Team Eyes Home Stretch of Regular Season

Charles Jones pitches to Cleveland NJROTC in the first inning on April 28 at Brentwood Park. (All photos by Steve Bowman)
Charles Jones pitches to Cleveland NJROTC in the first inning of Brentwood’s 16-3 victory on April 29 at Brentwood Park. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

Last chance to win league is May 8 vs. Valley Park

 
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

Here come the two most important parts of the season for the Brentwood High School baseball team. Part 1 is the conference race, which for the Eagles will be decided in five games over eight days, May 4-11. Part 2 is the district tournament, which will start on May 15.

It’s hard to tell how the conference race will end up for Brentwood, which had played only three games as of May 3. Valley Park is the frontrunner, with a 6-0 record and only two games left. The Hawks are imposing, having beaten everybody at least once and always by seven runs or more. Second-place Brentwood, 2-1, topped third-place Hancock by only one run and hasn’t yet played Crossroads, which is tied for third.

Second place isn’t so bad considering that the Eagles came in fourth last season. Not that they’ve given up on winning first place. They lost to Valley Park by 10 runs two weeks ago but will get a rematch on May 8.

Stephen Suntrup beats Cleveland's off-target throw to first base in the first inning.
Stephen Suntrup beats Cleveland’s off-target throw to first base in the first inning. Suntrup hit a double and scored two runs in the game.

Brentwood is certainly on a roll heading into the final five conference games. In the past week they’ve won four in a row, scored 52 runs and pushed their record to 10-3. None of the four opponents had more than three wins but the Eagles continue to show a quality they haven’t had in recent years: Instead of relying on a couple of great hitters, they have a bunch of good ones. Before the May 2 game at Whitfield, nobody had 20 hits yet but six players had from 11 to 18 hits. Seven players are in double digits with runs.

As fifth-year head coach Mike Imergoot said two weeks ago, “This is the best group I’ve had in years in terms of being able to hit all the way through the lineup.”

Brentwood coach Mike Imergoot talks to Charles Jones at third base in the first inning of the Cleveland game.
Brentwood coach Mike Imergoot talks to Charles Jones at third base in the first inning of the Cleveland game. Jones stole three bases and scored three runs in the game.

South Central AA Conference
Standings as of May 3
Valley Park, 6-0
Brentwood, 2-1
Crossroads, 2-3
Hancock, 2-3
Bayless, 1-6

Brentwood players stand in line during the National Anthem before the game with Cleveland.
Brentwood players stand in line during the National Anthem before the game with Cleveland.

May 2: won 12-6 at Whitfield (3-14)
Whitfield tied it with four runs in the third inning but BHS took the lead for good in the fourth. Winning pitcher Bradley Jones, 5-0, struck out six and gave up just one earned run in four innings before Seth Winkleman came in to pitch his first save. Jones also sizzled at the plate, going four-for-four with a home run, two doubles, four runs and four RBIs. John Bischoff’s three hits included what Imergoot described as “a mammoth home run.” Morgan Murphy added three RBIs and Mike Mills two doubles. Losing pitcher Ryan Ashmore struck out six but gave up 10 hits in five innings and the Warriors committed six errors.

Charles Jones (left) and John Bischoff during the National Anthem.
Charles Jones (left) and Alex Cobb during the National Anthem.

April 30: won 10-0 at University City (3-8), 6 innings
Brentwood scored eight runs in the third and fourth innings to make it 9-0, then ended the game on the mercy rule with a run in the sixth. Skylar Sappington, 1-1, pitched a two-hit shutout, struck out five and allowed only one runner to get past first base. Mills smacked a double and scored three runs. Keon Smith was the losing pitcher.

Left fielder Eddie Wright returns a ball to the infield, as Morgan Murphy watches, after a hit by Cleveland NJROTC in the first inning.
Center fielder Eddie Wright returns a ball to the infield in front of left fielder Morgan Murphy after a hit by Cleveland NJROTC in the first inning.

April 29: won 16-3 vs. Cleveland NJROTC (0-4), 5 innings
Cleveland actually led 2-0 at one point, but the Eagles’ bats and the Commanders’ spotty defense (five errors) led to a 16-run explosion over three innings. BHS scored at least 11 runs for the seventh time this season. Murphy, 2-0, pitched the win after coming in for Charles Jones. The losing pitcher was Burger.

Skylar Sappington hits a single in the first inning . . .
Skylar Sappington hits a single in the first inning . . .
. . . and gets a fist bump at first base from his father, assistant coach John Sappington.
. . . and gets a fist bump at first base from his father, assistant coach John Sappington.

April 27: won 14-4 at Kennedy (3-9), 5 innings
Brentwood’s balanced offense beat up on two Kennedy pitchers. Seven Eagles got hits — Sappington with three, including two RBIs, and Bischoff with two doubles. Mills scored three runs. Bischoff and Bradley Jones held the Celts to four hits, with Jones bumping his record to 4-0. Sean Loetscher pitched the loss.

Mike Mills bears down on a pitch from Cleveland in the first inning.
Mike Mills bears down on a pitch from Cleveland in the first inning. Mills scored one of the Eagles’ 16 runs.

Brentwood’s record is 11-3
April 1: won 11-2 vs. Northridge, WP Bischoff
April 11: lost 10-0 at McCluer North, LP C. Jones
April 14: won 6-5 at Hancock, Crossroads, WP B. Jones
April 15: won 13-1 vs. Bayless, WP Bischoff
April 18: won 20-0 vs. Madison Prep, WP C. Jones
April 18: won 4-0 vs. McCluer South Berkeley, WP B. Jones
April 18: won 21-0 vs. Carnahan, WP Murphy
April 21: lost 13-3 vs. Valley Park, LP Bischoff
April 23: won 17-1 vs. Herculaneum, WP B. Jones
April 24: lost 15-3 vs. Principia, LP Sappington
April 27: won 14-4 at Kennedy, WP B. Jones
April 29: won 16-3 vs. Cleveland NJROTC, WP Murphy
April 30: won 10-0 at University City, WP Sappington
May 2: won 12-6 at Whitfield, WP B. Jones

Alex Cobb leaves third base to score a run in the first inning.
Alex Cobb leaves third base to score a run in the first inning.

Upcoming games
May 4, host Hancock, 4:15 p.m.
May 5, host Bayless, 6:30
May 8, host Valley Park, 4:15
May 11, doubleheader at Crossroads, 6:30
May 15, district tournament at Hancock

Charles Jones pitches to Cleveland in the first inning.
Charles Jones pitches to Cleveland in the first inning.

To see the team’s website, click here.

John Bischoff swings for the fence in the second inning against Cleveland.
John Bischoff singles in the second inning against Cleveland. He got two hits and scored a run.
John Bischoff smiles at a comment from first-base coach John Sappington in the second inning against Cleveland.
John Bischoff smiles at a comment from first-base coach John Sappington in the second inning against Cleveland.
Eddie Wright connects with a Cleveland pitch in the second inning.
Eddie Wright connects with a Cleveland pitch in the second inning. He hit a double and drove in two runs.
Stephen Suntrup takes a lead at second base in the second inning.
Stephen Suntrup takes a lead at second base in the second inning.

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