Catasauqua Press

Monday, December 11, 2017
file photoRod Berger slides safely into second base during last season. Berger is poised to start the year as one of the top pitchers for the Roughs. file photoRod Berger slides safely into second base during last season. Berger is poised to start the year as one of the top pitchers for the Roughs.

Berger key member of CHS pitching staff

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

After a year of honing his overall game, Rod Berger is ready to take the step to the next level.

For the Catasauqua baseball team, it could be a large one with huge ramifications.

Berger will enter his senior season with the Roughies as arguably the top pitcher in their rotation. At the moment, he shares that honor with fellow senior Colin Hawk, as the duo gradually developed into an effective one-two punch last spring.

The right-hander diligently has been working out since October to not only heighten his team status, but also the team’s ascent toward a district playoff. He posted an overall 4-3 record and pitched over 80 innings.

“I feel really good about this season,” said Berger. “I have been working out for a while. This season, I really want to make first-team all-league and help this team get back to the playoffs.

“We really feel like we can get back (to districts). We have been playing together since fourth- or fifth-grade. We have really made some strides and we seem to have good chemistry with each other.”

Berger was used sparingly during his sophomore year, but it still proved to be worthwhile.

“That was a good experience,” Berger said about his sophomore year. “It really helped me get ready for last year. I was playing at a higher level and I felt more confident. My game really started to come together.

“Coach (head coach Steve Bradley) told me that I should take charge on the mound. I struggled a bit, but he (Bradley) wanted me to work through it. I did what he said and it all worked well for me.

Bradley has been appreciative of Berger’s growth.

“Rod (Berger) has worked hard and he really has come into his own,” Bradley said. “He stepped into his own and took charge out there. We feel fortunate to have two strong pitchers like him and Colin Hawk at the top of our rotation. He battled through a number of things and has been consistent for us.

“Rod is anxious to get started and he should have a big year for us.”

One of the seniors on the club, Berger watched his team evolve last season.

“We had six sophomores start last season,” Berger said. “We were really a young club. But it really proved to be a growing experience for everyone, as we all picked up our game.”

Regardless of the final outcome, Berger will continue his baseball career at Moravian College next fall. Until then, however, he plans to make the most of his time at Catty.

“I just have to work hard and stay focused,” Berger said. “We’re all ready for the season to begin and we want to get a good jump on the season. We know we can get better as a team this year.”

For Berger, the next level can’t come any sooner.