BHS wins own invitational, hammers Bayless, loses to Valley Park
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
The Brentwood High School baseball team is exactly halfway through its conference schedule and it sits in the lower middle of the standings, with a 2-3 record. If the Eagles want to end up closer to the top they’ll have to beat one or two of the three teams they’ve lost to – Valley Park, Maplewood and Crossroads. Their best chances for gaining ground appear to be in their second games against MRH and Crossroads, to whom they’ve lost by a combined five runs.
In the past two weeks the Eagles, 6-5 overall before hosting Cleveland NJROTC at 4 p.m. on April 28, went 1-1 in the conference and won the Brentwood Invitational.
Partly because of injuries, BHS coach Mike Imergoot has been juggling the roster to get the best combination. For instance, Mike Mills injured his ankle and Connor Hancock stopped pitching because of a sore elbow. Freshman Skylar Sappington was moved from designated hitter to catcher. When he pitched against Madison Prep, freshman Steven Suntrup played catcher.
“We’re substituting liberally to make sure we get everybody to play,” said Imergoot. “We’re learning. We’ve had some injuries. We’ve had some issues school-wise where we’ve had to take some measures with players so they understand our philosophy. They’ll learn from that and they’ll help our team.”
April 24: McCluer North 7, at Brentwood 5
Heading into the bottom of the sixth, Brentwood trailed 7-0. Hopeless, right? But the Eagles scored five runs in the sixth to give McCluer North a scare.
“It was a great inning,” said Brentwood coach Mike Imergoot. “We had 13 hits, but starting pitching was our downfall.”
Here’s what happened in the sixth. Marc Powells singled and stole second and third while Bradley Jones walked. Powells scored on a base hit by Seamus Saunders. After Lucas Jones reached base on an error, Jack Wright doubled to score Bradley Jones and Blake Kelley singled to score Lucas Jones. After Mike Mills singled to score Wright and Dylan McGehee was hit by a pitch, Skylar Sappington walked with the bases loaded, scoring Kelley.
Kyle O’Brien was the winning pitcher for McCluer North, 4-7. Losing pitcher Bradley Jones surrendered six earned runs off eight hits in the first four innings.
April 22: at Brentwood 15, Bayless 1
Poor winless Bayless. On Brentwood’s conference schedule, the Bronchos happened to be the first team the Eagles played after back-to-back losses to Maplewood and Valley Park. Eager to get back in the league race, the Eagles showed no mercy in a 15-1 rout.
Brentwood smacked 13 hits, including triples by Roland Floyd and Powells. Floyd, Kelley and McGehee each knocked in three RBIs and combined for seven hits. Powells, Sappington and Wright got two hits apiece.
McGehee pitched five innings for his third win of the season. The losing pitcher was Jackson Totten.
It was the first time Brentwood assistant coach Elliott Sterett went against his alma mater. He was a pitcher and infielder for the Bronchos until he graduated in 2010.
April 19: at Brentwood 15, McCluer South-Berkeley 0
In the second game of the three-team Brentwood Invitational, Saunders pitched a four-inning one-hitter and struck out six for his second win.
Saunders got more than enough help from McGehee, who had three hits and three RBIs, from Kelley and Wright, who scored six of the runs, and from Powells, who stole two bases.
Jaireon Reed surrendered 10 walks to earn the loss.
April 19: at Brentwood 11, Madison Prep 0
Is there any position Skylar Sappington can’t play? The freshman started the season as the team’s designated hitter, then was moved to catcher. Against Madison Prep in the first game of the Brentwood Invitational, he showed he can pitch as well. He threw a one-hitter in three innings before the game was stopped because the Eagles led by 10 after 90 minutes.
The winless Bears are not exactly a test for a pitcher, so Imergoot isn’t planning to move Sappington into the starting rotation.
“We’re not going to dwell on the one-hitter,” said Imergoot. “The fact was that he pitched well, he threw strikes and he’s got good stuff. I can put him anywhere: second base, catcher, pitcher.”
Powells scored three runs and Floyd and Bradley Jones scored two apiece. Kelley contributed two RBIs, McGehee hit a triple and Lucas Jones stole two bases.
April 18: Valley Park 9, at Brentwood 3
Trailing 8-1, Brentwood finally started to score on winning pitcher Jack Iven in the sixth inning, getting two runs. But in the seventh, reliever Logan Martin struck out two BHS batters to wrap up the victory.
Kelley and McGehee combined for five hits, two runs and an RBI. Sappington hit a double and scored a run. The only other Eagles with hits were Floyd, Wright and Lucas Jones.
Valley Park, 8-6, got seven hits, nine runs and seven walks against losing pitcher Bradley Jones.
South Central AA Conference Standings
As of April 27
Valley Park 5-1
Results as of April 27
April 24: Lost to McCluer North 7-5
April 22: Beat Bayless 15-1
April 19: Beat McCluer South – Berkeley 15-0
April 19: Beat Madison Prep 11-0
April 18: Lost to Valley Park 9-3
April 15: Lost to MRH 3-2
April 12: Beat North Tech 17-0
April 12: Beat Kennedy 5-2
April 11: Beat Hancock 6-1
April 9: Lost to Crossroads 14-10
April 1: Lost to St. Pius X 14-2