Boy­er­town claims PAC crown

Kurtz pitches Boy­er­town past Phoenixville for PAC Cham­pi­onship

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Thomas Nash tnash@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Thomas_Nash10 on Twit­ter

BOY­ER­TOWN » The big­gest pitch Noah Kurtz needed to make Fri­day night was to him­self.

“I was con­tent, but also a lit­tle bit amped com­ing into this,” said Kurtz. “I wanted to keep calm. It was go­ing to be a good day, I con­vinced my­self of that.”

A good day would be an un­der­state­ment.

Kurtz was mas­ter­ful on the mound in pitch­ing Boy­er­town to a 7-0 win over Phoenixville in the Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game at Bear Sta­dium.

The se­nior left-han­der was any­thing but over­whelm­ing on the night. Mix­ing up his speeds and re­ly­ing heav­ily on his changeup, Kurtz lim­ited Phoenixville to just six hits and one walk while strik­ing out six over a com­pletegame ef­fort.

“At the start of the game, I saw a guy be­hind the plate with a (radar) gun, and I was think­ing to my­self, ‘Is he gonna do that for me?’” re­called Kurtz with a laugh. “I don’t think any­one has ever clocked my pitches. I don’t throw heat, I just throw for con­tact and let the field­ers pick me up.”

Af­ter a rain-filled week that forced the semi­fi­nal round of the PAC play­offs to be post­poned from Tues­day to even­tu­ally Fri­day that led to the whole tour­na­ment be­ing con­ducted in one day, No. 4-seeded Boy­er­town ral­lied to up­set top-seeded Spring-Ford 5-3. Mean­while, No. 2-seeded Phoenixville topped No. 3 Methac­ton 3-1 at Spring­Ford to earn their first trip to the cham­pi­onship game since 2013.

Left fielder Mitchell Peers and his team­mates had heard the talk all week. Talks of call­ing off the PAC play­offs and crown­ing the two Di­vi­sional champs based on stand­ings — Spring-Ford (Lib­erty Di­vi­sion) and Phoenixville (Fron­tier Di­vi­sion). And that didn’t sit well.

“We wanted to play be­cause we know that we have the po­ten­tial of beat­ing any team in the play­offs,” said Peers. “Why would we want to let peo­ple off the hook? We wanted to come out here and prove our­selves.”

“I’m just glad we could get here,” added Boy­er­town

man­ager Todd Moyer. “Check­ing the weather (on Thurs­day), we didn’t think there was a chance we’d be out here. We didn’t know what would hap­pen. But it turned out to be as nice as it’s been all week. A good day.”

The Bears spot­ted Kurtz a lead be­fore he even stepped onto the mound at

Bear Sta­dium.

Right fielder Jake DiCe­sare worked a bases-loaded walk to cap a two-out rally and get the first run across for Boy­er­town in the top of the first in­ning. That was the sec­ond of a whop­ping 14 walks sur­ren­dered by Phoenixville pitch­ers on the night.

Two in­nings later, first

base­man Michael Hohlfeld ripped an RBI sin­gle to straight­away cen­ter to score cen­ter fielder Austyn Le­ven­good from sec­ond base. DiCe­sare then fol­lowed with a sin­gle to left to plate Peers and make it 3-0.

For the game, Peers fin­ished 2-for-2 while Le­ven­good had a hit and three runs scored. Lead­off man and short­stop Quinn Ma­son scored twice while DiCe­sare fin­ished up with three RBI.

“It’s great com­ing out here with these guys,” said Peers. “Noah pitched a great game and all nine guys in the start­ing lineup sup­ported him. The guys on the bench were in the game all the time, cheer­ing. Even the run­ners, ev­ery­body brought a lot of en­ergy to this one.”

Kurtz brought a per­fect game into the bot­tom of the third in­ning be­fore Phoenixville’s Justin Blakey broke it with a two-out in­field sin­gle to sec­ond base.

Colin Bowdish got the start for Phoenixville and pitched into the third in­ning be­fore giv­ing way to Quinn Danna for the next 3-1/3 in­nings. Cole Eg­gle­ston got the fi­nal four outs for Phoenixville.

Phan­tom head coach Neil Her­man was left won­der­ing what may have been Fri­day night.

With the open­ing round of the Dis­trict One Class 5A play­offs loom­ing Mon­day for the Phan­toms, Her­man elected to rest ace Kevin Cush­ing and save him for next week.

“It could have been a dif­fer­ent story if we didn’t have all the rain and ev­ery­thing this week,” said Her­man of be­ing un­able to throw one of the league’s most dom­i­nant pitch­ers. “But that’s the way things fall. It was an un­lucky draw for us but we’ve got to be ready for a dis­trict playoff game.”

Phoenixville will open up the Dis­trict 1-5A play­offs against West Ch­ester Rustin as the No. 5 seed.

Af­ter a first-round bye, No. 8 Boy­er­town will take on No. 9 Methac­ton in the sec­ond round of the Dis­trict 1-6A play­offs next Wed­nes­day.

*** BOY­ER­TOWN 5, SPRING­FORD 3 » In be­tween Fri­day night’s games, Hohlfeld could be found stand­ing in the back of the line at the Bear Sta­dium snack bar.

Seems like the righthander doesn’t have much is­sue wait­ing around.

Hohlfeld picked up right where he left off on Fri­day on the mound on the way

to the win.

“This whole week it was weird, sit­ting in school, watch­ing it rain,” said Hohlfeld, pa­tiently wait­ing to dive into a cheese­burger clutched in his hand. “The whole week, I was just think­ing, ‘Man, I re­ally want to get out there and play to­day.’ I’m just glad we were fi­nally able to get out there.”

He pitched into the fifth in­ning, and was tagged for three runs on three hits and three walks.

Hohlfeld got the Bears on the board first, rolling one to first base to score Le­ven­good in the top of the third. Then DiCe­sare drove in Peers on the next at-bat to give Boy­er­town a 2-0 lead. The Bears then crossed two more in the fourth, high­lighted by Quinn Ma­son’s RBI dou­ble to left field be­fore com­ing around to score on an er­ror.

Spring-Ford re­sponded with three runs in the bot­tom of the fourth to make it 4-3, but stranded the bases loaded.

With the mo­men­tum seem­ingly swing­ing to­ward Spring-Ford at that point, Hohlfeld brought it back with one swing of the bat.

Hohlfeld de­liv­ered an 0-1 pitch over the wall in left field to give the Bears a 5-3 lead to lead­off the top of the fifth.

“I knew what pitch was com­ing, he’d been throw­ing a lot of curve balls,” said Hohlfeld. “I knew if I could get good con­tact on it, I could at least land some­thing in the out­field.”

Spring-Ford starter Jake Skrocki pitched six in­nings where he scat­tered five runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk. Pa­trick Jucker fin­ished with an RBI dou­ble to go along with a run scored.

“These kids bat­tle, they don’t get down,” said Spring-Ford head coach Jamie Scheck. “They’ve been do­ing it all year. Yes, we’re 18-3, we’ve played ahead in a lot of games. But we’ve bat­tled back from deficits in a lot of games.”

Af­ter a first round bye, No. 2-seeded Spring­Ford will open up its Dis­trict One Class 6A playoff run against the win­ner of Avon Grove/Ply­mouthWhitemarsh next Wed­nes­day.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Boy­er­town base­ball team poses with the PAC cham­pi­onship plaque af­ter win­ning the league ti­tle Fri­day in a 7-0 win over Phoenixville.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Boy­er­town base­ball team piles on to one an­other af­ter win­ning the PAC cham­pi­onship with a 7-0 win over Phoenixville Fri­day.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Win­ning pitcher Noah Kurtz hoists the PAC cham­pi­onship plaque af­ter pitch­ing a com­plete game in a 7-0 win over Phoenixville Fri­day.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Mem­bers of the Boy­er­town base­ball team sur­round pitcher Noah Kurtz (19) to be­gin the cel­e­bra­tion af­ter win­ning the PAC ti­tle, 7-0 over Phoenixville, Fri­day night.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The seniors of the Boy­er­town base­ball team pose with the PAC cham­pi­onship plaque af­ter win­ning the ti­tle Fri­day in a 7-0 win over Phoenixville.

Boy­er­town pitcher Noah Kurtz de­liv­ers to the plate against Phoenixville in the PAC cham­pi­onship game Fri­day at Boy­er­town.

AUSTIN HERTZOG - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Quinn Ma­son catches a fly ball at short­stop against Phoenixville in the PAC fi­nal Fri­day at Boy­er­town.

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