Berry College athletics had a Saturday to for the ages.
From individual accolades to team feats, Berry baseball, football and softball all delivered big wins this past Saturday.
O’Rourke’s perfect game fuels baseball sweeps
Berry baseball’s Patrick O’Rourke saw his name enter Berry’s record books, as the sophomore righty pitched a perfect game against Millsaps College during a doubleheader Saturday.
O’Rourke dealt all seven innings, striking out seven batters en route to his second win of 2021. He becomes the first Vikings pitcher to throw a perfect game in nearly half a century, when Larry Bing last accomplished the feat in 1972.
It’s Berry baseball’s first perfect game since joining NCAA Division III.
O’Rourke’s ERA dropped to 4.79 with just over 20 innings pitched. He was named the Southern Athletic Association (SAA)’s Player of the Week, his first time being bestowed the honor.
While O’Rourke and co. got the job done on the mound, first baseman Tyler Calvert thrived at home plate, going 7-for-10 with six RBIs, three stolen bases and seven runs scored.
For his efforts, Calvert earned SAA Player of the Week honors, his second time. Calvert leads Berry offensively with a .431 batting average, 25 hits and 29 RBIs.
Berry would sweep the four-game series with Millsaps and now prepares to travel to Centre College this weekend to begin another four-game series.
Vikings prevail in OT
The Vikings football team claimed the SAA East Division title after upending the Centre Colonels 18-17 Saturday in Danville, Kentucky.
With the game tied 10-10 after regulation, Centre wasted no time in taking a 17-10 lead on the first possession of overtime. Vikings quarterback Gavin Gray, who would finish with 209 passing yards in the game, located Trace Wells in the end zone from 9 yards out to bring the game within one to 17-16.
Extra point pending, Berry elected to go for two points, the road win, the undefeated regular season and the SAA East title all in one. And the Vikings got it.
Gray’s 3-yard pass to Cameron Kawa, who caught a touchdown earlier in the game, sealed the comeback victory for the Vikings 18-17.
The Vikings remain undefeated since November 2019 and earn their first undefeated regular season since 2017.
Berry, having clinched the SAA East division, will travel to Little Rock, Arkansas, to play Hendrix for the SAA Championship Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Berry softball sweeps Sewanee
Berry’s weekend got even more exciting as softball earned a two-game sweep at Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee.
Berry took game one 6-5 and clobbered Sewanee in game two 15-0. Berry’s game two success in the circle came courtesy of Meredith Holland, who earned SAA Softball Pitcher of the Week honors for her work of four innings with one hit allowed and nine strikeouts.
Holland’s ERA sits at 2.25 with 28 strikeouts to her name. Berry softball travels to Mississippi to battle Belhaven University this coming weekend.