Finding Mudville

  • Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dan Brown/Independent -- Berkeley seniors Josh Clarke, Chris Wrenn, Andrew Lockliear and Brandon Browder. --

I said in February how I was really looking forward to watching some good baseball this spring.
I said I wanted to catch a good game.
Getting my walking in by huffing it between the baseball and softball fields at Berkeley this spring I was able to catch a few good games, and on Wednesday night of last week, I was able to catch a little history as well.
For the baseball team, this senior class (Chris Wrenn, Josh Clarke, Andrew Lockliear and Brandon Browder) were able to accomplish something 50 years of senior classes were not able to do, and that’s win a region championship. Coincidentally, or maybe ironically, the Stags chose this night to honor the 1960 and 1963 Stags baseball team prior to the game. These guys were Class A Lower State Champs then, and they did it twice, but whether or not they won a region title is unclear. I say that if it’s not hanging from the rafters in the gym chances are it didn’t happen, which would mean a region championship in baseball at Berkeley hadn’t happened since World War II.
Last year the Stags won the district championship, as did the 1960 and 1963 Stags. But Cane Bay won the Region 7AAA championship last year and dogpiled near the mound on Jim Bradley Field.
Many members of this year’s Stags had to stand and watch that celebration and did not like it much. Now, while they returned the favor a month later to celebrate the district championship on Cane Bay’s diamond, it was not a region title.
What I saw Wednesday night was not one region championship celebration, but two.
And they occurred about eight minutes apart.
For the girls what their young team accomplished was unprecedented in Berkeley softball history. No team had ever won a region championship. This team fielded just four seniors also: Ashtin Kullnat, Katie Marsch, Lexi Sample and R.J. Reid, and in this case, Sample missed most of the season due to a knee injury so the burden of leadership fell to the remaining three.
My longwinded point in this is, if these Stags accomplished this now, with just four seniors each, and the rest of the teams comprised of juniors, sophomores and freshman, not to wish this season away anytime soon, but holy cow. Wait until next year.
“We’re not finished yet,” senior Brandon Browder said after their 10-0 win over Orangeburg-Wilkinson. “We have a lot of baseball to play yet.”
The same goes for the girls, there’s a lot of softball to be played.
And the best part is we get to see it all right here, on opposite sides of “Berkeley Lake.”
A lot of good baseball and softball … you just have to be willing to walk a little bit.

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