Hat­field bat­tles past Nor-gwyn

North Penn Life - - SPORTS - By An­drew Mar­cus amar­cus@21st-cen­tu­ryme- dia.com

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.”

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