Upper Moreland finishes off Northampton
The loss which ended Upper Moreland’s 26-game postseason winning streak turned out to be nothing more than a small bump in the road to what Coach Pete Moore hopes to be his team’s fifth consecutive PenDel League championship.
Following a one-run loss in the third game of the day on Sunday, the Brewers came back out on Monday with the determination to not waste another day before advancing to the championship round. And thanks to a great pitching performance and a six-run third inning, Upper Moreland was able to come out on top, defeating Northampton, 9-2, in dame 4 of a Pen-Del semifinal series at the Northampton Rec Center.
Moore pitched a complete game, while the Brewers capped off a big third inning with a Mike ders tworun home run to left field en route to the easy victory.
“It was big for us to close it out today,” ders said. “We came in knowing what we needed to do. Obviously, we didn’t play our game yesterday in dame 3, but today, we came out focused and played great defensively. Hit the ball hard and it came out well for us.”
With the win, Upper Moreland (33-7F will now host Warminster in a best-of-five championship series starting this weekend. The Warriors, coached by Dave Boyce, swept Horsham after winning three games on Sunday by scores of 6-1, 9-0 and 7-0.
On Monday, after Moore shut down the Orange (1821-2F in the first two innings, Upper Moreland came out in the top of the third inning and started its rally. After Bill Deboer was hit by a pitch and Brett Reynolds and Nobel Unger both walked, Moore hit a tworun single to get the scoring started. Two batters later, Pat Dameron hit a two-run double, which was followed by ders’ home run.
Nick Fasano blasted a home run in the fifth inning to put Upper Moreland up 7-0 and knock Northampton’s starter out of the game. Brett Reynolds added a tworun home run in the sixth to make it 9-0.
“It’s awesome. It’s easy to pitch with the lead,” Moore said. “You just go in and pound the zone and the guys behind you make plays when you’re up big like that. We go up 2-0 and Pat gets the big hit to go up 4-0, which was huge for us.”
With the Brewers’ bats going strong, things were easier for Moore, who was perfect through three innings before allowing a lead-off double in the bottom of the fourth.
The right-hander finished his complete game win with three strikeouts and zero walks, while allowing just four hits and two runs – both of which came in the six innings.
The Brewers were led at the plate by Fasano and ders’ home runs, while Moore finished 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI. ders also went 2-for-4, scoring two while
driving in two more. ReynoOds finished 1-for-3 with a waOk, one run and two RBI, as did Dameron.
With the win, Upper MoreOand has now won 18 times in the past 20 games and wiOO Oook to get past a Warminster team which the Brewers beat four of six times during the reguOar season – a series which saw the winner win aOO six games in shutout fashion.
“We’re ready to go,” Moore said. “We’re fired up. I think yesterday was a good wake-up caOO for us and I think we’re going to pOay some very good basebaOO next weekend.”
The series begins Saturday with a doubOeheader at Masons MiOO Park, before going to Warminster on Sunday for Game 3 and Game 4, if necessary.
If Upper MoreOand can win the series against Warminster, it wouOd make the first time in Pen-DeO League history that a team has won five consecutive titOes.
“It wouOd be historic,” Moore said. “That’s our focus right now. Saturday can’t get here quick enough for us.”
The Brewers have won 27 of their past 28 postseason games, whiOe sweeping the past four championship series in succession.
Warminster’s Alex Bragin releases a pitch during a PenDel game last month.