Maher, Knights shut out 6WUAWK Haven
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.
North Penn pitcher Jackie Bilotti embraces Vicky Tumasz and teammates as they celebrate their District One Class AAAA playoff victory over Pennridge on Saturday.