The last time the Berkeley Springs Indians went to the West Virginia high school state tournament was in 1985. The last time they won it was in 1984.
Translation: it’s been a long time.
But the Indians are now only one game away from returning to Charleston.
Berkeley Springs took advantage of a steady drizzle and a slew of Petersburg errors to come from behind in a heart stopper to defeat the Vikings in the bottom of the seventh, 8-7.
The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Zach Wise hit the first pitch of the game for a single and Jared Spielman doubled him home.
In the bottom of the second, Scottie Hessler hit a one out single up the middle and Kyle Appel then drove in pinch runner Brady Crane to make it 2-0 at the end of two.
The Vikings walked home a run in the bottom of the third to make it 3-0 Indians.
Indians pitcher Tyler Holt shut down the Vikings for the first three innings.
But his luck ran out in the top of the fourth when Petersburg put up seven runs to take a 7-3 lead.
At that point, it did not look good for the Indians.
But Brady Spielman replaced Holt on the mound in the fourth and shut down the Vikings the rest of the way, including striking out the side in the seventh.
Kyle Appel opened the bottom of the sixth with a single and Kaleb Athey followed with a double to put men on second and third with no outs.
Zach Wise hit one off the second baseman’s glove to score Appel and Athey to make it 7-5.
Wise took third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch to make it 7-6. And that’s how the sixth inning ending.
Spielman struck out the Vikings in the top of the seventh.
And then it went to the bottom of the final frame.
The drizzle turned to rain in the bottom of the seventh.
And with the rain came some Berkeley Springs magic.
With one out, Athey walked.
Zach Wise hit a dribbler back to the mound.
It looked like the end for Berkeley Springs. A tailor made double play.
The Vikings pitcher threw the ball to second base.
But the ball was dropped and Athey was safe at second. And Wise was safe at first.
The Indians had life with one out. Up came Tyler Holt.
Holt hit a single right in the hole between first and second and Athey raced home.
The throw to the plate was late and Athey scored the tying run.
Wise took third and Holt took second on the throw to the plate.
Up came Brady Spielman.
And in the blink of an eye, a wild pitch scored the speedy Wise.
The game was over.
Berkeley Springs 8, Petersburg 7.
Berkeley Springs plays Liberty Harrison in Clarksburg Wednesday night for the AA Region 2 Championship and a ticket to the state tournament June 1 and 2. Liberty defeated Braxton last night 7-2.