Tuesday, May 27, 2014
When those who tally the numbers and decide upon who or what comprises the “Best Berkeley Baseball Team Ever,” statisticians will have to look long and hard at the 2014 edition of the Berkeley Stags.
On paper this team could very well be the best Stags team ever assembled.
The Stags accomplished what no other baseball team in the 100-plus year history of Berkeley High School has been able to do.
They won a Region 8-AAA championship, their second straight, a District VIII championship, their second district title in three years, and were Lower State runners-up.
The Stags finished the season with a 25-5 mark, another unprecedented record.
At the plate, the Stags hit .328 as a team and outscored their opponents 213-54 over 30 games, with just 31 of those runs being earned.
The defense played as much a part of the run differential as did the stellar pitching. The Stags defense turned in a.960 fielding percentage.
Dillon Salisbury was the man with the slick glove for Berkeley, committing just two errors in 103 total fielding chances at second base.
Chase Ganey led all Stags with a .402 batting average, with six doubles, a triple, and a homer. Ganey led the Stags in RBIs with 25 runs driven in.
Salisbury hit .392 for the season and led the team in total hits with 40.
The Stags second sacker was steady in the number two hole behind leadoff hitter Eric Orton.
While Orton's average was down at .275, the centerfielder led the team in runs scored with 35 and walks with 23. Orton's on-base percentage was a blistering .457.
Kyle Garrick's on-base percentage of .505 was on fire, and included being hit by a pitch eight times. Garrick also led the Stags with three homers while hitting .383.
Josh Simmons hit .398 for the season with 18 RBIs and 17 runs scored.
Of the Stags' 266 hits, only 60 of those were for extra bases, making Berkeley the ultimate small ball team.
On the hill, Zach Gonzales, Joe Glauser and Jeffrey Stone racked up the innings and 19 of the team's 25 wins between them.
Stone led the charge with a 7-1 mark, a 1.72 ERA, 40 strike outs and just eight walks in 52.2 innings.
Glauser was the staff workhorse, logging 59.1 innings and posting a 0.94 ERA. The lanky lefthander fanned 59 hitters, averaging a K per inning.
Gonzales finished with a 6-1 mark, allowing just six earned runs in 44 innings of work for a 0.95 ERA.
While graduating seniors Orton, Garrick, Simmons, Butler, Stone, Connor Teague, Josh Fiddie and Bryce Kunkle, and having to find a replacement behind the plate and in the outfield, the bulk of the Berkeley moundstaff and its entire infield remain intact.
“We have to find somebody to catch. It is going to be hard to replace someone like Kyle Garrick,” said Coach Landy Cox, “But our infield is set and our entire pitching staff except for Stone is coming back. We have some kids capable of stepping up and playing the outfield.
We had an amazing run this year and these seniors are going to be sorely missed, but we're well-stocked with juniors, sophomores and freshmen. As good as we were this year, we might be even better next year.”
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