BERLIN - It was a special day for the Berlin baseball community Friday afternoon.
Family and friends of late Redcoats’ great Paul Baretta crowded the newly named Paul Baretta Field for the pregame ceremony, officially renaming Percival Field.
“Pauly was a friend of mine,” Berlin baseball coach Leo Veleas said. “I coached with Paul so this was great. It was a great day and it turned out nice and sunny. He would’ve been proud they named the field after him. It was a nice tribute. We’re glad for him and glad for the family.”
Following the dedication ceremony, the Berlin baseball team put on an offensive showcase in the 16-6 win against Northwest Catholic. The game was shortened to five innings with the new mercy rule.
Holden Murphy started the hitting parade in the bottom of the first with his team down 1-0. He came up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs, ripping a bases-clearing double to put Berlin up 3-1.
“I just wanted to capitalize on the opportunities to drive some runs in,” Murphy said. “I came through once, but I popped out one on a bases loaded opportunity as well.”
Berlin starting pitcher Ethan Skinner would follow up the bottom of the first with a 1-2-3 second inning, making quick work of the Lions’ lineup.
Skinner had a pair of perfect innings on the mound, in the second and the fourth. At times, however, he struggled with his command.
“You gotta throw strikes,” Veleas said. “The whole deal behind this game is you gotta pitch and you gotta play defense. You need to throw strikes and not beat yourself. If you walk guys or hit guys it’s just crazy. How many times did they put together many hits in an inning? It doesn’t happen much. You can’t beat yourself.”
It was one of those days the offense would pick up Skinner regardless of what was happening on the mound though.
“I think it was just trying to overcome the struggles and fighting when I didn’t have my best stuff,” Skinner said. “We hit the ball today, which helped a lot.”
The Redcoats hit through the order in the second inning and came one batter short of doing so in the fourth.
Mike Giove had a pair of singles in the contest and added three RBI. Adam Willametz had a double with 2 RBI. Ryan Hyde finished with a pair of singles with 2 RBI. Gianni Fanelli had a pair of singles and stole a base.
Dan Veleas showed off strong bunting ability for Berlin with a bunt single and a sacrifice bunt in the game.
Berlin scored a run in every inning in a game where not much went wrong hitting.
For the Redcoats, though, there’s much to be desired and wanting to improve on 16 runs is something that would make Baretta and anybody associated with Berlin baseball proud.
“I think we still need to work on hitting the ball more,” Skinner said. “I mean, obviously, we hit the ball pretty well today but in past games we didn’t hit. That needs to change going forward.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org