District Baseball Wrap: Opening Round

To view photos of the CB South/Spring-Ford and North Penn/Garnet Valley games, visit the photo gallery and click on the following link: http://photos.suburbanonesports.com/

 By Scott Huff
PERKASIE – The light bulbs in the scoreboard at the First Savings Field at the Perkasie Playground - home of the Pennridge Rams - are not all in working condition. 
And those burned out lights do not always show the fans that sit in the wooden bleachers – or lined along the foul lines - all that they need to know.
The number four doesn’t look like a 4, the number six doesn’t look like a 6, and so on. But two of the numbers that shown both brightly and clearly after the game was 12-1 in favor of the Rams over visiting Chichester in a first round PIAA District One Quad-A game.
Pennridge will advance to a second round game on Wednesday at Owen J Roberts.
“Chichester made some mistakes, and we were able to capitalize on most of them,” said Pennridge head coach Tom Nuneviller. “It sure makes the game a lot easier to play when you can score that many runs.”
Pennridge played some ‘small ball’ in the win as 11 of its 12 hits were singles. The only extra base hit was a double by Ray Puskar.
The Rams led 4-1 after the first three innings, but broke the game wide open with an eight-run fourth inning.
The Pennridge bats made a winner out of senior lefthander Ryan Trauger who threw a complete game one-hitter.
“Ryan had a sore arm early in the year, but we felt as a coaching staff that he was ready to go today,” said Nuneviller. “He had a very strong game against Hatboro-Horsham late in the season, and he proved to be the right choice today.”
“Coach Nuneviller called me up at three o’clock yesterday and told me that I was going to be the starting pitcher,” said Trauger. “I knew that all I had to do was go out there and throw strikes. I have eight good defensive players behind me.”
The Rams [N-7] will have a supreme test when they face Owen J Roberts [S-2] on Wednesday. OJR received a first round bye.
“We know that they won their league (Pac-10) and have an excellent #1 pitcher,” said Nuneviller. “We are going to have to continue to swing the bats and play well in the field.”
Pennridge still has a pair of aces up its sleeves as the Rams did not have to pitch either Jared Schaffer or Kyle Myers in the win over Chichester.
“We should be in pretty good shape with our pitching,” said Nuneviller. “But we have a very tough game ahead of us, and we have struggled some on the road.”
Central Bucks South [N-8] received a superlative pitching effort from senior Dan Wasson as the Titans edged visiting Spring-Ford [S-9] – 1-0.
CB South will now travel to West Chester Henderson to meet the top seeded [S-1] Warriors. WCH received a first round bye.
Henderson finished the season at 17-3 and fashioned a 14-game win streak. The Warriors lost their last regular season game to Avon Grove.
“Dan threw his best game of the year,” said Central Bucks South head coach Mike Schaefer. “He had great control, and he had some key strikeouts.”
Wasson finished the game with 11 strikeouts and only two walks. The right-hander permitted just five hits and did not allow a runner to reach third base.
“Their pitcher (Elliot Criss) threw a great game for them,” said Schaefer. “We only had two hits, but we made the most of them.”
The lone run of the game came in the third inning as Bryan Weaver led off with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Ben Moeller. Weaver then scored on an RBI ground out by Dylan Glassmire.
“When we scored that run, I thought it might be a big one,” said Schaefer. “It felt like a one-run game from the beginning.”
And the coach was right.
Truman [N-6] needed some seventh inning magic and got it as the Tigers rallied for a 4-3 win over Upper Darby [S-12] in a PIAA District One Quad-A first round contest.
Truman will advance to a second round game against Great Valley [S-3]. GV has won 10 of its last 11 games and is 15-3 overall and had a first round bye.
The Tigers led 1-0 going into the seventh inning, but the Royals scored three runs to take a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the inning.
Truman pieced together a three-run rally of its own to win the game. Zach Philippi singled home Kyle Pepper and Ryan Field to tie the game, and Brian Beyer singled home Ryan Hires for the game winner.
Central Bucks West [N-10] broke open a tight 3-2 game with a five-run fifth inning to cruise to a 12-3 first round PIAA District One Quad-A win over host Interboro [S-7].
The young Bucks will advance to a second round game with host Neshaminy [N-2]. The Redskins had a first round bye.
The key to the five-run uprising was a three-run homer by Jake Poeske. Poeske had two hits and finished the game with four RBI.
R.J. Grant was the winning pitcher for West.
“CB West has a very nice ballclub,” said Neshaminy head coach Dennis Cox of his team’s first postseason opponent. “We played them earlier in the year, and they can really hit the baseball.
“When I saw that they drew Interboro, I had a feeling that we might be seeing them,” added Cox. “It should be a good game.”
Defending PIAA Quad-A state champion North Penn [N-5] saw its season come to a close as the Knights were stunned by Garnet Valley [S-14] – 14-0.
Garnet Valley had a pair of three-run home runs hit by Joe DeCarlo to shock its hosts. North Penn managed just two hits in a game that was halted after just five innings by the ‘mercy rule.’
Upper Dublin [N-9] was also shown the PIAA District One Quad-A exit door as the Flying Cardinals lost a 4-2 contest to Conestoga [S-8].
Conestoga will advance to a second round game with Council Rock North [N-1]. The Indians had a first round bye.
“We took a peek at them today,” said Council Rock North head coach Dan Kusters. “We expect that every team in the post season is a good one, and that is what we saw.
“We look for tendencies, what type of pitches they like to hit, and get some idea of what we are going to see,” added Kusters. “But when it comes right down to it, you have to do what you need to do on your end to win games.”
Wissahickon [N-3] had a first round bye.
The Trojans will host Methacton [S-8] on Wednesday in a second round game after the Warriors defeated West Chester East [S-11] – 8-7 – in a first round PIAA District One Quad-A game.
“This is the time of year that both teams are playing their best baseball,” said Wissahickon head coach Shannon Gunby. “We lost to them earlier in the season, but that was with both teams not playing their regular players.”
In the first meeting between the two teams, Methacton spanked the Trojans 21-6.
“I got a chance to see them against West Chester East,” said Gunby. “And they look good. Methacton always looks good.”
Plymouth Whitemarsh [N-4] had a first round PIAA District One Quad-A bye.
The Colonials will host Avon Grove [S-5] who scored a 12-2 ‘mercy rule’ victory over visiting Glen Mills [S-13].
PIAA District One Class AAA results
Upper Moreland [4] will advance to a second round PIAA District One Class AAA contest with Holy Ghost Prep [1] on Wednesday.
The Golden Bears received a wonderful pitching effort from Craig Miekley who hurled a brilliant 2-0 shutout over visiting Phoenixville.
“This was the best game that Craig has thrown all year,” said Upper Moreland head coach Ernie Rehr. “He threw his curveball with confidence, and when he does that he is very effective.”
Upper Moreland received back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning from Dave McInerney and Tim Santry.
The Bears will now have to travel to Holy Ghost Prep.
“This should be a fun game to watch,” said Rehr. “They are always good, and if we want to win we are going to have to continue to attack the baseball.”
Upper Merion [6] saw its season come to an end as the Vikings were sunk in a PIAA District One Class AAA game against Strath Haven [3] – 9-3.
Greg McCuch helped Upper Merion to close the gap to 5-2 with a homerun, but a pair of three-run homers by Strath Haven was too much to overcome.
Upper Merion knocked Strath Haven out of the playoffs last season.
Paybacks can be a … pain.