Hatfield battles past Nor-gwyn
Welcome to Hostelley Field where 0-2 counts and weak contact are common and one mistake can prove costly.
HDWfiHOG /HgLRn’s BryFH Mengel and Nor-Gwyn’s Brian Maher kept the opposition off-balance for the majority the night, but a shaky sixth inning from the Hawks led to a 3-1 win for most 933 on Friday night.
Maher was looking to retire his 14th consecutive hitter to start the sixth inning, but Tyler Smink’s KusWOH GRwn WKH firsW EDsH line forced a low throw that SRSSHG Ln DnG RuW RI WKH firsW EDsHPHn’s PLWW. HDWfiHOG capitalized on the rare base runner and extra outs. Drew Hautzinger’s RBI single tied the score at 1-1 and Mengel’s hustle down the line erased a possible inning-ending doubleplay. Mengel’s RBI groundout pushed the lead to 3-1, which was plenty for the recent North menn grad on this day.
“I had to bust it out of the box,” Mengel said. “This team loves playing together and it was a good all around victory.”
It was Mengel’s third start of the summer, but is now on his way to Bloomsburg to start classes for summer session. He will miss the majority of the season, though he hopes to be back for the BuxMont playoffs. Before Mengel made his send -off ,he wanted to square off against KLs IrLHnGs Ln WKH firsW EDsH dugout. Mengel allowed two hits and struck out four in the complete game effort.
“I know what their weaknesses are and it is fun to pitch,” Mengel said. “I mixed up my pitches and the defense helped me out too.”
“Bryce is pitching really wHOO IRr us,” HDWfiHOG FRDFK Matt Gallagher said. “He has a great opportunity to go to school at Bloomsburg and play baseball there. But he is still a big part of this team and he will help us out between classes, when he can.”
The loss spoils Maher’s 18th birthday, though it was not for a lack of another topnotch effort from the ace of the Knights’ state championship staff. He may have been one year older, but he possessed the same strong command he had all season. Maher allowed four hits and struck out three in the complete game loss. All three of the runs allowed were unearned.
“TKLs wDs BrLDn’s firsW sWDrW for us,” Hawks coach Kevin Harris said. “Today was his ELrWKGDy, LW wDs HDWfiHOG, DnG he’s our number one.”
Not all of the blame can fall directly on the defense as two hits over seven innings will rarely get it done, even
wood bats. The Hawks received hits from Brad Bertucci and Nate Heller in the fourth inQLQJ. 2QOy fiYH HDwNs UHDFKHG fiUsW EDsH DOO HYHQLQJ.
“You know you are going to get a game between these teams,” Harris said. “The one that plays the more flDwOHss EDsHEDOO wLOO HQG uS winning. We are constantly working on getting base hits on the ground and making them make the plays.”
Bertucci’s blooped a double off Mengel to lead off the fourth inning, but they were only able to score one run in the inning. The Hawks’ used a sDFULfiFH EuQW DQG D RB, sDFULfiFH fly IURP MLFKDHO MHlendez to plate their lone run. The Hawks certainly would have loved to get Maher a win on his birthday, more so earn bragging rights against HatfiHOG, EuW WKHy UHDOLzH WKHUH Ls plenty of summer baseball remaining and one loss is nothing to get too sour about.
“Losing is really tough against them,” Bertucci said. “Bryce’s changeup is pretty good and I knew it was going to be a quick game. We got that one run and I thought that was going to be enough. We have plenty of time, just like North Penn, get hot at the right time and try to go as far as possible.”