Baric’s clutch hit rescues Campbell baseball team
LITCHFIELD – Campbell High School baseball coach Jim Gorham could tell where his team’s Division III quarterfinal game against Inter-Lakes was headed early on Saturday.
With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning, Gorham turned to the third base umpire and said, “I’m just glad I have my last at-bats in this game,” knowing how important they would probably be.
With the game tied at 9-9 in the bottom of the seventh, the top-seeded Cougars needed those last at-bats, as Bobby Baril ripped a one-out single to right field to score Christian Bourgea from third and give them a 10-9 win over the No. 8 Lakers to advance to the semifinals.
“It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe we’re going to SNHU again,” a relieved Gorham said. “We’re back where we belong.”
Before Campbell came to bat in the seventh, Gorham challenged No. 3 hitter Bourgea, telling him that if he’s the player Gorham thinks he is, he would find a way to win the game for the Cougars.
Bourgea hit a one-out single to center and advanced to second on a poor throw from the outfield. Bourgea then moved to third on a passed ball.
Baril came up one batter later and faced a 2-2 count from pitcher Peter Baker. Baril said he was expecting a breaking pitch, and got just that as he drove in the winning run and faced a mob scene from his teammates at first base.
“It’s real nice,” Baril said. “We worked hard all game, so it’s nice to come through.”
“It’s very tough to get through those first four or five batters,” Gorham said. “It’s a real tough lineup. They hit, they hit, they hit. You throw hard, you throw soft, they just keep hitting.”
Campbell will take on No. 12 Berlin at 7 p.m. Thursday at Southern New Hampshire University. It’s the program’s eighth semifinal appearance in 13 years.
The Cougars appeared to have the game in hand with a 9-6 lead entering the top of the seventh, but gave the Lakers life with back-to-back infield errors to start the inning. One-out singles from Dillon Mailand and Travis Manville cut it to 9-8. Then with runners on first and second with two outs, Chase Dickinson hit a single to left to score Manville and tie the game.
Matt Gagne struck out Cody Burns with two on and two outs to end the threat. Gagne, who Gorham said pitched only one inning in the regular season, picked up the win in 21?3 innings of relief.
The freshman gave up three runs – one earned – on four hits, with one walk and three strikeouts.
The Lakers jumped on Campbell starter Ryan Glendye with two runs in the first inning. The right-hander struggled throughout the game, giving up six runs on eight hits, with three walks and two hit batters in 41?3 innings.
Glendye left with an 8-3 lead, but left the bases loaded with one out for Kyle Shaw, who allowed all three runners to score on two walks and a single before being replaced by Gagne.
“I think the heat really got to him,” Gorham said of Glendye. “The last inning he was in, everything was just flat. I didn’t think – with the seven, eight and nine hitters hitting the ball like that – I couldn’t wait any longer.”
The Cougars broke through with three runs in the second, one in the third, four in the fourth and one in the fifth. Justin DiBenedetto went 4-for-4 with a run and three RBIs. Baril (one run, three RBIs) and Byers (two runs) each had three hits.