Buccaneers finds the win column against Brooks DeBartolo

Berkeley Prep junior Rivers Kurland struck out 10 in his five-inning shutout win. 

By Jarrett Guthrie, Editor

TAMPA – Berkeley Prep needed a complete, “connected” game to get in rhythm. After dropping the team’s first six games, facing injuries, and struggling at the plate – the Buccaneers needed some relief.

Thursday night, however, junior ace Rivers Kurland would need no relief, giving the Bucs a one-hit performance. On offense, some normalcy returned to the lineup in the form of junior Joseph Troupe – making his first appearance since Opening Night – and Berkeley Prep put things together and got in the win column with a 10-0, mercy-rule win against Brooks DeBartolo.

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Kurland, definitely did his part in the win, working all five innings of the shortened game, striking out 10, while keeping his emotions leveled despite a few mistakes (three errors) around him.

“Now it’s just building on it,” Kurland said of the win. “We have the pieces and we have the talent. It’s just about putting all the pieces together. Good innings here and there. We’ve kind of been hurt by bad innings, but we have the team. We just need to connect out there.”

Errors allowed base runners to get in scoring position on Kurland in three-of-five innings, as a young Brooks DeBartolo (with five starting freshman) proved to be pesky outs, and were aggressive on the bases with four stolen bags.

But despite facing scoring threats in all of those of his innings and issuing three walks, Kurland held the Phoenix off the board.

“You have to just lock it in,” Kurland said of his adjustments to runners aboard. “You need to understand any ball into the outfield is a run, any passed ball is a run.

“When the games get bigger at the end of the year, those runs really mean a lot. So, you need to tighten up and make your pitches hard to put a barrel on.”

Offensively, Berkeley Prep (1-6) took little time getting on the board, as struggles on the mound from Phoenix starting pitcher Joe DiCecco mounted and on defense proved costly. Troupe’s first at-bat since the February 20th opener ended with him being plunked on the shoulder, and after an error and another hit batter, the junior slugger sped home on a wild pitch for the eventual deciding run.

The Bucs added two more on a two-run double from Mason Warren, followed by an RBI sac fly from Julius Pfau.

Follow below for more in our photo wrap-up:

Rivers Kurland delivers the game’s first pitch on Thursday.

Sophomore catcher Jacob Butler throws for an out after a dropped third strike to end the top of the first.

Brooks DeBartolo third baseman Van Gannon throws to first base for an out in the first.

Jett Waters singles in the home-first on a ground ball up the middle. Both he and Joseph Troupe (HBP) move up a base on the throw in. 

Troupe heads for the plate after a wild pitch, scoring the game’s first and deciding run.

Eighth-grader Mason Warren drives in a pair on this double swing, sending the ball to the gap in right-center.

Nolan Metcalf steps on the plate in the first inning.

Phoenix centerfielder Gabriel Machado runs down a RBI sac fly off the bat of Julius Pfau.

Machado then beat out a flip to a covering Rivers Kurland after the Bucs first baseman can’t make a clean grab of the ground ball.

BDCHS junior Joe DiCecco delivers a pitch in the second. DiCecco struck out four in his two innings of work. 

Phoenix freshman catcher Jose Gutierrez throws it around the infield after a punch-out from DiCecco.

Bucs freshman Jett Walters and Richie Warren are all smiles during a Phoenix mound visit, after Waters was hit by a pitch, and both he and Troupe (walk) moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. 

Kurland helps his cause on the mound with a two-run triple to right.

Kurland motors into third base.

Second baseman Josh Hermann ranges into shallow right to pick up a ground ball in the third.

 Bucs right fielder Jett Walters ends the third with this fly-ball catch.

Phoenix shortstop Messiah Williams.

Brooks sophomore second baseman Aiden Brown puts out a runner to start the home-third.

Isaac Malone heads home on an error, scoring his team’s seventh run.

Another error allows Josh Hermann to score.

Messiah Williams hurries down the first base line after sending his team’s only hit through short. He and DJ Valley (walk) would quickly move into scoring position on a double-steal two pitches later.

Brooks DeBartolo freshman reliever Eric Garcia fields a comebacker and throws to first for an out in a 1-2-3 fourth inning. 

Kurland issued three walks, but worked efficiently needing just 77 pitches in his five innings.

After drawing a walk and forcing a pitching change, Julius Pfau talks with George Cook on the on-deck circle. 

Brooks DeBartolo righty Messiah Williams.

Sophomore George Cook connects on a two run double to right ending the game via mercy-rule in the fifth. 

Pinch-hitter Davis Daigle was hit by a pitch to lead off the fifth and would score on the Cook double.

Georgetown commit Julius Pfau heads home, scoring the game’s final run.

Berkeley Prep 10, Brooks DeBartolo 0 (5)

BD 000|00x|x – |0|1|3
BP 422|02x|x – |10|4|3
W – Kurland (1-1); L – DiCecco (0-2)
2B – Warren, Cook (BP); 3B – Kurland (BP). Records – BD (1-4); BP (1-6).