Up­per More­land fin­ishes off Northamp­ton

Times Chronicle - - OPINION - By Mike Prince

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.

Mont­gomery Me­dia file photo / SCOTT RO­MAN

Warmin­ster’s Alex Bra­gin re­leases a pitch dur­ing a Pen­Del game last month.

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