players swarmed Shelton and started playfully shoving him around.
“Coach (Jake) Kates just said to go celebrate with him,” senior Dawson Herl said. “We like messing with him.”
It was a much-needed confidence booster for the Bears, who put in some extra work in practice on Wednesday, trying out new hitting drills. It seemed to pay off as Chrisman notched 10 hits and put up all 13 runs in the first three innings.
Herl, who is playing baseball for the first time since his freshman year, seemed to benefit from getting extra swings in on Wednesday. He went 2-for-3 with a triple, three RBIs and three runs scored.
“We did a lot more drills, some that we haven’t done before,” Herl said. “I feel like they really helped our bats today.”
Herl’s RBI triple highlighted a three-run first inning for Chrisman (5-12), which was jump started by a an infield error. The Bears blew it open in a second inning in which they sent 13 batters to the plate. That was aided by Van Horn committing three errors in the frame. First baseman Jordan Mabie and Herl each had RBI singles and shortstop Fausto Montero added a two-run single to help make it 11-0.
Chrisman added two more runs in the third to extend the lead to 13-0. Van Horn nearly ended the shutout in the bottom half of the frame. It loaded the bases with no outs before three force outs ended the threat.
The Bears got a 3-2 force out, then Van Horn center fielder Connor Hiciano dumped a hit in front of Herl in center field. Cooper Sumpter hesitated at third base and broke late for home plate. Herl’s throw went up the third baseline, but Chrisman catcher Billy Ross made the tag for the out. Nate Campos hit into a force out at third base, ending the inning. From there, the Bears cruised to the five-inning victory.
Chrisman starter Frankie Gervy tossed two scoreless innings and allowed two hits and struck out one. Jonathan Dotson also pitched two scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. Nathan Potts pitched a scoreless fifth inning to close it out.
“It felt great. We have been struggling a lot the past few games, and we were making errors all over the place,” Shelton said. “Today we made a couple of errors, but our pitchers picked up and threw strikes and got hitters out.”
Joey Johnson picked up the loss as his Falcons fell to 2-12 on the season.
“We had five errors and walked five guys,” Van Horn coach Jay Kolster said. “When you give 10 extra base runners and don’t record five outs, you give a team 26 outs … you don’t deserve to win.
“It was just bad baseball honestly. We’re super young and I’ve had young teams before that were good. Just because you’re young, doesn’t mean you can’t perform. The sooner we can get over the fact that we’re young the better.”
Fausto Montero went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored for Chrisman. Johnson, Marion Jackson, Connor Dawson and CJ Batchelder each collected one hit for the Falcons.