Bean Outduels Berkshire
May 13, 2022 by Mason Cole

A pitching duel emerged May 2 when the Berkshire Badgers played their rival, the Cardinal Huskies.

Game photos click here.

A pitching duel emerged May 2 when the Berkshire Badgers played their rival, the Cardinal Huskies.

The good news for Berkshire was that its starting pitcher, junior Jack Jacobs, had a strong performance. He threw 12 strikeouts and only allowed two hits through six innings.

But the bad news for the Badgers was that Cardinal’s starter, Jacob Bean, was better, throwing 17 strikeouts and allowing only one hit through seven innings, leading the Huskies to a 2-0 victory over Berkshire.

Bean, a Cardinal junior, was simply unhittable. After the game, all that Berkshire Head Coach Nick Burzanko could do was tip his cap to the opposing pitcher.

We struggled in the box to really time up Bean,” Burzanko said. “That’s a testament to that kid and his work ethic. He works year-round, and it showed today. He can come up and just dominate a game on the mound and not really worry about having the ball put in play too much.”

As he struck out batter after batter, Bean simply refused to allow the Badgers to gain any momentum. He got into a groove in the early innings and tried to keep his pitching systematic.

I came into the game thinking: just be as efficient as possible today,” Bean said. “A lot of fastballs, a lot of strikes. I wasn’t really trying to get too fancy today, just go at them and be aggressive.”

Bean, who committed to continuing his baseball career collegiately at Kent State University, is a constant force for the Huskies. Cardinal Head Coach Jon Sandoval appreciates what Bean brings to his team every time he pitches.

“Every single time he goes out there, he’s a competitor,” Sandoval said. “He throws hard, he’s got a good mix of pitches, and he’s able to keep hitters off balance. We always have a chance when he’s out there; he always keeps us in games.”

While Bean’s pitching was vital, the Huskies were victorious also due in part to clutch hitting from second-baseman Tyler Zeigler, a senior.

Cardinal began to rally offensively in the fourth inning. First, Bean got on base with a single into centerfield. Then the Huskies’ next batter, sophomore Logan Strever, pushed him to third base by hitting a double into left field. With two teammates on base, Zeigler hit an RBI double that gave Cardinal a 2-0 lead over Berkshire.

The Huskies’ two runs in the fourth inning would ultimately be enough to defeat the Badgers. Zeigler said his RBI in the fourth helped take pressure off his team.

It was a big relief that we finally got those two runs,” Zeigler said. “We had the pressure off of us. …We just had to go back the next three innings and hold them off. A bunch of that pressure just went away as soon as we got the RBI in.”

For Zeigler, his important fourth-inning hit felt even better knowing that it came against Berkshire.

“It feels really great,” Zeigler said. “In the past, they’ve beaten us, so I was glad that in my senior year, we came back and beat them. It’s a big, huge boost for us.”

As Berkshire suffers the sting of losing to its rival, Coach Burzanko noted how important the rivalry is to his team.

We want to beat Cardinal in everything that we do,” Burzanko said. “It’s an ABC mentality: Always Beat Cardinal.

Kids get jacked up for the rivalry; it’s bragging rights for a couple of days or for a year, too, sometimes depending on the sport. It’s a friendly rivalry, the kids are very respectful, and they compete at a high level, so it’s a very nice rivalry to be a part of. … It’s going to go your way, and sometimes it’s not going to go your way.”