SOL District Wrap - Opening Round

To view action photos of the Plymouth Whitemarsh/Haverford game, visit the Photo Gallery by clicking on the following link:

 By Scott Huff
It might not be Dancing With The Stars or American Idol – but the results are in. And for the Suburban One League, there was a mix of good and bad outcomes in Monday’s first round games.
The good news was the Truman (11-4) and Norristown (10-5) won their respective games. And the bad news was that Plymouth Whitemarsh (9-6), Central Bucks East (9-6), Souderton (8-7), and Neshaminy (8-7) all lost and had their respective seasons come to an end.
(N 6) Truman 2 – (S 12) Bayard Rustin 1
Truman will advance to a second round game against host Conestoga on Wednesday (May 20, 4 p.m.) with the huge win over Bayard Rustin.
“I had to do some crazy managing today,” said Truman head coach Jeff Vitale. “But things turned out great for us, and we’re excited about our chances in the second round.
“We will be able to throw Frank Morris at 100 percent,” added Vitale. “And if we can swing the bats a little better than we did today, we can move on.”
Part of Vitale’s ‘crazy’ managing took place in the bottom of the sixth with the Tigers losing 1-0.
Dustin Milewski opened the inning with a walk, and Vitale decided to pinch-hit Zack Philippi with the idea of bunting the pinch runner – Tom Harmon – to second.
Harmon advanced to second on a wild pitch – and Phillippi advanced him to third on a sacrifice bunt. Harmon scored on a ringing double off the bat of Johnny Schiotis, and Schiotis scored what proved to be the winning run on a single by Brian Beyer.
“Josh Patman threw a great game for us,” said Vitale of his lefty that went six and one-third innings and allowed just a single run. “And then Ed Connolly pitched out of a jam in the top of the sixth inning.”
Morris came on in the ninth – allowed a pair of base runners on walks – but finished the game for the Tigers and the season for Bayard Rustin.
“With all the things this team has gone through with injuries, it was great to win this game,” said Vitale. “Conestoga is a good team – but we feel good about the game.”
(N 8) Norristown 13 – (S 9) Chichester 9
Norristown usually beats you with its hitting. And the Eagles flew true to form as they crushed 16 hits to defeat Chichester.
“If our bats are on, we’re don’t stop hitting,” said Norristown coach Jim Teeter. “We can hit from the top of the lineup to the bottom, and we had to come back twice to win this game.”
The Eagles fell behind 6-0 in the first inning, but a slow climb to the lead culminated with a booming homerun off the bat of Matt Martello to give NAHS a 7-6 lead.
However, Chichester rallied back to take a 9-7 lead. But Norristown scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 13-9 lead.
“We have a lot of big innings,” said Teeter. “Once we get the first and second guy on in an inning, they always seem to score.”
Martello went 3-for-4 with his homer and three RBIs, Ian Hammer went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, Stephen Parker had three hits and two doubles, Luke Stem had a pair of hits, and Anthony DiNolfi went 2-for-3.
The Eagles will advance to a second round date with West Chester East on Wednesday (May 20, 4 p.m.).
“They have three great pitchers,” said Teeter. “They’re loaded.”
But right now, so is the Eagles lineup.
(S 10) Haverford 4 – (N 7) Plymouth Whitemarsh 1
Haverford made a 4-1 third inning lead stand up as the Fords ended the season for host Plymouth Whitemarsh.
“It was a great high school baseball game,” said Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Robert Slagle. “Both pitchers threw great games – but their pitcher was just a little bit better.”
Right-hander JJ Sims threw a terrific complete game for Haverford and allowed just six hits while striking out seven. Right-hander Chris Quarino threw an equally impressive complete game for the Colonials in which he allowed only two earned runs and struck out nine.
“Sims had a decent breaking all, and above average velocity,” said Slagle. “And Chris threw a nice game as well.
“I told the players after the game, that once you are in the playoffs, only the state champion doesn’t lose its last game,” added Slagle. “The kids had a great time playing the game and hanging around with each other. I had some quality kids.”
And sometimes that is more important than victories.
(S 7) Boyertown 2 – (N 10) Neshaminy 0
Neshaminy coach Dennis Cox knew it was going to be a pitcher’s day, and he was right as his Redskins managed just a single hit in an opening round loss to Boyertown.
“There was a very strong wind blowing in, and it was a tough day for the hitters,” said Cox. “Plus we weren’t aggressive enough at the plate.
“He (Boyertown pitcher Matt Dean) threw a nice game, he got ahead of almost every hitter,” added Cox. “But he didn’t look like a pitcher that we were only going to get one hit off.”
The lone Neshaminy hit was a single by Rick Brebner in the third inning. The Skins loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth inning – all on walks – but failed to score.
The offensive power outage ruined a terrific game thrown by Neshaminy’s Ray Hyjurick. Hyjurick allowed a single run in the first inning - an unearned run in the second inning - and permitted just four singles.
“Ray pitched very well,” said Cox. “Our hitting has been feast or famine all year, and today we didn’t hit.
“We were happy to make the playoffs,” continued Cox. “And Boyertown has a marvelous facility to play baseball. It would have been better, though, if we had won the game.”
(S14) Spring Ford 3 – (N 5) Central Bucks East 2
Central Bucks East lost to Spring Ford 3-2 in the opening round of the PIAA District One playoffs last season. And history repeated itself as the Rams edged the Patriots by that same margin this season in another opening round game.
“I felt bad for the guys because we kept battling and competed hard,” said Central Bucks East coach Kyle Dennis. “Everyone thought until the very end that we were going to come back and win the game.”
And the Patriots almost did.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Ryan Sparks legged out an infield hit. Matt Tenaglia walked and Tim Wessel lined a shot toward right center that had double and victory written all over it. But the ball was caught, and the season became history for East.
“Tim hit a shot, and if it’s in the gap we win the game,” said Dennis. “Plus Tim pitched a great game.
“We really didn’t do anything wrong in this game, and this loss is tough to swallow,” added Dennis. “They had some timely hitting, and we just didn’t score enough runs.”
(S 8) Garnet Valley 5 – (N 9) Souderton 3
Souderton ace Keith Moyer threw a great game, but some costly errors led to four unearned runs and a season-ending loss to Garnet Valley.
“We beat ourselves today,” said Souderton head coach Michael Childs. “But I told the players after the game not to be too upset.
“Not many people thought we were going anywhere – especially not to the playoffs,” added Childs. “Going to the playoffs was a good way for our seniors to go out, and it was a great experience for the underclassmen.”
Souderton seniors Tim Maloney, Sean Leo, and Brett Moyer will be the only players to graduate from this 2009 team.
“We have a lot of kids coming back and I challenged them to think about what they can do to get better next year,” said Childs. “We learned a lot this season.”
There will be six Suburban One League teams competing in the PIAA Quad-A playoffs this Wednesday (5/20).
(N 8) Norristown @ (S 1) West Chester East
(N 6) Truman @ (S 3) Conestoga
(S 8) Garnet Valley @ (N 1) Council Rock South
(S 11) Methacton @ (N 3) Council Rock North
(S 7) Boyertown @ (N 2) Pennridge
(S 13) West Chester Henderson @ (N 4) North Penn
There will be two SOL teams competing in the PIAA Class AAA playoffs Tuesday (5/19)
Upper Merion (# 7) @ Strath Haven (# 2)
Upper Perkiomen (# 6) @ (# 3) Upper Moreland