Maher, Knights shut out 6WUAWK Haven

North Penn Life - - SPORTS - By Mike Cabrey mcabrey@21st-cen­tu­ryme-

Brian Maher didn’t put any aGGiWional SUeVVuUe on KiPVelI MuVW Ee­cauVe Ke waV SiWcKinJ in WKe 1oUWK 3enn EaVeEall WeaP’V DiVWUicW 2ne ClaVV AAAA TuaUWeU­fi­nal aJainVW 6WUaWK Haven.

“I just wanted to do my job,” the se­nior right-han­der said.

Satur­day af­ter­noon, MaKeU KanGleG KiV EuVineVV on WKe PounG wiWK Ue­laWive eaVe, al­low­inJ WKe unGeIeaWeG 6ouWK 1o. 1 3anWKeUV MuVW four hits in throw­ing a comSleWe-JaPe VKuWouW aV WKe 1oUWK 1o. 12 VeeG .niJKWV clincKeG a 3,AA EeUWK wiWK a 5-0 win aW 6WUaWK Haven.

“I came in there know­ing WKey coulG KiW. 6o, PoVWly , just tried to throw strikes, get WKe fiUVW SiWcK oveU, woUk all my pitches for strikes,” Maher said, “and knew my deIenVe woulG Pake WKe SlayV and they did to­gether.”

Chris Kersey was P-for-4 wiWK a Uun VcoUeG, wKile Zil­luU 5aKiP wenW 2-IoU-4 wiWK a SaiU oI 5B, aV WKe .niJKWV (138) SlaWeG WKUee UunV in WKe WoS oI WKe fiUVW in­ninJ, WKen aGGeG an­other two in the sev­enth in clincKinJ WKeiU fiUVW VWaWe aS­pear­ance since win­ning the ClaVV AAAA WiWle in 2009.

“7KiV iV JUeaW. LaVW Wwo yeaUV, EeinJ on WKe WeaP we loVW in WKe sec­ond round. To get over that hump this year, then to win the next game to get into states is aweVoPe,” Ve­nioU UiJKW­fielGeU Brady West said.

West went 2-for-P with a Uun VcoUeG anG -aUeG 0elone waV 2-IoU-3 wiWK an 5B, IoU 1oUWK 3enn, wKicK aG­vanceV Wo iWV fiUVW GiVWUicW VePi­fi­nal since 2MM8, when it won the dis­trict crown. The Knights Iace 1oUWK 1o. 10 3en­nUiGJe — a 4-1 win­ner Satur­day oveU 1oUWK 1o. 6 BoyeUWown — Tues­day at a site to be an­nounceG. 1oUWK 3enn loVW both games this sea­son to iWV 62L ConWi­nenWal Ui­val — 4-0 on ASUil 19 anG 18-8 in six in­nings on May 1P.

“:e loVW EoWK JaPeV WKiV year to them, so I can’t wait to go get them again,” West said.

Maher struck out four, did noW Jive uS a walk, anG VuUUenGeUeG MuVW IouU VinJleV Wo

a Strath Haven (2M-1F of­fense that had not scored less than four runs in a game this sea­son. At one point, Maher re­tired 1M straight Pan­thers be­fore a Cae­don Saltis’ twoout base hit in the fourth.

“Brian Maher — SM pitches in seven in­nings. How can you ex­pect any more than that?” North Penn coach Kevin Manero said. “He just pounded the zone, threw a ton of strikes. He put on a clinic out there.”

Maher’s only real trou­ble came in the bot­tom of the sixth, as a sin­gle by David Splain — who went 2-for-P — and an er­ror put run­ners on firVW DQG VHFRQG ZLWK RQH RuW. The Knights, how­ever, got RuW RI WKH MDP DV firVW EDVHPDQ Melone and short­stop Kersey turned a dou­ble­play on Saltis’ JrRuQGHr WR firVW.

“(Kersey hasF been do­ing a great job de­fen­sively. He’s ac­tu­ally got­ten a lot bet­ter as the sea­son’s gone on,” Manero said. “And what can I say about Jared Melone. I PHDQ, firVW RI DOO, KH SLFNV two great balls out of the GLrW DW firVW EDVH LQ D NHy VLWu­a­tion. Comes up with a big hit-and-run ex­e­cu­tion late in the game. And he’s only a sopho­more. I mean, he has the poise of se­nior.”

Strath Haven starter Kevin Bosco took the loss, as he al­lowed five earned runs on 1P hits in seven in­nings. He struck out three and did not al­low a walk.

The Pan­thers were look­ing to FOLQFK D 3,AA ELG IRr WKH firVW time since 2M1M when they won the dis­trict Class AAA ti­tle.

North Penn’s three runs LQ WKH firVW PDrNHG WKH WKLrG straight dis­trict game the Knights have scored in the top half of the open­ing in­ning. North Penn plated four in the 9-3 firVW-rRuQG ZLQ RvHr CRQestoga Mon­day, then scored fivH LQ WKH 8-3 vLFWRry DJDLQVW Perkiomen sal­ley in the sec­ond round Wed­nes­day.

“lur of­fense has been great. Ev­ery game, they came out, firVW LQQLQJ, JRWWHQ ruQV IRr us,” Maher said. “I think we like play­ing on the road bet­ter — when we can jump out like that, put them un­der pres­sure, be­cause it forces them to put the ball in play. And our de­fense makes all the plays.”

Satur­day, West and BerWuFFL EHJDQ WKH firVW ZLWK con­sec­u­tive sin­gles, with West go­ing to third with two outs af­ter a Ed­die Posavec fly RuW WR rLJKW. :HVW WKHQ came home as Melone sin­gled through the left side RI WKH LQ­fiHOG, ZKLOH BHr­tucci scored from sec­ond on Bobby Scott’s sin­gle to left to make it 2-M. The Knights added a third run on the next at-bat, as oahim’s base hit brought in Melone.

North Penn’s ad­van­tage stayed at three un­til it added two more runs in the sev­enth. Kersey reached on an LQ­fiHOG VLQJOH ZLWK RQH RuW, then went to third on a hi­tand-run as Melone sin­gled through the right side. Two bat­ters later, Kersey scored on oahim’s oBI base hit. 0DVRQ 1DGHDu’V 5B, LQ­fiHOG sin­gle plated Melone for the 5-M lead.

For Mont­gomery Me­dia / MARK C. PSO­RAS

North Penn pitcher Jackie Bilotti em­braces Vicky Tu­masz and team­mates as they cel­e­brate their Dis­trict One Class AAAA play­off vic­tory over Pen­nridge on Satur­day.

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