TAMPA — Two weeks ago, the Calvary Christian baseball team gave Berkeley Prep a flat-out drubbing, winning by the 10-run rule in five innings.
“We got punched in the mouth, and we didn’t have a response,” Berkeley Prep coach Richie Warren said. “But it was one game, and you move on and you try to get better and have some good practices. We also played some good opponents since that game, and I think that helped.”
Did it ever.
Berkeley Prep (12-2, 5-1) looked like a different team on Friday against its Class 3A, District 8 rival, which started the same pitcher (Jack Cebert) who threw a five-inning perfect game two weeks ago against the Bucs.
Cebert once again threw five innings on Friday, but this time he gave up three runs on four hits while walking three in a 3-1 loss.
“This time we competed a lot more,” Warren said. “We had a lot more intent.”
No one more than senior starter Will Parkinson.
After getting knocked around a bit in the first outing against Calvary Christian (12-2, 4-1), Parkinson threw 3-1/3 innings, allowing only one run on two hits. Parkinson, who is committed to Columbia University, also showed resilience, pitching out of multiple situations with runners in scoring positions, including a bases-loaded predicament in the first.
He got some help from sophomore shortstop Cade Kurland, who made a diving stop on a sharp shot in the first inning to save at least one run and a couple of defensive gems that saved more runs later in the game.
“Cade is a special player,” Warren said. “That play he made in the first inning (spearing the ball in the hole between third and short) may have been the play of the game. He does all the little things, all the time, and he does them all well.”
Berkeley Prep took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first, scoring on a walk to Kurland, an Andrew DiMisa single, a walk to senior Johnathan Bruno and a passed ball. Another run scored when James Hankerson reached on a fielder’s choice.
The two runs turned out to be all the Bucs would need, as DiMisa, who hasn’t allowed a run in 7-2/3 innings this season, closed out the last inning.
“There is a lot of buildup for this game because it’s such a great rivalry,” DiMisa said. “(Friday), we kept battling and we kept making plays, and really, I think we wanted it a little more (Friday), and I think that showed.”