Berwick High School's Andrew Askew is greeted at home plate by teammates after hitting a solo home run in the second inning of Monday's 16-2 Class 3A firstround playoff win against Albany. Askew finished the game 2-for-2 with a home run, three RBIs, two stolen bases and two runs. Berwick, Class 3A's No. 3 seed, now will await its next opponent, which it will face in a best-two-out-of-three series this weekend. The Panthers will meet the winner of Tuesday's game between No. 14 Patterson and No. 19 Caldwell Parish. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Berwick uses 11-run 4th inning to rout Albany, 16-2
Berwick High School used a huge fourth inning to take command of Monday’s Class 3A Bi-District Round playoff game en route to a 16-2 victory against Albany High School.
Already ahead 5-2 entering the bottom of the fourth, the Panthers (21-9) scored 11 runs in its at bat, and Albany had to make three pitching changes in the frame.
Berwick, the No. 3 seed, retired Albany, the No. 30 seed, in order in the top of the fifth for the 10-run mercy rule and its first trip to the second round of the playoffs since the 2013 season.
“All game and even before the game, we told the guys just to be patient,” Berwick Coach John Menard said. “We knew the guy was throwing a little bit slower, so we talked about our approach, and they just stuck with it. … They just kept with the game plan, and finally, we were able to break through there late.”
The bottom of the fourth began with Austin Price’s single to centerfield. Price stole second during the at bat of Grant Oubre and advanced to third on a ball in the dirt.
When Oubre was thrown out at first on a strike three in the dirt, Price came home for a 6-2 Berwick lead.
Cody Roberie and Mitchell Sanford followed with back-to-back singles, prompting an Albany pitching change.
Cameron Wiley was walked by the new pitcher, and Bradly Gray hit a ball that Albany (9-21) committed an error on at third base, allowing two runs to score for an 8-2 lead.
Two more runs scored on Andrew Askew’s single to right field, while after another pitching change soon after, a run scored on a wild pitch and two more on bases-loaded walks for a 13-2 lead.
The Panthers scored the game’s final three runs on Roberie’s single to left field and Sanford’s two-run double to rightfield.
“They put the pressure on,” Albany Coach Gabe Woods said of the fourth inning. “We gave them some runs at the beginning of that inning. Kind of just mental lapses. Young mental lapses. … They showed experience.”
On the mound, Wiley, an LSUE signee, tossed a one-hitter to earn the victory. In four innings, he surrendered two runs (two earned) on one hit with two walks and fanned 10.
Berwick now will face the winner of the matchup between District 8-3A foe and No. 14 seed Patterson and No. 19 seed Caldwell Parish in a best-of-three Class 3A regional round series this weekend. The Patterson/Caldwell Parish game will be played Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Patterson.
Early on in Monday’s game, Berwick took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second. The Panthers’ first run came on Askew’s solo home run to right field for a 1-0 lead.
Kyle Pitre followed with a bunt single down the third base line, while Lucas Hatch drove him home with an RBI double down the third base line for a 2-0 Berwick lead.
Price followed with a bunt single down the third base line, advancing the runner to third base, and after a line out, Roberie drove another run home with a ground out to second base.
Sanford brought Price home on another bunt single down the third base line for a 4-0 lead.
Albany countered in the top of the third as with two outs, Brock Legorin connected on an RBI single to centerfield, while another run also scored on the play to cut the Panthers’ lead to 4-2.
Berwick added another run on an error in the third when Gray, who had reached on a double and advanced to third base, came home after an Albany error when it tried to pick him off at third base.
Sanford and Askew led Berwick’s offense. Sanford was 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and a run, while Askew finished 2-for-2 with a home run, three RBIs, two stolen bases and two runs. Other top Berwick offensive contributors included Gray, 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs; Roberie, 2-for-3, two RBIs, a stolen base and two runs; Price, 2-for-2, three stolen bases and three runs; Hatch, 1-for-2, a double and an RBI; and Oubre, an RBI and a run. Legorin led Albany with a 1-for-2 performance with an RBI.