Yardley Post 317 gets the runners on and in
BucksLocalSports Editor With Yardley Post 317 pitchers Justin Andrews and Matt Graham resting their arms after splitting time on the hill in Western’s opening Lower Bucks American Legion League playoff win over Northampton on July 13, Tom Kreiling was counted on in a big spot in Sunday’s ensuing battle with Yardley Morrisville.
The third-seeded Riversharks had given No. 2 seed Legion Post 317 a battle in all three duels between these squads and July 14 at Kopper Kettle field was no different.
While Kreiling wasn’t perfect, he was pretty good, enough so that he pitched Western to a complete game 2-0 triumph. A recent graduate of Neshaminy, Kreiling walked just one batter while scattering six hits and striking out six.
“Everybody is looking to play, get on, get over and get in,” said Western head coach Dave Vaccaro.
“Tommy did a nice job getting the leadoff hitter out today and that’s the key, especially playing with these wood bats.
“You let that leadoff batter get on and get bunted over (to second). Now, you have two chances – especially if you’re in the meat of your lineup – to get a base hit to bring that run in.
“Tommy did a nice job taking away that bunt situation – taking away that part of that philosophy.
“That’s the best thrown all year.”
While Morrisville starter Joe Sabatino surrendered 10 hits, he did a nice job himself scattering them around. Western left many of those runners stranded including leaving the sacks jammed in the bottom of the first after stringing together three consecutive singles though all with two outs.
Post 317 finally managed to break a scoreless deadlock in the bottom of the fifth after getting right fielder Jake Franzen on
board with a leadoff single. After catcher Mike Burns advanced Franzen to second with a sacrifice bunt, Sabatino got a huge out when he struck out the ever dangerous Andrews looking.
But back-to-back singles by outfielder -oe Guenther and first baseman Evan Mulholland pushed the winning run across as Western went on to a 2-0 triumph.
Not coincidentally, Franzen, Guenther and Mulholland ignited the Post 3NT offense in a N0-0 triumph over No. 5 seed Northampton -uly N3 at Neshaminy. All three in the triumvirate drove in runs while Mulholland added a pair of RBIs and Guenther pitched in with two hits.
Guenther added another 2-for-4 performance at the plate in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Morrisville in- cluding an infield single that kept the winning rally going in the fifth.
Western got a pair of runners on in the seventh when Burns drew a one-out walk and Guenther singled with two outs. Again, Sabatino extinguished the rally however to give his team a chance when he got the dangerous Mulholland to ground out back to the mound.
Post 3NT finally got the insurance run it needed in the eighth when Kreiling led the inning off by getting on board on an error, going to third on -ordan Angjelo’s single and scoring on a sacfly by Graham.
A good outing for Kreiling turned in to a tough night for Morrisville which fell into the loser’s bracket after coming back to beat Bristol N0-9 on catcher -ack Seibert’s walkoff double in Sunday’s rain delayed restart. If Kreiling could be faulted at all, it was the fact he hit four batsmen, though none of those runners scored for Morrisville.
“ee had his fastball going tonight and we were challenging hitters (inside),” explained saccaro. “When he goes in with his two-seamer, sometimes it rides up on him a little bit.
“It happened in situations where there was no threat – two or three of those came with two outs and nobody on. You just come back and get the next guy.”
It’s a philosophy that has worked for Western all season long, to the tune of NR regular season wins and now two in the Lower Bucks Legion playoffs. For their efforts, Post 3NT advances to a winners bracket battle with top-seeded Falls Monday, -uly NR back at Kopper Kettle.
Ironically, Western suffered all three of its losses this season at the hands of Post 834. Still, saccaro likes his team’s chances against the Dirtbags, who swept Post 3NT in a -une O3 doubleheader at Pennsbury. The first time the sides squared off, Western took a N-0 lead into the middle innings only to see Falls win on a two-run shot over the fence by Falls first baseman Beau Fleming.
By losing, Morrisville meanwhile fell into the losers bracket and went up against No. 4 seed Bristol -uly N4 at Neshaminy (Post 382 won 6-3 and beat WestErn 10-9 Wo rEACH WHE finAL).
Yardley Post 317 outfielder Joe Guenther stroked a pair of hits to help Western advance on July 14. Post 317 was ousted by Bristol the next day when it lost to Post 382 by a 10-9 score.